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Senior Design: Issues of consulting, how to run a meeting, value stream maps


Senior Design: Issues of consulting, how to run a meeting, value stream maps Andrew Johnson Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Texas A&M University – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Senior Design: Issues of consulting, how to run a meeting, value stream maps

Senior Design Issues of consulting, how to run a
meeting, value stream maps
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Texas AM University
  • College Station, TX

Consulting and services
strategic consulting
solution consulting transformational consulting
technology consulting IT services and integration
Decision support v. decision automation
  • Decision support
  • Giving managers and executives the insight and
    information to make hard business decisions
  • Ad hoc, what-if, investigative analysis
  • Incremental development
  • Solve the problem, and the problem changes
  • Relatively inexpensive to design and build

Decision support v. decision automation
  • Decision automation
  • Hard-coding of a prescriptive model for some
    core business process Master Planning
  • Runs periodically to determine well-defined
    business metrics
  • Static problem and solution statement
  • Usually expensive to design, implement and change

The OR consulting value proposition
Youre not an expert in broadband hyperdrive
infrastructures, so how can you help your teams
  • Quantitative framework If you cant measure
    it, you cant manage it
  • Business process abstraction for decision making
    optimization, simulation and statistical
  • Confronting and taming complexity, uncertainty
    and chaos Too many choices, too little

The OR consulting process for decision support
How do I reduce inventory? How much should I
buy? When should I build a new production
compelling business questions
Models and prototypes for decision support
  • Insight
  • a wind tunnel for business test it before you
    build it
  • uncovering non-obvious relationships get
    surprised early
  • not just what and when, but also why
  • Collaboration
  • building analytical business models is a team
  • operational prototypes are rallying points for
    discussion, experimentation, assumption-testing,
    and validation
  • a concept document means something different to
    everybodya team can collectively get their mind
    around an operational model

Serious Play How the worlds best companies
simulate to innovate, Michael Schrage, Harvard
Business School Press (2000)
Models and prototypes for decision support
  • Analysis
  • dealing with complexity, uncertainty and chaos
  • charts, graphs and numbers to help people make

Evaluating clients
The client will be evaluating you, but you
should also be evaluating the client
  • Whos in charge, and who is paying the bills?
  • Does the client already know the answer before
    the right question is asked?
  • Whats the clients main concern the problem or
    the process?
  • Does the client want to be your partner or your

Designing successful OR consulting engagements
  • Know the engagement scope
  • What will be included in the engagement?
  • More importantly, what will not??!!
  • Scope Creep produces failed engagements,
    unhappy clients and hungry consultants
  • Know what you know, and what you dont know
  • Does this engagement use well-known technology
    and methodology? (And do I know how to do it?)
  • Or does it require inventing new ideas?

The Proposal
  • Why it is important
  • Sets everybodys expectations in writing
  • Defines the engagement scope
  • Specifies the completion criteria (when can I
  • Elements
  • Key assumptions and dependencies
  • Consultant and client responsibilities
  • Deliverable materials content, format, level of
  • Schedule for both client and consultant
  • Change control procedure

Practical OR Issues
  1. Too many OR projects end up solving the wrong
    problem. Why is that? And how can we avoid it?
  2. OR is blessed (cursed) by the ability to solve
    both strategic and operational business problems.
    Why should we recognize and characterize this
  3. OR projects are data-driven. IT projects are
    data-driven. Whats the difference?
  4. A successful OR project causes far-reaching
    ripples in an enterprise. Who in an organization
    is affected, directly and indirectly, by OR
    solutions? And why should we care?

Issue 1 Solving the right problem
  • In most IT projects, the objectives,
    requirements and deliverables are cast in stone
    before work begins.
  • In many Practical OR projects, determining the
    right objectives and requirements is part of the
    problem-solving process.
  • Solve the problem and the problem changes. Active
    modeling participation is an educational
    experience for the client. (Ah-ha moments alter
  • Scope creep the tension between doing whats
    expected and doing whats right.

Issue 2 Data IT vs. OR
  • For most OR projects, data means
  • data I need the right numbers to make
  • my model operate properly.
  • OR data
  • engineering vs. business
  • known vs. unknown
  • digital vs. virtual (e.g., promised)
  • The Killer level of data detail (what am I
    trying to model?)

Data the really hard part of OR consulting
  • Most IT projects are concerned with the form of
    data OR is about content
  • accuracy
  • level of detail
  • completeness
  • Define in the proposal the data the company will
    make available to you and the data you are
    responsible for gathering
  • Document in detail the data requirements
  • form and content of project data
  • solution scenarios for testing and validating
    application prototypes

Issue 3 Strategic vs. Operational
  • With minor modifications an OR model can often
    solve related strategic and operational variants
    of a business problem. (The technical difference
    is usually in the data.)
  • Example planning and scheduling
  • Conflicts and disagreements begin when
  • You dont know if you are solving the strategic
    or operational problem
  • You, the practitioner, thinks its strategic and
    the client thinks its operational, or vice
  • Its not documented

Strategic Operational
Purpose What to do Big capital investments Enterprise-wide strategy How to do it Problem solving in immediate time or space
Scope Enterprise-wide Touches many functions Local effects Focus on one or few functions
Model time horizon Years or months Varying-size time periods Weeks down to minutes Uniform time periods
Data detail Highly aggregated Many simplifying assumptions Disaggregated Perhaps a few short-cuts
Model technology Algorithmic E.g., optimization LP, some CP Heuristic Some LP, CP, heuristics
Constituency Executives, managers with strategic responsibilities People responsible for operational functions
Issue 4 OR-based decisions The Players
  • OR-based decisions (decisions) often have
    enterprise-wide implications and ramifications.
  • Many people can be involved and/or effected by
  • Hopefully the enterprise will win as the result
    of a good decision.
  • But some people will win, and some will probably

  • Who are the players involved/effected by
  • If you recognize and plan for these players,
    will it make you a better OR practitioner?

OR-based decisions The Players
As OR practitioners, why should we care about the
  • Increased credibility
  • Estimate project cost, time
  • Estimate ROI for client
  • Estimate chance of success

Decision Operator
Quick practical OR check-list
What is our last minute check-list before
talking to a prospective client about a
practical OR engagement?
  • listen, and
  • Its not just models, its
  • workflows
  • infrastructures
  • user interactions
  • cultural acceptance and integration
  • people, money and resources
  • change (most people dont like it)
  • Have a little fun

How to run a meeting
  • Most people dont like meetings. They say they
    are boring, go on too long, and dont get
    anything done. And often thats the truth. So to
    have a good meeting, you need to make it
    interesting, keep it on track, and make sure
    something gets done. Here are seven steps toward
    making your next meeting a success.
  • 1. Set a goal for the meeting. Be very clear
    about why youre having the meeting, and what
    needs to get done or be decided. Break that task
    into steps, or divide the discussion into
    sectionsthats the agenda for your meeting. At
    the start of the meeting say, this is our goal,
    and if we can get this done, the meeting will be
    a success. At the end of the meeting remind them
    that you achieved your goal. This lets everyone
    leave feeling successful, and theyll be glad to
    come to your next meeting.

How to run a meeting (cont.)
  • 2. Put decisions to the group. The participants
    own the meeting. Let them set the agenda before
    the meeting, or at least add to it when you
    begin. If decisions need to be made about the
    process (whether to end a discussion thats going
    too long, for example) then ask that question to
    the group.
  • 3. Stay on schedule. Remember that every minute a
    person spends in your meeting, they could be
    doing other things. Theyre with you because
    theyve decided your meeting is important, so
    treat them like their time is important. Start on
    time and end on time!

How to run a meeting (cont.)
  • 4. Pay attention to whats important. Set a
    certain amount of time for each item on the
    agenda, based on how important it is. If the
    group starts spending a lot of time on details,
    ask them Is this what we want to spend our time
    talking about? A lot of details can be worked
    out by individuals or committeesmeetings are for
    the decisions that need to involve the whole
  • 5. Keep the meeting on track. Your agenda is the
    tool you use to make sure youre on time and on
    the right topic. When side issues come up, help
    the group get back on track. If the issue sounds
    important, check with the group. Were talking
    about a new issueis this something important
    that we should take time to discuss?

How to run a meeting (cont.)
  • 6. Have good facilitation. The facilitator is the
    person who runs the meeting and acts on all the
    steps listed above. Its a big job, and it
    usually doesnt fit well with participating in
    the discussion. So if you need to have your views
    heard, let someone else run the meeting! Good
    facilitation doesnt just happenits a skill
    that comes with training and practice.
  • 7. Make sure people participate. People think a
    meeting is useful based on one simple thing
    whether or not they talked. So everybody should
    have a chance to share their ideas. Its okay to
    ask specific people what they think! You should
    also be prepared to gently remind people when
    theyre talking too much.

Update Report
  • Your update should have the following 8 sections
  • 1 What were our goals for this week?
  • 2 What did we accomplish this week?
  • 3 Why are numbers 1 and 2 different?
  • 4 What are my goals for next week?
  • 5 How does this fit in to my bigger picture? How
    does 4 fit into my longer term goals? (What are
    the longer term goals?) What deadlines are
    looming beyond the week horizon?
  • 6 What does the company expect from me this
  • 7 What do we need from _____ to achieve the
    goals we have set?
  • 8 What will we do or what can we do if we do not
    receive the things we need from ______

Manifold Process Flow Diagram
Value Stream Map
  • Value Stream Mapping is a Lean technique used to
    visualize and analyze all the actions
    (value-added and non-value added) of materials
    and information currently required to bring a
    product or service to a consumer.

Queue Block
Transport Block
Process Block
CT ?
BS ?
Res ?
Data Box
Sample Value Stream Map
Current State Future State
Value Stream Mapping
  • Software
  • Visio
  • Excel
  • Others available via the web

Its not enough to just identify the problem
  • To identify the future state you have to decide
    what to change
  • In order to decide what to change you need to
    estimate the impact of the change
  • This is an area where IE models help

Thank you for your attention
  • Good luck on your projects!