Actuation is the process of managing a series of Actions for the implementation of a Solution.
Actuation consists of:
- Surveying - Inventorying
- Budgeting - Scheduling
- Preparing - Performing
Surveying is inspecting means, modes and ends of Action.
Surveying can be performed as:
For Surveying methods and techniques refer to : Observation.
Inventorying is making a detailed list of means, modes and ends of Action.
Inventorying assists in highlighting the requirements arising from matching different lists, for instance:
|ends aimed at||means available|
|means available||means needed|
|means needed||modes required for those means|
|means needed at some place||means available at that place|
For Inventorying methods and techniques refer to:
Documentation (devices) and Clarification (check-list).
Budgeting is allocating means and modes of action to ends.
Budgeting requires one to:
- list different desirable ends of action
- list different suitable means and modes of action
- select the mix means-modes-ends that presents the most satisfactory relation between means-modes employed and ends achieved
In order to do so, ends, means and modes have to be made measurable for conducting comparisons leading to selections.
This can be performed through:
- Cost - Benefit Analysis
- Balance Sheet
Cost - Benefit Analysis (^)
Cost - Benefit Analysis is a way of assigning numerals to variables (means, modes and ends of action) in a form conducive to satisfactory budgeting allocations.
Costs and Benefits can be:
- current (e.g. flow of raw materials)
- fixed (e.g. machinery and tools)
- objectively measurable (quantifiable by commonly accepted yardsticks)
- subjectively measurable (quantifiable by specifically accepted yardsticks)
- List variables involved (means, modes, ends)
- Measure variables (e.g. weight, price, gauge, score, etc.)
Note: Variables can be objectively or subjectively measured
- Rank variables
- Select the most appropriate set of variables (i.e. that set having the lowest cost and providing the highest benefit)
Balance Sheet (^)
A Balance Sheet is a budgeting table in which all the variables have been reduced to some homogeneous quantitative format, generally monetary format.
An electronic Balance Sheet (or Spreadsheet) allows for all sorts of modifications of variables to be immediately reflected in related variables and so is a powerful tool for Simulating options in Budgeting.
Scheduling is the attributing of time to tasks and the sequencing of tasks in order to reach targets. Scheduling gives some control over the execution of work by providing indispensable information about the starting and finishing time of each single task.
- Divide the work into tasks
- Assign to each task a time duration (start - completion period)
Note: The assignment of time duration can come as result of:
- reliable estimates
- accurate observations
- Coordinate the various tasks in a temporal sequence (schedule)
- some tasks need to be performed in advance of others
- some task can be performed in conjunction with others
Gantt Chart (^)
A Gantt Chart is a time visualization of separate tasks and of the time required for completion of each one.
The visualization is performed with the use of lines of different length representing periods of time in relation to different tasks.
Critical Path Analysis (^)
Critical Path Analysis is a visualization of the length of the path to be completed in order to reach some target.
- List the tasks necessary to reach a target
- Assign a duration time for each task
Remark: if necessary give different duration options (e.g. optimistic, realistic, pessimistic) and produce various critical paths accordingly
- Sequence the tasks as appropriate
- Find out the critical path
The Critical Path is the path needed to perform all the interrelated tasks that are necessary to reach a target. It expresses the required duration of a work.
Preparing is arranging the right conditions for Performing.
Preparing is concerned with:
|People||e.g. selecting, training|
|Tools||e.g. available, effective|
|Space||e.g. setting up, laying out|
|Time||e.g. fixing, timetabling|
Performing is carrying out operations according to a method.
Operations should be carried out:
|efficiently||(ratio: quantity input/quantity output)|
|accurately||(ratio: quantity input/quality output)|
|safely||(aim: maximum protection - minimum danger)|
These requirements can be met as a result of arrangements in Preparing, concerning:
- People : e.g. good psychophysical condition; development of skill
- Tools : e.g. easy to handle, simple to operate
- Space : e.g. healthy, comfortable
- Time : e.g. appropriate rhythm, pauses
Actuation : summing up (^)
Actuation is the implementation of Decisions in the form of Actions and is concerned with:
with reference to people and tools in space and time.
Actuation is guided by a continuous Evaluation.