Process Optimization through Structured Problem Solving

Authored by: David M. Bernacki , Robert E. Hamm , Hung-da Wan

Handbook of Military and Defense Operations Research

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138607330
eBook ISBN: 9780429467219
Adobe ISBN:


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In its simplest form a process is nothing more than a series of steps executed to produce goods or services. The assembly of an automobile is executed through a series of interdependent steps. Those interdependent steps are supported by a host of sub-processes, also a series of interdependent steps. Some steps are short in duration, maybe just fractions of a second, while others take hours or even days. Many steps are complex while others are simple. Some steps in the process are performed by a human, others by a robot, and others by a computer executing a program designed by a human. Some steps are executed concurrently while others must take place before another can be executed. And do not forget that the bits of information necessary to trigger and execute a step are all part of the process. All the steps taken to produce a product or provide a service define the process. Sometimes all the steps that make up a process take place in a small room, while other processes include steps executed across thousands of acres of plant or miles of terrain. However, one thing is for certain, no process will last forever.

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