STRAD: ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
STRAD - short for STRategic ADviser - is a unique software package which offers you fast, flexible support whenever you face a tangle of tough decisions.
STRAD helps you make progress with more confidence even when you are surrounded by daunting uncertainties and fast-moving events.
This makes STRAD a practical and highly versatile tool for managers in business and the public sector; for planners and co-ordinators; and for consultants and policy support staff.
You can use STRAD either on your own or as a means of exploring issues and reaching agreements with colleagues, associates or clients.
The STRAD software enables you, and those with whom you work:
STRAD has demonstrated that it can bring several kinds of benefits to users:
The fee for a single user licence of the latest release of STRAD, STRAD 2.3, is 300.00 GB Pounds, or 450.00 US Dollars, or 375.00 Euros. It is supplied on compact disk with a set of demonstration project files; with help and tutorial files; and with a comprehensive user's manual in .pdf format which can be printed either in colour or monochrome. These prices will be held until 30 June 2011.
This pricing means that the value for money of STRAD 2.3 compares very favourably with that of other general-purpose planning and decision support tools. Please also note that:
You can use STRAD in any of several ways:
STRAD is different and complementary in its function to those more familiar and data-hungry planning tools which are designed to help either with the scheduling of continuing operations; or with the day-to-day control of clearly-defined projects; or with the forward allocation of resources within a corporate setting.
STRAD also differs from other management support software that is based on particular theoretical principles such as those of decision analysis or systems dynamics. For its broad purpose is to help you to adopt a developmental approach to interrelated decisions, while coping with all the uncertainties ahead of you in a resource-effective yet strategic way. With this in view, it integrates methods from different sources to support flexible progress through four linked decision-making modes of shaping, designing, comparing and choosing.
There are five main emphases which combine to make STRAD such a uniquely practical planning and management tool:
The roots of STRAD are to be found in a distinctive approach to planning under uncertainty known as the Strategic Choice Approach. This first emerged in the course of two action research projects conducted by staff of the Tavistock Institute in the UK - one concerned with policy-making in city government, and the other with the management of major construction projects.
Development of the STRAD software began in 1988, after many years of experience in the development of visual tools for communication among decision makers through low-technology media - usually, flip charts and felt-tipped marker pens - in an informal workshop setting. A first DOS version of STRAD was launched in 1991, followed by the more user-friendly STRAD 2 for Windows in 1994. This has been progressively refined, and additional features introduced, as more powerful versions of Microsoft Windows have superseded earlier releases.
STRAD has already demonstrated that it has an exceptionally wide range of applications, in terms of both subject matter and level of organizational - or inter-organizational - decision-making.
Among recent areas of application are:
There are now users of STRAD in 36 countries, as listed under our worldwide links. The main categories of user are:
STRAD has been designed to make full use of the graphical user interface of Microsoft Windows. So you will find STRAD easy to use if you are already familiar with other Windows software.
STRAD encourages you to work on your problems in a structured yet intuitive way. Like any of the integrated office software packages, STRAD offers you a balanced and mutually consistent set of tools, the more basic of which can be grasped quickly - leaving you to develop your appreciation of the more powerful advanced features in your own time.
Among the learning aids supplied with STRAD are a tutorial for use in exploring the demonstration files provided, and an on-line help system for instant support while using STRAD on your own projects.
As a registered user of STRAD, you will be eligible to receive the following supporting services:
For a closer look at the main window layouts of STRAD, with explanations of their functions, see program design