The Economist just published a brief piece on Business Modelling, which explains some of the approaches and rationales for testing ideas through models.

Consultants KPMG say that “to take major [business] decisions without first testing their consequences in a safe environment can be likened to training an airline pilot by having him fly a 747 without first having spent months in the simulator”.

Well, that's a bit melodramatic, but right now we have many clients who are modelling ways they might respond to these tight economic times in a workforce sense.  Because they have our software, these HR departments are able to show the executive team the short, medium and long term impacts of options like hiring freezes...and they can show them quickly and with a basis in real data, not just hypothesis.  Very cool to be able to provide thorough decision support to such tough decisions....but that's one of the key advantages of having workforce planning software - you can provide solid answers to "what if?".