Palisade Risk Conference
Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis
September 29, 2016 Irvine, California

Palisade Risk Conference

Best Practices in Risk and Decision Analysis

September 29th, 2016 • Irvine, California

A Key Event for Quantitative Risk and Decision Analysis

Join Industry Leaders and Software Experts

Palisade invites you to an intensive half-day conference in Irvine California. This is a “must attend” event for professionals dealing with risk in any industry. Industry experts will present a selection of real-world case studies about innovative approaches to managing risk and uncertainty in a wide range of business applications. The programme will also include practical software training classes presented by Palisade trainers, consultants, and software engineers. We’ll explore exciting new features in @RISK and DecisionTools Suite software that make risk modelling and analysis more accessible – and powerful – than ever.

This event it is free to attend and promises to be an invaluable opportunity for broadening one's knowledge of risk modelling, and networking with decision-making professionals in a range of industries.

Testimonials from Previous Conferences

“I came away from the conference very satisfied. The conference empowered me with future skill sets, allowed me to observe how other companies are using the tools, and I even made some very valuable contacts.”

Ron Webster, Senior Financial Risk Analyst, Eastman Chemical Company

“As an introduction to the software, I thought this conference was eye-opening. As I get more familiar with the software, I can see future conferences being valuable in honing my skills and learning new tricks and different perspectives on using the software.”

Cory Forgrave, Economic Analyst in the DOI Division of Energy and Mineral Development

“Palisade is leading the way with tools and expertise to enable risk managers across all industries.”

Robert Lake, Cisco Systems

“Conference was very useful to improve our integrated quality management system. Statistical, stochastic and other quantitative methods are used, at the organisational and project levels, to predict future quality and process performance.”

Dr Vladimir Savin, Chief EQ Engineer, EPAM Systems

“We saw and discussed methods that directly apply to our problems, and learned to build upon them to come up with solutions.”

Michael Watson, PMP, Senior Staff Integrated Planning, Lockheed Martin

Learn from the Experts

The Palisade Risk Conference will offer two types of sessions to maximize your experience.

Case Studies:

Hear users in the field describe how they apply @RISK and DecisionTools software to their real-life problems. Case studies come from a wide range of industries and disciplines.

Software Training:

Here’s your chance to get exposure to the latest in risk and decision analytics software and techniques. Get more from @RISK and each of the products in Palisade’s DecisionTools Suite. Sessions are taught by Palisade’s expert consultants and trainers. Learn direct from the source!

Networking Opportunities – Learn from Each Other

The Palisade Risk Conference will offer plenty of opportunities to mingle and share ideas with other delegates, presenters, and Palisade staff.

Join a Global Group

The 2016 Palisade Risk Conference is part of a global, annual series of meetings where professionals share ideas and advance the practice of risk and decision analysis. Events in 2016 include New Delhi, Bangalore, Munich, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Moscow, Abu Dhabi and Cape Town.

Information about 2016 Conferences


Thursday 29 September 2016

Schedule is subject to change without notice.


9:00 - 9:10

Welcome and Introduction to Palisade
Andrew Sich
Palisade Corporation

9:15 - 10:00

Best @RISK Features You Might Not Be Using
Dr. José Raúl Castro Esparza
Palisade Corporation

10:00 - 10:30
10:30 - 11:15
11:20 - 12:05

Implementing @RISK for Project Risk Management
Michael Bissonette
Build2Scale and Clarkson University


  Andrew Sich

Regional Sales Manager
Palisade Corporation

Andrew Sich is a 9 year Palisade Corporation veteran, having worked in marketing, academic sales, and now in commercial sales. He regularly coaches customers on how to apply Monte Carlo simulation and related techniques into their spreadsheet models and MS Project schedules using @RISK to perform probabilistic risk and opportunity analysis. Equally as important, Andrew also coaches customers on how to interpret and convey simulation results to decision makers in a palatable, easy to understand manner. Andrew holds a BS in Communications from Ithaca College and is a 30+ year sales and marketing professional.

  Dr. José Raúl Castro Esparza

Palisade Corporation

Dr. José Raúl Castro Esparza is a consultant and a full time professor at BUAP (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla) in Puebla, Mexico where he co-founded the career of Actuarial Sciences. He earned his bachelor's degree as an Actuary from Universidad de las Américas, Puebla (UDLAP), an MBA at Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO) and a Ph. D. in Finance from Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP). Dr. Castro's experience accounts for over 10 years in the chemical industry, working in the areas of Financial and Logistics Planning for companies such as Ciba-Geigy, Novartis Crop Protection and Syngenta. In the academic field he has taught for over 20 years a variety of Risk Analysis and Computer Modelling courses at a graduate and undergraduate level.

  Michael Bissonette

Author and Lecturer
Build2Scale and Clarkson University

Michael M. Bissonette is a seasoned business executive, entrepreneur, adjunct professor, and author. He has 37 years of research and development experience within several industries (i.e., Aerospace, Consumer Electronics, Industrial Equipment and Services, and Clean Technology), and has led the development of a myriad of products and services. Mike began his professional career as a radar system engineer, and progressed into several technical and project/program manager roles. His experience spans both Fortune 500 companies and small start-up companies. He has held executive level positions over many functional disciplines, including: Project Management Offices, Engineering, Operations, Procurement, Product Management, and Quality Assurance. He has also held the position of division General Manager (and Officer) of a public company.

Mike is considered a thought leader in certain industries, has spoken at numerous events, and has taught many project management and product development related courses. His unique professional experience has afforded Mike a broad and diverse perspective of project management and what it takes to be a successful project manager, not to mention, what it takes to be a successful company in this ever-changing, highly competitive, global marketplace. He has recently published a text book "Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach" through the Project Management Institute (PMI), and co-founded Build2Scale Inc., a company that works with start-ups and young companies seeking investment and accelerated growth.

Mike holds BSEE, MSEE and MBA degrees.

  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.


  Best @RISK Features You Might Not Be Using

Dr. José Raúl Castro Esparza
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.

In this presentation, we will demonstrate how @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite can be applied to common types of issues faced by oil and gas producers.

  Implementing @RISK for Project Risk Management

Michael Bissonette
Build2Scale and Clarkson University

» Download the presentation

Use of Monte Carlo simulation tools and techniques (a la @RISK) dates back more than two decades. There are users (Project or Program Managers within certain organizations and industries) who understand the benefits, and given the level of scrutiny on project performance, would not manage a project without it. Some key challenges up to now have been "ease of use", "experience" and "willingness to change". Today, based on availability of more user-friendly tools (@RISK being one of the best according to this speaker) there should be no reason to risk one's project performance in any organization or industry where project performance matters. The Project Management Institute (PMI) supports this methodology for overall project risk assessment and more individuals and organizations understand the power of this approach. As PMs and organizational leaders become more knowledgeable about this approach and its benefits, it is only rationale to assume that the adoption rate will pick up.

This presentation dives into the practical application aspects and inherent benefits of using Simulation and Modelling by a person who has used it prolifically as a Program Manager (when tools like @RISK were not available), and more recently as a Portfolio Manager (using @RISK on all key projects). We will explore: (1) the various options for assessing overall project risks; (2) the relative comparisons between options; (3) the insights enabled by @RISK which cannot be effective obtained by (or derived from) integrated master scheduling alone; and (4) underlying factors which should drive organizational adoption of this methodology as a standard best practice.

  What neuroscience can teach us about forecasting: How to minimize bias and better anticipate cost and delivery performance

Dr. Robert Forbes, P.Eng., MBA
UC Irvine

In today’s globalized economy, the margin of error is remarkably small. Rapid increases in complexity have introduced unprecedented challenges. Despite advances in powerful decision tools, research confirms that the weakest link in forecasting is forecaster objectivity.

The susceptibility of human judgment to distortions in perception and reason makes forecasting exceedingly difficult and error‐prone. Even veteran forecasters are subject to perceptual errors. Much of the problem centers on the role and limitations of human instinct and intuitive judgment.

Having applied @RISK in his own work to a wide range of corporate forecasts, Dr. Forbes will cover the influence of bias and new techniques to reduce bias error. He will introduce Cognitive Forecasting, an operational tool that enables forecasters and executives to detect key variances early and identify corrective actions sooner.

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