Tamara - Project Risk Analysis Software | Features
Tamara project risk analysis software icon

Tamara key features

Import, Audit, Simulate, Update

Workflow with Tamara is straightforward - to begin, the user imports a Primavera or Microsoft Project model into Tamara. During import, Tamara performs a health check on the model, providing a set of scores on the schedule's quality and highlighting any specific issues. Uncertainty about the time and cost of completing each task is then added by considering uncertainty in the task scope and the rate of progress in achieving the work. Risk events can also be added that would delay a task, the whole project, part of a project, require extra work to be done, etc. Tamara stores all this information with a copy of the original project schedule in a special file format. No changes are made to the original Primavera or Microsoft Project file, but when the project plan is updated, Tamara can update its own file with a single mouse click and adapt the risk and uncertainty information accordingly.

Simulation results can be presented in a wide range of risk analysis graphs and statistics for cost and time. Tamara simulates so fast there is no need for a ‘run simulation’ button. The user can then view probability distributions in histogram or cumulative form for the cost, duration, start or finish date of any project component. Tornado charts also show which factors are driving the uncertainty in those measures.

We designed Tamara to be able to work with schedules of essentially any size. It has been tested on real project plans of up to 50,000 tasks. To put that into perspective, a Gantt chart printout of such a schedule would be as tall as a 100-storey building! But being able to load such a huge schedule isn’t enough – it also must run a Monte Carlo simulation in a reasonable time. So, the Tamara simulation engine is fast – insanely fast! So fast, that for most schedules (50-300 or so tasks), the results appear in a fraction of a second. Even for a 34,000-task project it returns the results of 5,000 samples in less than ten minutes.

Different types of uncertainties (Cost, Work amount, task specific risk, unplanned work, etc.)

During the development of Tamara, we worked closely with around a dozen project risk and planning experts. They challenged us with a large set of examples of risks that they were never able to adequately describe in other project risk tools, and we set about creating a product that met these challenges yet remained easy to use.

Schedule uncertainty

  • Scope uncertainty: the uncertainty in the actual amount of work that needs to be done. Describing work amount uncertainty is composed of two parts:
    • Assigning quantitative definitions to descriptions of levels of work amount uncertainty.
    • Applying these levels to tasks within the project
  • Productivity uncertainty: the uncertainty of the speed with which the work can be executed. There are three steps in Tamara Project Risk Analysis to incorporating uncertainty about productivity:
    • Define productivity risk factors – estimations about how efficiently a task gets completed, and therefore how long it takes.
    • Create work type categories to group similar activities for which the productivity rate is influenced by the same productivity risk factors.
    • Apply these work type categories to individual tasks.
  • Risks: any risk events that interrupt the execution of that work. Tamara provides a rich environment for describing risks (both threats and opportunities). The type of risk event that can be included in Tamara broadly fall into five categories:

Cost uncertainty

Cost uncertainty also depends on a number of factors:

  • Expense uncertainty: the uncertainty in the value of budgeted costs. Describing expense uncertainty is composed of two parts:
    • Assigning quantitative definitions to descriptions of levels of cost uncertainty.
    • Applying these levels to costs linked to individual tasks within the project.
  • Resource cost uncertainty: the uncertainty of the identified resources that will be assigned to tasks within the project. This is achieved by defining resource cost uncertainty to each group of resources. The uncertainty in any resource is multiplied automatically by the uncertainty of the time it takes to complete tasks for which the resource is used.
  • Risks: any risk events that result in an additional cost to the project. Tamara provides the same rich environment for describing such risks (both threats and opportunities) as it does for time-related risks.

Scenario analysis

Build you own scenarios to compare the effects of different risk management strategies. Switch risks on and off, change probabilities or impacts, and determine the most cost-effective strategy for getting your project on time and within budget.

Intuitive Correlation (Productivity risk factors)

A key reason that projects fail to meet their deadline and budget goals, even when a project risk analysis has been performed, is 'correlation', a statistical term that can be summarized as 'when things go wrong in one place, they are more likely to go wrong in other places too'. Historically, 'correlation' has been modeled using correlation matrices, which are both impractical to use for schedules larger than twenty or so tasks, and very unintuitive – which is why correlation has been largely ignored in project risk analysis with the result that the riskiness of projects were grossly underestimated. In the real world, correlation exists between tasks because of some shared influencing factor(s). Tamara asks the user to explore what those factors might be and to quantify them in an intuitive manner. No correlation coefficients are used.

In Tamara, there are two modelling capabilities that will naturally induce correlation between task durations. The first is simply specifying where a risk event can impact two or more tasks, so if the risk event occurs then all tasks to which the risk is connected will be delayed, and if the risk doesn’t occur they won’t. The second modelling capability is where productivity risk factors are common to two or more tasks.

Integrated spreadsheet

Not all project costs will be incorporated into a typical master schedule, and not all risks and uncertainty can be accurately described With the spreadsheet feature users now have almost unlimited freedom to describe the uncertainty around task durations and costs, the frequency and magnitude of risks and any inter-dependencies that can be of importance for a particular analysis. All this can now be modeled in a familiar, user-friendly, and powerful spreadsheet environment, enriched by a full set of risk analysis tools that exist in ModelRisk, including 136 different probability distributions, 34 time series models, 14 correlation models and many other specialist modelling tools. The spreadsheet feature in Tamara makes it easy to describe the modelling logic of any complexity, copy-paste estimates from other spreadsheets, link estimates to remote data sources, construct complex lookup logic, etc.

Furthermore, the new spreadsheet control makes it possible to build risk analysis models that are driven by the results of the project risk analysis, all directly in Tamara. Analytical models calculating the project NPV, IRR, etc. can be built within the spreadsheet which can reference the duration and cost forecasts generated by the main Tamara simulation engine. Tamara is now not only the fastest simulation project simulation software on the market, capable of handling even the largest schedules, but also the most analytically advanced available!

Output Charts

Tamara offers a broad range of charts to present simulation results of your project risk analysis in the most suitable format:

  • Histogram, cumulative and Pareto plots of duration, start date, finish date and cost of the selected task or group of tasks so you can determine realistic delivery times and budgets
  • Tornado plots identifying the key factors that are influencing cost and time uncertainty so you can focus managing the risks that really matter
  • Cashflow projections over time to better budget the appropriate level of funding
  • Scatter plot of the finish date against cost, for any selected task or summary level, to better understanding the appropriate combined target levels
  • Stochastic Gantt chart showing the likely ranges of each task’s start and finish dates for more realistic planning

All charts and statistics can be copied to reports in Word, PowerPoint, etc.


Project management teams often have to produce updated reports very regularly, or at very short notice, which can be very time-consuming, stressful and produce errors. Tamara has a unique report template feature that allows the user to design several reports (for example, an executive summary, a senior management report, and a detailed report for the project manager – click the links for examples) for a project. These reports can then be generated in PDF form in a process that takes perhaps a minute from updating the schedule to sending the reports out.

Examples and help file

Tamara is shipped with a comprehensive set of simple example models to help you get up and running quickly, and better understand its capabilities. The help file also provides tutorials on best practice in project cost and schedule risk analysis.

Integration with Pelican

Pelican is VOSE’s fully quantitative enterprise risk management platform. It is web-enabled and provides a platform for all your risk-based information, incorporating risk registers, risk management strategies, issues and incidence logging, dashboards and activities schedule and checking. Integration with Pelican ensures you Tamara model incorporates the latest evaluation of risks and their mitigations by pulling in risk data directly from Pelican. Tamara can also then publish the likely range of cost and delivery back into the Pelican dashboard for project portfolio management.