Studying this technical article and answering the related questions can count towards your verifiable CPD if you are following the unit route to CPD and the content is relevant to your learning and development needs. One hour of learning equates to one unit of CPD. We'd suggest that you use this as a guide when allocating yourself CPD units.
Knowledge-based theories that deal with corporate performance include:
- scientific management;
- brainstorming and mind maps;
- systems thinking; and
- evidence-based management.
In my earlier days I was fascinated by scientific approaches to management such as 'management science' and 'operational research'. These approaches go back to the Second World War when the Allies sought to optimise military and logistical activities using statistics and modelling.
Linear programming was applied to manufacturing constraints and offered an elegant mathematical model that optimised two variables - for example, price and cost.
Queuing offered a statistical way of simulating queues to improve flows in manufacturing services and retail; the use of multichannel service points fed by a single queue in banks and post offices is an example of it in action.
Much of this work was focused on identifying, testing and getting around or minimising constraints. The other big focus was on optimising the physical environment - for example, in delivering low/no stock control, popularised under the title of 'just-in-time'.
These theories appear to provide logical solutions to problems that deliver better performance, and they can work well in many operational situations as long as the definition of the problem and the variables is clear-cut and simple.