system dynamics modelling and simulation

system dynamics modelling and simulation

Assignment Information
The assignment involves with system dynamics modelling and simulation, it needs to be completed by someone who has performed on the Vensim Project Model, and has

conducted simulations, model validations, analysis and discussions project implications.

The assignment is base on the core concept of a dissertation thesis which you may find below. Instructions on the assignment will be introduced thereafter.

About the Dissertation
Research Topic: System Dynamics applied (in) Project Management

Research Topic/Question: the effects of soft variables on project performances – (using Vensim modelling and simulations – Vensim PLE 6.3)

Briefing: the thesis aims to evaluate the effects of human resource related variables (under system dynamics model) e.g. fatigue, congestions and communication

difficulties, morale, experience dilution etc. on project performances. This shall be conducted through simulations on Vensim Project Models.

Research Objective: You will have to expand and elaborate on the above research question and formulate a number of research objectives (between 4-6) to be answered.

For the main thread of the dissertation, we will use the Project Model provided by Vensim PLE as the base model, the model looks like the picture below
I am sure you have run the simulation on Vensim and have made analysis and discussions on this topic, only then will you manage to completion the order.

However, we will add on 1 or 2 additional soft variables, e.g. morale, experience dilution etc. and will conduct the simulation and relevant discussion as follows.

1. Firstly, cut out the soft variables(effects) or remove them from the model,
Add certain variable one at a time and thus created individual scenario. By adding each variable we compare to the base model, and then study the effects.

2. Put variables together and create a composite scenario
Compare to the base model, what are the aggregated effects. And what are the implications of such composite model on project policy or practices?

Additional Information: the thesis does not require primary data collection, nevertheless, this shall be replaced by modelling and simulations through the use of

Vensim. It will retain a common dissertation format or structure with slight alterations.

Supplementary Files: if you understand the literatures from the following links, we would then be able to carry on with the assignment.

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/engineering-systems-division/esd-36-system-project-management-fall-2012/lecture-notes/MITESD_36F12_Lec08.pdf

http://www.systemdynamics.org/conferences/2008/proceed/papers/HU386.pdf

Assignment Instructions
This assignment requires you to introduce an additional variable – morale, within the Project Model in Vensim PLE version 6.3.

The concept here is that working overtime and adding pressure to staff in order to the working rate are common ways to avoid disruption on delivery. Although these

actions used to increase the working productivity levels, effects on morale would actually lead to a lower level of productivity and higher level of error generation

as named in the Lyneis’ model (or lower level of an equivalent variable namely quality as used in the Vensim project model) via fatigue and increased rework.

Therefore, impacts caused by the changes of morale are knock-on effects of policy resistance to improve schedule performance and those impacts can create a sense of

‘hopelessness’ in the process of project.

The complete concept of morale can be read from Lyneis and Ford 2007. System dynamics applied to project management: a survey, assessment, and directions for future

research. Thought the link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/sdr.377/pdf On pages 157 -167

For this assignment, we are going to the use the concept of Morale introduced by Lyneis, and build the variables along with its causal-loop diagram onto the Project

Model in Vensim. As introduced in Lyneis’ model, morale is affected by ‘rework to do’ and ‘fatigue’, and has multiple effects on some other variables.

For detailed instructions, please see below. Word count:750

1. Add on morale, and build relevant causal-loop diagram based on Vensim Project Model. Show data for all relevant equations, look-up table functions, auxiliaries,

constant variables, etc which you have used to build the model. You may have to find relevant literature and seek for the equations therein, alternatively you may

create appropriate equations by yourself.

Equations can be extracted from Vensim once you have initially entered them, they will look like something below

2. In 200 words, briefly describe the effects of morale under the knock-on effects (e.g errors create more errors) you may want to use some output diagram exported

from Vensim

3. In 350 words, discuss on the model validation, and conduct comparisons with the base model.
You may want to illustrate your validation and behaviour comparisons by inserting diagrams from Vensim. They will look like below

4. In 200 words, discuss on the implications of morale on project policies, or make suggestions on relevant project policies.

The variables you are about to build should be conducted based on Project Model in Vensim PLE 6.3, the software is free for download on its website. Once downloaded,

you can find the model in the document installed. Please see diagram below.

The project model named ‘PROJECT.mdl’ looks like the diagram below