Need a decision-making  example

Decision-making and Risk Analysis 2020

Final Exercise – 30% of total course mark

Overall goal of exercise

You are required to perform a decision analysis that shows your understanding of, ability to apply and ability to communicate, the concepts and methodology for making good decision, that can be found in Module 2 and relevant parts of Module 1 (or Ch2 of Making Good Decisions). You must do this through application to a decision of your choice. However, you can bring in aspects of decision making covered in other Modules as you deem necessary/relevant, or if you want to “show off” your ability/understanding. The decision could be oil & gas based or personal. It does not have to be an actual decision – you can make it up. Either way, your role is both decision-maker and analyst. If you choose to use a personal decision, it could be a real one that is useful to you (e.g., choosing a job, new hobby, accommodation). I do not want to be too prescriptive as to what you should or should not do, so that you have the freedom to display your understanding. I also want you to have some level of control over how much effort you put into this, as you might want to trade-off effort for marks.

Hard Requirements The decision should not be a trivial/simple/unimportant one, which just requires a simplified approach. And it cannot be a “buy a car” decision or of a substantially similar structure! Nor cannot it contain elements that are small variations of the examples in the handouts or in Making Good Decisions. Nor can it be derived from a published paper or presentation. You must make it up yourself don’t copy! Your decision should have at least 4 alternatives and 4 relevant objectives. At least one of your objectives should require a constructed attribute scale. You should “make up” numbers (or PDFs if you want to include uncertainty) for a pay-off matrix – I do not want you to spend time doing actual data collection or technical or economic calculations.

‐ If you use PDFs to assess uncertainty in the pay-offs, you must describe how you derived the number you used in the pay-off matrix.

‐ It is not required, but you are welcome to use decision/trees or Monte Carlo simulation in the generation of the pay-off matrix if you deem it appropriate – you won’t be penalized for not doing this, but might attract bonus marks if you do (and it is relevant to do so).

You must explain/justify/describe your reasoning for any aspects of the analysis that you use (e.g. objectives, alternatives, weights, value functions, scales, … etc) You must show, or describe in detail, any calculations, formulae or procedures you perform to get any derived numbers (except for the pay-off matrix). Think of it this way, the markers must be able to follow your computations from inputs to outputs with no hidden steps – we should not have to ask “how did they get that number?” To avoid distraction, mathematical detail of calculations can be shown in an Appendix (referenced in the text) that will not count towards the word limit (as long as it is not used as a mechanism to get around the limit).

There should be a short final section stating which alternative you have chosen, reflects upon why you chose the alternative that you did and assesses any weaknesses in your analysis and how you might address them.

Limitations The maximum number of words is 3000, excluding words in tables, figures and references. If you have more than 3000 words of text, we will ignore (not assess) anything (including figures, tables etc) after the 3000th word. Do not feel you have to get close to the maximum – if you can display your understanding through clear and concise descriptions (without sacrificing detail), that is good! No limit on number of figures or tables. No abstract or summary.

You must not use the spreadsheet I provided for calculations or graphs – however, you may use it to guide your own understanding or implementation of any calculations or graphs – but remember that you must describe and show all calculations, including any whose results are displayed in graphs.




You must submit your analysis as two MS Word documents via MyUni by 9:00am Monday 29th June (unless you have a verifiable medical or compassionate exception). The first document should be your full submission. The second document should be only your main text, derived from the first document by excluding any tables, figures, references, appendices (so that we can check the word limit). Assessment

The main goal of the assessment is to evaluate your understanding of, and ability to apply and clearly communicate, the concepts, methodology (and associated “tools”) for making good decisions as described in Modules 1 and 2 (and Chapter 2 of Making Good Decisions). This will require you to show usage of those concepts/methodology/tools and to provide clear written descriptions of your rationale (logic, thinking) for any

‐ choices you have made in terms of, for example but not limited to, objectives, alternatives, attribute scales, value functions, weights, trade-offs, sensitivities

‐ quantities you have computed, graphs you have drawn ‐ simplifications you make or adoption/exclusion of any specific aspects of the methodology ‐ interpretations or conclusions from your analysis

Because there could be considerable variety in the decisions that will be analysed, we do not have a single “ideal” submission in mind. Consequently, we have chosen not to specify overly-prescriptive marking criteria so that we are not constrained in our ability to give you marks. If you demonstrate clear understanding of the relevant subject matter through its application, you should do well. Your attention is drawn to the slide at the top of page 136 in the Module 2 .pdf.

Criteria  Max  Mark  Weight

Quantity/extensiveness  of the concepts, tools, methodology used  100  25%  Clarity and conciseness of your descriptions and explanations in terms of  written English (paragraph and sentence construction) and construction/layout  of your report (sections, sub‐sections)

100  15%

Understanding of the methodology for making good decisions, as evidenced by  the strength, precision and clarity of your logic, arguments, reasons,  explanations or justifications

100  40%

Clarity of diagrams/graphs, tables and how they were derived – and clarity of  computation of final (or intermediate) numbers derived from inputs.

100  15%

Discussion of why you chose the alternative that you did,  and assessment of  any weaknesses in your analysis and how you might address them.

100  5%


IMPORTANT: Up to 30 marks may be deducted, from the overall mark you get for your submission, for not adhering to the following requirements

‐ submission formats, deadline and word limit  ‐ the specifics of your decision should not:  have substantial similarity to the “choose a car” decision, or to

other examples in the handouts or Making Good Decisions;  be based on a published paper or  presentation.    I.e. don’t copy, make it up yourself!

‐ must have a minimum of 4 alternatives, 4 objectives and 1 constructed attribute scale

This deduction is very easily avoided!