The Story of Monte Carlo


Monte CarloOnce upon a weekday meeting, I had a story to tell.  It was the tale of a project manager, who’s name really rings a bell.

He quantified the total project cost, he didn’t miss a dime. He also computed the schedule, he was always aware of the time.

He used all these input values, with random amounts being his friend. He ran these simulations.  I thought they would never end.

The outcome was a distribution, a bell curve if you like.  On the edges we saw some low points, in the middle there was a spike.

Monte Carlo was this fellow’s name, he was a heck of a numbers guy.  We asked him if he ever made things up.  He said he would merely quantify.

Now don’t think Monte worked alone, he had a counterpart.  Her name was Jane Stake-Holder, he worked with her from the start.

Jane could be quite demanding, sometimes ignoring project scope.  But Monte managed the situation well, knowing creep was a slippery slope.

His technique was well documented, a change would make everything slip.  He told this to Jane Stake-Holder who you’d think would do a back-flip.

But numbers don’t lie and neither did he, Jane knew Monte would put up a fight.  She backed down and submitted a change request, the schedule would extend to the right.

Graphic: Pictofigo