IE Business School Online Masters
Ram Parasuraman
May 25, 2010
Random Passing thoughts during our assignments….. here goes one…

Operations Management reminds me, a Computer Engineer by academic preparation, of Pipelining, a concept common in Computer Architecture and "Operating Systems" design (I mean Windows, Linux, etc.). It is a technique used to speed up processes by breaking them into smaller tasks and arranging them to start tasks at different times, each at a certain offset after the previous one begins. 

This parallelization of tasks occurs in such a way that each task gets input from the previous task, which is running ahead or has completed. If for one of a number of reasons, a task gets stuck, subsequent tasks behind it, have to add delay slots to account for the disruption. The worst case is to redo the entire task which got stuck and this leads to a ripple effect. A number of design considerations ensue, such as how deep should the pipeline be, in other words, how many processes are running at the same time? The time duration between starting consecutive tasks, the maximum acceptable delay, etc.

Funny such thoughts occur when solving a case that involves Cookies at midnight! Any further proof required that this is an absent minded Geek at work here?! Sigh!

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