Avion is interested in a new valve to manage the highly volatile phenol in its production process. Avion and Orion strike a deal for Orion to try to produce these valves. There are time, engineering, and software constraints that make the valve-redesign project a risky endeavor. The A case (UVA-QA-0602) consists of a basic decision tree that has been used as an introductory case in decision analysis and in the core material for an exam. The A case is a rewrite of two earlier cases (QA-0480 and QA-0481). In those cases, the key issues surround the scheduling of the projects, leading to insights about which to schedule first. Here, the scheduling is fixed and the issues are less calculation-intensive and more interesting. In the A case, there are two options: one the students usually see and one they don't. The B case consists of a quick series of changes in the situation that leads to a totally different decision structure and requirement for simulation modeling (or some other technique to handle the introduction of continuous uncertainties). This case also has a wonderful real option embedded in the problem around which an entire class can be built. Because the estimate is continuous, the option problem becomes one of finding the optimal estimated-performance value at which one aborts the software redesign.
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