Lee Merkhofer Consulting Priority Systems

Facility Upgrades

A priority system was created for a West Coast utility investing in seismic upgrades. Government data indicates the frequency of earthquakes by geographic location. Simple structural models predict the facility damage under different earthquake scenarios. Consequence models estimate the resulting costs, health and safety impacts, and service outages. The utility is using the system to prioritize upgrades at nearly 3000 facilities, based on the goal of obtaining maximum risk reduction per unit of upgrade cost.

Facility Upgrade

Investments in Education

The Minnesota System of State Colleges wanted more from investments in technology. Teaming with consultants at S&P and PwC, we created a priority system that optimizes investments based on (1) financial performance, (2) ability to provide learning to 7 categories of students, (3) impacts on the perceptions of key stakeholders, and (4) contribution to various necessary conditions for future success.



A pharmaceutical company needed a way to prioritize “discovery projects,” research that identifies opportunities for creating new drugs. Teaming with Kromite, a pharma consulting firm, we conducted a framing workshop that defined 7 key objectives for discovery research. Then, influence diagrams were constructed to identify the characteristics of proposed projects that determine the degree to which the corresponding objectives would be met. The result was a qualitative model for quickly and consistently evaluating proposed discovery projects.