Title: Project task flow optimisation and departmental flow analysis using design structure matrix and genetic algorithm

Authors: Shi-Jie Chen; Lukasz M. Mazur; Michał Sąsiadek

Addresses: Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Northern Illinois University, 590 Garden Rd., EB 234, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA ' Department of Radiation Oncology – School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Campus Box 7512, 101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Computer Science and Production Management, University of Zielona Gora, Prof. Szafrana 4, Zielona Gora, Poland

Abstract: Engineering projects often require a great deal of effort during the planning and designing stages to eliminate any unnecessary rework. To achieve satisfactory results in complex projects, project managers need to consider every possible rework (or feedback connections) throughout the entire project life cycle in addition to establishing the best project task flow. Therefore a project can be completed in a shorter time and lower cost without sacrificing the quality of the outcome. The objective of this paper is to develop an optimisation process for project task coordination using design structure matrix (DSM) and genetic algorithm (GA). DSM helps identify the relationships among project tasks. GA is used to help coordinate/optimise the project task structure in terms of task cost, task time and their coupling strength. This paper also shows our developed method is able to help the managers to enhance the level of cooperation among the related departments by a departmental flow analysis. The effectiveness of this model is demonstrated by an industry example.

Keywords: project management; project task flow analysis; departmental flow analysis; genetic algorithms; GAs; design structure matrix; DSM; engineering projects; cooperation; rework; feedback connections.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2013.053239

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2013 Vol.15 No.1, pp.68 - 92

Published online: 10 Apr 2013 *

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