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Building confidence in models for multiple audiences : the modelling cascade

Howick, S.M. and Eden, C. and Ackermann, F. and Williams, T.M. (2008) Building confidence in models for multiple audiences : the modelling cascade. European Journal of Operational Research, 186 (3). pp. 1068-1083. ISSN 0377-2217

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Abstract

This paper reports on a model building process developed to enable multiple audiences, particularly non-experts, to appreciate the validity of the models being built and their outcomes. The process is a four stage reversible cascade. This cascade provides a structured, auditable/transparent, formalized process from "real world" interviews generating a rich qualitative model through two intermediate steps before arriving at a quantitative simulation model. There are a number of advantages of the cascade process including; achieving comprehensiveness, developing organizational learning, testing the veracity of multiple perspectives, modeling transparency, achieving common understanding across many audiences and promoting confidence building in the models. The paper, based on extensive work with organizations, discusses both the cascade process and its inherent benefits.