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A Professional's Guide to Decision Science and Problem Solving: An Integrated Approach for Assessing Issues, Finding Solutions, and Reaching Corporate Objectives (FT Press Operations Management) [Kindle Edition]

Frank A. Tillman , Deandra T. Cassone
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A Professional's Guide to Decision Science and Problem Solving provides an integrated, start-to-finish framework for more effective problem solving and decision making in corporations. Drawing on vast experience in the field, the authors show how to apply state-of-the-art decision science, statistical modeling, benchmarking, and processing modeling techniques together to create a robust analytical framework for better decision making in any field, especially those that rely on advanced operations management. They integrate both newly-developed and time-tested techniques into a logical, structured approach for assessing corporate issues, developing solutions, and making decisions that drive the successful achievement of corporate objectives. Coverage includes: defining objectives, exploring the environment; scoping problems and evaluating their importance; bringing data mining and statistical analysis to bear; solving problems and measuring the results; evaluating the results and performing sensitivity analysis, and more. The book concludes with three case study chapters that walk through the effective use of its methods, step-by-step. Representing a wide variety of corporate environments, these case studies underscore and demonstrate the method's exceptional adaptability. This book will be valuable in a wide range of industries, notably finance, pharmaceutical, healthcare, economics, and manufacturing.



Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A Powerful Roadmap for Making Decisions That Optimize Performance—Every Time

This professional reference combines the best decision science models and tools to deliver a time-tested approach to problem solving and decision making in corporations. The authors draw from their decades of experience in decision science and operations management, giving professionals a field-tested model for making decisions that meet corporate objectives in businesses that rely on process and operations management.

Their paradigm combines both new and classic techniques into an integrated approach for assessing issues, developing solutions, and making decisions that drive organizational success.

COVERAGE INCLUDES:
  • Defining objectives
  • Exploring the environment
  • Determining the scope of the problem
  • Applying data mining and statistical analysis
  • Selecting and executing solutions
  • Measuring and evaluating results and more

Case study chapters walk through the effective use of the authors’ framework in diverse corporate environments and demonstrate its exceptional adaptability.

About the Author

Frank  A. Tillman  has had  a varied and  full career  teaching and doing research in academia for more than 30 years, starting and managing two consulting firms, IBES,  Inc.  (government  agencies) and HTX International,  Inc. (private firms), and developing com- mercial and residential real estate. He served as department head at Kansas State University for more than 20 years where he published 50+ professional articles, published two books, and advised a number of M.S. and Ph.D. theses candidates. This book is a compilation of his consulting experiences noting which approach works best to solve real problems that result in solutions that can be implemented.

Deandra T. Cassone 
currently teaches as an adjunct professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology in its graduate sys- tems engineering  program and is in management  at a Fortune  100 company. She has spent more than 25 year in the industry, serving in consulting,  technical,  and  management  roles.  Her  interests  lie in building structured decision-making models that encompass the application of the concepts in this book. She has also submitted  and been awarded a number of business process patents.




Product Details

  • File Size: 5222 KB
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (December 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132869829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132869829
  • ASIN: B006GFUS50
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,873 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Make no mistake about it, decision making is part science and part art, decisions are based on projections about the future and unless you can invent it, you do not know what the future holds. The science part of decision making involves gathering data, developing models that accurately represent your situation and then running the models with realistic input parameters. One of the most important traps that you must avoid is to not have the wish be the father of the "fact." In other words, letting your biases and optimism regarding success allow the "facts" to be altered in a way that reflects those biases.
This book describes hard policies and strategies that will allow you to direct the science of decision making in a direction appropriate for your situation. From the determination of the given situation, the gathering of the hard and soft data, the development of the models and the selection of the parameters, metrics that describe business situations are put forward in great detail. Supposedly simple but often horrendously complex steps such as polling the executives in order to establish the priorities are covered in great detail. One of the greatest threats to accurate decision making is often the establishment of groupthink, where a high level person states an opinion and others agree out of fear rather than out of conviction.
One of the greatest pitfalls of the advice on how to improve organizational performance is the neglecting to include the complexities of corporate culture, which is often one of the greatest obstacles to success. The authors here avoid that omission, so while they can do little to help you with the actual art of decision making, like the teaching of human anatomy to art students, it is almost impossible to be successful without the scientific background that they provide.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise info but pricey November 10, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a grad student preparing for my thesis, I wanted to try this book. It says it is for corporate professionals but it could be used as a graduate level textbook for any business or project management statistics course. The copy I received is a paperback and the information contained within is concise. The book seems small but the print is easy to read. The content uses plain language and technical terms are explained or defined. The book starts out with what I consider to be good advice. First, establish your objectives or goals. Or, identify what the problem is that needs to be solved. Like a road map, you need to know where you are going in order for it to be effective. The book could be used to set up a checklist for business and corporate problem solving. The book is divided into two parts. The first part covers definitions, theory and methods. The second part is a set of case studies to apply the information. If you might have to set up a metrics program for your department, this book would be helpful. It contains a variety of charts with criteria, weights and measures. If you don't have previous knowledge of statistics, I would recommend a review. I would use this in conjunction with The Thinker's Toolkit.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only an overview April 16, 2012
Format:Hardcover
As a professor teaching spreadsheet decision modeling (using Ragsdale text) and data mining (using Schmueli et al.) to business students, I was disappointed by this "textbook". With no chapter problems, it isn't really a classic textbook; it is priced like one, albeit not quite as expensive as the books I am using. Simply put, there is no "meat" to this rather thin book. It provides short, high-level summaries of "statistics", "data mining", "multi-criteria decision making", "sensitivity analysis", etc with nary an equation in sight. The book really aims only to provide the general structure (but not the detail) of quantitative analysis and decision science.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent practical 'how-to' for a busy executive January 21, 2013
Format:Hardcover
I read the other reviews and I believe this book has an exceptional value in a niche role. Unfortunately the negative reviews focus on the use of the book in a role that it was never intended, i.e., as a text book for undergraduate or graduate education.

The real value of this book is as a "how-to" for an executive who does not have the time nor the inclination to read voluminous texts with many equations. The busy executive has a real focus on strategic and tactical issues necessary for business success, not academic rigor. How to keep a Board of Directors and stockholders happy.

It's not flashy, it's not impressive with a vast array of equations, nice picturs and graphs. What it does is put things into the real-world practicalities of step-by-step approaches to make good decisions. Not rocket science but my experience is that in the real-world it takes a bit of hard work to make really good, informed decisions. It is short and to the point with little fluff.

Please don't misinterpret what I say here. Academic rigor is vitally important and is the necessary first step. But, once that rigor is passed then follow-on books, such as this one, can simplify the process into something that someone can use in the practicalities of real-world business.

I see the busy executive using this book to help guide them in two things: a) get practical end-to-end basics, and then b) obtain and direct resources necessary to execute the process. The executive will not be the one executing this process; instead, the executive will be the one making sure that the process is performed and that it delivers information that the executive needs to make rational decisions based upon a comprehensive understanding of the business and facts.
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