Service Redesign

Systems Modelling

This review proposes an alternative view: that the system is complex and it is not possible to predict or control it with precision. Feedback is the important mechanism for monitoring how the system is working, so that problems are seen early and efforts are made to resolve them.

Munro (2011)

In order to simulate complex systems and create feedback, we have been working with CACI to use simulation software to model complex adaptive systems such as the childcare and youth system. Whilst we are not claiming that the simulation has the ability to accurately forecast future outcomes, we do believe it acts as a powerful tool to consider the potential impact of system changes and resource decisions. Some of the capabilities of this approach include:

  A sophisticated ability to model a complex process such as the safeguarding or youth justice system;

 The facility to adjust key parameters including system entry and use of residential or custodial  resources;

 The opportunity to run simulations over chosen time parameters;

• The possibility to provide feedback on how changes to the system are affecting the system.

Perhaps the most powerful use of such approaches is as a learning aid to assist managers across agencies to consider the possible impact of decisions and work collectively to find ways to address complex wicked issues. The approach was recently used in a report from the Centre for Social Justice, Rules of Engagement, in order to model the impact of proposed system changes.

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