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# A Planning and Design Technique

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000082373D
Original Publication Date: 1974-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 77K

IBM

## Related People

Siller, J: AUTHOR

## Abstract

Planning, scheduling and design necessarily entail the identification of the sequence (series-parallel) in which a set of activities must be undertaken. This description provides the user with a quick, easy way to use a computer aided method to unambiguously identify the sequence (i.e., hierarchical structure or series-parallel network) of a set of activities.

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A Planning and Design Technique

Planning, scheduling and design necessarily entail the identification of the sequence (series-parallel) in which a set of activities must be undertaken. This description provides the user with a quick, easy way to use a computer aided method to unambiguously identify the sequence (i.e., hierarchical structure or series-parallel network) of a set of activities.

The user begins by laying out a list of activities whose sequence is to be identified. The list of activities is laid out on an N X N matrix as shown in Fig. 1, where N is the maximum number of activities. The user begins with Row 1, (i.e., Activity 1) and proceeds to circle the activities upon which Activity 1 is dependent. The diagonal is crossed out because this structuring technique does not permit "looping" which precludes an activity being dependent on itself). The user continues through Activity N, each time considering the dependencies to the other activities.

The list of activities need not be in any particular order. (Furthermore, the list of activities and dependencies can be such that a Planning and Design Technique (APDT) structuring process will result in separate networks). The input to APDT will result in an incorrect structure if the user commits either of the following errors: 1. If an immediate dependency is not circled (i.e., not identified); or 2. If a dependency is circled which is not actually a dependency.

The user hence should strive to identify immediate dependencies, but in order to assure himself that he does not miss an immediate dependency, he can include any or all of the additional dependencies up the hierarchy for each activity with impunity. For one activity, it may turn out, that he lists only the immediate dependencies, for another, the immediate ones plus some other dependencies, and still for another all the dependencies, and APDT will structure the network (or networks) correctly.

Once the user concludes identifying the dependencies, he proceeds to input into the computer by loading the work space called APDT and typing START. The program interrogates the user to determine the maximum number of activities the user has and then prompts the user for the dependencies for each activity, row-by-row.

Fig. 2 shows a summary flow diagram of APDT. START 10 enables the program and interrogates the user for inputs of dependencies, activity by activity. At the conclusion of the interrogation, START 10 provides a summary report of the user input 20. The user may then cause the program to branch to MODIFY 40, ADD 50, or DELETE 60, wherein the necessary changes to the activity matrix can be made.

Once the dependencies are determined to be the ones the user intends, he types NET which causes APDT to proceed through summary input 30 to NET 70 which invokes the FLRL (Fill and Resolve Loops) and DPAS (Determine Predecessor and Successor) routines. FLRL us...