Category Archives: consulting

The client was seeking a way to evaluate early development projects that would take an integrated view of the portfolio and enable consistent trade-offs. The solution was a multi-attribute prioritization methodology to enable holistic portfolio management and value-based decision making. The innovative methodology uses multi-attribute utility theory and value-focused thinking within the framework of decision quality, providing a consistent evaluation of various early-stage projects within a heterogeneous set of disease areas, thereby enabling trade-offs based on agreed-to decision criteria.

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In summer 2014, the terrorist group Islamic State was one of the most severe threats for the civilian population in the Middle East as well as in the West. The American government did not had a clear strategy how to deal with this new threat. Pres. Obama even admitted this in public (“We don’t yet have a complete strategy” for fighting the Islamic State in Iraq; 28. August 2014, in Washington Post).

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Due to the changing framework conditions and customer requirements, such as shorter delivery times and increasing adherence to delivery dates, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Upper Franconia are increasingly confronted with an increase in logistics performance and a reduction in logistics costs. Logistics, especially production logistics, is an essential basis for these companies to generate competitive and cost advantages and is becoming increasingly important.
In this context, however, many SMEs are asking themselves how the potential for generating competitive and cost advantages in production logistics can be identified, evaluated, and leveraged. Generally, it is possible to raise the identified potential by deriving concrete optimization measures. However, deriving these measures is difficult in many cases, and there is a deficit regarding a methodically structured and systematic decision-making process.

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The California Department of Transportation has a budget of approximately US$ 10 billion over four years for repairing the infrastructure of California’s freeways and freeway bridges. However, this budget is not sufficient to implement all the measures requested. A selection of measures to be carried out must therefore be made. Among other things, this is difficult because, for example, the representatives of the various Californian districts are demanding as many repair measures as possible in their own administrative area to improve their district’s infrastructure, create jobs, and ultimately be re-elected. Similar problems, for example, in allocating funds for broadband expansion, are all too well known in Germany. Clear and precise evaluation criteria are required for transparent evaluation and logical selection.

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The Balanced Scorecard (Kaplan and Norton 1992) is one of the five management tools used most often and has been implemented by nearly 40 percent of the companies (Rigby and Bilodeau 2013). Yet, there is no theoretically sound approach for developing a balanced scorecard. Value-focused thinking is a decision-making philosophy that fits perfectly to Balanced Scorecard creation. It provides methods and techniques for the identification and structuring of objectives that are suitable to systematically derive a scorecard from a means-ends network. However, such a means-ends network is often too complex for enduring use in strategic management. By adapting the network’s structure to the Balanced Scorecard’s layout, the profound and clear set of derived objectives and their measures provide a reasonable basis for applying methods of multi-criteria decision-making in an organization. In a case study, we develop a media-specific Balanced Scorecard to provide media decision-makers with a model that takes characteristics of media management into account and that helps to manage their company successfully.

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Germany is facing a huge disruptive change in its energy system. The speed of the transition from the fossil fuel and nuclear energy age to the renewable energies had been tremendously accelerated after Fukushima and the government´s decision to phase out of nuclear energy in the next 10 years. Therefore, traditional German utilities must make far-reaching decisions for ensuring long-term competitiveness. For that purpose, they need to define the future strategy and to agree on the right steps for its implementation. In the following 20 years decentralized renewable energy solutions, cost intensive offshore wind parks and the decommissioning of centralized conventional power plants have to be planned and realized. However, like in other industries, there is the tendency to deal with various decision problems isolated from each other without focusing on the big picture. Thereby it is often only vague defined what and how should be achieved. Furthermore, the search of alternatives is based on traditional thinking, which is likely to mislead in such a never before experienced disruptive change.

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