Hurricane Katrina

1) Define the decision problem?

This case describes the problem of an accounting system user’s conference cannot be held on time due to the Hurricane Katrina, and the management has to come up with a decision of either moving to a new location or to switch to other dates under all circumstances at a short period of time.

2) What is the general nature of the problem?

The most significant aspect of the problem is that due to the Hurricane Katrina, the conference will probably not be held, and the last minute announcement of switching location will make the company lose customers and reputations due to the cancellation of flight and hotel and all other costs.

3) What event triggered the situation?

In fact we see from the root, Hurricane Katrina triggered the situation which is an irresistible natural disaster. Actually I believe that the management board should be liable for this situation as well since the weather is foreseeable, why wouldn’t able for them to prevent this situation, for instance, they can make a plan B in case the unforeseen event happens.

4) What are the imposed constraints on the situation?

The imposed constraints from the attendees who had prepaid the attendance fee will have to decide if they will still go to the conference, the fact is that people might have to change or cancel their flight and hotel which might be a potential cost, or they are not coming at all which might affect company’s profit and reputation because if the location or dated has been rescheduled, they maybe not attend. Furthermore, things that considered being constraints are things cannot be controlled, such as the unforeseen natural disaster, hurricane.

5) What are the underlying elements of the problem?

The underlying elements can be for instance, the city has been destroyed by the hurricane and it will cost some time to rebuilt the fundamental, also for the company, it takes time to reorganize the conference. During the process, the company might lose profit from the disaster.

6) Describe the dependencies on other decisions?

Attendees are expecting the sponsor to make a satisfied decision with regarding to the current situation. However, it is easy to neglect important factors, miss desirable options, or base the decision on unreliable information. Company’s dependency is the profit lost from the prepaid attendance as well as the potential new customers.

On the other hand, the conference attendance’s dependencies are looking for their business opportunities from the conference, and to find a better way to prevent the loose from not going to the conference.