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2014
Palisade Risk Conference

Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis

November 19th & 20th, 2014 • New Orleans
2014
  PALISADE

Risk Conference

Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis

November 19st & 20th, 2014 • New Orleans

Palisade’s 2014 Risk Conference New Orleans Draws Professionals from Many Industries

The 2014 Palisade Risk Conference in New Orleans brought together over 150 decision-makers from a wide range of industries to discuss the latest trends and best practices in risk and decision analysis. The forum took place November 20-21 at the Hilton Riverside Hotel and Conference Center.

Over 35 sessions were held across four conference tracks, including software training on @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite as well as real-world industry case studies. Case studies encompassed a wide range of applications, including engineering reliability from CH2M HILL, project funding from Entergy Corp, safety and security from NASA, cost modeling from Woodside Petroleum, and many others. The conference keynote was delivered by Dave MacAdam from Novelis, and dealt with valuation of uncertain R&D projects while facing challenges in organizational culture.

View MacAdam’s Key Note presentation
View presentations from the 2014 Palisade Risk Conference in New Orleans

As always, conference attendees were also able to meet with Palisade consultants in one-on-one Expert Sessions. These Expert Sessions were well-received by both conference participants and Palisade consultants and trainers. Participants get a chance to bring their own models for the consultant to review, while consultants get a chance to discuss interesting applications of Palisade software in detail.

The Risk Conference events prove repeatedly to be invaluable opportunities for participants: “This conference was great. It provided me a lot of insight on the capability and uses of the @RISK tool,” said James Uzdavinis, Engineering Project Controls Manager at The Mosaic Company.

See the Photo Gallery from the New Orleans conference.

Quotes from the 2014 New Orleans event


Great conference! I’m glad that I came!

-Susan Parente, Principal Consultant, S3 Technologies, LLC.


Conference offered great speakers with great topics in many applications. It was great to see what else the software can do.

-Kim Kozak, Sr. Project manager, Patrick Engineering


Very valuable conference!

-OK-Youn Yu, Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University


Excellent setting, schedule, company, conversation... This was my first Palisade conference. I wanted immersion in the culture of Palisade and the Palisade user community sufficient to know whether risk management and decision analysis using the tools is the right direction for me. (A clear YES, it is turning out.)

-David Reynolds, Facility Management Consultant, FM-Consult-Create

A Global Resource

The 2014 Risk Conference series took place in over a dozen cities covering 6 continents, and brought together hundreds of risk analysis professionals. We have announced dates for the upcoming conferences in 2015, with more dates coming soon. We hope you will be able to join us.

2015 Conference dates.

Schedule

  General Sessions      
  Software Presentations      
  Industry Case Studies

Wednesday 19 November 2014 · New Orleans

Schedule is subject to change without notice.

 

8:00 - 9:00
Registration and coffee - Quarterdeck B
9:00 - 10:00
Welcome - Chart BC

Sam McLafferty and Randy Heffernan
Palisade Corporation

Chart A
Starboard
Quarterdeck C
Quarterdeck A
10:10 - 11:00
SOFTWARE PRESENTATION
Chart A

Introduction to @RISK
Fernando Hernández
Palisade Corporation

CASE STUDY
Quarterdeck A

Using @RISK to Improve Project Funding and Execution
Dillon Allen
Entergy Corporation

11:00 - 11:30
Break - Quarterdeck B
11:30 - 12:20
SOFTWARE PRESENTATION
Chart A

Introduction to the DecisionTools Suite
Gustavo Vinueza
Palisade Corporation

CASE STUDY
Starboard

Using @RISK to Compare Costs and Benefits of Froth Flotation Machines
Dr. Michael G. Nelson
Mining Engineering Department, University of Utah

CASE STUDY
Quarterdeck C

Dam Rehabilitation Project using Large PrecisionTree Model
Dean Cardno
BC Hydro

CASE STUDY
Quarterdeck A

@RISK and the Government's Reward: Handling Schedule Risk
Michael Gallagher and James Knapp
Tecolote Research

12:20 - 1:20
Lunch - River Room
1:20 - 2:10
SOFTWARE PRESENTATION
Chart A

Selecting the Right Distribution for use in @RISK
Fernando Hernández
Palisade Corporation

CASE STUDY
Starboard

Power Utility Capital Investment Analysis with @RISK
Glen Justis
Experience on Demand

CASE STUDY
Quarterdeck A

Woodside's Cost Confidence Modelling using @RISK
Sujay Karkhanis
Woodside Energy Ltd

2:20 - 3:10
SOFTWARE PRESENTATION
Chart A

What's new in @RISK 7.0
Erik Westwig
Sam McLafferty
Palisade Corporation

CASE STUDY
Quarterdeck C

Is Resurfacing the Patella Cheaper? An Economic Analysis of Evidence Based Medicine on Patellar Resurfacing
Dr. Karim A. Meijer
Louisiana State University

CASE STUDY
Quarterdeck A

Using @RISK and StatTools to Estimate Costs of Generalized Strategic Approaches to Government Information Technology Procurement
Palmer Boyle and Shaun Meeks
CSG Government Solutions, The Auspex

3:10 - 3:45
Break - Quarterdeck B
3:45 - 4:45
Software Demonstration - Chart BC

Sam McLafferty
Palisade Corporation

4:45
Welcome Reception - River Room

Thursday 20 November 2014 · New Orleans

 

8:00 - 9:00
Coffee - Quarterdeck B
9:00 - 10:00
Keynote - Chart BC

Valuing High-Risk R&D Projects with @RISK
Dave MacAdam
Novelis

Chart A
Starboard
Quarterdeck C
Quarterdeck A
10:10 - 11:00
SOFTWARE PRESENTATION
Chart A

Learning to Automate @RISK and DecisionTools Software using the XDK and Excel's VBA
Dr. Chris Albright
Palisade Corporation

CASE STUDY
Starboard

What To Do When You Don't Have a Clue: Seven Steps to Fixing an Unruly Model
Clay Graham
DePaul University

CASE STUDY
Quarterdeck C

NASA uses @RISK to estimate Astronaut and Ground Crew Safety During Launch Processing
James Joyner
NASA Kennedy Space Center

11:00 - 11:30
Break - Quarterdeck B
11:30 - 12:20
12:20 - 1:20
Lunch - River Room
1:20 - 2:10
SOFTWARE PRESENTATION
Chart A

Finding Optimal Solutions with RISKOptimizer and Evolver
Gustavo Vinueza
Palisade Corporation

CASE STUDY
Starboard

Time Series Approach to Project LIBOR and USD Swap Rates for Various Tenors
Ronald Statt
Arizona Public Service Company (APS)

CASE STUDY
Quarterdeck C

Using @RISK for Schedule Probability Analysis in Material Handling Systems
Sean Browning
The Haskell Company

SOFTWARE PRESENTATION
Quarterdeck A

Introduction to Project Risk Management and Cost Estimation using @RISK
Rafael Hartke
Palisade Corporation

2:20 - 3:10
SOFTWARE PRESENTATION
Chart A

Decision Modeling with PrecisionTree
Erik Westwig
Palisade Corporation

CASE STUDY
Starboard

Using The Decision Tools Suite for Wealth Management Planning in a Multi-generational Family Office
Dr. Robert F. Brammer
Brammer Technology, LLC

3:20 - 4:00
Conference Wrap-Up - Chart BC

Randy Heffernan
Palisade Corporation

4:00
Closing Reception - Drago's Restaurant

Presenters

  Dr. Chris Albright

Professor Emeritus
Indiana University
Senior Consultant
Palisade Corporation

Dr. Albright first joined Indiana University in 1972, and came to be known as the Quant Father at the Kelley School of Business. For nearly 40 years, he taught MBA students how to make better decisions. His professional interests and expertise are in spreadsheet modeling for optimization, statistical analysis and simulation, developing Excel add-ins for statistics, statistics for research, stochastic models in management science, quantitative methods for MBA core, web page development and database access with .NET, data mining, and VBA for Excel. Drawing from finance, marketing, and operations, Dr. Albright's teaching style has always been to analyze real business problems using practical quantitative techniques. He is the author and co-author of many leading MBA textbooks, including VBA for Modelers, Data Analysis and Decision Making (with Wayne Winston and Christopher Zappe), and Practical Management Science (with Wayne Winston). Dr. Albright also developed the statistical add-in StatPro for Excel, later developed as StatTools by Palisade Corporation. Currently, Dr. Albright provides training, development, and consulting services for Palisade Corporation.

  Dillon Allen

Manager, Major Capital Project Development and Project Controls
Entergy Corporation

Dillon Allen is the Manger of Major Capital Project Development and Project Controls in the nuclear division of Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR). He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering, a MS in Business Administration from Mississippi State University, and a MS in Mechanical Engineering (thermal hydraulic focus) from the Naval Postgraduate School. Dillon served the Navy for 12 years, initially assigned to the Navy’s nuclear headquarters in Washington DC where he oversaw the design and construction of the Nation’s latest nuclear attack submarines and the next generation aircraft carrier. He continued his Naval service in the Reserves where he oversaw shipbuilding and maintenance at Ingalls in Pascagoula, Avondale in New Orleans, and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Honolulu. In 2009, he was deployed to Central America where he participated in joint interagency and multinational disaster relief, counter-narcotics, and counter-terrorism efforts.

He joined Entergy in 2008 as part of the New Nuclear organization to continue his professional efforts to bring clean and affordable nuclear energy to the Nation. After returning from Central America, he went on to complete implementation of the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station Extended Power Uprate, making Grand Gulf the single largest nuclear unit in the country. Following the uprate, he began working on the setup of the program management office for Entergy’s response to the 2011 accident at the Japanese Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear complex. In 2013, he transitioned to his current position in which he manages major capital projects across Entergy’s nuclear fleet.

  Palmer Boyle, MBA

Consultant
CSG Government Solutions

Palmer has worked in data and analytics for over a decade at organizations including De Lage Landen (Rabobank) and Wells-Fargo, and managed risk for a credit card agent-issuer start-up. At present, Palmer is utilizing Palisade DecisionTools Suite to design predictive models that incorporate uncertainties and risks in the evaluation of strategic approaches to enterprise-scale information technology procurements for state governments. He also facilitates executive leadership in the qualitative review of procurement strategies and the quantification of results. Palmer obtained his MBA in Finance from Drake University.

  Dr. Robert F. Brammer

President and CEO
Brammer Technology, LLC

Dr. Robert F. Brammer is the President and CEO of Brammer Technology, LLC, a consultancy focusing on advanced information technology, cybersecurity, and environment and climate. His work includes projects in cybersecurity, big data, high performance computing and networking, cloud services, and weather risk management. Clients include leading firms in financial services, aerospace and defense, venture capital, and cloud software, as well as technology consortia.

Dr. Brammer has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Maryland. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He is a Fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers and of the American Meteorological Society.

He was on the Board of Directors of Versant (NASDAQ: VSNT) until the company was taken private in 2013. He has also served on advisory boards for the Department of Defense, NASA, and the National Research Council. He is currently a member of the National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board and the Board of Visitors for the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland.

  Sean Browning

Project Engineer
The Haskell Company

Sean serves as the technical lead for Haskell’s System Analytics team. The team supports Haskell’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects with complex analysis and specialized simulation modeling services. These range from Monte Carlo simulations for capital project budgets to highly detailed discrete event models used to debug line control logic offline.

Sean has degrees in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech and Accountancy from Georgia State University. He has over ten years of experience in the packaging and material handling industry. As Haskell expands its EPC offerings, Sean plans to provide financial analysis and operations modeling support across all industries in which Haskell does business.

  Dean Cardno

Consultant
BC Hydro

Dean Cardno qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) in 1987. After leaving public practice, Dean worked with companies involved in mining, heavy civil construction, and real estate development. For the past 15 years Dean has been a consultant in project evaluation, development, and financing, with an emphasis on economic valuation and project risk identification and management. Dean concentrates his practice in the energy sector, primarily natural gas transmission and distribution, and electricity generation and transmission.

  Cristian Dragnef

Founder, Managing Partner
Seratos Consulting Inc.

Cristian Dragnef is the founder and managing partner of Seratos Consulting Inc. He is a Senior Management Consultant with more than 15 years of experience and extensive expertise in information risk and security management, quality management systems, IT service management, and software development. He leads his consulting practice in working with clients’ executive leadership to develop and implement quality and security initiatives, information security frameworks, quality management and security management systems.

  Dr. Robert Forbes, P.Eng., MBA

Research Scientist, Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences
University of California, Irvine

With more than 30 years of corporate leadership and board experience, Dr. Robert Forbes has a comprehensive knowledge of the interaction of executive teams and operating units in maximizing company performance. As a former industrial entrepreneur, private equity founder and bank subsidiary president, he has used financial modeling throughout his career. He first applied @RISK in 1989 when he and his partners were considering a major acquisition. After selling his business interests in 2006, he joined the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on developing and implementing realistic insights into company strategies and operations drawing upon new science relating to the effects of bias on decision‐making. The first program under this initiative, Cognitive Forecasting, has been introduced to manufacturing and service companies ranging in annual revenues from $30 million to $6 billion.

Dr. Forbes is also an MBA and a registered professional engineer. He currently serves as Project Scientist on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine and provides training, development and advisory services to a range of industries.

  Mike Gallagher, MBA, PMP

Consultant
Tecolote Research

Mike joined Tecolote Research in 2007 after being honorably discharged from the United States Air Force. He has over 13 years of program acquisitions experience with an extensive background in directing and supervising a variety of technical and programmatic operations. He is a skilled program manager teaming with military and private sector organizations to ensure seamless collaboration with multiple departments to accomplish DoD milestones.

Mike is a certified Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) and is skilled in Strategic Planning, Cost Estimating, Risk Mitigation Management, Integrated Master Schedule Development/Analysis, and Quantitative Schedule Risk Analysis. He earned a BS in Management from the United States Air Force Academy, where he was a three-year football letterman and holds an MBA with honors from Webster University.

  Clayton Graham, MBA

Professor
DePaul University

Clay Graham is currently an adjunct Professor at DePaul University teaching courses in statistics, economics and business analytics. He’s a management consultant with Advantage Analytics, LLC specializing in analytical and graphic econometrics. His has a BS from Purdue and graduate degrees in Economics (MA) and Business (MBA - Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University). He was a NASA Scholar (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) during his PhD studies at Northwestern (concentration in advanced large scale computer modeling and mathematical simulation). Clay has functioned in various advisory capacities to Purdue and Northwestern Universities. Prior to his current undertakings, he was CEO of an upstart aerospace, laser mapping and engineering firm. He also owned and operated a metal finishing firm in the Chicago area. He has introduced effective statistical process control technology to many firms including: Motorola, Siemens and Ford.

Prior to running his own companies, Dr. Graham worked as management consultant with Deloitte & Touche and A.T.Kearney, lnc. Clay and his companies have been the subject of articles in Forbes, Business Week, Modern Metals, Industrial Finishing and Arthur Andersen's Small Business Forum. In addition, the methods incorporated in the management of his firms have been utilized in academic case studies in the United States and Western Europe. He was selected to speak on “The Management of Professional Advisors” before a joint session of the American Bar Association and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He has served as an Advisor to the White House, Members of Congress in the areas of economics, environmental control and management strategy. More recently, he consults in the investment gaming industry and with Major League Baseball Teams.

  Dr. Huybert Groenendaal

Managing Partner
EpiX Analytics

Dr. Huybert Groenendaal is a managing partner at EpiX Analytics, a consultancy that helps clients use Monte Carlo simulation and probabilistic modeling in a broad range of industries and fields, ranging from financial risk analysis, business development, marketing, budgeting, inventory optimization, and pricing, to risk analysis in health. Dr. Groenendaal has extensive experience in risk modeling and analysis for business development, financial valuation, R&D portfolios and portfolio evaluations in pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Dr. Groenendaal also teaches a variety of risk analysis training courses including Financial Risk Modeling for Pharmaceuticals, Quantitative Risk Analysis, and Corporate Finance Risk Analysis and customized on-site courses. He also lectures on the use of risks modeling in business at the executive MBA program at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado and teaches two online risk analysis courses at Statistics.com. Dr. Groenendaal has an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business and PhD from Wageningen University and is an adjunct faculty at Colorado State University

  Rafael Hartke

Oil and Energy Industry Consultant
Palisade Corporation

Rafael Hartke is an Oil and Energy Industry Consultant at Palisade Corporation, where he works in the development and strategy of quantitative risk analysis methods. He has particular experience in the energy industry, having served as a Financial Engineer in Risk Management at Brazilian-based energy corporation, Petrobras, in the Financial Planning and Risk Management department. There, he created risk models for complex investments and assessed project risks for medium and large projects, including Brazilian Pre-Salt giant fields, projects in the Gulf of Mexico, and offshore infrastructure projects.

Rafael has an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering and is also a Global Association of Risk Professionals certified Energy Risk Professional.

Rafael’s main interests and activities include:

  • Development of mathematical models in engineering and finance
  • Modeling of complex investment projects (risks, options, real options)
  • Monitoring, econometric modeling and forecasting of time series (commodity prices, commodity demands and financial series)
  • Research and training in risk analysis and Monte Carlo simulation

  Randy Heffernan, MBA

Vice President
Palisade Corporation

Randy Heffernan started with Palisade in 1997, and helped the company expand with its first overseas office in Plymouth, England, in 1998. Further geographic expansions included London in 2002 and Sydney, Australia in 2005. He has held a variety of roles in sales, marketing, and management, and currently oversees much of the corporate operations. Randy works closely with the sales staff to understand client needs and liaise with software development. Randy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Marketing, and an MBA, both from Cornell University.

  Fernando Hernández

Senior Consultant and Trainer
Palisade Corporation

Fernando Hernández' areas of expertise are banking, finance, manufacturing, project evaluation, market forecasting and pricing. Fernando currently owns and operates InfoMasters, a company geared towards training, consulting and developing financial applications and decision making models for financial and manufacturing companies, using Microsoft Office and Palisade software. He has developed and taught courses including Intro to Corporate Finance, and Financial Simulation and Investment Decisions. Since 1992, he has created financial models, risk analyses and feasibility studies using @RISK. Fernando earned his licentiate degree in Finance Administration from the University of Costa Rica. As a Fulbright scholar, he completed his MBA at Indiana University majoring in Finance & MIS.

  James J. Joyner

NASA Engineer, Independent Assessment Office of the Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate
NASA Kennedy Space Center

James started working for NASA- Kennedy Space Center in 1985 as a pre co-op student. In 1992, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. During his nearly 30 year NASA career, James has served in a great variety of roles. He has been a voting member on multiple design review boards, oversaw both domestic and international manufacturing of flight hardware, and was instrumental in the introduction of five new launch vehicle configurations. He has served as the NASA Assistant Chief Engineer for over 20 unmanned missions, NASA Chief Engineer for five missions launched from Space Launch Complex 2 on Vandenberg Air Force Base, and NASA Assistant Launch Manager for the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) and Mars Pathfinder Missions. He is included in an elite group of individuals who have assembled and launched spacecrafts to or landed probes on every planet in our solar system. James is also a recipient of NASA’s Manned Space Flight Award and a NASA Silver Snoopy Award.

At the Kennedy Space Center, James provides leadership and technical support for independent assessments performed on behalf of NASA programs or projects. He develops objective non-advocacy recommendations and solutions from those independent assessments. He was awarded NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal for his technical excellence and leadership in the development of an innovative, analytical technique and methodology approach which evaluated personnel survivability versus time.

  Glen Justis, MBA

Partner
Experience on Demand

Glen Justis is a partner at Experience on Demand, a broad-based business consulting firm based in St. Louis, Missouri. Over his twenty-eight year career in consulting and industry, Glen has established an outstanding reputation for assisting clients with issues where strategy, economics, and risk management intersect. He has conducted and/or overseen over one hundred individual client projects, encompassing private, publicly-traded, governmental, not-for-profit, and cooperative entities.

Mr. Justis previously served as a Director in the Governance, Risk, and Regulatory Strategies practice of Deloitte & Touche LLP. His work at Deloitte focused on capital investment decisions, business intelligence, risk management strategy and analytics, and corporate development. Prior to joining Deloitte, he led multiple practice areas at R. W. Beck, Inc. connected with commodity markets and risk management where he successfully served utilities, energy companies, industrials, and financial institutions directly and through supervision of consulting teams.

He holds an MBA with honors and a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering, and has completed executive education programs through The Wharton School and the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business Bridge Program. Mr. Justis is a member of the adjunct faculty at Webster University in St. Louis, delivering courses relating to strategy, finance, operations, and project management.

  Sujay Karkhanis

Project Services Manager
Woodside Petroleum

Woodside is Australia's largest independent dedicated oil and gas company and one of the world's leading producers of liquefied natural gas. In his current role, Sujay provides project services support to opportunities in the pre-execution phase. Prior to that he was involved in a functional role that championed Functional Excellence and Continuous Improvement.

Sujay has over 20 years of project experience and specializes in the application of schedule and cost risk management to projects ranging from $20M to multi-billions. Before joining Woodside, he worked for BHP Billiton Petroleum on a number of oil & gas projects. Sujay has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Engineering (Project Management).

  James Knapp

Consultant
Tecolote Research

Jim is a former Acquisitions Officer for the United States Air Force. He has over 14 years of program experience with a background in Aircraft and Space Based operations. He is a skilled program manager who has worked with the DoD on numerous programs.

Jim is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and is skilled in System Engineering, Cost Estimating, Risk Analysis, Integrated Master Schedule Development and Quantitative Schedule Risk Analysis. He earned a BS from the United States Air Force Academy, MS from Boston University, and an MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School with a concentration in Systems Acquisition Management.

  Dr. Mark Krahn, PMP

Project Risk Management Consultant
Revay and Associates Limited

Dr. Mark Krahn co-leads the project risk management consulting practice with Revay & Associates. He has been the consulting risk manager for a variety of industrial and commercial projects in North and South America, including the Keystone Pipeline, oil sands projects, gold mines, airports, etc., ranging in size from $100M to $25B. In addition to consulting, Mark is active in project management corporate training. He has authored 17 journal publications and has contributed to two books on project management. Mark spent six years on the board of directors for the PMI Consulting Community of Practice, was a member of the development team for the 4th edition of PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK 4th edition), a member of the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC) steering committee, the Oil Sands Tailings R&D steering committee and the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) R&D committee.

  Dave MacAdam, MBA

Senior Manager, Innovation Strategy
Novelis Global Research & Technology Center

Novelis is the worldwide leader in rolled aluminum and is headquartered in Atlanta. In his role, David focuses on cultivating new, exploratory and disruptive projects and supports the long term strategy of pervasive innovation throughout the organization. David's team is also responsible for the economic modeling and optimization of Novelis’ global R&D project portfolio.

Prior to this role, David worked as an electrical engineer for 13 years in various aspects of semiconductor design, including product concept modeling, analysis, specification and design. David received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada, and his MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta. David holds 13 patents in multiple areas of semiconductor design.

  Dr. Karim A. Meijer

Chief Resident
Louisiana State University

Karim Meijer is a Chief Resident in the Department of Orthopaedics at LSU in New Orleans. He will be graduating in June and will start a one year fellowship in orthopaedic sports medicine at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, FL with Dr. James Andrews. He is originally from Katy, Texas and graduated of the University of Texas in Austin, Texas where he majored in finance at the McCombs School of Business. While playing football for the Longhorns, injuries sparked in interest in medicine which led him to UT Southwestern Medical School before moving to New Orleans. Karim is married to his college sweetheart Sarah and have three children, Jaxson, 3, and twins Brooks and Ashton, 1.

  Sam McLafferty

President and CEO
Palisade Corporation

Sam McLafferty is Palisade's founder, president, and CEO. He started the company in 1984 with the release of PRISM, a stand-alone Monte Carlo simulation package for DOS on the PC. PRISM later evolved into @RISK for Lotus 1-2-3, and then for Excel. Sam is Palisade's lead developer, with over thirty years of programming experience. He works closely with the technical and sales staff, ensuring that customer feedback is heard. He personally oversees the development and evolution of every one of the fifteen software products Palisade sells. Prior to Palisade, he was a risk analysis consultant.

  Shaun Meeks

Owner and Principal
The Auspex

Shaun Meeks is the sole-proprietor of The Auspex. He has been conducting healthcare and health IT-related business analytics for over 15 years for hospitals, state oversight agencies, and consulting firms. Shaun has used @RISK off and on since graduate school 19 years ago, and has been using the full DecisionTools Suite in various forms for the past five years. Currently he is working with CSG and other government-serving consulting firms to incorporate risk analytics into the feasibility decision process for Medicaid enterprise systems, eligibility systems, health insurance exchanges, electronic health record systems, and personal health records. Shaun has a M.S. in economics and experimental statistics from New Mexico State University.

  Dr. Michael G. Nelson

Chair, Mining Engineering Department
The University of Utah

Michael G. Nelson is Chair of the Mining Engineering Department at the University of Utah, where he is also professor of mining engineering. His research interests include mine automation, mine/mill integration and optimization, mine safety systems, and mine economics. He completed his B.S. in metallurgical engineering and his M.S. in physics at the University of Utah, and his Ph.D. in mineral engineering is from the University of West Virginia.

Before joining the faculty at Utah, Dr. Nelson was Director of Research and Process Engineering at the EIMCO Process Equipment Company in Salt Lake City. From 1989 to 1995 he was professor of mining engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His 20 years of industry experience included work for CONSOL Energy, Western Zirconium, and Kennecott Copper.

  Dr. Javier Ordóñez, PMP

Director of Custom Solutions
Palisade Corporation

Dr Javier Ordóñez holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador and a MS in Project Management from the University of Maryland. Javier earned his PhD from the University of Maryland performing research on project risk analysis. His current research deals with cost and schedule integration and correlation issues through the use of Bayesian belief networks.

Javier's experience is in the areas of construction and project management, optimal project and capital investments selection, earned value management, engineering and project risk analysis, and operations research applications to engineering and management problems.

Javier has taught as an adjunct professor in the Project Management Program at University of Maryland and provides training in risk and decision analysis. He is also registered as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

  Dr. Martin Pilch

Deputy Program Manager
Sandia National Laboratories

Dr. Martin Pilch earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Newark College of Engineering 1974. He went on to earn his MS in Nuclear Engineering (1976) and his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering (1981) from the University of Virginia. Currently, Dr. Pilch is manager of the Thermal Sciences and Engineering department, is a Safety and Security focus area manager for the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Program, and has responsibility for modeling and simulation integration with major life extension programs at Sandia National Laboratories. Dr. Pilch has played a key coordinating role for the laboratory for the development, demonstration, and deployment of methodologies for Quantifying Margins and Uncertainties (QMU) that support risk-informed decisions affecting the stockpile of US nuclear weapons. Dr. Pilch spent the first nineteen years of his career developing and validating models for severe accident issues associated with the operation of nuclear power plants. During this time he participated in and led major activities using a risk-informed approach, which integrated modeling and experiments in a probabilistic framework, for addressing and resolving safety issues that arose as a consequence of the accident at Three Mile Island. Dr. Pilch previously managed for six years the V&V sub-element of the ASC Program at Sandia and was a line manager of the Validation and Uncertainty Quantification Department in the Engineering Sciences Center. As the V&V Program Manager, Dr. Pilch managed an R&D and applications portfolio with a goal of establishing credibility and quantifying uncertainties in the use of high-end modeling and simulation for nuclear weapon issues.

  JD Solomon

Vice President, Eastern US Strategic Consulting Practice
CH2M Hill

JD Solomon is the Vice President for CH2M Hill’s eastern US Strategic Consulting Practice. He is a licensed PE in 3 states (NC, SC, and VA), a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP), and Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE), a Six Sigma Black Belt, and is certified in Lean Management. In 2013, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory appointed JD to the State Water Infrastructure Authority (SWIA).

  Ronald Statt

Risk Advisor, Enterprise Risk Management - Risk Analysis
Arizona Public Service Company (APS)

Ronald Statt has been employed for more than 30 years at Arizona Public Service Company (APS), a public electric utility company headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. He has worked in APS’s Load Forecasting Department as a senior forecast analyst for more than 10 years and is currently working in APS’s Enterprise Risk Management Department as a financial risk analytics advisor for more than 13 years. Prior to Ron’s employment at APS, he was employed at the US Bureau of the Census in the Statistical Methods Division as a mathematical statistician where he assisted in the sample design of the Current Population Survey which reports labor force statistics for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ron possesses a MA in Mathematics with specialization in statistics.

  Dr. Sola Talabi

Risk Management Professor
Carnegie Mellon University

Sola Talabi has 14 years’ experience in the energy industry. He was the risk manager for the construction of Westinghouse Nuclear Power Plants in China, USA and UAE. He was also the Interface Manger for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and a member of the Westinghouse Intellectual Property and Innovation Committees. Sola is also a PMI certified Risk Management Professional, and has been recognized with leadership awards by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the National Black MBA Association. Sola has published several articles in peer-refereed journals on the subjects of engineering, energy and risk management. He holds the following degrees acquired at Carnegie Mellon University:

  • PhD in Engineering and Public Policy with a focus on risk management for large energy infrastructure projects
  • MBA with a customized focus on real estate, finance and operations
  • M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering
  • B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh

  Gustavo Vinueza

Consultant and Trainer
Palisade Corporation

Gustavo Vinueza is a Systems Engineer from University in Cuenca, Ecuador. He also earned an MBA from Torcuato Di Tella University in Argentina and a MS in Finance from Adolfo Ibáñez University in Chile. His main topics of interest include financial and operational modeling, including scientific and academic research into business practice as well as data mining relative matters. He has 16 years of experience and he’s been a consultant for companies in several industries: finance & banking, telecommunications, insurance and IT related services.

His experience includes managing project portfolios both operational and IT related, cost reduction programs, public purchases bidding, operational controls, capacity analysis and audit processes and software development projects, besides technological infrastructure implementation. He has also earned diplomas in Project Management, Usability, Business Process Management and Business Analytics.

  Erik Westwig

Software Engineer
Palisade Corporation

Erik Westwig received his BS in 1991 and MS in 1994 from the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University. In 1998 he published the book Mathematical Physics with co-author Bruce Kusse, which was re-released in its second edition in 2006. Since 1995, Erik has worked as a software engineer at Palisade as part of the DecisionTools Suite development team.

Abstracts

Download zip file of presentations from the Palisade Risk Conference in New Orleans
(Individual presentations are also linked below.)

Plenary Sessions

  Welcome

Sam McLafferty, Randy Heffernan
Palisade Corporation

Palisade president Sam McLafferty will open the event with an overview of the conference goals and an update on the latest from Palisade – including a special preview of what’s coming next in the version 7 release of @RISK and DecisionTools Suite software.

Palisade vice president Randy Heffernan will then share some of Palisade's observations on a recent industry trend.

  Software Demonstration

Sam McLafferty
Palisade Corporation

  Valuing High-Risk R&D Projects with @RISK

Dave MacAdam
Novelis Global Research & Technology Center

» Download the presentation

Buying @RISK is the easy part. Building your first models and running simulations is pretty straightforward, too. The greatest hurdles you face bringing @RISK into your company may be the blank stares you get when you start talking about risk and probability distributions. People like Excel, they understand Excel, and they don’t really want to change. The challenge is to help them realize they must.

In this presentation, David MacAdam, Senior Manager of Innovation Strategy at Novelis, will take you through the method he used (and continues to use) to bring @RISK into his company and improve how his team values high-risk R&D projects. Starting with the fallacies and biases people have about project valuation, this presentation goes through a simple R&D project valuation effort and shows how breaking the project into risk-events and incorporating risk through simulation can dramatically change the go/no-go decisions R&D must make.

  Conference Wrap-Up

Randy Heffernan
Palisade Corporation

Palisade Corporation Palisade vice president Randy Heffernan will close the conference with some final thoughts on how what we've learned can help us when we return to the 'real world' the next day. That is, how we can apply the themes, concepts, and tools covered over the last two days to our everyday risk challenges.

Software Presentations

  Introduction to @RISK

Fernando Hernández
Palisade Corporation

This introduction to @RISK will walk you through a risk analysis using various example models. Key features of @RISK will be highlighted. You will experience the intuitive interface of @RISK as you define distributions, correlations, and other model components. During simulation you will be able to see all charts, thumbnails, and reports update in real time. View results with a variety of graphing and reporting options. There’s so much to see, we’ll cover as much as time permits.

  Introduction to the DecisionTools Suite

Gustavo Vinueza
Palisade Corporation

This session will show you how to use the elements of the DecisionTools Suite as a comprehensive risk analysis, decision-making, and statistical analysis toolkit. Each of the products in the Suite — @RISK, RISKOptimizer, Evolver, PrecisionTree, TopRank, StatTools, and NeuralTools — will be presented as time allows, showing how they can be used to solve practical problems in the real world. Pick up hints and tips for using the products together. We’ll also point out interface improvements along the way that can save time and enhance ease-of-use.

  Selecting the Right Distribution to use in @RISK

Fernando Hernández
Palisade Corporation

This session covers the choice of the appropriate distribution in @RISK. A variety of approaches are presented and compared, including pragmatic, theoretical and data-driven methods. The use of distributions to treat a variety of risk modeling situations is discussed, and some more advanced features such as bootstrapping, batch fitting, and the live fit function, will be covered as time permits.

  What's New in @RISK 7.0

Sam McLafferty , Erik Westwig
Palisade Corporation

Come see a demonstration of key new features in the upcoming version 7 release of @RISK.

  Learning to Automate @RISK and DecisionTools Software using the XDK and Excel's VBA

Dr. Chris Albright
Palisade Corporation

@RISK and DecisionTools software tools come with an Excel Developer Kit, or XDK, that enables users to automate and customize how they run their analyses. The XDK includes an “object model” for each software tool that programmers can manipulate with VBA code in Excel. Using the XDK, you can automate commonly performed tasks, create customized reports and outputs, and even design custom input dialogs to limit and control how models are set up and run.

We'll walk through a number of examples on how to use this powerful feature to expand your use of @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite. Most examples will feature @RISK, but time permitting he may be able to touch on other tools.

  Data Analysis and Prediction with StatTools and NeuralTools

Dr. Chris Albright
Palisade Corporation

In this session you will learn how to use Palisade’s two data analysis tools: StatTools and NeuralTools.

StatTools is a Microsoft Excel statistics add-in. This session will cover how to perform the most common statistical tests, and will include topics such as: Statistical Inference, Forecasting, Data Management, Summary Analyses, and Regression Analysis.

NeuralTools imitates brain functions in order to “learn” the structure of your data. Once NeuralTools understands the data, it can take new inputs and make intelligent predictions. The new predictions are based on the patterns in known data, and offer uncanny accuracy. NeuralTools can automatically update predictions when input data changes, and it can even be combined with Palisade’s Evolver or Excel’s Solver to optimize tough decisions and achieve desired goals. This session will demonstrate, using easy-to-understand examples, applications of NeuralTools predictions. We will also touch upon some of the exciting new procedures in StatTools version 7.

  Finding Optimal Solutions with RISKOptimizer and Evolver

Gustavo Vinueza
Palisade Corporation

RISKOptimizer and Evolver use powerful algorithms to perform optimization in Microsoft Excel. RISKOptimizer – an advanced analytical tool that comes with @RISK Industrial – builds on traditional optimization by adding Monte Carlo simulation to account for uncertain (stochastic), uncontrollable factors in your optimization problem. RISKOptimizer and Evolver employ genetic algorithms to arrive at solutions to nonlinear problems that are impossible to find using traditional methods, and they also offer different methods for quickly solving other types of problems.

This session introduces you to these powerful tools, showing you how to set up a model, define constraints within the model, and ultimately arrive at the optimal outcome. These steps will be illustrated by means of a detailed retirement portfolio optimization example.

  Decision Modeling with PrecisionTree

Erik Westwig
Palisade Corporation

PrecisionTree is a powerful visual and analytical tool for mapping out complex, sequential decisions using decision trees directly in Excel. Using nodes, branches, and probabilities, you can represent and organize decisions ranging from oil prospecting to site development to options analysis. PrecisionTree can also be combined with @RISK to incorporate uncertainty and risk in tree models. This presentation combines an introduction to the PrecisionTree interface with demonstrations of how PrecisionTree can be used to analyze various problems in decision analysis.

  Introduction to Project Risk Management and Cost Estimation using @RISK

Rafael Hartke
Palisade Corporation

The aim of this seminar is to provide a basic understanding of how @RISK can help you manage uncertainty in your Microsoft Project schedules and estimate uncertain costs. Using Monte Carlo simulation, you will learn how to account for schedule and costs risks in a quick and comprehensive way. At last, here is a way to answer the question "What is the probability that my project will come in on time and within budget?" With @RISK, you can combine both cost and schedule modeling in one platform

We will show you how to set up and run simulations, and how to interpret the results. You will learn how to use @RISK step-by-step, and become familiar with basic concepts and terminology. We’ll demonstrate powerful graphing and reporting that pinpoints where your risks lie and what their impact may be.

You will see how using @RISK for your projects enables you to:

  • Calculate the probability of success
  • Graph the margin of error around the most likely outcome
  • Quantify and prioritize the risk drivers
  • Quantify the amount '@RISK'
  • Aid in contingency planning

Case Studies

  When the Safety and Security of the Free World is at Stake and Other High Consequence Applications of Risk Assessment

Dr. Martin Pilch
Sandia National Laboratories

» Download the presentation

Sandia National Laboratories has a rich history of risk assessment for high consequence applications including:

  1. Safety assessment for commercial nuclear power plants - NUREG-1150,
  2. Long term disposal of low and high level radioactive waste – WIPP and Yucca Mountain, and
  3. Performance, reliability, safety, and security of nuclear weapons – QMU.

This work has been subjected to some of the highest levels of peer review at the national level, including reviews by the National Academy of Sciences. Separation of aleatory and epistemic uncertainty is a best practice common to each of these applications and other applications of high consequence risk assessment. Aleatory uncertainties represent the inherent and irreducible randomness within a population or randomness in the occurrence of possible future states. In contrast, epistemic uncertainties reflect lack of knowledge with respect to the appropriate value to use for a quantity that has a fixed value within the context of a specific analysis. This presentation will anchor the concepts and demonstrate methodologies for quantifying and propagating both aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in the context of an entertaining and fully contrived example containing features derived from the above applications. Palisade products used in this talk are: PrecisionTree, @RISK, StatTools, and NeuralTools.

  Using the DecisionTools Suite for Risk and Reliability Optimization of Infrastructure Systems

JD Solomon
CH2M Hill

The Palisade Suite provides industry-leading tools for optimizing systems performance for risk and reliability concerns. Specifically StatTools, @RISK, PrecisonTree, and Evolver were used to assist a major water utility in upstate South Carolina. The use of the tools in the suite built upon basic engineering and financial analysis performed by others but which did not fully address the uncertainty and value concerns that interested the utility’s executive leadership.

Ultimately applying the tools in traditional and integrated ways enabled the executive team to improve their understanding of the different operating system alternatives and to improve their decision-making. The analysis also uncovered one critical operations component that had also been overlooked by the previous work performed by others. Perhaps most importantly, it demonstrated the ability to use the Palisade Suite to enhance and improve work performed to date, and to use the tools in a complimentary way rather than a purely competitive manner with other approaches.

The attendee will gain insight into the range of tools provided by the Palisade Suite, some best practices into the use of the tools, different methodologies for coming and integrating results, and lessons learned in communicating results to decision-makers.

  Using @RISK to Improve Project Funding and Execution

Dillon Allen
Entergy Corporation

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Entergy has revamped our entire project delivery methodology over the past two years. A major part of the improvements we have made is implementing more rigorous processes for estimate, schedule, and risk analyses. We have begun using @RISK not only to inform project funding and execution, but have also continued its use throughout the project life cycle to provide justification for returning capital funds to the corporate pool to more efficiently execute our work. While we are not fully utilizing all of the bells and whistles available in the Palisade tools, we are a great example of a “stepping off point” for companies who want to use the software but have not yet figured out how or why to do so.

I am in the nuclear division of Entergy Corporation (the only Fortune 500 Company based in New Orleans) and worked in parallel with our new enterprise-wide project management organization to develop our new project delivery standards. I am the de-facto “@RISK expert” in our organization and look forward to having the opportunity to do a show and tell on our home turf.

  Using @RISK to Compare Costs and Benefits of Froth Flotation Machines

Dr. Michael G. Nelson
Mining Engineering Department, University of Utah

» Download the presentation

Choosing capital equipment for a new plant or plant expansion can be difficult. The decision is often based on only a few criteria, such as preference for one manufacturer, experience of key individuals, or dollars per production unit, because analysis of all the variables is difficult. Further, the comparison of manufacturers’ claims may be difficult. For example, which is better: increased productivity or lower operating and maintenance costs?

This paper describes a probabilistic approach to analyzing the true installed value of capital equipment, using an example from mineral processing—froth flotation machines. In mineral processing, ore is to separate valuable mineral particles from waste, based on induced or natural hydrophobicity of selected mineral particles. An @RISK model was constructed to analyze the interactions of all the variables affecting the cost/benefit of installing a given type of flotation machine, such as equipment capital costs, operating and maintenance costs, improved process performance, etc. The author has prepared a sample model based on actual costs and benefits. The model can be easily adapted to the analysis virtually any flotation machine installation, and with some modification, to analysis of other processing equipment.

  Dam Rehabilitation Project using Large PrecisionTree Model

Dean Cardno
BC Hydro

» Download the presentation

The spillway for BC Hydro’s WAC Bennett Dam (which impounds the second-largest reservoir in North America, by volume) needed repairs. BC Hydro had to choose a winter or summer construction schedule. The choice affects capital costs, the risk that the spillway would be needed while out of service, worker safety during construction, ultimate product quality, and the chance of project delays. BC Hydro used Palisade’s PrecisionTree and @RISK to evaluate the trade-off between these factors, and to select a preferred construction schedule.

  @RISK and the Government’s Reward: Handling Schedule Risk

Michael Gallagher, James Knapp
Tecolote Research

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In May of 2014, the General Accounting Office (GAO) estimated that the average Department of Defense (DoD) project was 28 months behind schedule, an increase from 23 months in 2011. Consequently, how does the government gain confidence in a contractor’s ability to deliver their products on or even ahead of schedule? In recent years, the introduction of strict contractual language by the government in the form of compliance documentation, such as the Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR) Data Item Description (DID), are forcing prime developers to adhere to strict schedule risk assessment standards. However, many contractors fail to adhere to the criteria due to lack of government oversight or their lack of familiarity with the requirements.

This presentation will review past aerospace programs and how each prime contractor was evaluated in relation to government schedule risk assessment standards. In addition, we will discuss how Tecolote Research employed @RISK to define finish date point estimate recommendations, in order to establish key government acquisition milestone dates.

  Power Utility Capital Investment Analysis with @RISK

Glen Justis
Experience on Demand

» Download the presentation

The subject company is a municipal electric utility in the United States. They own coal-based generation that will be subject to more stringent EPA regulations and that will require significant capital investment. Currently, the generation is required for local voltage support under various load conditions, but is also dispatched at times in response to market prices. Thus, they operate their assets based on marginal cost economics, but under transmission-related constraints which increases the complexity of the analysis. This presentation showcases the integrated use of DecisionTools Suite, principally @RISK and PrecisionTree, in evaluating the risks, expected costs, and decision options of the company.

  Exploring Oil and Gas Applications of @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite: Examples from Petrobras and Others

Rafael Hartke
Palisade Corporation

The DecisionTools Suite is widely used in oil and gas exploration, production, and project decisions. For decades, @RISK has helped engineers and finance managers estimate unknown reserves, value new projects against each other, and craft optimal strategies. PrecisionTree, another tool in the DecisionTools Suite, is commonly used for drilling strategy discussions, production siting problems, and other multi-stage, sequential decisions. RISKOptimizer comes into play when companies need to determine the best “mix” of projects in their portfolio in order to maximize overall returns.

For many years, Rafael Hartke solved these types of problems at Petrobras, the state oil company of Brazil and one of the world’s largest producers. He will draw on his experiences to demonstrate how @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite can be applied to common types of issues faced by oil and gas producers, such as: estimation of unknown reserves, analysis of multi-play concessions, structure of complex partnership agreements, optimization of uncertain project portfolios, and more.

  Woodside's Cost Confidence Modelling using @RISK

Sujay Karkhanis
Woodside Energy Ltd

» Download the presentation

Woodside has embarked on an exciting journey of new projects and opportunities. We will need knowledge of cost & schedule outcome ranges and drivers to make or meet sanction promises. Based on learning’s from recent projects, Woodside has developed a methodology and @RISK based tool to conduct cost confidence modelling for new projects. The audience will be able to get a brief overview and understanding of the newly developed Woodside cost confidence modelling methodology and tool.

  What We Can Learn From the Neuroscience of Forecasting: How to Minimize Bias and Better Anticipate Cost and Delivery Performance

Dr. Robert Forbes
University of California, Irvine

In recent years research has shed light on our inability to forecast objectively and analyze risk. Even veteran forecasters are subject to substantial bias error. In today’s globalized economy, the margin of error can be remarkably small. @RISK and statistical analysis are powerful decision tools. But the weakest link in achieving more realistic forecasts is forecaster objectivity. The susceptibility of human judgment to distortions in perception and reason makes forecasting exceedingly difficult and error‐prone. Much of the problem centers on the role and limitations of human instinct and intuitive judgment. Rapid increases in complexity have introduced unprecedented challenges.

Having applied @RISK to a wide range of corporate forecasts since 1989, Dr. Forbes will cover the influence of bias and new techniques developed to reduce bias error. He will introduce Cognitive Forecasting, an operational tool that enables forecasters and executives to develop realistic insights into company strategies and operations.

  Is Resurfacing the Patella Cheaper? An Economic Analysis of Evidence Based Medicine on Patellar Resurfacing

Dr. Karim A. Meijer
Louisiana State University

Background: Primary total knee arthroplasty is a high volume procedure, which is expected to grow dramatically in the near future. The decision to resurface the patella has been discussed extensively in the literature yet the financial implications of resurfacing versus not resurfacing have not been demonstrated. Using an expected-value decision tree analysis and sensitivity analysis in combination with actual Medicare costs, we constructed a model showing the most cost-effective treatment choice from a Medicare perspective over a mid-term period.

Methods: We identified all randomized prospective trials comparing patellar resurfacing to nonresurfacing in the past ten years and identified the total number of patellofemoral revision surgeries for both resurfaced and nonresurfaced patellas in each study. An expected-value decision tree analysis was created using only data from the randomized trials identified. Actual costs collected from Medicare reimbursement rates were then applied to the model and a sensitivity analysis was performed.

Results: The expected value of primary total knee arthroplasty with patellar resurfacing was $13,788.48 while a primary total knee arthroplasty without patellar resurfacing was $14,016.41 after five years. The difference represents an additional $227.92 of Medicare dollars for every primary total knee arthroplasty performed without patellar resurfacing at five years. The model remains valid as long as patellofemoral revision rates after patellar resurfacing remain below 3.4% and patellofemoral revision rates after nonresurfaced patellas remain above 0.71%.

Conclusions: While initially counterintuitive, resurfacing the patella during a primary total knee arthroplasty is the optimal financial strategy from a Medicare perspective over a mid-term period.

Level of Evidence: Economic and decision analysis, Level I.

  Using @RISK and StatTools to Estimate Costs of Generalized Strategic Approaches to Government Information Technology Procurement

Palmer Boyle
CSG Government Solutions
Shaun Meeks
The Auspex

» Download the presentation

Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) implementations are large-scale, multi-year projects with costs extending to hundreds of millions of dollars. As such, the pricing is subject to uncertainty. As a precursor to procuring a replacement MMIS, a state is required to submit a MMIS Procurement Strategy to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This strategy includes a section devoted to the costs associated to the strategic procurement alternatives. In this presentation, we review of the use of Palisade’s DecisionTools in the cost analysis segment of the assessment. As an organization that does not engage in design or maintenance activities, we provide independent, third-party analysis of predicted cost distributions for MMIS implementations.

As part of the assessment of procurement strategies, the top three scoring strategies from a benefits scoring section move on to an analysis of costs. We discuss a method for assigning a work composition structure to a limited number of samples in order to facilitate the “re-building” of sample data into high-level (non-vendor specific) strategic approaches. We then review the assessment algorithm used to assign work composition structures to samples as well as to strategic approaches. Next, we cover aligning high-level project phases to their durations and costs. We then review the application of the resulting model to samples with limited project phase data. We continue by exploring the use of @RISK to fit distributions to a set of durations for high-level phases of a project management plan. Then, we cover the use of StatTools in the development of predictive functions using the duration and work type assessments developed in the steps above. Next, we show an @RISK stochastic model of costs for each phase of the project as well as hardware, software, and facilities. We review the probability distributions used for work type compositions and project phase durations. We measure each strategic alternative against a “status quo” baseline for the purposes of relative scoring across several categories; we review this process as well.

  What to Do When You Don’t Have a Clue: Seven Steps to Fixing an Unruly Model

Clay Graham
DePaul University

» Download the presentation

After years of successful investment gaming, all of a sudden our model decided to “go south”. The process of: diagnosing symptoms, identifying problems, modifying and model testing became the focus of our efforts. Urgency was paramount with potential daily burn rates well into the five figures. Where to go for help?

Sports’ gambling has been expanding markedly over the past decade. One reason is the proliferation of quality research documented at the prestigious MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conferences (a gathering of mathematicians in heat). Innovative methods and perspectives abound. Several of these exciting technologies were incorporated into the problem solving process.

To be successful in sports gaming, one must integrate: game modeling, investment strategy, economics, money management, feedback and control. Problems may arise anywhere along this complex path. Specific steps to resolve difficulties within this cumbersome process will be delineated along with sojourns down spooky blind alleys.

The DecisionTools Suite is used throughout the analysis. Specifically, StatTools, @RISK and Evolver are applied in unconventional ways to reverse engineer solutions. “Righting the ship” was achieved with some rather unexpected results. A detailed “how to” game plan will be provided.

  NASA uses @RISK to estimate Astronaut and Ground Crew Safety During Launch Processing

James Joyner
NASA Kennedy Space Center

» Download the presentation

This presentation walks the audience through the development of aSurvivability vs Time Model as a decision-evaluation tool to assess various emergency egress methods used at Launch Complex 39B (LC 39B) and in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. For each hazard scenario, develop probability distributions to address statistical uncertainty resulting in survivability plots over time and composite survivability plots encompassing multiple hazard scenarios.

  Exploring Custom Solutions using Palisade Software: Examples from Finance, Manufacturing, Project Management, and More

Dr. Javier Ordóñez
Palisade Corporation

Palisade Custom Development has written dozens of different types of specialized applications using the functionality of @RISK, PrecisionTree, TopRank, and other DecisionTools products. These applications run the gamut of industry sectors and are specifically designed to accomplish just what the client needs. In this way, Palisade custom-designed applications simplify the rollout of powerful decision-making analytics within organizations by reducing learning curves and removing any potentially confusing options for users. Interfaces, model logic, and reports can all be tailored to the client’s exact specifications, driven by powerful Palisade analytics “under the hood.”

Most Palisade custom solutions run directly in Excel, using VBA and the Excel Developer Kit (or XDK) feature of the DecisionTools Suite programs. Some are built using the @RISK Developer Kit (RDK), a programming toolkit that runs outside the Excel platform and can be used on a web server.

This session will highlight a number of interesting examples of different types of custom applications we’ve done. They include cost estimation, risk registers, asset management, retirement planning, oil and gas prospecting, and more.

  A Stochastic Analysis Method for Contract Claims Case Management – Forensic Analysis of an Uncertain Past, Using the Case of a Pipeline Company

Dr. Mark Krahn
Revay and Associates, Limited

» Download the presentation

What do you do when a contract dispute arises, and the losses at the core of the dispute are not only uncertain – but in the past? In the all too familiar circumstance wherein contract transaction records are not sufficiently comprehensive to either enable conclusive analysis of a claimant’s position or to elucidate deterministic values of his loss, a stochastic analysis method provides an appropriate method for claims assessment. The stage-gate method relies on stochastic iterations of heuristic-based probability ranges at each of three argument assessment gates and one quantum evaluation gate. Rather than establish a deterministic position of claim, stochastic analysis provides the client with an auditable basis for a business case decision to either proceed with a defense or acquiescing. Should the client proceed, the stochastic analysis provides a probability-based negation range for settlement. Using this approach, we’ll examine the case of an actual claim involving a major pipeline company.

  Advanced Risk Management to Improve Project Delivery Certainty and Operational Effectiveness on Energy Infrastructure Projects

Dr. Sola Talabi
Carnegie Mellon University

» Download the presentation

Inadequate risk management is a significant cause of cost and schedule overruns in energy infrastructure projects. Many risks that affect project delivery are common across technologies and industries. When risks are not properly identified and mitigated, incidents occur that result in substantial costs to the involved company. Moreover, these incidents lead to regulatory “overcorrections” that increase expenses across the entire industry. The oil and gas and the nuclear industries have both recently come under significant regulatory and public scrutiny due to the recent Macondo and Fukushima incidents that occurred respectively in both industries. We provide a case study to demonstrate the benefits of the implementation of advanced risk management practices to improve project delivery performance and prevent risk incidents from occurring.

  Time Series Approach to Project LIBOR and USD Swap Rates for Various Tenors

Ronald Statt
Arizona Public Service Company (APS)

» Download the presentation

With lending rates at historical lows, many corporations have been financing debt at the floating rate. With many investment banks now projecting lending rates to rise, corporations may wish to continue financing debt at the floating rate, but also purchase a fixed interest rate swap, say for five years, to protect themselves from higher payments in the event that the floating rate suddenly takes off. When buying an interest rate swap, the corporation needs to consider the credit risk associated with the swap in the event that the seller of the swap defaults in its obligation during the tenor period. The credit risk would be the cost of purchasing another swap, albeit for a shorter tenor, for the remainder of the term. To calculate the credit risk, it becomes necessary to project shorter tenor swap rate curves. Time series forecasting is an approach that can be used to project the various interest rate curves. Although determining the proper transformation and periodicity of time series models can be daunting at times, one can use the historical relationship between the curves, as well as specific properties of interest rates, to assist in developing more precise curve projections. It will be demonstrated, through a series of progressive time series runs, how @RISK can be used to develop the forecasted LIBOR and swap rate curves.

  Using @RISK for Schedule Probability Analysis in Material Handling Systems

Sean Browning
The Haskell Company

» Download the presentation

Flexibility for production schedules is critical to meeting shifting customer demands, but fully flexible systems are more costly and will be underutilized much of the time. Capacity demands on finished goods handling systems are increasing faster than overall production. One major reason is the reduction in package size due to retail ready packs.

Our client has several manufacturing sites where multiple production lines share distribution (DC) resources, like finished product handling conveyor and palletizers. Each line’s bottleneck is measured in tons of product produced. We found that even as the tons produced remained constant, other factors increased the load on the distribution system. Our first step was to classify packages into three main types, primarily based on their relative length per ton of production. These pack types were cases (the traditional corrugated case), mid-rate retail (a smaller retail ready pack), and fast-rate retail (a smaller retail pack). Each pack type was assigned a case-equivalent loading. Next, our client provided their projected SKU mix per line at 2017 rates. Using the package classifications we determined the probability of producing specific products on each line at any given time.

The goal was to determine what Case Equivalent loading the system should be designed for to cover 98% of probable production mixes. We explored several alternatives to solve the problem. First we explored the Poisson binomial distribution, which allows different probabilities for each trial. This was not sufficient because it only allows for two outcomes. We also explored the multi-nomial distribution, which allows multiple outcomes, but requires the same probabilities for each trial. Finally, we decided to use Monte Carlo methods and @RISK. We setup the model with a discrete distribution for each production line, defined by the probability of running any given pack type. We then ran 10,000 iterations and found a cumulative probability for various Case Equivalent Loadings. From here it was easy to select the loading level where 98% of the schedules could run. As a final step, we showed representative mixes for different loading levels (e.g. 3 Cases, 5 Fast Retail, and 2 Mid-retail).

  Using The DecisionTools Suite for Wealth Management Planning in a Multi-generational Family Office

Dr. Robert F. Brammer
Brammer Technology, LLC

» Download the presentation

During the past three years, I have organized a family office for the management of financial resources for my wife and me, for our children, and our grandchildren. We have investments in more than a dozen accounts for the purposes of providing retirement income, education, housing, travel, and other family activities. Because commercial products for financial planning lacked the functionality, flexibility, or transparency that I needed for office operations, I used my 20+ years of experience with Palisade products to build my own analytical system.

This presentation will show how I use @RISK, StatTools, and other members of the Palisade DecisionTools Suite for portfolio management, retirement income planning, saving for college expenses, and other family priorities. This will include a discussion of data sources, modeling and analytical techniques, risk management, and presentation approaches to explain results to family members.

  Information Security - Establishing an Effective Quantitative Budgetary Risk Model Using a Custom @RISK Solution

Cristian Dragnef
Seratos Consulting Inc.

» Download the presentation

The presentation will provide risk professionals with an understanding of how to measure and budget information security "intangibles" using a risk model based on both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The risk model was built on a @RISK platform using Palisade’s custom development services.

By associating traditional risk concepts with information security challenges, we will offer insight on how to create an effective internal underwriting process to substantiate business and technical decisions for Information Security.

We will use real-life examples to demonstrate how we can build reliable simulation models for information security and technology projects. Topics to be covered in the presentation include: information security in the context of organizational decision making; concepts, objects, and methods of measuring information security; developing an effective Risk Treatment Plan, and current models and continual improvement.

  Lessons from Oil and Chemical Case Studies: How to Build Accurate and Decision-Focused @RISK models

Dr. Huybert Groenendaal
EpiX Analytics

» Download the presentation

How do you develop and build accurate @RISK models? What distributions should you use? Should you include correlations in your model, and if so, what is the best way to do this? How to best present results to support decisions?

The objective of this session is to help answer the previous questions in a practical manner using the following two real-life case studies:

  1. Business development @RISK model for a specialty chemical company
  2. Optimizing exploration of large oil company

Real-life @RISK example models will be shown during this presentation.

Hilton New Orleans Riverside

The 2014 Palisade Conference will be held at the luxurious Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel.

Address: Two Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70130
Phone: 1-504-561-0500
Website: Hilton New Orleans Riverside

About Hilton New Orleans Riverside

This riverfront hotel is in a prime downtown location at the base of Canal and Poydras Streets. Conference attendees can easily visit Harrah's Casino, will be steps from famous New Orleans Streetcar lines, and are a short four-block walk away from the French Quarter, as well as many other iconic landmarks.

Learn more about the area's attractions here.

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sales.jp@palisade.com
www.palisade.com/jp/
Palisade Latinoamérica
+1 607 277 8000 x318
+54-1152528795  Argentina
+56-25813492     Chile
+507-8365675     Panamá
+52 55 5350 2852     México
+511-7086781     Perú
+57-15085187     Colombia
servicioalcliente@palisade.com
ventas@palisade.com
www.palisade-lta.com
Palisade Brasil
+55 (21) 3958 1443
+1 607 277 8000 x318 tel
vendas@palisade.com
www.palisade-br.com