Managing Change with Business Process Simulation

Overview

As more and more firms embrace information technologies to manage change, one specific technology is emerging as a vehicle by which change can be responsibly and profitably managed. That technology is business process simulation. In Managing Change with Business Process Simulation, David Profozich presents this exciting technology in an entertaining and very understandable way. He begins by introducing the central concepts of business process simulation through a few business stories that allow you to discover ...
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Overview

As more and more firms embrace information technologies to manage change, one specific technology is emerging as a vehicle by which change can be responsibly and profitably managed. That technology is business process simulation. In Managing Change with Business Process Simulation, David Profozich presents this exciting technology in an entertaining and very understandable way. He begins by introducing the central concepts of business process simulation through a few business stories that allow you to discover its value. He follows up with a concise summary of how the value of business process simulation can be expressed in terms of a positive return on investment.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780139058370
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/5/1997
  • Edition number: 448
  • Pages: 199
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE: Since the beginning of time, man has sought to change the world for the better. However, as our technology has advanced, our systems have become more complex, and the consequences of change have become more difficult to analyze. Additionally, many of today's ideas for changing and improving the world are both time consuming and costly to implement. As a result, we require reliable and accurate methods for testing out these ideas before making a large investment in time and money. This is the case whether we are trying to design better transportation, communication, or manufacturing systems—or trying to find better ways to deliver a service.

Simulation is a tool that we use to predict performance and to understand the impact of change. It offers many important and well- recognized benefits. It allows us to test out system designs before they are built, and it reduces the risk and time associated with implementing new systems or changing existing ones. To those familiar with the technology, it is inconceivable that any significant new system would be designed and built, or any existing system significantly modified, without the benefit of simulation.

Although its use has grown over the past 40 years, major investments still are being made in new or modified systems without benefiting from the predictive power of simulation. Sometimes these systems lack the initial capacity that their designers intended, and they must be modified after they are built. Certainly this is costly and time consuming and can cause significant delays in bringing new systems online. However, a more common occurrence—often done unconsciously to avoid the risk and cost ofhaving too little capacity—is to design systems with excess capacity. Although these oversized systems initially perform up to specification, they make inefficient use of resources and are far more costly than they need to be. A simulation study often can save significant capital resources by removing the risk factor and allowing the designers to size the system properly and uniformly to meet the requirements. The book on simulation that you are holding has been in the making for many years. Its genesis goes back 40 years, before Dave Profozich, the author of this book, became an integral part of this growing simulation industry. The foundations were laid when the first researchers and users developed and applied simulation technology to predict the performance of their new or changed systems. Since then, thousands of researchers, developers, and (most importantly) talented users have been weaving together a fabric of knowledge, tools, and application experiences bringing this technology to the point where it is poised for sustained and rapid growth into the broad-base market. Up until now, however, this fabric has lacked one very important thread—a book that explains the concepts, benefits, and methods of this emerging technology in a clear and concise way to the broad base of nontechnical readers. That is precisely the role of this book.

It is only appropriate that Dave Profozich be the one to add this important thread to the simulation technology fabric. He has spent over a decade analyzing the simulation market and communicating the benefits of this technology to an ever-expanding audience. He is well acquainted with simulation users in a broad cross section of industries and applications. He is an excellent communicator and spokesman for the technology. In addition, he has been an integral part of the growth and success of this industry. It is also only appropriate that this book be written at this time. Simulation tools have evolved over the past 40 years from rudimentary language-based modeling systems to very powerful and flexible graphics-based simulation and animation environments. The tools are becoming dramatically easier to learn and use, thereby lowering the barrier to new users. Ease of use, along with the widespread availability of powerful personal computers, has led to the rapid expansion of simulation technology in enterprises throughout the world.

The application domain of simulation also is expanding rapidly. In the past, the most dramatic changes in enterprises occurred on the factory floor. Today, change is occurring in all parts of an enterprise. Entire business processes are being revamped to leverage the explosion in communication and computer technologies. People throughout the enterprise are facing the challenge of predicting the performance of new and changing systems.

Dave's purpose here is to bridge the gap between the simulation-specialist and the many pragmatic, nontechnical analysts who need to understand and use this technology to solve real problems. He begins by explaining the core concepts of simulation—including random processes and abstract models—in terms of simple everyday experiences. He then draws on his own vast experience in the industry to discuss in detail the compelling benefits of simulation technology.

Dave focuses next on the transition of simulation from a highly specialized technology to one that is widely used by business analysts and engineers as part of their standard suite of tools. He analyzes the barriers that this technology presents to the pragmatic, nontechnical user and shows how these barriers are falling to the rapid pace of simulation-technology development. He supplements his analysis with personal testimonials from managers and engineers in some of the leading companies throughout the world. He also shows how this technology relates to and augments neighboring technologies, such as optimization, spreadsheets, and static flowcharts.

In closing, he presents a strategy for implementing simulation and offers a vision for the future of the market. His suggested implementation strategy is founded on observations of many successes and failures over the years. As a seasoned champion of this technology, he understands its limits as well as the keys to making it successful in a wide range of applications and enterprises.

This book about the emergence of simulation technology into the mass market is in itself an important element in that emergence. Dave brings simulation technology to the pragmatic, nontechnical user in a way that is understandable and compelling. In doing so, he is not only describing the emergence of simulation technology, but he is also playing a critical role in the emergence that he describes.



C. Dennis Pegden CEO/President, Systems Modeling Corporation
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction 1
1 Battling a Random World 9
2 Moving from "As-Is" to "To-Be" 25
3 The Value of Simulation 47
4 Simulation: A Technology for the Mainstream 69
5 Competing and Neighboring Technologies 103
6 A Strategy for Implementing Simulation 133
7 Market Trends and the Future of Simulation 163
References 189
Index 191
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Preface

PREFACE: Since the beginning of time, man has sought to change the world for the better. However, as our technology has advanced, our systems have become more complex, and the consequences of change have become more difficult to analyze. Additionally, many of today's ideas for changing and improving the world are both time consuming and costly to implement. As a result, we require reliable and accurate methods for testing out these ideas before making a large investment in time and money. This is the case whether we are trying to design better transportation, communication, or manufacturing systems—or trying to find better ways to deliver a service.

Simulation is a tool that we use to predict performance and to understand the impact of change. It offers many important and well- recognized benefits. It allows us to test out system designs before they are built, and it reduces the risk and time associated with implementing new systems or changing existing ones. To those familiar with the technology, it is inconceivable that any significant new system would be designed and built, or any existing system significantly modified, without the benefit of simulation.

Although its use has grown over the past 40 years, major investments still are being made in new or modified systems without benefiting from the predictive power of simulation. Sometimes these systems lack the initial capacity that their designers intended, and they must be modified after they are built. Certainly this is costly and time consuming and can cause significant delays in bringing new systems online. However, a more common occurrence—often done unconsciously to avoid the risk and costofhaving too little capacity—is to design systems with excess capacity. Although these oversized systems initially perform up to specification, they make inefficient use of resources and are far more costly than they need to be. A simulation study often can save significant capital resources by removing the risk factor and allowing the designers to size the system properly and uniformly to meet the requirements. The book on simulation that you are holding has been in the making for many years. Its genesis goes back 40 years, before Dave Profozich, the author of this book, became an integral part of this growing simulation industry. The foundations were laid when the first researchers and users developed and applied simulation technology to predict the performance of their new or changed systems. Since then, thousands of researchers, developers, and (most importantly) talented users have been weaving together a fabric of knowledge, tools, and application experiences bringing this technology to the point where it is poised for sustained and rapid growth into the broad-base market. Up until now, however, this fabric has lacked one very important thread—a book that explains the concepts, benefits, and methods of this emerging technology in a clear and concise way to the broad base of nontechnical readers. That is precisely the role of this book.

It is only appropriate that Dave Profozich be the one to add this important thread to the simulation technology fabric. He has spent over a decade analyzing the simulation market and communicating the benefits of this technology to an ever-expanding audience. He is well acquainted with simulation users in a broad cross section of industries and applications. He is an excellent communicator and spokesman for the technology. In addition, he has been an integral part of the growth and success of this industry. It is also only appropriate that this book be written at this time. Simulation tools have evolved over the past 40 years from rudimentary language-based modeling systems to very powerful and flexible graphics-based simulation and animation environments. The tools are becoming dramatically easier to learn and use, thereby lowering the barrier to new users. Ease of use, along with the widespread availability of powerful personal computers, has led to the rapid expansion of simulation technology in enterprises throughout the world.

The application domain of simulation also is expanding rapidly. In the past, the most dramatic changes in enterprises occurred on the factory floor. Today, change is occurring in all parts of an enterprise. Entire business processes are being revamped to leverage the explosion in communication and computer technologies. People throughout the enterprise are facing the challenge of predicting the performance of new and changing systems.

Dave's purpose here is to bridge the gap between the simulation-specialist and the many pragmatic, nontechnical analysts who need to understand and use this technology to solve real problems. He begins by explaining the core concepts of simulation—including random processes and abstract models—in terms of simple everyday experiences. He then draws on his own vast experience in the industry to discuss in detail the compelling benefits of simulation technology.

Dave focuses next on the transition of simulation from a highly specialized technology to one that is widely used by business analysts and engineers as part of their standard suite of tools. He analyzes the barriers that this technology presents to the pragmatic, nontechnical user and shows how these barriers are falling to the rapid pace of simulation-technology development. He supplements his analysis with personal testimonials from managers and engineers in some of the leading companies throughout the world. He also shows how this technology relates to and augments neighboring technologies, such as optimization, spreadsheets, and static flowcharts.

In closing, he presents a strategy for implementing simulation and offers a vision for the future of the market. His suggested implementation strategy is founded on observations of many successes and failures over the years. As a seasoned champion of this technology, he understands its limits as well as the keys to making it successful in a wide range of applications and enterprises.

This book about the emergence of simulation technology into the mass market is in itself an important element in that emergence. Dave brings simulation technology to the pragmatic, nontechnical user in a way that is understandable and compelling. In doing so, he is not only describing the emergence of simulation technology, but he is also playing a critical role in the emergence that he describes.



C. Dennis Pegden CEO/President, Systems Modeling Corporation
Read More Show Less

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