The 7 Steps Of A Macro Modeling Project

By Alexander Van Buren


Behavioral modeling is the art of eliciting the structure of any particular form of behavioral excellence in detail so that it can be duplicated with precision.

Micro modeling involves modeling a simple process, belief, or pattern.

Macro modeling is much more complex and is about reverse engineering layered competencies that involve multiple operative formats (sub-strategies with multiple steps).

Often, decision trees occur in a complex strategy. They require knowing how the behavioral model determines which choice to make, when and HOW they make it, and how they implement their response to a choice under various conditions.

Over the years people have asked me what a ‘macro-modeling’ project is.

Here are the 7 steps I go through during every modeling project I conduct.


1. Selection and definition of the competence

a. Determine the competence and result to be reproduced
b. Determine the scope and boundary conditions of the competence
c. Write a specific set of criteria the behavioral models must meet to qualify for competence
c. Create other evidence procedures, conditions, and ways to calibrate for competence


2. Selection of the behavioral models

a. Identify individuals who meet the criteria for fulfillment
b. Get permission to model their particular form of excellence
c. Get their commitment to specific times and dates


3. Elicitation of the primary operative formats

a. Design a set of elicitation questions
b. Conduct interviews
c. Identify and elicit the complete structural *syntax and primary critical drivers in each *operative format


4. Create the model

a. Design the specific syntax and critical drivers of every required operative format
b. Determine the best overall sequence.


5. Honing the model down to the minimum number of steps necessary to reproduce the result

a. Experiment with the steps and syntax in each operative format
b. Determine those that must be present for each operative format to work
c. Write out the minimum steps necessary in each operative format to produce its required result
d. Write the complete strategy from beginning to end including any precursors if they’re necessary
e. Use the *TOTE to get as close as possible to the actual set of steps the models use – or fewer that will work


6. Testing the effectiveness of the model

a. Use the complete strategy in the appropriate contexts and measure the results
b. Measure the actual results in at least 3 different contexts that have different external variables
c. Compare the results of using the model to the results the behavioral models actually get


7. Hone to final

a. Utilize data from the testing phase to tweak and simplify the model
b. Re-test and use the *TOTE until the actual results match or are very close to the results the model(s) get
c. Create a final written strategy with a specific syntax for producing the result and for teaching the model to others


8. Write it down 
a. Write the complete model out in detail so it can be used for teaching purposes
b. Copyright the model to legally protect it as my intellectual property



* Tote
The TOTE is a goal-oriented feedback loop. It was first described by Miller, Gallanter, and Pribram in 1960.

TOTE stands for Test, Operate, Test, Exit. The main concept of the TOTE is that every behavioral and mental result has a fixed goal and various ways of achieving that goal.

* Operative Format
An individual step or phase in a bigger overall strategy. Each operative format has its own separate set of steps, outcomes, and results. The completion of one operative format is often necessary before the next one can be started.

* Syntax
A specific sequence of steps that must be performed in a particular order to produce a specific result. A recipe.

See a summary of Alexander’s Behavioral Modeling Projects