new home office

Let your Web browser’s search engine do the walking to help you plan your new home office.

“5 Easy Steps for Creating an Ergonomic Office Environment” (from The Pro+Designer Web site)

“Set Up a Home Office Without Blowing Your Non-Existent Budget” (from The Consumerist Web site)

“Organizing Your Home Office” (from Family Circle magazine’s Web site)

“The Basics of Home Office Design”  (from Inc. magazine’s Web site)


The precedence diagram method

The precedence diagram method is a tool for scheduling activities in a project plan. It is a method of constructing a project schedule network diagram that uses boxes, referred to as nodes, to represent activities and connects them with arrows that show the dependencies.

  • Critical tasks, noncritical tasks, and slack time
  • Shows the relationship of the tasks to each other
  • Allows for what-if, worst-case, best-case and most likely scenario

Key elements include determining predecessors and defining attributes such as

  • early start date..
  • late start date
  • early finish date
  • late finish date
  • duration
  • WBS reference

The critical path method (CPM) is a project modeling technique developed in the late 1950s by Morgan R. Walker of DuPont and James E. Kelley Jr. of Remington Rand.[2] Kelley and Walker related their memories of the development of CPM in 1989.[3] Kelley attributed the term “critical path” to the developers of theProgram Evaluation and Review Technique which was developed at about the same time by Booz Allen Hamilton and the U.S. Navy.[4] The precursors of what came to be known as Critical Path were developed and put into practice by DuPont between 1940 and 1943 and contributed to the success of the Manhattan Project.[5]

CPM is commonly used with all forms of projects, including construction, aerospace and defense, software development, research projects, product development, engineering, and plant maintenance, among others. Any project with interdependent activities can apply this method of mathematical analysis. Although the original CPM program and approach is no longer used,[6] the term is generally applied to any approach used to analyze a project network logic diagram.

Originally, the critical path method considered only logical dependencies between terminal elements. Since then, it has been expanded to allow for the inclusion of resources related to each activity, through processes called activity-based resource assignments and resource leveling. A resource-leveled schedule may include delays due to resource bottlenecks (i.e., unavailability of a resource at the required time), and may cause a previously shorter path to become the longest or most “resource critical” path. A related concept is called the critical chain, which attempts to protect activity and project durations from unforeseen delays due to resource constraints.

Since project schedules change on a regular basis, CPM allows continuous monitoring of the schedule, which allows the project manager to track the critical activities, and alerts the project manager to the possibility that non-critical activities may be delayed beyond their total float, thus creating a new critical path and delaying project completion. In addition, the method can easily incorporate the concepts of stochastic predictions, using the program evaluation and review technique (PERT) and event chain methodology.

Currently, there are several software solutions available in industry that use the CPM method of scheduling; see list of project management software. The method currently used by most project management software is based on a manual calculation approach developed by Fondahl of Stanford University.

design of experiments

The design of experiments (DOE, DOX, or experimental design) is the design of any task that aims to describe or explain the variation of information under conditions that are hypothesized to reflect the variation. The term is generally associated with true experiments in which the design introduces conditions that directly affect the variation, but may also refer to the design of quasi-experiments, in whichnatural conditions that influence the variation are selected for observation.

In its simplest form, an experiment aims at predicting the outcome by introducing a change of the preconditions, which is reflected in a variable called the predictor. The change in the predictor is generally hypothesized to result in a change in the second variable, hence called the outcome variable. Experimental design involves not only the selection of suitable predictors and outcomes, but planning the delivery of the experiment under statistically optimal conditions given the constraints of available resources.

Main concerns in experimental design include the establishment of validity, reliability, and replicability. For example, these concerns can be partially addressed by carefully choosing the predictor, reducing the risk of measurement error, and ensuring that the documentation of the method is sufficiently detailed. Related concerns include achieving appropriate levels of statistical power and sensitivity.

Correctly designed experiments advance knowledge in the natural and social sciences and engineering. Other applications include marketing and policy making.

Design of Experiments (DOE)


  1. Introduction
  2. Preparation
  3. Components of Experimental Design
  4. Purpose of Experimentation
  5. Design Guidelines
  6. Design Process
  7. One Factor Experiments
  8. Multi-factor Experiments
  9. Taguchi Methods

In the design of experiments, optimal designs (or optimum designs[2]) are a class of experimental designs that are optimal with respect to some statistical criterion. The creation of this field of statistics has been credited to Danish statistician Kirstine Smith.[3][4]

In the design of experiments for estimating statistical models, optimal designs allow parameters to be estimated without bias and withminimum variance. A non-optimal design requires a greater number of experimental runs to estimate the parameters with the sameprecision as an optimal design. In practical terms, optimal experiments can reduce the costs of experimentation.

The optimality of a design depends on the statistical model and is assessed with respect to a statistical criterion, which is related to the variance-matrix of the estimator. Specifying an appropriate model and specifying a suitable criterion function both require understanding ofstatistical theory and practical knowledge with designing experiments.


DMAIC (an acronym for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) (pronounced də-MAY-ick) refers to a data-driven improvement cycle used for improving, optimizing and stabilizing business processes and designs. The DMAIC improvement cycle is the core tool used to drive Six Sigma projects. However, DMAIC is not exclusive to Six Sigma and can be used as the framework for other improvement applications.

Guerrilla marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an advertisement strategy concept designed for businesses to promote their products or services in an unconventional way with little budget to spend. This involves high energy and imagination focusing on grasping the attention of the public in more personal and memorable level. Some large companies use unconventional advertisement techniques, proclaiming to be guerrilla marketing but those companies will have larger budget and the brand is already visible.[1] The main point of guerrilla marketing is that the activities are done exclusively on the streets or other public places, such as shopping centers, parks or beaches with maximum people access so as to attract a bigger audience.[2]

Guerrilla marketing is a concept that has arisen as we move from traditional media to more online and electronic media. It is a concept that was created by Jay Conrad Levinson when he wrote the book ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ in 1984. Traditional advertising media are channels such as print, radio, television and direct mail (Belch & Belch, 2012) but as we are moving away from these channels the marketers and advertisers have to find new strategies to get their commercial messages to the consumer. Guerrilla Marketing is an alternative strategy and is about taking the consumer by surprise to make a big impression about the brand (What is Guerrilla Marketing, 2015), this in turn creates a buzz about the brand or product being marketed. It is a way of advertising that increases engagement with the product or service, and is designed to create a memorable experience for the consumer. By creating this memorable experience for the consumer, it also increases the likelihood that a consumer, or someone who interacted with the campaign will tell their friends about it and via word of mouth the product or service being advertised reaches a lot more people than initially anticipated, and means it has more of a mass audience. This style of marketing is extremely effective for small businesses to advertise their product or service, especially if they are competing against bigger companies as it is inexpensive and focuses more on reach rather than frequency. For guerrilla campaigns to be successful companies don’t need to spend large amounts, they just need to have imagination, energy and time (Bourn, 2009). Guerrilla marketing is also an effective way companies who don’t provide a tangible service can advertise their products through the non traditional channels as long as they have an effective strategy. As opposed to traditional media Guerrilla marketing cannot be measured by statistics, sales and hits but is measured by profit made. It is designed to cut through clutter of traditional advertising and have no mystery about what is being advertised. The message to consumers will be clear and concise, the business will not diversify the message to the consumer and focus will be maintained. This type of marketing also works on the unconscious mind, as purchases quite often are decided by the unconscious mind. To keep the product or service in the unconscious mind means repetition is needed, so if a buzz is created around a product and it is shared amongst friends it enables repetition (Bourn, 2009) Two types of marketing encompassed by guerrilla marketing are Viral Marketing and Buzz Marketing. Unlike typical public marketing campaigns that utilize billboards, guerrilla marketing involves the application of multiple techniques and practices in order to establish direct contact with the customers.[3] One of the goals of this interaction is to cause an emotional reaction in the clients and the final goal of marketing is to get people to remember brands in a different way than they are used to . The technique involves from flyer distribution in public spaces to creating an operation at major event or festival mostly without directly connecting to the event but using the opportunity. The challenge with any guerrilla marketing campaign is to find the correct place and time to do the operation without getting involved in legal issues.

scatter diagram

Also called: scatter plot, X–Y graph

The scatter diagram graphs pairs of numerical data, with one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship between them. If the variables are correlated, the points will fall along a line or curve. The better the correlation, the tighter the points will hug the line.

Three Needs Theory

Need theory, also known as Three Needs Theory,[1] proposed by psychologist David McClelland, is a motivational model that attempts to explain how the needs for achievement,power, and affiliation affect the actions of people from a managerial context. This model was developed in the 1960s soon after Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in the 1940s. McClelland stated that we all have these three types of motivation regardless of age, sex, race, or culture. The type of motivation by which each individual is driven derives from their life experiences and the opinions of their culture. This need theory is often taught in classes concerning management or organizational behaviour.