Project Risk Analysis & Modelling Skills with Excel + Oracle Crystal Ball (16hr | Online)

Online workshop to learn advanced Excel techniques, Monte Carlo simulation and risk management, develop advanced simulation spreadsheet models, analyze and present results.

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If you need to calculate the odds of delivering on-time or on budget, the only way is through probabilistic project risk analysis.
Using Oracle Crystal Ball or Palisade’s @RISK, participants will learn simple and effective quantitative modelling techniques/skills and tools to calculate the odds of success using Monte-Carlo Simulation. Focused on project risk analysis, participants will discover how to use Monte-Carlo simulation and optimization tools to make decisions and assess risk in day-to-day situations as well as planning for building complex models & forecasts.

This workshop is designed for both the beginner and advanced business analyst and we will fully cover the A to Z of applying risk analysis techniques and modelling best practices to CAPEX Cost Estimates, Project Schedules and Discounted Casflows.


MODULE 1 – Enhancing the modeling process with simulation

Why is Risk Analysis critically important in today’s world?

  • Making decisions under uncertainty
  • Where risk analysis and simulation integrate with the planning process
  • The flaw of averages:  Why 70%+ projects fail to deliver on expectations
  • Understanding risk analysis key concepts and definitions
  • Workshop: What does 90% confidence really mean?

Modeling vs. Simulation

  • Overview and history of Monte-Carlo Simulation
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of simulation
  • How and Where predictive modelling and risk analysis can have a positive impact on the organization

The Modeling Process

  • Modelling best practices for formating and organizing spreasheet models to be clear and easily auditable.
  • Sourcing and using historical or published data
  • Discussion on using the Monte-Carlo Method for properly scoping the need, building assumptions and establishing model constraints with Subject Matter Experts
  • Workshop: Using risk analysis to develop a New Compensation Model

Using and Configuring Crystal Ball for Risk Analysis: Toolbar, Basic Terminology, Sampling, Reporting and Data Extraction

Module 2 – Building and Running Models

Essential Statistics For Risk Modeling

  • Workshop: Understanding how probabilities work with the DICE model
  • Basic probability statistics (Mean, Standard Deviation, Kurtosis, Skewness)
  • Overview of principal distributions and when to use them
  • How Multi-Modal distributions are generated

Tornado Charts and One Way Sensitivity Analysis

  • Analyze existing models to identify  inputs with the greatest impact.
  • Spider-Charts vs Tornado Charts
  • Workshop: Analyzing variables to model in a Loan Process

Fundamentals in Project Estimation

  • What is Project Risk Analysis
  • Working defenition of a good project estimate
  • Overestimating vs. Underestimating
  • The difference between: Targets, Commitements, Estimates and Plans.

Working with Distributions and Model Inputs

  • Best practices for defining model inputs in Excel and selecting the right distribution
  • Continuous vs. Discrete Distributions
  • Comparing risk profiles:
  • How to correctly ask for ranges
  • Using Custom Distributions
  • Workshop:  How different distributions compare using the same input parameters.

Defining, Analyzing and Communicating results to the business

  • Setting up model outputs and visualizing results and charts (Sensitivity, Forecasts, Assumptions and Overlays)
  • Establishing Confidence Intervals and configuring precision control  to optimize the number of trials
  • Generating simulation result reports & documentation
  • Techniques to effectively and simply communicate your analysis to your peers, clients and superiors
  • Question handling

Project Risk identification and Assessment using Simulation

  • Interpreting Forecasts and Sensitivity Analysis
  • Using Monte-Carlo simulation to calculate project contigencies.
  • Discussion on how to correctly organize risks into schedule, cost and market models.
  • Workshop: Schedule Risk Analysis
  • Workshop: Analyzing Cost Estimates with conditional costs and discrete risk registries.  

Module 3 – Incorporating Historical Data and Trends into your SIMULATION Models

Correlation and Regression

  • What are correlations and their impact on results
  • Making sure your model behaves correctly using correlation
  • 3 techniques to calculate correlation and their differences.
  • Overview of regression and its basic applications
  • Discussion on the how Monte-Carlo simulation works.
  • Workshop: How to calculate rank correlation and use it to correlate model assumptions
  • Aggregate Assumptions

Data/Distribution Fitting

  • How to research which distributions you should fit.
  • Best practices on how to source and fit historical data using statisitical methods.
  • Analyzing fit results and selecting the RIGHT distribution for both univariate and multivariate data.

Time-Series Forecasting

  • Forecasting vs. stress-testing your model over time.
  • Overview of the components and applications of time-series forecasting
  • Univariate Forecasting using Geometric Brownian Motion by calculating historical trend and volatility. (Escalation/Inflation Models)
  • Time-series projections using to easily incorporate Seasonality, Smoothing algorithms, Growth Projections using historical data
  • Workshop: Projecting Next Year’s Sales using CB Predictor.
  • Workshop: Building Correlated Forecasts using Multiple Linear Regression using CB Predictor.

Module 4 – Optimization and Scenario Modeling

Simulation Optimization

  • Introduction to Simulation - Optimization with OptQuest
  • Everyday Optimization applications and examples
Portfolio Optimization Techniques : With the help of several integrated financial models, this workshop will provide financial analysts with a complete understanding of why, where and how to apply spreadsheet forecasting, simulation, real options and optimization within their analyses.
  • Project Portfolio Selection: Use OptQuest to pick the best projects based on Organizational Budget Constraints
  • Portfolio & Resource Allocation Optimization: Allocate resources or budgets among various investments to maximize NPV or ROI or minimize risk or expense.
  • Modeling Efficient Frontier Analysis to optimize risk against benefit for projects and investments. (Portfolio Allocation)
Decision Tables to compare complex 2 dimensional problems
  • Workshop: Inventory Options
  • Workshop: Oil Field Development Strategies
  • Creating 3D solution plots


At the end of this 16hr workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Understand and apply Monte-Carlo simulation and optimization in their day-to-day activities.
  • Quickly build effective models or customize existing ones with Crystal Ball or Palisade @RISK.
  • Pick and manage project more effectively
  • Use Monte-Carlo-Simulation to calculate risk based contigencies for projects and schedules.
  • Clearly explain how Monte-Carlo simulation works and how its results should be interpreted.


Our workshops last 16hrs / 24hrs and are delivered, one-on-one, in 2 hour sessions at your convenience. Just call to book the times that work best in your schedule. Each 16 hour remote training program is billed at 2,199.00$ and 24hrs at 3,175.00$ USD   Our remote and onsite training topics for Crystal Ball, Primavera Risk Analysis, RiskSolver, Julia, @RISK and ModelRisk include:   Visit a complete list