Abstract for: Documentation: Recalling the Forgotten Important

From the limited experience expected from an entering practitioner, I found myself in trouble when documenting the results of my participation in a System Dynamics consultancy. While looking for previous work related to documentation at the System Dynamics Review, I realized: (a) no single paper has been fully devoted to discuss how a proper documentation of models should be, and (b) an important fraction of the papers reviewed lacked full documentation of the model and the methodology used to build it, providing few hints into how to document an SD model. Based on existing literature and my experience as a software engineering consultant, a framework that structures a modeling process in terms of phases, workflows, activities, actors and artifacts is introduced as a vehicle to provide supporting information for adequate model documentation. Also the concept of automatic inline documentation generation is introduced to overcome the problems produced by incompatibilities among simulation packages. Four main documents are suggested as the result of the proposed documentation framework. The application of such framework can improve quality of documentation delivered to clients; help building a guide for new practitioners based on accumulated experience and ultimately promote the continued development of the field.