Decision Analysis & Problem-solving course, the 2013-2014 edition

I wrote and taught the Decision Analysis & Problem-solving course for the first time in the second semester of 2013-2014. The audience were students in the MSc programme in Information Management, at the Department of Business Administration, University of Namur. This course replaced my Knowledge Representation and Reasoning for Business Analysis course.

Purpose of the course

To introduce students to concepts and techniques of decision analysis and problem-solving, which are relevant for doing business analysis.

Target audience

MSc and PhD-level students interested in:

  • Business analysis;
  • Management consulting;
  • Systems engineering.

Course & lecture format

Approximately 12 lectures.

Each 120-minute lecture is divided in 6 parts:

  • Problem: 5 to 10-minute presentation of a problem;
  • Theory: 60 to 80-minute presentation of problem-related theories;
  • Break: 5 to 10-minute break;
  • Paper: 20-minute paper presentation by a student;
  • Discussion: 10 to 20-minute paper discussion by everyone;
  • Solution: 10 to 20-minute discussion of how to solve the problem.

In the first four weeks, students are divided into pairs, each pair gets a Harvard Business School case, and a question. They have three weeks to produce an answer, that is a recommendation.

In the last four weeks, students are asked to write an essay on a topic. They get a list of suggested topics, and can choose one, or suggest one of their own.

Reading list

The reading list includes mandatory and optional readings, mostly classical papers on decision theory, decision analysis, and empirical research on decision making and problem-solving.


  1. Course basics
  2. The business & IT alignment challenge
  3. Decision Analysis basics
  4. Business Analysis basics
  5. A business analysis method
  6. Preparation and elicitation
  7. Rigorous definition
  8. Conceptual modelling
  9. Ontology engineering

Published by

Ivan Jureta

I hold the Senior Researcher (Chercheur qualifié) position with the Belgian national research fund (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS, Brussels) and am Associate Professor with the Department of Business Administration, University of Namur. My principal research interest is in method engineering and method automation, focusing on the elicitation, modeling and analysis of knowledge that human experts apply in problem solving and decision making, the engineering of ontologies and processes capturing that knowledge, and the automation of the said processes. This interest falls within the various research fields concerned with the transfer, preservation and automation of knowledge. I am the author of “Analysis and Design of Advice” (Springer, 2011) and have published over 50 research papers on these topics within the fields of requirements engineering, business analysis, and conceptual modeling of information systems. I organize and chair the series of International Workshops on Modeling and Reasoning for Business Intelligence (MORE-BI), held in Brussels in 2011 and Florence in 2012. I serve on scientific committees of the IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), the International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAiSE), and the International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER). In parallel, I am / have been involved with several startups at CxO level and have held lead roles in Product Design for web and digital services that today serve more than 500.000 people every day.