Chapter 11

The implementation of a mathematical programming system of planning

11.1 Acceptance and implementation

Most of this book has been concerned with the problems of formulating and interpreting the solution of mathematical programming models. There is, however, generally another phase to be gone through before the solution of a model influences the making of real decisions. This final phase is that of gaining acceptance for, and implementing the solution. Many people who have been involved with all the phases of formulating a model, solving it, interpreting the solution, gaining acceptance for the solution, and then implementing it have found the last two phases to be the most difficult. In some cases, they may have stumbled fatally at this point. There are a number of lessons to be learnt from such experiences that are considered in this chapter. Obviously, the problem of acceptance and implementation will depend on the type of organization involved as well as the type of application. It is useful here to classify mathematical programming models for planning into short-, medium- and long-term planning models.

Short-term planning models may be simply ‘one off’ models used to decide the answer to a specific question, for example, do we build a new factory or not, what is the optimum design for this communications network? If these questions are unlikely to recur then there is generally little to be said about the acceptance and implementation. The solution produced by the ...

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