The success of the Polio Eradication Initiative promises to bring the world the benefits of sustained improvements in quality of life (i.e., cases of paralysis and deaths avoided) and saved costs from cessation of vaccination. Obtaining these benefits requires that policy makers manage both the transition from the current massive use of oral polio vaccine (OPV) to a world without OPV and the risks of potential future reintroductions of polioviruses. In 2001, we began a case study on retrospective polio risk management to demonstrate the importance of using a dynamic disease model to correctly estimate the cost-effectiveness of vaccines. Discussions with the CDC about the case study led to an opportunity for us to develop a large model to support the prospective decision making process. This paper tells the story of our journey, emphasizing insights about the requirements for analysts to create tools that really help high-level decision makers.