BUS5800 Risk analysis models for business - Semester 2 , 2007

Unit leader :

Vincent Lee

Lecturer(s) :


  • Vincent Lee

Tutors(s) :


  • Eric Shen
  • Lin L Chen


Welcome to BUS5800 Risk Analysis Models for Business for semester 2, 2007. This 6 point unit is elective to all postgraduate degree programs in the Faculty of IT. The unit has been designed to provide you with an understanding of risk exposure and risky decisions have to be made by businesses, the contexts within which information technologies are used, and the IT professions. It explores many aspects of IT with emphasis on the relationship between theoretical knowledge and its practical application using cases and real examples.

Unit synopsis

The subject material will be presented to students through a series of real business case studies covering a wide range of applications. Computer methodology will be taught on Microsoft Excel and the students will also be introduced to the most widely used risk management software in industry.

The initial lectures will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of risk analysis in various settings and provide motivation for the methodology taught during the weeks to follow. Students will be introduced to a framework for building spreadsheet based business models that makes it possible to carry out risk analysis effectively and efficiently. The subject material will then move onto the analysis of input data and quantitative techniques that can be used to model the variability of business data. This will also include the modelling of patterns exhibited by the data through the use of empirical probability distributions. The risk analysis methods taught will include scenario analysis and simulation. This will include extensive use of advanced modelling tools available on Microsoft Excel.

Students will be given the opportunity to review a series of recently completed risk management projects as well as current management science literature on the topic. Students will also be given an opportunity to work on a series of case studies independently in a computer lab during their tutorials. The assignments will test students' ability to use the methodology in developing computer based risk analysis models.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this unit students should have developed the following skills:

  • Have a clear understanding of the objectives and processes of risk management.
  • Have knowledge of typical applications of risk management in the current business environment.
  • Be able to design and setup a spreadsheet based risk analysis model.
  • Use the advanced modelling tools available on Microsoft Excel to carry out scenario analysis and simulation.
  • Be able to assess and quantify risk using performance measures.
  • Be familiar with current industry standard risk management software.



 All students' workload commitments are:

  • two-hour lecture and
  • one-hour tutorial (or laboratory) (requiring advance preparation)
  • a minimum of 2-3 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations.
  • You will need to allocate up to 5 hours per week in some weeks, for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Unit relationships


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed BUS9520 and BUS9530, or equivalent.


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed BUS9520. and BUS9530 , or equivalent.

You may not study this unit if you have studied FIT3051 and FIT2011 together.

Continuous improvement

Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

Student Evaluations

The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the my.monash portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to http://www.monash.edu.au/unit-evaluation-reports/

Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the my.monash portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/evaluations/monquest/profiles/index.html

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

Associate Professor Vincent Lee
Associate Professor
Phone +61 3 990 52360
Fax +613-99055159

Lecturer(s) :

Associate Professor Vincent Lee
Associate Professor
Phone +61 3 990 52360
Fax +613-99055159

Tutor(s) :

Failed to retrieve details for Eric Shen

Ms Lin Chen
Postgraduate Student

Teaching and learning method

This unit is on-campus. Beside attending lectures and tutorials (compulsory and attendance will be taken), it is expected at least an additional of 4 hours per week is required.

All students are to follow the unit materials posted in unit MUSO site.

Tutorial allocation

On-campus students should register for tutorials/laboratories using Allocate+.

Communication, participation and feedback

Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Unit Schedule

Week Topic Study guide References/Readings Key dates
1 Introduction and Motivation to Risk Models for Business Lecture 1 power point material +Chapter 1 of Winston Winston, W.L. (2001), "Simulation Modelling using @ RISK", Duxbury 17 Jul 2007
2 A Framework for Building Spreadsheet Based Business Models Lecture 2 power point material + Chapter 2 & 3 of Winston Winston, W.L. (2001), "Simulation Modelling using @ RISK", Duxbury 24 Jul 2007
3 Scenario Analysis Lecture 3 power point material + Chapter 4 of Winston Winston, W.L. (2001), "Simulation Modelling using @ RISK", Duxbury 31 Jul 2007
4 Introducing a random element to a business model Lecture 4 power point material + Chapter 5 of Winston Winston, W.L. (2001), "Simulation Modelling using @ RISK", Duxbury 7 Aug 2007
5 Analysing the simulation output Lecture 5 power point materials + Chapter 2 of Charnes, J. Charnes, J. (2007), " Financial Modelling with Crystal Ball and Excel+Companion Web Site 14 Aug 2007
6 Building risk analysis models Lecture 6 power point material + Chapter 3 of Charnes, J. Charnes, J. (2007), " Financial Modelling with Crystal Ball and Excel+Companion Web Site 21 Aug 2007
7 Sample Risk Analysis Models Lectuer 7 power point material + Chapter 6 to 8 of Winston Winston, W.L. (2001), "Simulation Modelling using @ RISK", Duxbury 28 Aug 2007
8 Class test Open book Lecture 1 to 7 power point materials + Chapter 1 to ofWinston, W.L. (2001), "Simulation Modelling using @ RISK", Duxbury 4 Sep 2007
9 Sample Risk Analysis Models Lecture 8 power point material + Chapter 12 and 21 of Winston Winston, W.L. (2001), "Simulation Modelling using @ RISK", Duxbury 11 Sep 2007
10 Other modelling Issues Lecture 9 power point material + Chapter 23 of Winston Winston, W.L. (2001), "Simulation Modelling using @ RISK", Duxbury 18 Sep 2007
Mid semester break
11 Risk Management with the simulation output Lecture 10 power point material + selected reading materials Selected articles on enterprise risk management posted on MUSO unit website 2 Oct 2007
12 Oral Presentation on Group assignment Group assignment power point presentation six assignment groups presentation 9 Oct 2007
13 Oral Presentation on Group assignment and revision Group assignment power point presentation and unit debrief notes last five groups assignment groups presentation 16 Oct 2007

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

  • Winston W. Simulation using @Risk updated version 4, Duxbury Thomson Learning, 2001, ISBN 0-534-38059-X
  • Charnes, J.  Financial Modelling with Crystal Ball and Excel + Companion Web Site, 2007, Wiley Finance, ISBN 13: 978-0-471-77972-8 (paper/cd-rom) & ISBN 10:0-471-77972-5 (paper/cd-rom) 
  • Recommended text(s) and readings

  • Ragsdale C Spreadsheet modelling and decision analysis Course Technology, 1996
  • Clauss F Applied management science and spreadsheet modelling ITP, Duxbury, 1996
  • Bell D and Schlaifer A Jr Risk Management Course Technology, 1995
  • Hertz DB Practical risk analysis, Wiley, 1984
  • Required software and/or hardware

    You will need access to:

    • Java Version 6 Update 1 (download from Sun Microsystems)
    • @risk and Crystal Ball (provided with the text books)
    • Firefox or Internet Explorer browser

    On-campus students may use this software which is installed in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

    Equipment and consumables required or provided

    Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to n hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

    Study resources

    Study resources we will provide for your study are:

    Library access

    The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

    Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

    All unit and lecture materials are available through the MUSO (Monash University Studies Online) site. You can access this site by going to:

    1. a) https://muso.monash.edu.au or
    2. b) via the portal (http://my.monash.edu.au).

    Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then the MUSO hyperlink.

    In order for your MUSO unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

    For example :

    • MUSO supported browser
    • Supported Java runtime environment

    For more information, please visit


    You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

    For further contact information including operational hours, please visit


    Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site:



    Unit assessment policy

    The unit is assessed with one class test, one group assignment and a two hour closed book examination. To pass the unit you must:

    • actively participate in group assignment, class test and the examination
    • achieve no less that 40% of the possible marks in the exam
    • achieve no less than 50% of possible marks

    You must pass the final examination to pass this unit.

    Assignment tasks

    • Assignment Task
      Title :
      Risk Models and Risk Management in Enterprise
      Description :

      GROUP ASSIGNMENT - BUS5800- 2nd Semester 2007

      Date of issue:  Tuesday, 17  Jul 2007

      Group Members: Minimum two and maximum three

      Group Assignment Report: One per Group of minimum 3000 and maximum 4000 words.

      Choose one of the following topics to do a literature review write-up. You must read and follow the format and writing style stated in the compulsory reading articles. Your group must also search for related key (recommended at least five) articles and make a critical review. Please follow the assessment criteria stipulated under the heading of "Criteria for Assessment".

      Topic 1: Human Capital Risk

      Topic 2: IT and Information Risk

      Topic 3: Project Risk

      Topic 4: Financial Credit Risk

      Topic 5: Operational Risk in Financial Institutions

      Topic 6: Enterprise risk management

      Check with BUS5800 MUSO Site on Group Assignment.

      Weighting :
      Criteria for assessment :

      Group assignment will be assessed and graded on four criteria: 

      1) Critique on articles read (degree of novelty on ideas) - 40%

      2) Academic writing skills and presentation qualities- 30%

      3) Individual Oral Presentation -15%

      4) Recommendation for further studies need on the chosen topic of interest (15%)

      Due date :
      4:00 pm on Friday 5 Oct 2007


    • Examination
      Weighting :
      Length :
      2 hours
      Type ( open/closed book ) :
      Closed book
      Remarks ( optional - leave blank for none ) :
      You must pass the written final examination to pass this unit.

    Assignment submission

    Assignments will be submitted by paper submission, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached. Do not email submissions. Submit the group assignment report to the assignment box located at first floor of builidng 63, Clayton Campus.

    The due date is the date by which the submission must be received/the date by which the the submission is to be posted.

    Assignment coversheets

    Download from Faculty of IT web site


    University and Faculty policy on assessment

    Due dates and extensions

    The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

    Late assignment

    Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of [describe penalty for late submission, describe the deadline for late assignment acceptance or any conditions that are placed on late assignments, e g, "Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted."

    Please note that there is a penalty for late submission of assignment report: 

    1 workday late 80% of Grade

    2 working day late 60% of Grade

    3 working day late 40% of Grade

    4 working day late 20% of Grade

    5 working day late 0 % of grade. 

    Return dates

    Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

    Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at:


    We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

    Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

    Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/committees-groups/facboard/policies/studrights.html) and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

    In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

    When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

    Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

    Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

    Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.

    Register of counselling about plagiarism

    The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

    Non-discriminatory language

    The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

    Students with disabilities

    Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

    Deferred assessment and special consideration

    Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Special consideration in the awarding of grades is also possible in some circumstances. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at http://www.monash.edu.au/exams/special-consideration.html. Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.