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SAP-integrated enterprise system

The decision to implement an SAP-integrated enterprise system was in large part due to the anticipated benefits derived from such functionality. As expected, a number of benefits were derived from this implementation, including providing integrated and visible project information to the organization from one source and better defined accountability for project management and functions. Additional implementation benefits included monitoring and reforecast of business plans in a timely manner.

Validated lists of project deliverables that are tied to functional capacity models. And a current business plan that includes eight quarter rolling forecast based on project cost. For the first time, the global R&D organization was able to compare planned versus actual hours worked on all drug development projects for the entire drug development portfolio as well as view project schedules. Once these benefits had been realized, the next steps in our capacity management journey were planned. (DeLone 2002)

An analysis of the number of internal memoranda, circular letters, as well as announcements to the personnel shows a rapid increase during, but especially after, the First World War. It means that written statements increasingly replaced oral instructions. A steady flow of general statements and circular letters told employees as well as department chiefs how to handle certain situations. Subject matters ranged from how to detect false bank notes to the best way to deal with letters from other office branches and incoming telephone calls.

In 1918, for the first time, a company manual was published. The company manual instructed new employees, among other things, on the general organization of the bank, working times, and the use of the time clock and the pneumatic tube system. There are some very well known methodologies implemented in Decision Support Systems that could help to find an efficient solution that satisfies a decision-maker (Compromise Programming, Goal Programming, Weighted Average, etc. –the books by Goicoechea, Hansen, and Duckstein (1982) and Smith et al.

(2000) are excellent reference texts). In the case of multiple decision-makers, multi objective methodologies are scarce. The methodologies for a decision-maker represent the decision-maker’s preferences or judgment in a variety of forms, generally of a numerical nature. The most commonly applied representations are: weighting according to the relative importance of objectives, utility functions, goals, and minimal acceptance levels. Weights represent the interchange rates between the objectives that the decision-maker is willing to accept.

Although they are the most often used parameters of preference, their application poses several problems: (1) the practical difficulty of assigning them a numerical value, (2) the fact that weights define an interchange rate that is independent of the value of objectives, (3) they are asked for only at the beginning of the process, and (4) it often occurs that there is no correspondence between the intuitive meaning decision-makers assign to the weights and the meaning that the method assigns them.

Frequently the methodologies proposed to multiple decision-makers obtain from each decision-maker his individual preferences at the beginning of the process and these are averaged in some way (arithmetically or geometrically), or added up to represent a collective preference structure. However, in the technical literature we find warnings about the danger of these kinds of aggregations, because they can lead to solutions which do not reflect appropriately the actual preferences of the group.

Historical paradigms such as Condorcet Paradox, Arrow’s axioms or philosophical disquisitions of Sen (1995) (Nobel Prize in Economy, 1998), have taught us that this situation is not a trivial one. It is important to think about the group problem solving quite differently from individual problem solving. However, several interesting decision support systems for group decisions (SSDG) are currently in use: Sycara (1990) designed PERSUADER which suggests potential compromises in a negotiation through a modeling of the multi objective utility with “reasoning based on cases”.

Kersten (1985) developed NEGO, which is based on cooperative games. It formulates a model based on Goal Programming, to find a feasible solution which is near the closest solution to the ideal solution of the group. ICANS, developed at Cornell University, helps in supporting of negotiations between two parties in which both have their own individual objectives. Each member of the group has a satisfaction function for each objective.

The method proposes solutions which achieve the same levels of satisfaction for each of the decision-makers. Lewandowski (1989) designed SCDAS which supports discrete problems through the use of levels of aspiration. Salo and Hamalainen (1990) designed SETELI which holds analytical models of decision making to synthesize the results of an investment planning model, object oriented.

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