Meaning of Operation Research
Operation Research is a process of applying advanced analytical methods for decision making and problem-solving. It is concerned with examining the real situations of organizations to detect the prevailing problems. It is a tool that assists the management in managing all operations of the organization effectively. Operation research is a scientific method of problem-solving that provides quantitative information for better understanding and taking decisions.
Operation research performs three important roles that are optimization, simulation and probability, and statistics. Optimization means achieving optimum results under given conditions, simulation refers to constructing models for testing the solutions before applying them and the last one probability and statistics means making reliable predictions, finding out the risk involved using mathematical algorithms.
Under this process, the problem is first divided into many basic components for better understanding and then handled through systematic steps using mathematical analysis. Operation research enables an organization to efficiently utilizing all resources, minimization of loss and avoiding any resource wastage. The concept of operation research arises during the Second World War and was used by military planners. Methodologies used in operation research process are as follows:
Methodology of Operation Research
Identification of Problem
Operation research method involves the proper study and captures real situations prevailing in the organization. Conducting proper study helps in the identification of real problems. Operation research acquires and analyses all relevant quantitative information regarding organization for formulating problems. It aims at explaining the problems properly to have the right solutions.
Constructing a Mathematical Model
Once problems are detected, now management constructs model for a detailed study of problems. This model is constructed to find out the real cause for problems which are identified. It shows relationship between different variables and finds out the relation and interrelation between cause and effect. Developing of such model helps management to determine the effect of factors which are important for solving the problem.
Deriving Solution from Model
Solutions are extracted from models that are constructed for evaluating problems. Several experiments are conducted on such models to derive the solutions. It should be ensured that appropriate data is supplied to model to get the right information and results which would help in developing solutions.
Testing the Model
It involves testing the solutions of models before their application. Model is never a perfect representation of real situations so it is better to check its validity before implying it. The usefulness or utility of such model findings are tested by comparing its outputs with results of past.
Establishing Control over Solutions
Operation researcher is required to properly explain his finding of model to management. Management should have a better knowledge of solutions derived for properly utilizing and getting better results. They should have a clear idea of such conditions under which these solutions will work effectively. It will help management in establishing controls over the solution.
Implementing the Solution
Implementing the derived solution is the last step in operation research process. Managers after ensuring the utility of solution imply them to overcome prevailing problems of organizations. Performance of solutions is measured after applying them and in case of any deviations from expected results, corrective measures are taken.