Business Operational Planning and Problem Solving Tools

Precursor: Basic Seven Problem Solving Techniques
• Check sheet • Pareto chart • Cause-and-effect diagram • Control charts • Histogram • Scatter diagram • Stratification

Usage: New Seven Planning Tools and Basic Seven Problem Solving Tools

Overview: Seven Management Planning Tools • Were conceptualised by a JUSE Team. • Roots in Operations Research work done after World War II • Aid in planning and managing complex projects. • Help teams to be more innovative and communicate information more effectively. .

Affinity Diagram • Devised by Jiro Kawakita in the 1960s. • Used to sort ideas and data.1. • Large numbers of ideas are sorted into groups for review and analysis. • Commonly used as starting point in project management. • Typically after a brainstorming exercise .

How: Affinity Diagram • • • • • • Create a small but effective CFT Clarify the point(issue) of meeting during brainstorming Record each idea on cards or notes No ambiguity Look for ideas that seem to be related Sort cards into groups until all cards have been used. .


• Also called as interrelationship diagram or digraph .2. • Generally. after Affinity diagram / Brainstorming . Relations Diagram • Used to clarify and understand complex relationships • Shows cause-and-effect relationships.

.How: Relationship Diagram • Define a Problem(Issue)Statement. • Analyze the diagram to find Key Ideas. • The number of arrows is only an indicator. Draw bold lines around the key ideas. Repeat the question for every idea. • Place Ideas – “Is this idea related to any others?” – “Does this idea cause or influence any other idea?” • Draw arrows from each idea to the ones it causes or influences. not an absolute rule. • Brainstorm ideas about the issue and write them on cards or notes.


• Specific information about the relationship. the roles played by various systems.3. Matrix Diagram • Shows the relationship between two. three or four groups of information. . such as its strength. • To control output performances through input performances.

How: Matrix Diagrams • Create a need based matrix • Assign unique symbols to represent the strength of the relationships • Arrive at evidence based Relationships .


• Help in achieving a group consensus • Help a team to focus on the best things to do. and ease of use.4. not everything they can do. service. Prioritization Matrix • Used to compare choices relative to criteria like price. .

• Approaches to identifying criteria. • Identify a list of unambiguous criteria. • Gather a CFT of necessary Expertise • Produce the list of items to be prioritized.How : Prioritization Matrix • Identify the overall objective. .

This gives the final prioritizing score for each item. . • For each item. add up all of the weighted scores.How : Prioritization Matrix Weighted Priority – Advanced Stages • Multiply each score by the number allocated to the appropriate criterion to get the weighted score for each item against each criterion. • The final list of prioritized items may be made clearer for communication and decision making by sorting it into priority order.


Tree Diagram • Starts with one item (problem/issue) statement that branches into two or more items. and so on. .5. • Decision trees are commonly used in operation research to help identify a strategy most likely to reach a goal. • It looks like a tree. with trunk and multiple branches. • Each move takes a step towards specifics from generalities.

Do a “necessary and sufficient” check. • Do not stop until you reach fundamental elements.How: Tree Diagram • • • • • Vertical Tree or Horizontal Tree. . Define and Brainstorm all possible answers. Each of the new idea statements now becomes the sub goal. Show links between the tiers with arrows.


6. • Countermeasures are developed to prevent or offset those problems. • FMEA correlation with PDPC and Prioritization matrix . Process Decision Program Chart • Systematically identifies what might go wrong in a plan under development.

• For each task on the fundamental level. .How: PDPC • Obtain or develop a tree diagram of the proposed plan. brainstorm what could go wrong. • For each potential problem. brainstorm possible countermeasures. • Review all the potential problems and eliminate any that are improbable or whose consequences would be insignificant. • Decide how practical each countermeasure is.


• It acts as the basis both for preparation of a schedule. and of resource planning. It allows you to monitor achievement of project goals. . • During management of a project. Arrow Diagram or CPM • CPM helps you to plan all tasks that must be completed as part of a project.7.

• Determine the correct sequence of the tasks. label all events in sequence with event numbers in the circles. – Time flow.How: Arrow Diagram or CPM • List all the necessary tasks in the project or process. . Events & Dummies • When the network is correct. • Diagram the network of tasks.

. • Calculate the earliest and latest times for each task. – Calculate the length of the critical path: the sum of all the task times on the path. • Determine the “critical path”. – The longest path from the beginning to the end of the project. – Mark the critical path with a bold line or colour.How: Arrow Diagram or CPM • Detailed CPM: Determine task times (the best estimate of the time in std units). • Calculate slack times for each task.


Exercise on CPM S. B 5 D A 2 E D 1 F C 2 G B 5 .No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Time in Activity Predecessors Days A 2 B 3 C A.

Keys to Success of 7 M Planning Tools Mental Attitudes .Eagerness to solve the problem .Keen awareness to the actual problem .Be highly motivated for the challenge Four Specific Keys • Understand the problem • Select the right tool for the job • Obtain appropriate verbal data • Interpret and Act for results .

Benefits of 7 M Planning Tools • Provide Training in Thinking • Raise People’s Problem Solving Confidence • Pictorial Representation of Data .