Getting Started With Dynamic Business Modelling

Our fast, reliable method to model any business challenge or plan

This course is a selection of lessons and materials from the full Core Modelling course.
If you take this course and then upgrade note that we provide a coupon you can use to recover the cost of this course.

Everyone talks about "business models" ... but they usually mean just a verbal description of how a business works. If they include any numbers at all, these are little more than top-level assumptions about growth rates and ratios.

Dynamic, living business models are different - they are quantified, time-based simulations of how the business actually works, with all the inter-dependencies, thresholds and feedbacks we know are out there. So a model can be a "digital twin" of your business, playing out with uncanny realism how the business is doing from period to period. And this is easier, faster and more reliable than doing a worse job with a spreadsheet or other tools!

What will I learn?

This course shows how to build a simple but complete dynamic business model for a common example - a new restaurant. In the process, you will learn the basic steps of our “AgileSD” process for getting to a reliable working model with the least effort and you will learn how to use the powerful Silico modelling software. Each of the four lessons:

  • … explains an essential principle in the mechanisms that make a business system work 
  • … shows how to model each of those mechanisms as you progressively build out the restaurant case-model 
  • … demonstrates how to include real-world data alongside the model’s results (a powerful tool to ensure that any model is valid at every stage)

The example restaurant model, for example, fits every table-service restaurant that ever existed (each with hugely differing values and behaviours, of course!) You will therefore learn what makes up a typical whole-business model for a given industry – a guide to generic models for many other cases.

The "RoI" of this course.

Few people believe it is even possible to simulate the performance of a real business, but these key lessons from our full course hold your hand as you actually build a model yourself for a common example - a new restaurant. That alone will

  • give you insights into how your business actually works
  • point to key mechanisms that drive its performance
  • suggest powerful simplifications and improvements to any balanced scorecard or KPI reporting system you currently employ

If any of this points to just one better decision, then the course has paid for your time and its cost many times over.

Along the way, you will also get some surprisingly simple model-structures you can use immediately – what exactly drives changes to sales, revenues and costs, and how to grow sales from managing customer-gains, losses and sales-rates, for example.

And you also get effective training in the powerful Silico modelling software – useful for all kinds of purposes. 

How much time does it take?

You get over 90 minutes of videos in the 4 classes of this course. But you should expect to spend up to a day copying the model-building activity and studying the content of each class, time you can claim as self-directed CPD (continuous professional development). Then, you can spend any time you want on more exploration you want to do.

The full classes in our Core Course give detailed guidance on how to apply the modelling to your own case and issuesd

Why use these models - and when? 

Whether launching a new business, tackling a problem or opportunity, or planning for the longer term, surely you would simulate what could happen, just like with other complicated things we do. This lets us: 

Design what we might do before we risk serious cash and effort

Test those plans against all kinds of uncertainties (Would you rather experiment with the real world, using real money and people!?)

Manage the business or issue continually against a living model of what will likely happen next.
... and if you want to be really bold and "re-invent your business model" or undergo "digital transformation" it might be best to explore where you are going before you set out!

What is the alternative? 

Spreadsheets could theoretically calculate-out everything in a business, but no human could reliably capture a living business system with only rows and columns of numbers to work with.

Balanced scorecards transformed business control by looking beyond the financials! But they do not calculate-out what causes what across the business "machine", and they leave out key issues - like competition! There is no better BSC than a good DBM!

KPI systems often try to be more comprehensive than BSCs, but they often go too far, including every indicator and ratio anyone thinks important. There is no better KPI system than a good DBM!

Business-model canvas and tools like Strategyzer or Leanstack share the same limitations as balanced scorecards and spreadsheets.

"The course provides more insights into how to capture the dynamics of any organization. A must-have by decision-makers at all level."

Course Pricing

This course is a selection of lessons and materials from the full Core Modelling course. 
If you take this course and then upgrade note that we provide a coupon you can use to recover the cost of this course.

Resources for Teachers and trainers

We make our courses available free of charge for academic faculty and at a discount for corporate trainers - more information here

Course Overview

Kim Warren

Kim is an experienced strategy professional, teacher and publisher of online courses and teaching resources on business modeling – fast becoming a main-stream capability for executives, consultants and business students. He also offers resources to help model non-business challenges, notably in health-care and international aid.

After senior corporate strategy roles, Kim joined London Business School, to teach on MBA and Executive programs. To overcome serious limitations with standard strategy methods, he developed the powerful strategy dynamics modelling method for designing and managing strategy for any organisation or challenge. Once a specialist skill, building these simulations is now easier, faster and more reliable than spreadsheet modeling. Such models mimic real-world behaviour and performance of businesses and other organisations with uncanny realism.

Kim is author of the prize-winning Competitive Strategy Dynamics (Wiley, 2002), a major strategy textbook Strategic Management Dynamics (Wiley, 2008), and summary e-book now widely used in MBA and executive teaching – Strategy Dynamics Essentials (Kindle, 2011). He is also co-founder of Strategy Dynamics Ltd, which publishes "serious games" and online courses exploiting the user-friendly modelling application, Silico.