This case illustrates a simple quantitative analysis of uncertainty, undertaken over a period of a few days to support a commercial bid. It provided a sound understanding of the assumptions and uncertainties associated with the work, a basis for the commercial team to plan their negotiating approach as they finalised their formal tender response, and a valuable input to the commercial decision about the price at which to pitch the bid.
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A condensed version of Dr Dale Cooper's resource paper 'Headline risks: seeing the big picture' was published in the November issue of Risk Management Today, volume 27, number 9, page 140, 2017.
Complexity is mentioned in professional discussions from astrophysics to zoology. There is a sense that previous generations led a simpler existence and did not have to deal with it. Understanding whether this is true or not can help to put into perspective present day efforts to handle complexity. A complete history of complexity and efforts to cope with it would be an enormous undertaking but useful insights can be gained from an interesting paper written almost sixty years ago. In language that would not seem out of place today, Charles E. Lindblom described the dilemma of addressing systems with no ordered cause-effect relationships using methods based on systems that do have ordered cause-effect relationships. The challenges he described still exist but there are now ways to address complexity directly rather than try to fight against it or pretend it does not exist.