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Knowledge Acquisition and Process Guidance for Building System Dynamics Simulation Models. An Experience Report from Software Industry

: Pfahl, D.; Lebsanft, K.


International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering : SEKE 10 (2000), No.4, pp.487-510 : Ill., Lit.
ISSN: 0218-1940
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IESE ()
knowledge acquisition; model building; process modeling; process simulation; software development; system dynamics

System Dynamics (SD) is a method that allows for integrated modelling of technical as well as managerial aspects responsible for the dynamic complexity of systems. Therefore, simulation of SD models can also be a tool for problem analysis within software organisations. In this paper, experience with SD modelling of software processes and projects within Siemens is reported. Special focus is put on problems encountered during knowledge acquisition for SD model building, like inadequate guidance while conducting SD modelling projects, and insufficient methodical support for re-using available or generating missing knowledge. Both problems were addressed in a research project, jointly conducted by Fraunhofer IESE and Siemens Corporate Technology. One of the results of this project is a prescriptive process model for building SD models. This process model, which is briefly outlined in the paper, provides guidance for a systematic development of SD models in software organisations.