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Analyzing process uncertainty through virtual process simulation

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to propose virtual process simulation as a technique for identifying and analyzing uncertainty in processes. Uncertainty is composed of both risks and opportunities. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Virtual process simulation involves the creation of graphical models representing the process of interest and associated tasks. Graphical models representing the resources (e.g. people, facilities, tools, etc.) are also created. The members of the resources graphical models are assigned to process tasks in all possible combinations. Secondary calculi, representing uncertainty, are imposed upon these models to determine scores. From the scores, changes in process structure or resource allocation can be used to manage uncertainty. Findings ‐ The example illustrates the benefits of utilizing virtual process simulation in process pre-planning. Process pre-planning can be used as part of strategic or operational uncertainty management. Practical implications ‐ This paper presents an approach to clarify and assess uncertainty in new processes. This modeling technique enables the quantification of measures and metrics to assist in systematic uncertainty analysis. Virtual process simulation affords process designers the ability to more thoroughly examine uncertainty while planning processes. Originality/value ‐ This research contributes to the study of uncertainty management by promoting a systematic approach that quantifies metrics and measures according to the objectives of a given process.
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Keywords: Modelling; Opportunity management; Process analysis; Process modeling; Risk management; Uncertainty management; Virtual process simulation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-02-03

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