Stephen Childe


This work addresses the problem of difficulties in the implementation of Computer Aided Production Management systems, and presents a methodology for their implementation which significantly improves on current practice. The methodology provides a structured approach which leads the company through a series of strategic business decisions which establish the context within which the solution must operate. The work focusses attention upon the design of the whole system with respect to the relationship between computerised functions and the infrastructure of human elements which facilitate and govern the system's operation. A model of the tasks involved in production management is presented. The model is used to structure decisions relating to the design of the infrastructure. The research work described proceeded in two distinct stages. In the first stage the author participated with other researchers who jointly developed the framework of the process methodology for CAPM implementation. This stage provides the context for the development of the task model approach to the design of the system, which represents the author's individual contribution (see section 1.8). The task model can be used as a tool to identify the options available for the way each task within production management may be executed, giving the user a basis for the design of a particular system while not advocating any particular solution. By the use of this approach the user is encouraged to consider the options available and to adopt an integrated approach which looks at all areas of production management, not only those for which there is a pressing problem or a tempting solution. This work results in a contribution to the development of the process methodology, the development of a tool in the CAPM task model and a review of the factors involved in the design of a system including both human and computerised elements.

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