Abstract for: Getting started with SD - the Agile path

Participants on this workshop will follow a practical and reliable process to actually build a real-life case. Because the method shares basic features with the agile approach now widely used for software development, we call this process "agile-SD". You build models closely with the users who want them (just as is recommended for any SD modelling), but rather than start by building an all-encompassing view of the whole problem-space, you start from the factor(s) that most closely represent the user's challenge and work outwards. At each step, you combine 'abductive reasoning' ("what factors cause this outcome") with quantified confirmation. This approach means that you always have a working model, checked with the user and real or estimated data. The method contrasts with approaches that attempt first to map out the whole system structure, by asking stakeholders how they think it works, then seeking data and trying to get the model to behave correctly - a daunting challenge for beginners and experienced modelers alike!