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7.3.1 A Preliminary Analysis of the Event
Among one of his strongest supporters in this effort is a former parishioner who has
achieved considerable renown as a risk analyst, Voitech Schwartzman. Voitech has
volunteered to provide Fr. Efia with advice regarding the design of the event. This
is essential since an event based on games of chance offers no absolute guarantee
that OLPS will make money; if things go badly and lady-luck frowns on OLPS, the
losses could be disastrous. Voitech and Fr. Efia decide that the goal of their design
and modeling effort should be to construct a tool that will provide a forecast of
the revenues associated with the event. In doing so, the tool should answer several
important questions. Will Vegas Night at OLPS make money? Will it make too little
revenue to cover costs and cause the parish a serious financial problem? Will it make
too much revenue and anger the Archbishop?
Voitech performs a simple, preliminary analysis to help Fr. Efia determine the
design issues associated with Vegas Night at OLPS in Table 7.1. It is a set of ques-
tions that he addresses to Fr. Efia regarding the event and the resolution of the issues
raised by the questions. You can see from the nature of these questions, Voitech
is attempting to prompt Fr. Efia to think carefully about how he will design the
event. The questions deal specifically with the types of games, the sources of event
revenues, and the turn-out of alumni he might expect.
This type of interview process is typical of what a consultant might undertake
to develop a model of the events. It is a preliminary effort to define the problem
that a client wants to solve. Fr. Efia will find the process useful for understanding
the choices he must make to satisfy the Archbishop’s concerns—the games to be
played, the method for generating revenues, the attendees that will participate, etc.
In response to Fr. Efia’s answers, Voitech notes the resolution of the question or the
steps needed to achieve resolution. These appear in the third column of Table 7.1.
For example, in question 4 of Table 7.1, it is resolved to consider a number of
possible attendance fees and their contribution to overall revenues. This initial step
is critical to the design and modeling process, and is often referred to as the model
or problem definition phase .
In the second step of the model definition phase, a flow diagram for planning
the OLPS event process is generated. This diagram, which provides a view of the
related steps of the process, is shown in Exhibit 7.4. Question 1 was resolved by
creating this preliminary diagram of the process, including all its options. Since
the event in our example is yet to be fully designed, the diagram must include the
options that Fr. Efia believes are available. This is not always the case. It is possible
that in some situations you will be provided a pre-determined process that is to be
modeled, and as such, this step will not include possible design options. The answers
to Voitech’s questions and the discussion about the unsettled elements of the game
permit Voitech to construct a relatively detailed process flow map of the event.
The process flow model, at this point, does not presume to have all questions
related to the design of the event answered, but by creating this diagram Fr. Efia
can begin to comprehend the decisions he must make to execute Vegas Night at
OLPS . This type of diagram is usually referred to as a process flow map because of
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