Scriptapedia/Script Template

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Key “Take Away” Script

This script explains how the key take away insights can be produced and reported back to the client group on a regular basis. The purpose of this script is to give the client group a product of value approximately every hour of the GMB session. When clients get regular products of value from the process, it increases their commitment to the process and builds trust in the overall process.


Best practices. This script was first suggested by Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann in conversations with George Richardson and David Andersen. Richardson and Andersen started to use periodic key “take aways” as a standard part of their GMB work (but may not have written it up). Recently, this script was refined and tested in a system dynamics GMB session conducted in Ohio State. The script successfully engaged experts and policy makers and produced interesting results.

Primary nature of group task:

Convergent, Presentation


Preparation time: 0 minutes

Time required during session: 5 minutes

Follow-up time: 0 minutes

Materials needed:

  1. Markers
  2. Boards or cling sheets
  3. “Sticky dots” to be used for voting
  4. A laptop to record the key take away and scope in the final presentation.


This script needs input from all previous scripts in order to report main take away. The inputs for generating scope of the modeling could come from the discussion during the “policy levers”, “stakeholders”, and “conceptualizing model structure” scripts.


Output of this script is the agreement about some important aspect of the GMB conference take away that will be shown multiple times during the session and in the final report that will be presented at the end of a GMB session or sent out to the clients after the GMB session.


  • Modelers
  • Clients
  • A facilitator


  1. This script usually begins after some important product has been created in some other scripts. For example, participants may have just completed a stakeholder map, or a list of key policy levers to be explored in the finished model. A wall of divergent options is available to the participants. The facilitator hands out a fixed number of votes to each participant (stick dots) and asks participants to prioritize output of the script by their votes.
  2. A recorder takes photos of the output and their votes (Figure 1.a).
  3. The recorder writes those with the highest votes and indicates number of votes for each one (Figure 1.b).
  4. The facilitator articulates the highest vote-getting option or conclusion as some form of the “key take away” (in the case shown in Figure 1, the “key take away” is a statement of the most important variables and policies to be explored in the completed model.

Evaluation Criteria:

Participants’ feedback and reaching agreement about a model’s scope.


Rod MacDonald, Niyousha Hosseinichimeh, David Andersen, and George Richardson (based on initial work by Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann).


This script was first proposed by Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann and subsequently used in several group model building sessions hosted by George Richardson and David Andersen. More recently this script was refined and used in a group model building session held in Ohio State. The purpose of the GMB was to develop a system dynamics model of infant mortality for Ohio State and test different policy interventions. The script successfully engaged experts and policy makers and produced interesting results. This write-up is based on the version of the script used in the Ohio State modeling project.




Andersen, & Richardson. (1997). Scripts for group model building. System Dynamics Review, 13(2), 107-129. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1727(199722)13:2<107::AID-SDR120>3.0.CO;2-7

Hovmand, Andersen, Rouwette, Richardson, Rux, & Calhoun. (2012). Group Model-Building ‘Scripts’ as a Collaborative Planning Tool. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 29(2), 179-193. doi:10.1002/sres.2105

Hovmand, Rouwette, Anderson, Richardson, & Kraus. (2013). Scriptapedia 4.0.6. . Retrieved from