Vasilev PM and Artificial Intelligence

periodicdollsΤεχνίτη Νοημοσύνη και Ρομποτική

17 Ιουλ 2012 (πριν από 5 χρόνια και 3 μήνες)

275 εμφανίσεις

International Scientific Conference Computer Science’2008


663
Project Management and Artificial Intelligence
Ivaylo Vasilev
Artificial Intelligence, Sofia, Bulgaria
Abstract: Developing general network models which can be used to present the business
processes and the information flow into organizations.
Keywords: Project Management, general network.


1. INTRODUCTION

During the last few years project management went through some serious development
and a lot of software solutions were developed for it which in most cases were oriented to
preparation of project schedules, for example Microsoft Project, and this was fairly good for a
long period of time.
Recently a necessity for new software solutions appeared in order to answer the
challenges of this fast developing area of knowledge. Some of the main problems at the
moment are the following:

• Analyzing business process: analyzing and optimization of the business
processes in the company;
• Adjusting of resource and project schedule: in larger projects the challenge of
adjusting these two schedules always exists;
• Managing multiple schedules: often in the course of work with projects we need
to work simultaneously with more than one schedule; also in the project schedule
we often have tasks behind time or emerging new tasks; it would be very useful
in these cases if the project management system offers us solutions for
optimizing and reorganizing the time schedules or prepares a few solutions
among which we could choose the most optimal;
• Using Smart wizards: recently increasingly valued are solutions which with the
help of smart questions could prepare the main part of the project time schedule
thus leaving the Project Manager with doing only some final adjustments;
• Next generation of ERP systems: ERP systems have already been on the market
for 20 years and have gone through a major development; now they are
irreplaceable tool in arrangement and analyzing the business processes in a
company, yet nowadays this is not sufficient, there is need that the systems take
and offer decisions on their own, something that needs artificial intelligence.

Within the following article I take a closer look at one of these problems – I demonstrate
some of the applications of techniques from artificial intelligence in the modeling of business
processes in a company. In this case with the help of examples the use of generalized
networks in defining the main process groups in the modern Project Management will be
demonstrated.

2. EXPOSE

First I would like to start with the main scheme in the modern Project Management
International Scientific Conference Computer Science’2008


664



It consists of the so-called process groups. Let us take a look at the Project
Integration Management:



As you can see each process group consists of sub-processes, every one of which has the
following structure:
Now let us take a look at the connection between transitions from the generalized
networks and process in the Project Management:
International Scientific Conference Computer Science’2008


665

1. Input: input documents,
2. Output: output documents,
3. Tools & Techniques: tools by which the input documents are transformed into
output documents.
I believe that you see the similarity with the generalized networks; at first sight it
looks easy:
• cores in the system are the input and output elements,
• transitions are the different sub-processes,
• matrixes of the transition, these are the instruments by which the input
determines the output.
The catch is that my attempts to present all processes as a generalized network and
worse – to try to add new, ended with a big, ugly and generally inconvenient scheme
and this is something I have no desire to put more efforts in.
Things start to look different when we go in 3D. Imagine the following picture:
• the cores, represented as small spheres (input-output elements of the
processes) are situated at equal distances on a plane (flat or bent in the shape of
a sphere),
• the transitions (processes) represented as small spheres are situated on another
plane separated from the first one and the two planes are connected to each
other with the help of lines representing the input and output cores,
• the tools on the other side are on a third plane which is connected to the second
one with lines and shows which tools refer to which transitions,
• the control is on a forth plane which is again connected to the second one with
the help of lines.
The advantage of that scheme is that I could add as much elements as I want as
well as whole levels and the picture could stay clear and if this is put into a 3D model
that could be rotated the model would look really well. Also, the algorithm for adding
and removing elements would become very easy.
The most entertaining part is that the subject of my study would not be the spheres
on the different planes but rather their relations – represented graphically with lines;
each relation / line being described with:
• resource: executor, person responsible, control unit,
• documental form,
• project meetings, schedules.
International Scientific Conference Computer Science’2008


666

The last one is a direct addition from the system thinking.
The generalized network would be on several levels:
1. Level one, documents. I will represent this first level as a plane and I will put the
different elements in a circle (in order for them to be seen more easily and clearly) and
using arrows between the elements in the circle I will show the different relations
(sequences) between the different elements. The elements from this level will be the
cores of the next one.
2. Level two, processes. I will again represent this first level as a plane and I will put
the different elements in a circle (in order for them to be seen more easily and clearly)
for a given process group and in a new circle for different group. I will show the relations
(sequences) between the elements using arrows between the elements in the circle.
Again the elements from this level will be the cores of the next one.
Using arrows between the first and second levels I will show the input-output
elements between transitions (elements of level two) in the generalized network.
3. Level three, process groups. I will again represent this first level as a plane and I
will put the different elements in a circle (in order for them to be seen more easily and
clearly). I will show the relations (sequences) between the process groups using arrows
between the elements in the circle. Again the elements from this level will be the cores
of the next one.
Using arrows between the second and third levels I will show the input-output
elements between transitions (elements of level three) in the generalized network.
This could be done infinitely but in the case of Project Management there will be only
three planes – only as much as needed.
International Scientific Conference Computer Science’2008


667
3. DISCUSSION

The idea of presenting the business processes in a dimensional generalized
network presents a lot of freedom and opportunities, for example:
• easy and clear visualization of all business processes in an organization which
would vastly improve the possibilities of their improvement and evaluation;
• very easy adding and removing of processes and documents which allows easy
testing of different variants of the business processes in the company;
• positioning internal hierarchy at each level; in the standard model of Project
Management such a hierarchy is usually put only between the processes, but
often such a connection exists between the documents too – which could be
presented very easily in this model;
• easy preparation of work procedures; once prepared the business processes
could easily be transformed to work procedures, which would greatly contribute
to the ISO standardization of the company;
• easy analysis; one of the main tasks of every Project Manager is to observe,
analyze and improve the business processes in a company – with the help of this
method of presentation this would be much easier.
Another advantage of this idea is that a software solution based on it could easily be
developed. Challenges before such a solution would be the following:
• to be 3D for better appearance and effectiveness for working with;
• to be User Friendly, should allow easy adding and removing of processes,
documents, hierarchies and connections;
• to support several variants of the business processes in the company;
• to be Web-based with the purpose of universality of access and platform
independence.

4. CONCLUSION

The article presents an innovative method of analysis of the main business processes in
the Project Management. Main characteristic of this method is that it uses the apparatus of
generalized networks combined with comfortable dimensional situation of the basic
components of Project Management.
The ideas presented in the article would very much contribute to observing and analysis of
the business processes in a company and their description which gives a serious business
potential to the idea because of the increasing necessity of companies to improve their
company culture and way of work in order to answer the increasing competition on the market.

5. REFERENCES
[1] Atanassov, K. Generalized Nets. World Scientific, Singapore, New Jersey, London, 1991.
[2] Duncan, W. Project Management Body of Knowledge, USA, Newtown Square,
Pennsylvania, 2000.
[3] Marion E. Haynes. Project Management: From idea to implementation.
[4] H. Ken Bowen. Project Management Manual. Boston: Harvatd Business Publiching, 2001.
[5] Paul C. Dinsmore. The AMA Handbook of Project Management. New York: AMACOM,
1993.
[6] Jefery Elton and Justun Roe. Bringing Discipline to Project Management. Harvard business
review. March-April 1998.
[7] Bennet P. Lientz and Katrin P. Rea. Breakthrought Technologie Project Management. San
Diego: Academic Press, 1999.