Day 1 Agenda

April 16, 2024

The information presented in this publication, including but not limited to the 2024 SDP Annual Conference agenda, is subject to change without prior notice. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the details provided, unforeseen circumstances, scheduling adjustments, or other factors beyond our control may impact the final agenda.

Attendees are advised to regularly check the official conference website, communication channels, and announcements for the most up-to-date information. SDP reserves the right to modify, add, or remove sessions, speakers, or any other aspects of the conference program as deemed necessary.

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Welcome & Keynote Address

April 16, 2024 8:30am - April 16, 2024 9:30am

Keynote Speaker: Dave Snowden

Abstract:

How do you make effective decisions when prior analysis is not possible and in fact, may even be dangerous? Dave Snowden will share cutting-edge complexity-appropriate approaches based on his decades of experience in weak signal detection, foresight and decision support. Explore cases at the intersection of complex decision-making and community engagement, as well as new methods for building resilient organizations, communities and countries. Rather than traditional anticipatory methods, Dave will share strategies to build responsive decision processes with the capability to respond quickly in a crisis, including anticipatory alerts to draw decision-makers attention to points when small interventions could make a massive difference.

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Session 1

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Data in Government Decision Making

April 16, 2024

Speaker: Professor Qingbin Cui (University of Maryland Project Management)

Abstract:

The presentation showcases diverse application cases within transportation agencies that harness data for informed decision-making, striving to attain overarching project and program objectives. This encompasses factors such as time and cost performance, public sentiments, considerations of social justice, and the impact on climate. A particular emphasis will be placed on elucidating the significance of unstructured project data in enhancing project risk management.

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Fundamentals

April 16, 2024

Speaker: Ellen Coopersmith (Decision Frameworks)

Abstract:

What does it mean to be a decision professional?

The society is committed to creating a great decision every time, but how do we actually do that? Three professional themes tie us together:Decision Leadership: Serving the human decision maker as they make choices that shape the future – taking full responsibility for both finding good answers but also doing so in a way that responds to human foibles, fears and motivations.

  • Decision Quality: It is easy to second guess a choice in hindsight, but much harder to know you’ve made a good decision at the time you make it. We have (and improve) measurements and standards for decision quality.
  • Decision Engineering: We are practitioners who use a robust toolkit of proven methods to produce better decisions. We find the right tools and assemble them to meet the requirements of the...
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April 16, 2024

Speaker: Carl Spetzler (Strategic Decisions Group)

Abstract:

Carl will present the body of knowledge and skills that Decision Professionals have to master. He will then show how this field evolved from the Decision Analysis paradigm as it was conceived by Ron Howard in 1964. This session will be followed by classic application examples that illustrate how DQ adds value to complex decision situations.

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Advancing the Profession

April 16, 2024

Speaker: Warren Hatch (Good Judgement Inc.)

Abstract:

Every decision is a forecast: we take actions that we believe will improve the probability of a desired outcome. As a process, Superforecasting can measurably improve the accuracy of individuals and teams while helping to improve the flow of information within organizations. This presentation will review new research findings on the forecasting frontier and illustrate their application with use cases in the private and public sectors.

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April 16, 2024

Speaker: Max Henrion (Lumina)

Abstract:

How can we use generative AI to assist in building decision models?

Large Language Models are radically changing our ideas of what software can do -- from traditional tools that are reliable but need complete and specific quantitative specification to new tools that can work with ill-defined qualitative problems but are unreliable and prone to errors (hallucinations) -- somewhat like us. How can we use them effectively to help define and structure complex decision problems? I'll give some examples with surprising results, in terms of what they can do, with surprising benefits and challenges.

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April 16, 2024

Speaker: David Matheson (SmartOrg)

Abstract:

One definition of a leader is someone who creates a future that is not the momentum of the past. As decisions get further from “momentum”, they increasingly require attention to “heart” issues: how do you motivate strong action in a potentially frightening direction? Traditional DQ, which focuses on “head” issues – how to find a good answer – is only part of the story, and inadequate to guide leaders or mobilize real commitment among their followers in these situations. This powerful new lens on decision making will increase your connection as an ally to decision leaders and improve your ability to diagnose situations and guide decision processes. Traditional boundaries blur, such as the idea that there is a clear decision maker or that execution follows a decision, in a way that increases the insight and impact of the decision professional. While the society has...

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Session 2

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Panel Discussion

April 16, 2024

Speaker: Paul Gordon (Catalyze)

Abstract:

The presentation showcases diverse application cases within transportation agencies that harness data for informed decision-making, striving to attain overarching project and program objectives. This encompasses factors such as time and cost performance, public sentiments, considerations of social justice, and the impact on climate. A particular emphasis will be placed on elucidating the significance of unstructured project data in enhancing project risk management.

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April 16, 2024

Speaker: John Driessnack (University of Maryland College of Performance Management)

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Classic Application Cases

April 16, 2024

Speaker: Carl Spetzler (Strategic Decisions Group)

Abstract:

Lead additives to enhance the octane level of gasoline were still legal. However, Standard Oil of Indiana (later Amoco) had acquired an oil company that produced high octane unleaded “white” gas. Should we introduce such unleaded gas nationwide? This was a huge decision with highly uncertain consequences. It had already been analyzed a number of times and a new president wished to resolve the question once and for all. He commissioned a major study team that evaluated 11 scenarios in great depth. Then added a Decision Analysis in the last month. This provided a great comparison between traditional methods and DA.

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April 16, 2024

Speaker: Tom Keelin (Keelin Reeds Partners)

Abstract:

In one of our profession's most consequential DA/DQ projects, SmithKline Beecham (SB--prior to its acquisition by Glaxo) retooled its decision processes, reallocated resources across its 20 late-stage development projects in four therapeutic areas on two continents, and shifted significantly more resource into R&D. Shareholder value added of better decision-making, compared to the decisions that would have been made otherwise, was more than a billion dollars. Focusing on the soft issues (like building credibility and trust} and introducing new methodology (like considering project alternatives at the portfolio level) enabled SB to more effectively address the hard ones -- how much and where to invest. The subsequent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article became one of HBR's most widely distributed. Widespread adoption and adaptation of the approach in...

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April 16, 2024

Speaker: Max Henrion (Lumina Decision Systems)

Abstract:

Since the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, anything about offshore oil is controversial in California, even what to do with defunct oil platforms. I'll describe how a multidisciplinary team developed an interactive decision analysis model using a multi-attribute value function that enabled conflicting stakeholders to understand the options and arrive at agreement about a solution. This project won the Decision Analysis Practice Award in 2014.

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April 16, 2024

Speaker: David Matheson (SmartOrg)

Abstract:

Whether or not you work in innovation, innovation decisions are a critical part of a decision professional’s repertory because they deal with issues that appear in many decision types: driving upside, option thinking, staged investments and tremendous levels of uncertainty and ambiguity. Though concrete examples, such as HP’s foray’s into LightScribe, we will illustrate how common methods, like strategy tables, range assessments, tornado diagrams and probability assessments, can be deployed and adapted to support these types of choices. The result usually isn’t merely a “better” choice, the very act of analyzing in this way gives teams a roadmap that helps them improve outcomes.

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How to Advance the Profession

April 16, 2024

Speaker: Tom Keelin (Keelin Reeds Partners)

Abstract:

Achieving a great decision every time is the gold standard of our profession, while how to best do so remains the perennial challenge. Different decisions require different processes, analytical approaches, and tools-- all of which have steadily improved since the emergence of decision analysis as a profession 60 years ago. This talk will address each link in the decision quality chain from the standpoint of how substantive improvements have evolved to form the current state-of-the-art and how other substantive improvements are emerging to enable practitioners to achieve decision quality faster and better.

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April 16, 2024

Speaker: Carl Spetzler (Strategic Decisions Group)

Abstract:

Applying DQ to strategic questions has proven extremely valuable – but it is too infrequent to change an organization’s culture. With deep adoption, DQ becomes part of the language and culture for all decisions: “That’s how we make decisions around here”. In this session we will explore how we can achieve deep adoption of DQ and what benefits accrue from this adoption.

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April 16, 2024

Speaker: Beaumont Vance (WestCap)

Abstract:

Like medieval mountain villages, decision science and data science have operated separately and developed solutions with very different orientations with very little sharing between the two. Over in the Data Science Village, the citizens have only heard vague rumors about things like cognitive bias and systems thinking. As AI sweeps across disciplines, these two approaches have informed the deployment of AI. In the DataScience/Analytics world, especially in large corporations, the use of AI has headed towards the creation of a Laplace's Demon, hoping that mapping all data will lead to perfect prediction and decisions. Decision Science can and should deploy AI in a better informed, more robust manner which includes the human element of cognitive bias (which Data Science ignores at great peril). But because of the popularity of the data science approach, applications...

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Session 3

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April 16, 2024 5pm - April 16, 2024 6:30pm

By Early-Career Professionals in the field of Decision Analysis or Related Disciplines

April 16, 2024 5:30pm

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