Getting Things Done – Why Is It So Hard?

I went into Engineering because I wanted stable work, but I’m pretty sure I chose Industrial Engineering because I’m a little lazy, and I just HATE doing things over. My particular approach to “Working Smarter” is mathematical, and for most of my career I’ve used various math-based tools and methods to try to make life easier for myself and my employers and clients.

This page provides access to material related to my professional interests, as well as examples of quantitative and project management work I have done. All of the work was interesting, but I selected these particular projects to showcase because they did something useful.

(Last Update 29-Jul-2021)



    • Customer Issue Resolution UpdatedDevelop a customer issue resolution cycle time database for a global Call Center network and analyze the data to determine improvement targets to implement in a management dashboard. You can’t control what you can’t measure. This project helped the client understand how their customer issue resolution processes were performing, so efforts to reduce the cycle time could be effectively focused.
    • Six Sigma in a Novel Healthcare Setting Slides presented to Industrial Engineering undergraduates at the University of Illinois to pull together basic Quality concepts by discussing a real project implementation. Topics include Six Sigma DMAIC and QMS implementation.
    • TL9000 Certification Using Offshored Analysts – An effective Quality Management System is an important foundation for high performance business processes, but it isn’t cheap to implement one. In this project we employed off-shored (Indian) resources to build a QMS from scratch. (Presentation in .pdf format delivered to QuESTForum Best Practices Conference, Dallas, 2007)


    • Manufacturing Sourcing Optimization – Develop and implement a PC-based Decision Support System to conduct Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) analysis of a global manufacturing/distribution network. “Stuff Happens” as they say, and one thing that can happen is that a company ends up with too much capacity. This project was built to help a health products manufacturer periodically re-assess its global sourcing. Over the ten years it was used, the system identified well over $25 million in operating savings.
    • Batch Scheduling for a Blood Plasma Fractionation Facility – Adapt a next event scheduling simulation software product as a processer to construct a non-trivial dynamic production schedule for a medical products manufacturer. Did you ever use a wrench to drive a nail? Well, this project was like that. The client had a truly miserable batch scheduling problem, and it turned out that a simulation software product had a really neat event scheduler that could be used as a dispatcher to solve the problem quite nicely. (Article from Proceedings of the Society for Computer Simulation)
    • Lean Scheduling for Press-Mold Applications – Develop and implement a two-stage dynamic finite capacity scheduler capable of near-optimal scheduling of presses and molds. Algorithm minimizes sequence dependent setup time, and is applicable to any process that employs scarce “Mold-like” fixtures on “Press-like” equipment. Try and solve this one with a math programming approach! The approach was implemented in a PC-based shop-floor control system that paid my bills for three years. I’ve added some recent material that places traditional job shop scheduling in a Lean context.
  • Ricks Small World Problem– Presentation delivered to the West Suburban Polymaths describing the
    Small World problem and extensions. Based on work by Duncan Watts and
    others, the slides go through the background, applications, and a tiny
    little bit of the math behind this very interesting area of research.
  • Discussion and links I found useful in researching so-called “scale-free”
    processes and applications. The Small World research aroused my interest
    in network formulations of communications problems and the general
    properties of such networks. This is work in progress, and may or may
    not lead to applications. Of course, it may just allow me to play with
    fun toys like Python. (In preparation)
  • Links to open source statistics and mathematical analysis software. I’m cheap, and I my Minitab license ran out, so…. (In preparation)


You can access my LinkedIn profile here.