Abstract for: System Dynamics War Stories

Eighteen cases of applied system dynamics modeling over the last 20 years are described in retrospect. Two cases are described as very highly successful, three as highly, but also five as unsuccessful. The cases are grouped in four categories; military personnel aging chains, defence economics, market sector and academic. Their topic range from organizational resistance, via Russian industrial growth to e,g. real estate dynamics. Six critical success factors are used to describe the cases; client acceptance, client change, client success, model simplicity, publications and spin-offs. Statistical analysis finds that client change is the only significant predictor of overall case success. The retrospect finds that overall case success can be explained by evoking an inverted u-shape relationship between such success and client comfort with new insight; too little or to much comfort with the insight cause low success, medium comfort causes success. Further research should include a review that includes all involved parties’ subjective assessments.