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.
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.
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.