Project Planning or Problem Solving

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Problem Solving. Typically one is involved in one or three different types of problem solving activities:Development of a new productImprovement of an existing productElimination of a problem with an existing product. Problem Solving. Engineering. Graphic Design. Legal. Financial. Manufacturin

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Project Planning or Problem Solving

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1. Project Planning or Problem Solving T. Barber

2. Problem Solving Typically one is involved in one or three different types of problem solving activities: Development of a new product Improvement of an existing product Elimination of a problem with an existing product

3. Problem Solving

4. Problem Solving Steps Reason for improvement Identify theme and reasons for working on it. Current situation Select problem and set target for improvement. Analysis Identify and verify root causes of problem. Countermeasures (Design) Plan, design and implement countermeasures that will correct root causes of problem. Standardization Prevent problem and root causes from recurring Future plans Plan remaining corrective tasks and evaluate team’s effectiveness.

5. Problem Solving Steps: The Details Reason for improvement develop an understanding or background into the problem. Is the project a system or subsystem? What is the purpose of the subsystem / system? How does it work? In words… In block diagram format… Who are the competitors Do they have performance or feature uniqueness?

6. Problem Solving Steps: The Details Current situation Select problem and set target for and metrics of improvement. How does one measure performance of the system? What are the critical features that limit performance? What are other relevant constraints, e.g. time, cost,…? Are there meaningful trades of quality versus cost? What are the weighting factors on the constraints?

7. Example Criteria & Weighting Factors for Selecting a College

8. Problem Solving Steps: The Details Analysis Identify and verify root causes of problem. Identify and define appropriate variables and constants Make simplifying assumptions Use fundamental principals Check work for dimensional consistency Examine limiting cases Check that symmetries are correctly predicted Compare with intuition / experience Validate the assumption that were made

9. Problem Solving Steps: The Details Countermeasures (Design) Plan, design and implement countermeasures that will correct root causes of problem. Document design and results Examine / interpret critical points of design Re-assess importance of approach and assumptions Create succinct summary of results and observations

10. Problem Solving Steps: The Details Goal of analysis or experiment Examined variables measured or calculated to verify constraints / metrics Software / diagnostics used Steps breakdown of problem from subproblems to complete design CAD software clear definition of parts to be built / ordered Concerns risks, modeling assumptions, etc.

11. Problem Solving Steps / Tools Understand problem: flowchart Generate ideas: brainstorm Prioritize ideas: SWOT Achieve consensus Determine risk factors Organize & communicate: storyboard Graphical Support Tools Fishbone Gantt Histogram, bar Pie SWOT Tree

12. Problem Solving Approach: Teaming Importance of teaming you don’t have everything you need (time, skills, ideas, …) you can benefit from another point of view other would like to be included in the solving process most tasks are easier with the support of others it works Teams are typically greater than the sum of the parts Team roles team leader ? someone has to be in charge facilitator (can be team leader) scribe ? someone who takes notes

13. Brainstorming A group process in which group members collectively contribute their ideas in a creative atmosphere. Members sequentially contribute their ideas one at a time Follow these guidelines facilitator records ideas on flip charts no criticism or comment allowed work towards volume of ideas avoid judgements any ideas is acceptable no storytelling no one person will dominate

14. Consensus Development Consensus Group solidarity in sentiment or belief Involves general agreement and support for a final decision Method of problem solving and decision making Decision by consensus is difficult and time consuming Steps express and fully explain your opinion to group while they listen You should listen while each group member expresses/explains their opinion. As each position is presented all should be prepared to modify their position Group should move towards joint decision Effective decision = Q ? A ? L quality level of leader of time acceptance

15. Project Support Tools

16. Storyboarding A series of panels using pictures, numbers and words, important changes, in order of occurrence Typical uses stimulate creative thinking planning a project collecting ideas exploring an organization communicating a concept understanding the big picture

17. Fishbone Diagram An investigative tool that organizes randomly connected causes and sorts out noncontributing causes Also called Ishikawa or cause-and-effect diagram. Used to examine and graphically communicate the reasons or root causes for a problem. Attempts to cure the illness, rather than just treating the symptoms. Horizontal line/arrow to effect on right Major causes placed parallel to and some distance from line Minor causes clustered around major causes they influence The initial major causes, called the 4 M’s, are man, materials, methods, and machinery.

18. Pie Chart Useful for comparing the relative contribution of individual factors to the whole.

19. Histogram, Bar Chart Histogram shows frequency of occurrence. Bar chart shows quantity of occurrence. Most famous histogram created by Gauss when he measured the distance to a star. His recognition that each measurement was slightly different led to the concept of a frequency distribution around a central number (Gaussian or bell curve)

20. Tree Diagram Also known as a stem-and-leaf display. Used to assist in taking the idea to increased levels of detail. Can be used to record the answers to the question why. Sometimes used to analyze the probability of achieving a certain result.

21. Flow Diagram A graphical description of the flow of activities in a system or organization under study. Standardized symbols rectangle: for action; triangle: for decision; arrow: for direction Ex: a supervisor suggests a team have a clear and common vision of the product and process relevant to Machine #7.

22. SWOT Chart Consists of listing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats Once brainstorming completed (ideas on table), apply SWOT to determine particular areas to focus on.

23. Managing Design Programs

24. Murphy’s Law of Random Perversity Basic Law: If anything can go wrong, it will (and at the worst possible moment. Addenda and Variations If everything appears to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. Nothing is ever as simple as it first seems. No matter what goes wrong, there is always someone who new it would. Other Unnatural Laws Etorre’s Observation: The other line moves faster Law of Selective Gravity: An object will fall so as to do the most damage. Boren’s Law: When in doubt, mumble. The Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold makes the rules. Weiler’s Law: Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it. Zimmerman’s Law: Regardless of whether a mission expands or contracts, administrative overhead continues to grow at a steady rate.

25. Remember “Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes” ……. W. Wilson “Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement” ….. B. LePatner “Trust yourself, you know more than you think” ….. B. Spock Not the policy of the design course “To err is human, bit it is against company (University) policy” …. Anonymous Caution 1: Timing may be everything “A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week” … G. Patton Caution 2: Radical solutions may not sell “Some times the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason” …. J. Seinfeld

26. Managing Design Projects Total Quality Management (TQM) Planning & Scheduling The Gantt Chart PERT Networks The Critical Path Method Clarifying the Project Objectives Objectives Tree Model Coordination with Customer/Client

27. Program control techniques Understand scope, keep track of progress, timing, cost. Gantt Work vs time chart introduced by Henry Gantt and Fredrick Taylor in early 1900’s Has little to no statistical value but is used for dynamic action in getting job efficiently completed. Lists tasks, events, or milestones in program in some logical or sequential order. Open bars illustrate time allocated while shaded bars indicate actual time spent. PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) Gantt + measure of dependency and definition of activities required to complete an event

28. Program control techniques Understand scope, keep track of progress, timing, cost. PERT Glossary Activity: a line on the network showing dependency between two events. Consumes a measurable amount of time and resources. Activity duration: a quadratic average of optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic time estimates. Optimistic: minimum time estimate applied to an activity. Most likely: best judgement estimate of most likely estimate Pessimistic: the maximum time estimate based on bad luck, possible initial failure. Event: an instant in time at which the planner can measure the plan against reality; usually the beginning point or conclusion of a specific work effort essential to the plan. Start event, end event, hanging event Network: a diagrammatic view of a complex plan, interconnecting lines (activities) and nodes (events). Slack: difference between latest allowable time and earliest expected time of an event > 0 means ahead of schedule, < 0 means behind currently late

29. Program control techniques Understand scope, keep track of progress, timing, cost. CPM (Critical Path Method) Dates to 1956 when du Pont Company Used for planning and scheduling Sequence or work and length of activity are inputs

30. Activities / Constraints Diagram Is one of a family of charts used to control a project. A dateless chart showing each activity and event in proper sequence required to accomplish task or project. Focus on activities and events interrelationships rather than on time.

31. Gantt Chart Is one of a family of charts used to control a project. A scheduling tool referenced to a time line The psychological effect of having a schedule to keep is valuable to a team. Can show interconnecting tasks and milestones.

33. Program Evaluation & Review Technique (PERT) Chart Is one of a family of charts used to control a project. A combination of Gantt and activities / constraints diagram. Showing all activities & events in proper front-to-back sequence with all activity start and end dates. Dashed lines connote slack time in process.

34. Critical Path Method (CPM) - Based on PERT Chart The “no sack time” path through a PERT chart. Represents the absolute minimum time necessary to complete project. Any lengthening of an activity on the critical path WILL cause delay in completion of project. (unless corrective action taken)

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