Input/output and Gantt diagrams
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It can be helpful to view operations management as an input/output diagram and to use Gantt charts to sequence activities.
Description of the input/output diagram
The diagram shows seven stages of operations management, starting with deciding direction and bringing together resources and concluding with evaluation and change, which can involve changing direction, resources or process and activities. The operations management input/output diagram is adapted from 'Managing resources for the market: managing operations', Barnes, 1997.
A Gantt chart shows time on the horizontal axis and lists the activities on the vertical axis.
This example Gantt chart shows how activities leading up to a fundraising performance might be sequenced.
Description of the Gantt chart
The chart shows the activities involved in organising the fundraising event, with the performance night at the end. It shows the sequence of activities that need to take place in the weeks running up to the performance night and indicates links between the start and end point of various activities.
Source: Published with permission from Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness. This material is taken from "Tools for Success: doing the right things and doing them right", published in October 2008. Download or buy your copy from Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness.
Have your say
Have you used the input/output diagram or Gantt charts before? Have you found them useful? Or do you use another system when managing operations?
Have your say in the Day-to-day operations forum.