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Operations Management - Introduction to Operations Research

Phases of OR

   Posted On :  22.06.2018 09:16 am

Operations Research is a logical and systematic approach to provide a rational basis for decision-making.

Phases of OR
Operations Research is a logical and systematic approach to provide a rational basis for decision-making. You may think of the following steps which is required for the analysis of a problem under OR

Step I. Observe the Problem Environment

The first step of OR study is the observation of the environment in which the problem exists. The activities that constitute this step are visits, conferences, observations, research of past data etc.
With the help of such activities, the OR analyst / team gets sufficient insight and information to proceed. Also, this gives the team better preparedness level to formulate the problem.

Step II. Analyse and Define the Problem

In this step not only the problem is defined, but also uses objectives and limitations of the study that are stressed in the light of the problem. The end results of this step are clear grasp of need for a solution and understanding of its nature.


Step III. Develop a Model

The next step is to develop model, which is representation of same real or abstract situation. OR models are basically mathematical models representing systems, process or environment in form of equations, relationships or formulae. The activities in this step is to defining interrelationships among variables, formulating equations, using known OR models or searching suitable alternate models. The proposed model may be field tested and modified in order to work under stated environmental constraints. A model may also be modified if the management is not satisfied with the answer that it gives.

Step IV. Selection of Data Input

It is an established fact that without authentic and appropriate data the results of the OR models cannot be trusted. Hence, taping right kind of data is a vital step in OR process.
Important activities in this step are analysing internal-external data and facts, collecting opinions and using computer data banks. The purpose of this step is to have sufficient input to operate and test the model.

Step V. Solution and Testing

In this step the solution of the problems is obtained with the help of model and data input. Such a solution is not implemented immediately and this solution is used to test the model and to find its limitations if any. If the solution is not reasonable or if the model is not behaving properly, updating and modification of the model is considered at this stage. The end result of this step is solution that is desirable and supports current organisational objectives.

Step VI. Implementation of the Solution

This is the last phase of the OR study. In OR the decision-making is scientific but implementation of decision involves many behavioural issues. Therefore, implementation authority has to resolve the behavioural issues, involving the workers and supervisors to avoid further conflicts.

The gap between management and OR scientist may offer some resistance but must be eliminated before solution is accepted in totality. Both the parties should play positive role, since the implementation will help the organisation as a whole. A properly implemented solution obtained through OR techniques results in improved working conditions and wins management support. 
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