Abstract for: Collaborative systems modeling and group model building: a useful combination?

Client involvement in modeling is the hallmark of simulation-based methodologies and applied fields such as information systems development, environmental modeling, and biological systems. Unfortunately, comparison of assumptions and exchange of practical guidelines has failed to take place takes place between methodologies and fields of application. We hope to work towards such an exchange by making an initial comparison between collaborative techniques from information systems development and system dynamics. Collaborative systems modeling refers to client involvement in IT systems development. The field has decades of experience in developing formal models of business processes, a range of methods and tools to involve clients in modeling and ample evidence on the usefulness of alternative approaches. A large part of the literature on group model building covers similar topics. Recent discussions that raised attention in both fields point to further similarities: repeatability of the modeling process (versus dependence on skill of the modeler), quality of modeling and implementation of results. In this paper we explore whether both approaches to client involvement can learn from each other. Thus we look at differences and commonalities between goals, modeling languages, procedures and methods and tools and techniques.