Thursday, October 28, 2010

Project Doesn't do Montecarlo! Is that so?

I've been teaching Project Management for over 10 years now. I've always tried to improve and  give my students more than they would get in a normal course.
Evidently I had to push Microsoft Project to new bounderies.
A lot of people asked-me "why don't you put project aside and use something better?". The answer is simple. Most Portuguese company's use Microsoft... most of them are starting to aply project management. Not only they don't need to push project to it's absolute limits yet, they also got it already licensed into their select and tech-net packages... so it's the most commonly used software.
And you know what? Price for features... the Project is actually an excellent product and very hard to beat.
To when it comes to Risk management... how do I take the theory of MacroRisk Management, MicroRisk Management and MonteCarlo Analisys into practice?

The same problem popped out years ago when I was the Risk Management Speaker at a International conference on project Management.
Back then I crawled the web and discovered a MonteCarlo (very simple routine) implementation using VBA and project from Jack Dahlgren called the Black Jack. I copied the code into project's VBA and immediately stared to make bug corrections, and improvements (several improvements).

As a result I now have a MonteCarlo Simulator working on project and use it in every RiskManagement module. It's a blast. Students love it and understand the brilliance of project risk management. It makes-me very proud because they can now implement these teaching into real life... maybe in a few years time we'll start seeing True Project Management Techniques in practice at Portuguese companies.

There is also something interesting. I'm porting this code to .NET into a closed source solution (a lot beefier and with better features). If I had used another tool, most of my work would not be portable with ease, making the development effort pointless.

The Demo Videos:
Macro Risk Management using Montecarlo
Micro Risk Management using Montecarlo

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