Graphic Method

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Graphic Method


in production management, the aggregate of techniques of conventional (graphic) depiction of some organizational or administrative phenomenon in production. It was first used by the American engineers F. W. Taylor and H. L. Gantt in the early 20th century as one of the methods of organizing the direction of production. In the USSR the graphic method in production management began to be used in the 1920’s.

The graphic method helps to solve problems in the modeling of administrative processes, bring out and rationalize interconnections between various factors, determine calculated indexes and norms, present information in visual form, and carry out control, accounting, grouping, and classification of economic operations.

The graphs used in production management are illustrative-informational, operational, analytical and computational. Illustrative-informational graphs contain rigorously selected data that have been analyzed beforehand and that reflect the actual condition of the processes being managed; operational graphs serve for swift decision-making and contain for this purpose the total information as of a certain moment (classificational and structural graphs); analytical graphs contain information obtained after logical and mathematical data-processing (information-flow diagrams); and computational graphs (for example, nomograms) bear information that makes it possible to obtain a function that depends on a large number of variables.

In the graphic method there are various graphing objects (for example, the dynamics of defective output) and data-representation forms (such as a point diagram, column diagram, or broken curve). On the basis of these features the graphs used in production management may be divided into the following groups: graphs reflecting the makeup of an object and the interconnection of its parts, graphs of a change in a managed process in space and time, graphs of functional relationships between individual parameters, computational graphs, and combined graphs.

Graphs reflecting the makeup of an object and the interconnection of its parts include classificational and structural diagrams, tables of organization, information-flow diagrams, and operational charts. This group of graphs is used to analyze various production indexes, such as outlays of working time, defective output by cause and by guilty party, and document circulation. Graphs of changes in a managed process in time and space include harmonic diagrams, accounting-control graphs and planning graphs, project-site layouts, mapping of places for equipment and work, and cycle diagrams. The main purpose of the graphs of this group is operational-calendar planning, as well as accounting and organization of production traffic. Graphs of functional relationships between individual parameters (graphs comparing structures and parameters) are used most often for drawing up norms in statistical accounting and analysis of the course of production in the plan period (quarter, half-year. year). Computational graphs (nomograms and scale diagrams) serve to simplify calculations of labor norms, material norms and calendar-planning norms, as well as various mathematical calculations, such as the translation of absolute amounts into percentages and calculation of the size of consignments. Combined graphs—balance and network graphs—are used for analyzing the progress of production simultaneously by several parameters and especially for “bottleneck” elimination and planning optimalization.

In terms of the form of data representation, graphs may vary in appearance: point diagrams; column diagrams; straight, broken, and curved lines; circular diagrams; and so on. Graphs used in production management are distinguished by a complex and integrated form.


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