Person to Project

A Relationship

A project is, as relates to a person, any activity undertaken to change some current state of something into a desired state. In this sense, the Person to Project relation may be represented by the standard Balancing Loop Archetype.

The difference between the Desired State and the Current State creates a Gap. This Gap then influences me to take Action to move the Current State toward the Desired State. As the Current State becomes closer and closer to the Desired State the Gap becomes smaller and smaller, thus influencing less and less Action on my part. When the Current State finally equals the Desired State the Gap is reduced to zero and there is no more influence for Action.

The following represents an implementation of this system in Vensim PLE.

Running this model with some specific values might produce a transition which looks as follows:

This diagram depicts an initial state where the Desired State and the Current State are equal. Somewhere around the 5th month the Desired State is changed to a new value. This new Desired State influences Action to be taken to transition the Current State in the direction of the Desired State. The rate of transition is dependent on the amount of Action applied.

There seems to be an implication inherent in this structure. Since there is a direct relation between the size of the Gap and the amount of Activity, as the Gap becomes smaller the amount of Activity decreases. This might provide some insight as to why projects often seem to go slower and slower as they get closer and closer to completion. Strange as it may seem, as many times as I've built this model, I never thought about this implication until I was writing this description. Maybe I'm just slow sometimes.

If you have a copy of Vensim PLE you can download this model: persproj02.mdl (2k). If you don't have a copy of Vensim PLE you can download a * free * personal use copy for Mac or PC from Ventana Systems.

This example could continue to be elaborated as there are numerous other relevant influences which are part of the real world version of this. Once the learner reaches the end of this segment they could then choose from a number of relations associated with Person or Project.

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Copyright © 2004 Gene Bellinger