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MB0044  : List the objectives of JIT. Explain briefly characteristics of JIT.
Answer : Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing is a process by which companies don’t keep lots of excess inventory; instead, they manufacture a product as an order comes in. It is a management philosophy of continuous and forced problem solving.

The objective of JIT manufacturing system is to:

  • Eliminate waste that is, minimise the amount of equipment, materials, parts, space, and worker’s time, which adds a great value to the product
  • Increase productivity

JIT means making what the market demands when it is in need. It is the most popular systems that incorporate the generic elements of lean systems. Lean production supplies customers with exactly what the customer wants, when the customer wants, without waste, through continuous improvement.

Deploying JIT results in decrease of inventories and increases the overall efficiencies. Decreasing inventory allows reducing wastes which in turn results in saving lots of money.

There are many advantages of JIT:

  • Increases the work productivity
  • Reduces operating costs
  • Improves performance and throughput
  • Improves quality
  • Improves deliveries
  • Increases flexibility and innovativeness

For industrial organisations to remain competitive, cost efficiencies have become compulsory. JIT helps in this process. It is extended to the shop floor and also the inventory systems of the vendors. JIT has been extended to mean continuous improvement. These principles are being applied to the fields of Engineering, Purchasing, Accounting, and Data processing.

Characteristics of JIT

The consequent savings are to be utilised for reducing cost and rendering better service to the customer. Shigeo Shingo an authority on JIT at Toyota classifies the wastes to be eliminated as follows.

The seven wastes to be eliminated according to JIT are:

  • Over production
  • Inventory
  • Waiting time
  • Movement
  • Effort
  • Defective products
  • Over processing

1. Over production: Over production is to manufacture products before it is actually needed. If the demand for that product decreases, the extra parts or products produced may not be useful or needed. Also over production results in high storage costs and is also difficult to detect defects. So, over production is considered a waste.

2. Inventory: Excess procurement or production builds up stock of materials which are not immediately used, thus locking space and funds carrying heavy costs. The figure 13.2, illustrates the inventories at different levels of an organisation – Supplier distribution, Production, and Customer distribution.

3. Waiting time: Waste of time happen when goods are not moving or being processed. The operator, the machine or the part will either be not working or be worked upon. The duration of waiting is can be said to be unproductive and may create more serious consequences.

4. Movement: Any unnecessary movement is a waste of energy; it causes blockages, disrupting movements and delaying the flow of other items creating delays.

5. Effort: The people, who work, do not make a study as to how the products on which they are making are utilised and do not realise the purpose for which they are made. This lack of education will lead to waste of resources. Finally, they end up in shortage of resources when needed.

6. Defective products: The defective products lead to a tremendous loss to the company. This is because they use up the same equipments, workmen and the time that would be used to make good products. Thus defective products use up resources and result in losses.

7. Over Processing: Some steps like unnecessary processing or production do not add value to the final output. As a result, it is waste of all the inputs that go into the process.


MB0044 : Explain the steps involved in Johnson’s Algorithm and CDS Algorithm.

Answer : Johnson’s algorithm of sequencing

Johnson’s algorithm is used for sequencing of n jobs through two work centres. The purpose is to minimise idle time on machines and reduce the total time taken for completing all the jobs.

As there are no priority rules since all job have equal priority, sequencing the jobs according to the time taken may minimise the idle time taken by the jobs on machines. This reduces the total time taken.

The algorithm can be fulfilled in the following steps.

  • Step 1: Find the minimum among the time taken by machine 1 and 2 for all the jobs.
  • Step 2a: If the minimum processing time is required by machine 1 to complete the job, place the associated job in the first available position in the final sequence. Then go to step 3. (If it is a tie you may choose either of them, for applying the above rule.)
  • Step 2b: If the minimum processing time is required by machine 2 to complete the job, place the associated job in the last available position in final sequence. Then go to step 3. (If it is a tie you may choose either of them, for applying the above rule.)
  • Step 3: Remove the assigned job from consideration and return to step 1 until all the positions in the sequence are filled.

CDS algorithm for n jobs on m machines

CDS algorithm was given by Campbell, Dudek and Smith. It is used to find the optimal sequence of the jobs to be followed when there are m numbers of machines. We do this by converting the m number of machines to 2. This is done by considering different combinations – like 1 and m, then 1+2 and (M-1)+M, then 1+2+3 and (M-2)+(M-1)+M, and so on. This gives m-1 sequences and we can choose the most optimal among them by calculating the time taken by each of the obtained m-1 sequences.

The sequence that takes the minimum time will be the most optimal job order sequence according to the CDA algorithm. This process is useful, when the number of machines is small but more than 2.

In order to calculate the time taken by each of the sequences obtained, we have to calculate the time-in and time-out of the jobs in the sequence for each machine. In order to calculate this, consider the sequence in case let 1 and follow the following steps.

Remember that except for M1, other machines may have to wait to start their operations, until the previous operation is over. You have to include idle times at the beginning, middle or the end. So the initial value, which is the time-in under machine 1 for the first job in the sequence, will be zero. The time-in for the further jobs will be Maximum of (the time-out of the previous job in the sequence under the same machine, the time-out of the next job in the sequence under the previous machine).

Time-out of a machine = Time-in of that machine (from the previous step) + The original time taken by the job under the respective machine.

MB0044 : Discuss the Modern trends in Project Management. Write a note on macro issues of project management.
Answer : Modern Trends in Project Management

There are a number of ways a manager can implement a project successfully. As it is important to monitor and control the project activities throughout various stages, it becomes much more important to resort to effective and powerful tools to coordinate the activities. Modern trends in project management have shown a number of ways that can be considered to achieve good results in any project. Irrespective of whichever way one wants to choose for effective outputs, the essential methods are as follows:

  • meticulous planning of all the activities
  • referring to checklist which could have been creatively designed
  • adopting quality control measures and standards


As per the current trends in project management, the perception is that the job of a manger is to obtain result. A more result-cum-profit oriented corporate strategy lays greater emphasis on maximised efficiency of operations.

Corporate strategic tools in project management

a. Continuous Business Process Improvement: Continuous business improvement is a process through which a project team passes on the details of any system as recommendation for standardisation. It acts as a business process element for the company as a whole.

b. Force Field Analysis: The analysis is done by adopting suitable methods to identify external factors which may affect the project progress. The external factors are the hurdles in a project. Use of appropriate processes minimises and eliminates the hurdles resulting in a smooth flow of activities and project progress.

c. Information Risk Management: Various methods can be adopted to reduce the risks in a project. A proper methodology is one that is based on the quality control aspect which may even be automated and integrated into the project process. The risks arising out of corruption, age, field size variation and format mismatch have to be controlled.

d. Management Assurance Measure: Management assurance measure is a task performed by the project leader to convince management against wavering. At the same time, it aims at preparing team members to counter any unexpected storms in the project. This is the greatest opportunity for a leader to mature and go up the ladder as well as an equal opportunity for the member to emerge a leader through accepting a challenge.

e. SEI-CMM & ISO Certification: SEI-CMM & ISO Certification is a well established certification system. An organisation having a certification will enable the management team to realise the importance of a process and how effectively projects could be managed smoothly. Several world organisations, are now working on P-CMM and total quality assurance.

f. Strategic Inflection Point: A real test for the project leader and the management team is to accurately predict the exact point of the development process where the team might face a massive problem. These points may be related to political, geophysical and rarely to time.

Macro issues

The macro issues of the project management are listed below:

  • Evolving Key Success Factors (KSF) upfront
  • Empowerment Title (ET)
  • Partnering Decision Making (PDM)
  • Management by Exception (MBE)
  • Knowledge (K) Factor

Evolving Key Success Factors (KSF) upfront

In order to provide complete stability to fulfilment of goals, a project manager needs to constantly evaluate the key success factors from time to time.

Empowerment Title (ET)

ET reflects the relative importance of members of the organisation at three levels – Team members, Group leaders, and Managers.

Partnering Decision Making (PDM)

PDM is a substitute to monitoring and control. A senior, with a better decision making process, will work closely with the project managers and members of the project. The whole crew will plan together to find out what best can be done to manage the future better from past experience.

Management by Exception (MBE)

“No news is good news”. If a member wants help he or she locates a source and proposes to the manager only if such help is not accessible for free. Similarly, a member should believe that a team leader’s silence is a sign of approval and should not provoke comments through excessive seeking of opinions.

Knowledge (K) Factor

Knowledge is the most powerful mover of the wheels of progress. Knowledge (K) factor is an index of the extent to which one can manage today with yesterdays knowledge content and also the extent to which today’s knowledge will be used tomorrow.

MA0044  : What is Value Engineering? Give a real life example of application of VE.  
Answer : Value Engineering (VE) or Value Analysis is a methodology by which we try to find substitutes for a product or an operation.

The concept of value engineering originated during the Second World War. It was developed by the General Electric Corporations (GEC). Value Engineering has gained popularity due to its potential for gaining high Returns on Investment (ROI). This methodology is widely used in business re-engineering, government projects, automakers, transportation and distribution, industrial equipment, construction, assembling and machining processes, health care and environmental engineering, and many others. Value engineering process calls for a deep study of a product and the purpose for which it is used, such as, the raw materials used; the processes of transformation; the equipment needed, and many others. It also questions whether what is being used is the most appropriate and economical. This applies to all aspects of the product.

Simplification of processes reduces the cost of manufacturing. Every piece of material and the process should add value to the product so as to render the best performance. Thus, there is an opportunity at every stage of the manufacturing and delivery process to find alternatives which will increase the functionality or reduce cost in terms of material, process, and time.

The different aspects of value engineering can be encapsulated into a sequence of steps known as a ‘Job Plan’. Value Engineering in organisations helps to identify:

  • The problem or situation that needs to be changed/improved
  • All that is good about the existing situation
  • The improvements required in the situation
  • The functions to be performed
  • The ways of performing each function
  • The best ways among the selected functions
  • The steps to be followed to implement the function
  • The person who executes the function

It should be remembered that we are not seeking a cost reduction sacrificing quality. It has been found that there will be an improvement in quality when systematic value analysis principles are employed.

Examples of Value Engineering

  • Russian liquid-fuel rocket motors are intentionally designed to permit ugly (though leak-free) welding. This reduces costs by eliminating grinding and finishing operations that do not help the motor function better.
  • Some Japanese disk brakes have parts toleranced to three millimeters, an easy-to-meet precision. When combined with crude statistical process controls, this assures that less than one in a million parts will fail to fit.
  • Many vehicle manufacturers have active programs to reduce the numbers and types of fasteners in their product, to reduce inventory, tooling and assembly costs.
  • Often a premium forming process (like “near net shape” forming) can eliminate hundreds of low-precision machining or drilling steps. Precision transfer stamping can quickly produce hundreds of high quality parts from generic rolls of steel and aluminum. Die casting is used to produce metal parts from aluminum or sturdy tin alloys (they’re often about as strong as mild steels). Plastic injection molding is a powerful technique, especially if the part’s special properties are supplemented with inserts of brass or steel.
  • When a product incorporates a computer, it replaces many parts with software that fits into a single light-weight, low-power memory part or microcontroller. As computers grow faster, digital signal processing software is beginning to replace many analog electronic circuits for audio and sometimes radio frequency processing.
  • On some printed circuit boards (itself a producibility technique), the conductors are intentionally sized to act as delay lines, resistors and inductors to reduce the parts count. An important recent innovation was to eliminate the leads of “surface mounted” components. At one stroke, this eliminated the need to drill most holes in a printed cricuit board, as well as clip off the leads after soldering.
  • In Japan (the land where manufacturing engineers are most valued), it is a standard process to design printed circuit boards of inexpensive phenolic resin and paper, and reduce the number of copper layers to one or two to lower costs without harming specifications.

MA0044 : Explain the various phases in project management life cycle. List the Domain Applications of SCM and the steps involved in implementation of SCM.

Answers : Phases of project management life cycle

Project management life cycle has six phases:

  • Analysis and evaluation phase
  • Marketing phase
  • Design phase
  • Execution phase
  • Control – inspecting, testing, and delivery phase
  • Closure and post completion analysis phase

Analysis and evaluation phase

Analysis and evaluation phase is the initial phase of any project. In this phase, information is collected from the customer pertaining to the project. From the collected information, the requirements of the project are analysed. According to the customer requirement, the entire project is planned in a strategic manner. The project manager conducts the analysis of the problem and submits a detailed report to the top management.

Marketing phase

A project proposal is prepared by a group of people including the project manager. This proposal has to contain the strategies adopted to market the product to the customers.

Design phase

Design phase involves the study of inputs and outputs of the various project stages

  • Inputs received consist of: project feasibility study, preliminary project evaluation details, project proposal, and customer interviews.
  • Outputs produced consist of: system design specifications, functional specifications of the project, design specifications of the project, and project plan.

Execution phase

In execution phase, the project manager and the team members work on the project objectives as per the plan. At every stage during the execution, reports are prepared.

Control – inspecting, testing and delivery phase

During this phase, the project team works under the guidance of the project manager. The project manager has to ensure that the team working under him is implementing the project designs accurately. The project has to be tracked or monitored through its cost, manpower, and schedule. The project manager has to ensure ways of managing the customer and marketing the future work, as well as ways to perform quality control work.

Closure and post completion analysis phase

Upon satisfactory completion and delivery of the intended product or service the staff performance has to be evaluated. The project manager has to document the lessons from the project. Reports on project feedback are to be prepared and analysed. A project execution report is to be prepared.

Domain Applications

SCM can be easily applied and integrated with:

  • ERP systems
  • Design systems like auto-CAD, Pro-E
  • R&D systems
  • ISO 9000 systems
  • Accounting and financial systems
  • Costing systems
  • Manufacturing systems

SCM implementation involves the certain steps:

  • Study the strengths and weaknesses within the enterprise as well as of external agencies involved.
  • Understand the organisation objectives.
  • Study the existing systems and identify the gaps and propose solutions to plug the loopholes.
  • Evolve consensus and test fire individual solutions
  • Integrate solutions which are adjudged successfully into the mainstream.
  • Study overall impact after all proposals in a section are implemented, review consensus.
  • Finalise SCM document, circulate, and implement the same

MB0044  : Define project cycle, project management, and scope of project. List the various project management knowledge areas? What are the reasons for failure of a project?

Answer: – Project cycle

A project cycle consists of the various activities of operations, resources, and the limitations imposed on them.

Project management:-

It is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavour with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies.

Project Scope:-

The project scope is the definition of what the project is supposed to accomplish and the budget of both time and money that has been created to achieve these objectives.

Best results are achieved when both the definition and the budget are precise and detailed. A good project scope document defines specifically what tasks are to be performed or results delivered. It defines the specific date when these deliverables are due and lists the budget allocated for them.


Project management knowledge areas

The knowledge areas of project management are the following:

· Project integration management, cost management, communications management

· Project scope management, quality management, risk management

· Project time management, human management, procurement management

For a project to be successful, it is necessary to understand its relationship with other management disciplines. Other management supporting disciplines are business legal issues, strategic planning, logistics, human resource management, and domain knowledge.

Project failure

A project may fail because of one or more of the following reasons:

· Incidence of project failure

· Factors contributing to project success not emphasised

· Overview of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) projects

· Common problems encountered during projects

The reasons for the failure of a project in detail:-

Incidence of project failure: The incidents of project failure are due to following reasons:

  1. Projects being initiated at random at all levels
  2. Project objective not in line with business objective
  3. Project management not observed
  4. Project manager with no prior experience in the related project
  5. Non-dedicated team
  6. Lack of complete support from clients

Factors contributing to project success not emphasised:

  1. Project objective in alignment with business objective
  2. Working within the framework of project management methodology
  3. Effective scoping, planning, estimation, execution, controls and reviews, closure intertwined with quality
  4. Proactive approach towards project bottlenecks
  5. Communication and managing expectations effectively with clients, team members, and stake holders
  6. Prior experience of project manager in a similar project

 Overview of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) projects:

  1. Involve information and communications technologies such as the World Wide Web, e-mail, fiber-optics, and satellites
  2. Enable societies to produce, access, adapt and apply information in greater amounts, more rapidly and at reduced costs
  3. Offer enormous opportunities for enhancing business and economic viability

 Common problems encountered during projects:

  1. No prioritisation of project activity from an organisational position
  2. One or more of the stages in the project mishandled
  3. Less qualified/non-dedicated manpower
  4. Absence of smooth flow of communication between the involved parties.

MB0044  : Write a brief note on PDCA cycle, Juran’s Quality Trilogy and Crosby’s Absolutes of Quality. List all the Quality Tools.

Answer: – PDCA cycle:-

Plan–Do–Check–Act Cycle Also called: PDCA, plan–do–study–act (PDSA) cycle, Deming cycle, Shewhart cycle.


The plan–do–check–act cycle is a four-step model for carrying out change. Just as a circle has no end, the PDCA cycle should be repeated again and again for continuous improvement.

When to Use Plan-Do-Check-Act

  • As a model for continuous improvement.
  • When starting a new improvement project.
  • When developing a new or improved design of a process, product or service.
  • When defining a repetitive work process.
  • When planning data collection and analysis in order to verify and prioritize problems or root causes.
  • When implementing any change.

Plan-Do-Check-Act Procedure

  1. Plan. Recognize an opportunity and plan a change.
  2. Do. Test the change. Carry out a small-scale study.
  3. Study. Review the test, analyze the results and identify what you’ve learned.
  4. Act. Take action based on what you learned in the study step: If the change did not work, go through the cycle again with a different plan. If you were successful, incorporate what you learned from the test into wider changes. Use what you learned to plan new improvements, beginning the cycle again.
Juran’s quality triology

Juran uses his famous Universal Breakthrough Sequence to implement quality programmes. The universal breakthrough sequences are:

  1. Proof of need: There should be a compelling need to make changes.
  2. Project identification: Here what is to be changed is identified. Specific projects with time frames and the resource allocation are decided.
  3. Top management commitment: Commitment of the top management is to assign people and fix responsibilities to complete the project
  4. Diagnostic journey: Each team will determine whether the problems result from systemic causes or are random or are deliberately caused. Root causes are ascertained with utmost certainty.
  5. Remedial action: This is the stage when changes are introduced. Inspection, testing, and validation are also included at this point.
  6. Holding on to the gains: The above steps result in beneficiary results. Having records or all actions and consequences will help in further improvements. The actions that result in the benefits derived should be the norm for establishing standards.

Juran has categorised cost of quality into four categories:

1. Failure costs – Internal: These are costs of rejections, repairs in terms of materials, labour, machine time and loss of morale.

2. Failure costs – External: These are costs of replacement, on-site rework including   spare parts and expenses of the personnel, warranty costs and loss of goodwill.

3. Appraisal costs: These are costs of inspection, including maintenance of records, certification, segregation costs, and others.

4. Prevention costs: Prevention cost is the sequence of three sets of activities, Quality Planning, Quality Control, and Quality Improvement, forming the triology to achieve Total Quality Management.

Crosby’s absolutes of quality:-

Like Deming, Crosby also lays emphasis on top management commitment and responsibility for designing the system so that defects are not inevitable. He urged that there be no restriction on spending for achieving quality. In the long run, maintaining quality is more economical than compromising on its achievement. His absolutes can be listed as under:

  1. Quality is conformance to requirements, not ‘goodness’
  2. Prevention, not appraisal, is the path to quality
  3. Quality is measured as the price paid for non-conformance and as indices
  4. Quality originates in all factions. There are no quality problems. It is the people, designs, and processes that create problems

Crosby also has given 14 points similar to those of Deming. His approach emphasises on measurement of quality, increasing awareness, corrective action, error cause removal and continuously reinforcing the system, so that advantages derived are not lost over time. He opined that the quality management regimen should improve the overall health of the organisation and prescribed a vaccine. The ingredients are:

1) Integrity: Honesty and commitment help in producing everything right first time, every time

2) Communication: Flow of information between departments, suppliers, customers helps in identifying opportunities

3) Systems and operations: These should bring in a quality environment so that nobody is comfortable with anything less than the best.

Quality Tools:-

  1. Cause-and-effect diagram (also called Ishikawa or fishbone chart): Identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem and sorts ideas into useful categories.
  2. Check sheet: A structured, prepared form for collecting and analyzing data; a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes.
  3. Control charts: Graphs used to study how a process changes over time.
  4. Histogram: The most commonly used graph for showing frequency distributions, or how often each different value in a set of data occurs.
  5. Pareto chart: Shows on a bar graph which factors are more significant.
  6. Scatter diagram: Graphs pairs of numerical data, one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship.
  7. Stratification: A technique that separates data gathered from a variety of sources so that patterns can be seen (some lists replace “stratification” with “flowchart” or “run chart”).


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