Human Performance in Planning and Scheduling

Human Performance in Planning and Scheduling

Human Performance in Planning and Scheduling

Human Performance in Planning and Scheduling


International case studies and significant research is shown to prove that despite bringing computer-based programs into industry, the human scheduler has the pivotal role to play.


Major changes have taken place in organisations across all business and industrial sectors since the early 1980s-downsizing, business process re-engineering, the introduction of new process and information technologies, and globalisation, to name but a few. Change appears ever present. Yet businesses must still deliver their products and services to the marketplace. Our aim in bringing this book together has been to present a fundamental re-examination of the core planning and scheduling processes that make this happen.

The area has traditionally been viewed as primarily technical and largely 'solved'. the reality, as this book testifies, is quite different. Responsive businesses continue to rely on effective planning, scheduling and control processes to compete in tough marketplaces. the underlying theme throughout the book is that improved practice and performance can result only from greater understanding of the nature of these processes. This requires organisational, social and technical perspectives that acknowledge the centrality of people in managing these processes-a human centred perspective.

The domain is complex and presents many challenges. We have endeavoured to select studies that take different perspectives. the international group of contributors span a wide range of disciplines-management science, operations management, ergonomics, human factors and work psychology, industrial engineering and computer science. the emphasis throughout is on the reality of practice. Our aim has been to produce a book that would be valuable to a wide readership-a source for researchers in a range of fields, for systems and solutions developers, for consultants to industry and business and, not least, for industrial practitioners. the studies reported in the book reflect the true complexity of managing operations in a wide spectrum of industrial sectors. Moreover, the issues debated are relevant to operations management across the extended enterprise including supply networks, distribution channels and logistic systems.

A book of this type requires considerable organisation. We are absolutely indebted to Alison Parrett who co-ordinated the project, liaising with contributors, the publishers and ourselves. She has coped valiantly with the vagaries of electronic communication, the inconsistencies in graphics packages and the numerous drafts and revisions that are inevitable for a coherent book of this type. Our sincere thanks must go to Alison for the gargantuan effort.

Thanks also to Tony Moore, our editor at Taylor and Francis, and to Alison Nick, the project manager, who advised on style, consistency and clarity for text and graphics. We believe that this has ensured a high quality book that meets our original intentions. We must of course thank all the contributors. Firstly for accepting the invitation to contribute, secondly for accepting our editorial

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