Management Consulting/Management of Machines and Materials
Please provide the answers to the following questions.
1. Construct an example and show how you can use the knowledge of slacks for better project management.
2. What is the fundamental difference between the use of acceptance sampling plans and process control charts?
3. Write short notes on the following:
a) Alternative Capacity Sources.
b) Taxonomy of waste.
4. How does producibility affect product selection
HERE IS SOME SOME USEFUL MATERIAL.
SOME ANSWERS HELD BACK DUE TO SPACE CONSTRAINT.
PLEASE FORWARD THESE BALANCE QUESTIONS TO MY EMAIL ID
I will send the balance asap.
2. a) Define job design. How has management viewed job design since the industrial
b) List the important factors that must be addressed in job design and briefly discuss the
importance of each one.
What is "job design"?
Job design refers to the way that a set of tasks, or an entire job, is organized. Job design helps to determine:
what tasks are done,
how the tasks are done,
how many tasks are done, and
in what order the tasks are done.
It takes into account all factors which affect the work, and organizes the content and tasks so that the whole job is less likely to be a risk to the employee. Job design involves administrative areas such as:
work breaks, and
A well designed job will encourage a variety of 'good' body positions, have reasonable strength requirements, require a reasonable amount of mental activity, and help foster feelings of achievement and self-esteem.
How can job design help with the organization of work?
Job design principles can address problems such as:
limited control over work,
delays in filling vacant positions,
excessive working hours, and
limited understanding of the whole job process.
Job design is sometimes considered as a way to help deal with stress in the workplace.
Is there a difference between job design and workplace design?
Job design and workplace design are often used interchangeably because both contribute to keep the physical requirements of a job reasonable.
Job design refers to administrative changes that can help improve working conditions.
In comparison, workplace design concentrates on dealing with the workstation, the tools, and the body position that all influence the way a person does his or her work. Good workplace design reduces static positions, repetitive motions and awkward body positions.
What are features of "good" job design?
Good job design accommodates employees' mental and physical characteristics by paying attention to:
muscular energy such as work/rest schedules or pace of work, and
mental energy such as boring versus extremely difficult tasks.
Good job design:
allows for employee input. Employees should have the option to vary activities according to personal needs, work habits, and the circumstances in the workplace.
gives employees a sense of accomplishment.
includes training so employees know what tasks to do and how to do them properly.
provides good work/rest schedules.
allows for an adjustment period for physically demanding jobs.
provides feedback to the employees about their performance.
minimizes energy expenditure and force requirements.
balances static and dynamic work.
Job design is an ongoing process. The goal is to make adjustments as conditions or tasks change within the workplace.
What are common approaches to job design?
Achieving good job design involves administrative practices that determine what the employee does, for how long, where, and when as well as giving the employees choice where ever possible. In job design, you may choose to examine the various tasks of an individual job or the design of a group of jobs.
Approaches to job design include:
Job Enlargement: Job enlargement changes the jobs to include more and/or different tasks. Job enlargement should add interest to the work but may or may not give employees more responsibility.
Job Rotation: Job rotation moves employees from one task to another. It distributes the group tasks among a number of employees.
Job Enrichment: Job enrichment allows employees to assume more responsibility, accountability, and independence when learning new tasks or to allow for greater participation and new opportunities.
Work Design (Job Engineering): Work design allows employees to see how the work methods, layout and handling procedures link together as well as the interaction between people and machines.
What are the overall goals of job design?
Goals can be in many difference areas and include:
To alleviate boredom, avoid both excessive static body positions and repetitive movements. Design jobs to have a variety of tasks that require changes in body position, muscles used, and mental activities.
Two methods are job enlargement and job rotation. For example, if an employee normally assembles parts, the job may be enlarged to include new tasks such as work planning, inspection / quality control, or maintenance. Alternatively, the tasks may include working in the same department, but changing tasks every hour. For example, in a laundry facility employees can rotate between various stations (sorting, washer, dryer, iron, etc) as long as it provides for a change in physical or mental expenditure.
Work Breaks / Rest Breaks
Rest breaks help alleviate the problems of unavoidable repetitive movements or static body positions. More frequent but shorter breaks (sometimes called "micro breaks") are sometimes preferable to fewer long breaks.
During rest breaks, encourage employees to change body position and to exercise. It is important that employees stretch and use different muscle groups. If the employee has been very active, a rest break should include a stationary activity or stretching.
Allowance for an Adjustment Period
When work demands physical effort, have an adjustment period for new employees and for all employees after holidays, layoffs, or illnesses. Allow time to become accustomed to the physical demands of work by gradually "getting in shape." Employees who work in extreme hot or cold conditions also need time to acclimatize.
Training in correct work procedures and equipment operation is needed so that employees understand what is expected of them and how to work safely. Training should be organized, consistent and ongoing. It may occur in a classroom or on the job.
Vary Mental Activities
Tasks should be coordinated so that they are balanced during the day for the individual employee as well as balanced among a group of employees. You may want to allow the employee some degree of choice as to what types of mental tasks they want to do and when. This choice will allow the employee to do tasks when best suited to their 'alertness' patterns during the day. Some people may prefer routine tasks in the morning (such as checklists or filling in forms) and save tasks such as problem solving until the afternoon, or vice versa.
BEFORE A JOB DESIGN IS DONE,
A JOB ANALYSIS SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT.
Job Analysis is a process to identify and determine in detail the particular job duties and requirements and the relative importance of these duties for a given job. Job Analysis is a process where judgements are made about data collected on a job.
There are two key elements of a job analysis:
1. Identification of major job requirements (MJRs) which are the most important duties and responsibilities of the position to be filled. They are the main purpose or primary reasons the position exists. The primary source of MJRs is the most current, official position description.
2. Identification of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) required to accomplish each MJR and the quality level and amount of the KSAs needed. Most job analyses deal with KSAs that are measurable, that can be documented, and produce meaningful differences between candidates. Typically, possession of KSAs is demonstrated by experience, education, or training. The goal of KSAs is to identify those candidates who are potentially best qualified to perform the position to be filled; they are most useful when they provide meaningful distinctions among qualified candidates. Source documents for KSAs may be the position description, HRM standard qualifications and job classification standards.
Job Analysis should collect information on the following areas:
Duties and Tasks The basic unit of a job is the performance of specific tasks and duties. Information to be collected about these items may include: frequency, duration, effort, skill, complexity, equipment, standards, etc.
Environment This may have a significant impact on the physical requirements to be able to perform a job. The work environment may include unpleasant conditions such as offensive odors and temperature extremes. There may also be definite risks to the incumbent such as noxious fumes, radioactive substances, hostile and aggressive people, and dangerous explosives.
Tools and Equipment Some duties and tasks are performed using specific equipment and tools. Equipment may include protective clothing. These items need to be specified in a Job Analysis.
Relationships Supervision given and received. Relationships with internal or external people.
Requirements The knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSA's) required to perform the job. While an incumbent may have higher KSA's than those required for the job, a Job Analysis typically only states the minimum requirements to perform the job.
What does or should the person do?
What knowledge, skill, and abilities does it take to perform this job?
What is the result of the person performing the job?
How does this job fit in with other jobs in the organization?
What is the jobs contribution toward the organizations goals?
The process may seek to obtain information about the:
context within which the job exists
Worker Functions. The relationship of the worker to data, people, and things.
Work Fields. The techniques used to complete the tasks of the job. Over 100 such fields have been identified. This descriptor also includes the machines, tools, equipment, and work aids that are used in the job.
Materials, Products, Subject Matter, and/or Services. The outcomes of the job or the purpose of performing the job.
Worker Traits. The aptitudes, educational and vocational training, and personal traits required of the worker.
Physical Demands. Job requirements such as strength, observation, and talking. This descriptor also includes the physical environment of the work.
experience levels required
To properly perform a job analysis, the individual performing the job should be observed and interviewed. In addition, co-workers and other individuals with similar and related jobs should be interviewed. It is imperative that job tasks be recorded with videotape, pictures, and/or sketches. Also, if the job is performed in a sequence, the work completed before and after the particular job should be documented.
What are the job duties necessary for job performance? The number of job duties is usually less than ten essential activities, which are necessary to the job.
B. Job Setting
What equipment is used in the work setting?
How is the workstation arranged?
How is the work organized?
3. Work Activities
What worker movements are necessary to accomplish the job? If there is another way to perform a job function, note this (lifting with an assistive device, typing with an alternative input device).
What are the subject's anthropometric data? Document the subject's stature; eye, shoulder, and knee height; arm reach; leg length; and waist level. Anthropometric data are used to specify appropriate reach and space requirements for various populations.
What types of personal protective equipment (PPE) are used? Document any gloves, arm guards, hardhats, safety glasses, respirators, or shoes.
Are the space dimensions within the workstation sufficient? The top of the computer monitor should be level with the operator's eyes and positioned at a comfortable viewing distance. (This is task specific.) Repositioning with an adjustable monitor arm is an option. The monitor should be placed directly in front of the chair and over the center of the workstation knee well. Screen height should be between 33 and 42 inches, the angle of the monitor screen should be between 0 and 7 degrees, and viewing distance should be between 18 and 28 inches.
Is glare diffused with panel diffusers and/or glare screens? Task lighting with a dimmer control should help, and adjustable blinds can taper excessive sunlight.
Is the pace setting appropriate? Document what body parts remain idle and what body parts are in steady motion.
Are the "proper" tools available? Tools that are pneumatic; tools that can be used in either hand; tools with pistol shaped handles for power grips; tools with round edges, padded handles, spring activation, and space between closed handles will reduce palm stress and grip force. Newer tools equipped with tool wraps and tool balancers/positioners are also helpful.
Is traffic flow designed to most effectively meet the needs of workers, contractors, and customers? Document the most frequently traveled areas and whether goods are stored in an accessible place.
Is anti-fatigue matting available in areas where individuals must stand for long periods of time? If available, document whether the matting is properly fixed to the floor.
Is a preventive maintenance program in place for all equipment?
4. Health Care
Are laundry and food carts pushed rather than pulled? Do carts have an oval or round push bar around waist height? Are powered push/pull devices available for use with beds and heavy or multiple carts? Some manufactures have a motorized option available on a hospital bed.
Have job task analysis been performed to identify awkward postures and motions in all jobs? Examination of past injury reports can identify areas of concern to address first. Look for tasks involving reaching, bending, prolonged static postures, forceful exertions, and heavy lifting.
Does the job include repeated and sustained exertions? Document whether the job entails stagnant postures for prolonged periods, repetitive motions, and whole body exertions (lifts, pushes, pulls, etc.).
What are the general environmental factors? Document noise levels, ventilation, flooring material, lighting, air quality, and temperature variations, specifically when the worker is exposed to temperatures greater than 75 degrees or less than 50 degrees.
Are extra electrical outlets for workers using powered assistive technology available?
Are walkways blocked? Obstructed walkways should be opened to eliminate the potential for trips and falls. At least one clear path of travel (without stairs) at least 36 inches wide, except for a minimum of 60 inches in two-way halls and 32 inches through doorways should be provided. Allow a minimum of 60 inches of clear, level floor space in front of and behind a door and 18 inches on the latch side of the door.
Are proper treads, handrails, and detectable warnings installed?
Have changes in floor level been identified with visual and texture contrast?
Are door closers adjusted so that from an open position of 70 degrees, the door will take at least 3 seconds to move to a point 3 inches from the latch? (This is measured to the leading edge of the door.)
Do doorways provide at least 32 inches of level clearance?
Do the inside and outside of doors provide 60 inches of clear floor space and 18 inches to the latch side?
Are materials stored in an accessible area, between 15 inches and 48 inches above the floor?
Are hard-to-reach materials labeled? Materials should have visible labels and color codes.
Are electrical outlets accessible? Electrical outlets should be provided at least 15 inches above the floor.
Are items placed in the most "accessible" place possible? Position storage for pushing rather than pulling, pulling rather than carrying, carrying rather than lowering, and lowering rather than lifting. Make storage available for intermediate transporting and transferring of materials.
Are accessible drinking fountains provided?
Are employees properly trained in ergonomic principles? Training should include proper lifting techniques, adequate maintenance and correct equipment use, and neutral postures.
Are job tasks varied? An individual should alter positions every 45 minutes, e.g., distribute tasks between right and left hands, alternate between intensive fine motor and gross motor manipulation, and change between sitting and standing.
SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
Approaches to Job Design USING SOCIO TECHNICAL SYSTEMS
There are three important approaches to job design, viz.,
Human approach and
The Job characteristic approach.
The most important single element in the Engineering approaches, proposed by FW Taylor and others, was the task idea, The work of every workman is fully planned out by the management at least one day in advance and each man receives in most cases complete written instructions, describing in detail the task which he is to accomplish . . . This task specifies not only what is to be done but how it is to be done and the exact time allowed for doing it. The principles offered by scientific management to job design can be summarised thus:
l Work should be scientifically studied. As advocated fragmentation and routinisation of work to reap the advantages of specialisation.
l Work should be arranged so that workers can be efficient.
l Employees selected for work should be matched to the demands of the job.
l Employees should be trained to perform the job.
l Monetary compensation should be used to reward successful performance of the job.
These principles to job design seem to be quite rational and appealing because they point towards increased organisational performance. Specialisation and routinisation over a period of time result in job incumbents becoming experts rather quickly, leading to higher levels of output. Despite the assumed gains in efficiency, behavioural scientists have found that some job incumbents dislike specialised and routine jobs.
Human Relations Approach
The human relations approach recognised the need to design jobs in an interesting manner. In the past two decades much work has been directed to changing jobs so that job incumbents can satisfy their needs for growth, recognition and responsibilility, enhancing need satisfaction through what is called job enrichment. One widely publicised approach to job enrichment uses what is called job characteristics model and this has been explained separately in the ensuing section.
Two types of factors, viz. (i) motivators like achievements, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement and growth and (ii) hygiene factors (which merely maintain the employee on the job and in the organization) like working conditions, organisational policies, inter-personnel relations, pay and job security. The employee is dissatisfied with the job if maintenance factors to the required degree are not introduced into the job. But, the employee may not be satisfied even if the required maintenance factors are provided. The employee will be satisfied with his job and he will be more productive if motivators are introduced into the job content. As such, he asserts that the job designer has to introduce hygienic factors adequately to reduce dissatisfaction and build motivating factors. Thus, THE emphasis is on the psychological needs of the employees in designing jobs.
The Job Characteristics Approach
The Job Characteristics Theory states that employees will work hard when they are rewarded for the work they do and when the work gives them satisfaction. Hence, they suggest that motivation, satisfaction and performance should be integrated in the job design. According to this approach, any job can be described in terms of five core job dimensions which are defined as follows:
(a) Skill variety: The degree to which the job requires that workers use a variety of different activities, talents and skills in order to successfully complete the job requirements.
(b) Task identity: The degree to which the job allows workers to complete whole tasks from start to finish, rather than disjointed portions of the job.
(c) Task significance: The degree to which the job significantly impacts the lives of others both within and outside the workplace.
(d) Autonomy: The degree to which the job allows workers freedom in planning and scheduling and the methods used to complete the job.
(e) Feedback: The degree to which the job itself provides workers with clear, direct and understandable knowledge of their performance.
All of the job dimensions impact workers psychologically. The first three dimensions affect whether or not workers view their job as meaningful. Autonomy determines the extent of responsibility workers feel. Feedback allows for feelings of satisfaction for a job well done by providing knowledge of results.
The core job dimensions can be combined into a single predictive index called the Motivating Potential Score. Its computation is as follows:
Motivating Skill variety + Task identity + Task significance
potential = x Autonomy x Feedback
Jobs that are high on motivating potential must be high at least in one of the three factors that lead to meaningful work and must be high in both autonomy and feedback and vice versa. These three critical psychological states lead to the outcome such as (a) high internal work motivation, (b) high growth satisfaction, (c) high quality work performance, (d) high general job satisfaction, (e) high work effectiveness and (f) low absenteeism and turnover . The model says that internal rewards are obtained by an individual when he learns that he personally has performed well on a task that he cares about.
3. What do you understand by slack? Construct an example and show how you can use the knowledge of slacks for better project management.
What is slack in project management
Slack In project management, float or slack is the amount of time that a task in a project network can be delayed without causing a delay to: subsequent tasks ("free float") project completion date ("total float")
In project management, float or slack is the amount of time that a task in a project network can be delayed without causing a delay to:
subsequent tasks ("free float")
project completion date ("total float")
An activity on critical path has "zero free float", but activity that has zero free float might not be on the critical path. Total float is associated with the path. If a project network chart/diagram has 4 non-critical paths then that project would have 4 total float values. The total float of a path is the combined free float values of all activities in a path.
The total float represents the schedule flexibility and can also be measured by subtracting early dates from late dates of path completion. Float is core to critical path method, with the total floats of noncritical activities key to computing the critical path drag of an activity, i.e., the amount of time it is adding to the project's duration.
Consider the process of replacing a broken pane of glass in the window of your home. There are various component activities involved in the project as a whole; obtaining the glass and putty, installing the new glass, choosing the paint, obtaining a tin once it has set, wiping the new glass free of finger smears etc.
Some of these activities can run concurrently e.g. obtaining the glass, obtaining the putty, choosing the paint etc., while others are consecutive e.g. the paint cannot be bought until it has been chosen, the new window cannot be painted until the window is installed and the new putty has set. Delaying the acquisition of the glass is likely to delay the entire project - this activity will be on the critical path and have no float, of any sort, attached to it and hence it is a 'critical activity'. A relatively short delay in the purchase of the paint may not automatically hold up the entire project as there is still some waiting time for the new putty to dry before it can be painted anyway - there will be some 'free float' attached to the activity of purchasing the paint and hence it is not a critical activity. However a delay in choosing the paint in turn inevitably delays buying the paint which, although it may not subsequently mean any delay to the entire project, does mean that choosing the paint has no 'free float' attached to it - despite having no free float of its own the choosing of the paint is involved with a path through the network which does have 'total float'.
Find slack (float) in your schedule
Slack is the amount of time that a task can slip before it affects another task or the project's finish date. Use the Early Start, Early Finish, Late Start, Late Finish, Start Slack, and Finish Slack fields to analyze project schedule delays and find available slack in your schedule.
Note Slack is also generally called "float" in project management circles.
Learn about slack (float)
The amount of slack in your schedule indicates how long tasks can be delayed before other tasks or the project finish date are affected. If you know where slack occurs in your schedule, you can move tasks when certain phases of the schedule have no slack and other phases have too much.
Free slack is the amount of time a task can be delayed before its successor task is delayed. Use the Free Slack field to determine whether a task has any time available for a delay. This can be useful if a resource needs more time on a task, or if you want to assign a resource to another task. You can also use the Free Slack field to determine how to recover a schedule that is slipping.
Total slack is the amount of time a task can be delayed before the project finish date is delayed. Total slack can be positive or negative. If total slack is a positive number, it indicates the amount of time that the task can be delayed without delaying the project finish date. If total slack is a negative number, it indicates the amount of time that must be saved so that the project finish date is not delayed. Negative slack indicates that there is not enough time scheduled for the task and is usually caused by constraint dates.
By default and by definition, a task with 0 slack is considered a critical task. If a critical task is delayed, the project finish date is also delayed.
If you know where slack occurs in your schedule, you can move tasks when certain phases of the schedule have no slack and other phases have too much.
Slack values may also indicate a schedule inconsistency. For example, a negative slack value occurs when one task has a finish-to-start dependency with a successor task, but the successor task has a Must Start On constraint that is earlier than the end of the first task. Negative slack can also occur when a task is scheduled to finish after its deadline date.
Add the Early Start, Early Finish, Late Start, and Late Finish fields to a task view to analyze delays and find any available slack time in your schedule.
Early Start and Early Finish fields
When you first create a task, its early start and early finish dates are the same as the scheduled start and finish dates. As you link the task to predecessor and successor tasks and apply any date constraints, the early start and early finish dates are calculated as the earliest possible dates this task could start and finish if all predecessors and successors also start and finish on their respective early start and early finish dates. If there is a leveling delay on the task, this delay is also figured into the early start and finish dates. These calculations are based on a fixed duration.
Late Start and Late Finish fields
When you first create a task, its late finish date is the same as the project finish date, and its late start date is calculated as the project finish date minus the task duration. As you link the task to predecessors and successors and apply any other constraints, Project calculates the late start date as the last possible date this task could be started if all predecessor and successor tasks also start and finish on their late start and late finish dates.
Likewise, the late finish date is calculated as the latest possible date this task could finish if all predecessor and successor tasks also start and finish on their late start and late finish dates. If there is a leveling delay on successor tasks, this delay is also figured into the date in the Late Start and Late Finish fields. These calculations are based on a fixed duration.
Use deadlines to create slack (float)
In Microsoft Office Project 2007, you can set deadlines for a task. Deadlines affect the calculation of late finish dates, the backward pass, and the total slack of a task.
The deadline usually sets the late finish for a task and therefore affects the backward pass. The following cases describe the exceptions to this rule:
If a task also has a Must Start On (MSO) or Must Finish On (MFO) constraint and you have chosen to honor constraint dates, the late finish equals the early finish.
If the late start minus the lag is earlier than the deadline for one of the task's successors, the late finish equals that successor task's late start minus the lag.
If a task also has a Start No Later Than (SNLT) or Finish No Later Than (FNLT) constraint, late finish is the earliest of the Early Finish, Deadline, and any successor's Late Start field minus the lag.
Other task constraints on a task with a deadline might also affect late start or early start dates. For example, a task's late start date plus its duration might not necessarily equal its late finish date.
Tasks with As Late As Possible (ALAP) constraints will typically finish on the deadline date, but predecessor tasks might push a task beyond its deadline. In that case, Office Project 2007 displays an indicator that the deadline is violated.
When you schedule a project from the finish date, deadlines also affect the late finish of the task. Even though a task is usually scheduled to finish on the deadline date, a predecessor with an MSO constraint, for example, can push a task beyond its deadline and Office Project 2007 displays an indicator that the deadline is violated.
Watch this video Button image Slack
The Start Slack field contains the duration representing the difference between the early start and late start dates. The Finish Slack field contains the duration representing the difference between the early finish and late finish dates. The smaller of the start slack and finish slack amounts determines the amount of free slack available, that is, the amount of time a task can be delayed without affecting the start date of a successor task.
If a task has an actual start date and a deadline, the start slack is 0 and the finish slack is the difference between the task's finish date and deadline date.
Start slack is useful when leveling projects scheduled from the finish date. Finish slack is useful when leveling projects scheduled from the start date.