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.
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
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.
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.
Tags : Operations Management - Introduction to Operations Research
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