Abstract for: Marathons and Sprints: Insights from Institutionalising System Dynamics Practice

This paper explores observations from an academically trained (European Master in System Dynamics) practitioner of System Dynamics methodology in a financial institution in the UK. It discusses the lessons learned from the experience of using System Dynamics as an internal capability to support strategic and operational decision making in the organisation. The paper aims to contribute to the existing body of knowledge by providing a perspective "from within". The overall reflection is that institutionalising System Dynamics (SD) in a large organisation is about being able to win both marathons and sprints. It requires the appropriate training, dedication and experience to perform over long distances, but at the same time calls attention to the emerging practice of agile project management with its familiar analogy of sprints. These observations are based on recent project experience as well as feedback received by the author’s team about past System Dynamics projects. The reflections extend earlier published work on the institutionalisation of System Dynamics and will be of interest to academic researchers and practitioners alike.