This script is used to facilitate consensus-based group discussion about the model problem and boundaries early in the modeling process.
Primary nature of group task
Preparation time: 0 minutes
Time required during session: 20 minutes
Follow-up time: 0 minutes
- Stacks of plain paper
- Chalk/whiteboard markers
Prioritized list of variables
- Facilitator with moderate expertise in SD and small group facilitation
- Modeler with moderate expertise in SD
- The facilitator gives each participant sheets of blank paper and markers.
- The facilitator writes a task-focusing question such as, “What are the key variables affecting the process and outcomes of the [project name] project?” on the whiteboard or flipchart.
- The facilitator asks participants to write as many problem-related variables as they can on the sheets of paper. Participants are given a few minutes to work individually on their lists.
- Once they have finished the individual exercise, the facilitator uses the same process used in the "Hopes and Fears" script to put all individual variables on the board. When a variable name is open to several interpretations, the facilitator asks for a brief description or definition of the variable, including the units in which the variable can be measured.
- The facilitator reflects back the themes that emerged from wall-building and asks participants for feedback.
- Optionally, the facilitator asks the participants to prioritize the variables by simple voting mechanisms. Individuals can vote for as many variables as they want. The number of votes for each variable is also written down on the board.
- The facilitator makes a summary of the variables on the board, while the recorder captures the products of the process either photographically or in a word processor.
- The facilitator suggests which variables can be considered stocks as they are mentioned. If the participants agree, the facilitator can add the words “level of” to these variables.
- Identification of key variables and stocks
Andersen and Richardson
Originally described in Luna-Reyes et al. (2006).
Luna-Reyes, L. F., Martinez-Moyano, I. J., Pardo, T. A., Cresswell, A. M., Andersen, D. F., & Richardson, G. P. (2006). Anatomy of a group model-building intervention: Building dynamic theory from case study research. System Dynamics Review, 22(4), 291-320.
A variation of this script is the Nominal Group Technique. Based on group size, decide whether to break participants into subgroups. In smaller groups (N<10), allow individuals to work and present independently. In larger groups (N >10), divide participants into subgroups of roughly 10. Ask the subgroups to sit together.