First day is a winner!
Wow! What a great first day of the conference. Here’s a brief recap from my point of view:
Breakfast with Brenda, Don and others (Brenda - I promise I’ll come up with something better than “benchmarking” :-))
Pierre Harden: I have toured the Singapore harbor facility, and it is a fantastic port — the throughput and efficiency due to OR applications on scheduling, tendering, yard management efficiency, and customer service are one of the keys to it’s success as the ”next Hong Kong” gateway to Asia. Nice to hear Pierre bring it up. Also, continuing to keep a Chief Analytics Officer as a vision is absolutely a worthy goal for the OR profession.
Stephen Barrager on Decision Analysis — I loved Stephen’s suggestion to change the name to Decision Design — that’s very consistent with our use of it at P&G. Animal Spirits is now on my reading list. Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller, as well as discovering Chris Argiris http://www.infed.org/thinkers/argyris.htm for facilitating decision analysis in practice. The Corvette platform decision analysis business case was a wonderful example of DA (or DD?) in action, having a significant impact ($200M investment decision), and using the classic methods and tools in the decision analysis toolbox. Can’t wait to fetch those off of the Preceedings Disk.
Edelman — saw Norske Skog’s presentation, and was great to see the papermaking process described again (I started my career at P&G’s Mehoopany Paper Plant in Pennsylvania, at the time the largest paper manufacturing site in the US), and the capital decision analysis method used. Plant consolidation is one of the most challenging decisions for any company to take on, and the testimonials from the union, management and community were well done. Although they didn’t win the Edelman, as was noted last night, when you are a finalist in the Edelman, everyone is a winner.
I session-hopped (that’s legal, you know) for the 2:00 track, and thought I was doing well until I landed in Ellen Coopersmith’s DA Framing/Scenario Planning session and found the attendees were just breaking up into “work groups” to flesh out strategies from a decision matrix. Would have helped if I knew what the problem was (my bad for coming in at the middle of the session), but nonetheless, thanks to Ellen for making it a highly interactive session (we need lots more of these — adult education values a high degree of “tactile” learning, rather than just “talking heads”. I hope we can encourage more of this type of session in the future.
I missed Tony Cox’s talk (can someone comment on it?), as I found myself needing a breath of fresh air and a little networking with a few folks (Erika, Jack, Irv, Mark)
Jack and Thornton — thanks again for the lively discussion at the Birds of a Feather on OR & IT, always good to talk this topic.