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Decision Management in Product Development. Dr. David Ullman President Robust Decisions, Inc. www.robustdecisions.com.

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Decision Management in Product Development

Dr. David Ullman

President

Robust Decisions, Inc.

www.robustdecisions.com

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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“Concern for decision support is in its pre-infancy and that the commercial world is just beginning to realize the importance of decision support in business and product development” Wayne Collier, analyst for D.H. Brown and Associates

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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What do these processes have in common? that the commercial world is just beginning to realize the importance of decision support in business and product development”

  • Acquisition planning

    • Portfolio management

    • Product development

    • Proposal evaluation

    • Strategic planning

  • Homeland security

    • Bad actor identification

    • Target identification

  • Courses of Action (COA) decisions

  • Analysis of Alternatives

  • Business strategy development

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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They all require choosing a course of action and committing resources based

on information that is:

  • Incomplete

  • Uncertain

  • Evolving

    from stakeholders or agents who:

  • Know part of the information

  • Are distributed in time and location

  • Represent many different viewpoints, areas of expertise, and organizational functions

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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DECISION resources based

KNOWLEDGE

Increasing value

MODELS

DATA

The Value of Information

Judgment

Behavior

Relationships

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Process resources based

Decision

1970s 1980-90s 2000s

Historical View

Product

Product development and business processes are the evolution of information punctuated by decisions.

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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The goal is to make decisions with: resources based

  • Confidence

  • Stakeholder buy-in

  • Measured expectations

  • Risk awareness

  • Efficient processes

  • Reports, documentation, and reuse

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Meeting this goal requires decision management resources based

Decision management isa process that ensures stakeholders’ perspectives and their uncertain knowledge and informationare effectively used in determiningwhat to do next to make thebest possible decisions with measured satisfaction and risk

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Symptoms of poor resources based

decision management

  • Projects are late or over budget

  • “Final” decisions are later revisited

  • Poor stakeholder buy-in

  • Decisions made by edict or the most forceful

  • Expertise is underutilized

  • Low confidence in decisions

  • Decisions are not justified, recorded, reused

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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QFD, other requirements development, and concept generation tools

Many decision support systems (dss) really only evaluate

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Accord tools TM – single window application that supports Decision Management

Incorporates

  • Uncertain Info.

  • Incomplete Info.

  • Evolving Info.

  • Distributed teams

  • Info. fusion

  • Stakeholder viewpoints

  • Graphical interface

  • Useful results

    • Satisfaction

    • Risk

    • What to do next

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Underlying model tools

  • Utility Theory augmented by Bayesian Model

  • Manages uncertain information from multiple stakeholders

  • Fuses distributed team information:

    • Satisfaction from multiple viewpoints

    • The value of information (risk and what to do next)

  • Patented algorithms

  • Easily imbedded in existing information management systems

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Criterion 1 tools

Criterion 2

Criterion 3

Best Estimate, Pessimistic, and Optimistic

C

C

K

K

Belief

Belief

Belief

W1 W2 W3

Weighted Values

Sum

Individual Satisfaction

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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1 tools

.9

.5

0.9

.8

0.8

.7

Criterion

Satisfaction

0.7

.6

0.6

.5

0.5

0.4

Belief

.4

0.3

0.2

.3

.2

0.1

.1

0

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1

Knowledge or certainty

Belief Map for qualitative evaluation

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Lower Limit tools

Most Likely

Upper Limit

For qualitative evaluation

Delighted

Disgusted

Expand/ Contract Scale

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Results (partial display) tools

Satisfaction (expectation)for each alternative from various viewpoints

Downside risk displayed as a potential reduction in expectation

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Case study, HP InkJet tools

  • BACKGROUND

  • An interdepartmental team, developing the next generation color inkjet printer cartridge

  • GOAL

  • Produce the best quality print and graphics, quickly and inexpensively

  • TASKS

  • Design the ink delivery system

  • Select the inks

  • Revisit the process as the delivery system matures

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Case study, HP InkJet tools(cont.)

  • CHALLENGES

  • 15 people on the team, a variety of departments

  • The best ink must be selected early in the process- a poor decision might result in additional project cycles, or in unacceptable product performance

  • System design requires optimization of numerous interacting and evolving properties of the ink and delivery components

  • The nature, meaning, and relative importance of these interactions is not well understood or represented

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Case study, HP InkJet tools(cont.)

  • PREVIOUS DECISION MAKING METHOD

  • A series of meetings among the different representative groups

  • Sometimes are unstructured, and sometimes not

  • NEW APPROACH

  • Robust Decisions’ training and companion software, Accord, were introduced to the group

    • Training is based on the book “12 Steps to Robust Decisions”

    • Accord is uniquely suited to teams managing uncertain, incomplete, and conflicting information

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Case study, HP InkJet tools(cont.)

  • RESULTS

  • Potential elimination of an ink testing iteration later in the project. Time savings: as much as five months

  • An estimated 30-50% increase in decision confidence

  • TEAMS ALSO REPORTED

  • Increased participant accountability, and process buy-in

  • Awareness of important issues and areas of disagreement

  • Consensus, with more certainty and rapidity

  • Decisions based on shared knowledge, rather than decisions made by a few experts

  • Better team visualization of individual and group thought processes

  • Improved alternative and criteria development

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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Customer results tools

  • Decreased time to market through lower risk of design cycle repetition

  • Increased probability of market success through:

    • Increased decision confidence

    • Managed risk and uncertainty

    • Identified areas for risk mitigation

    • Facilitated team consensus

    • Increased team accountability

    • Captured decisions for reuse

  • Large organizations behaving like small teams

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003


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A free license is available to educational institutions in trade for use feedback.

Contact

Dr. David Ullman

President

Robust Decisions, Inc.

Corvallis Oregon

541.758.5088

www.robustdecisions.com

ullman@robustdecisions.com

Copyright Robust Decisions Inc. 2003