General Paper

Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 222-229

First online:

Using system dynamics to analyse disruption and delay in complex projects for litigation: can the modelling purposes be met?

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System dynamics (SD) is a modelling approach that has been used to analyse disruption and delay (D&D) for litigation in a number of cases over the last 30 years. However, there is a lack of literature addressing the question of whether or not it is actually a suitable modelling approach to take in this environment. This paper explores this question by considering whether or not SD is capable of meeting the modelling purposes of analysing D&D for litigation. The author's experience as part of a team which has carried out post-mortem analysis on projects for a number of litigation cases is used to consider the degree to which SD can meet these modelling purposes. This process highlights limitations of using SD. An understanding of these limitations is important, so that a modeller can make an informed decision about the appropriateness of SD as a modelling approach to support any specific claim for compensation.


system dynamics litigation disruption and delay modelling complex projects