MM305 Units Discussion Questions With Sample Answers

  1. Provide at least one example of when you might use (1) the minimal-spanning-tree technique, (2) the shortest path, and (3) the maximal flow through a network technique. And explain why it would be the appropriate technique to apply in each of the situations you describe

Minimal-spanning-tree technique can be used by Water Company while piping a region to provide tapped water. This technique would be very appropriate in this case because it identifies the most economical routes by identifying routes with no cycles to various nodes. Shortest path can be used in transportation to identify the path that would lead to a certain destination faster in a transportation network. This is used in this case since it reduces the transportation expenses, safe time and reduce road related pollution. The maximum flow through a network technique can be used in transportation scheduling particularly in airways or railways. It assist in eliminating any form of collision from planes or trains from different routes but using a similar joint node at some point.


  1. Describe three recent situations in which you were directly affected by poor product or service quality. What might have been the cause and how might statistical quality control help eliminate these situations?

I have been affected by poor product quality in one of the restaurant where I took my lunch and later had stomach ache, a situation that made me be admitted in a hospital for food poisoning. I also experienced poor services quality in one of the local bank where I managed to make a withdrawal via the ATM received the withdrawal alert in my phone but the ATM did not provide any money. I had to manage without the cash for a whole weekend. I also experienced poor service quality in a quick food joint. Based on the banner the joint was opened at 6.30 am and I entered at around 7.30, I was expecting to stay for about 25 minutes. However, the waiter delayed in delivering my order for about 20 minutes only to learn later that there was no ready food and I had to wait for it to be prepared. I spend double the initial anticipated time.


The three problems could have been caused by poor planning and lack of quality control. The statistical quality control may assist in eliminating the problem in the first case by ensuring sampling the products used in food process and the procedure to identify the product or the position that does not meet the required standard and make adjustment. The statistical quality control can also be used in the ATM management system to establish any possible errors and their rate of occurrence and consider employing the best measures to eliminate the error or suppress its effect. In the last situation statistical quality control should consider evaluating the efficiency of their process to identify any unnecessary delays and make adjustment to fit their schedule either by adding number of workers, or adjusting their opening time.


  1. Describe a situation where it would be appropriate to use forecasting. Be sure to include all the necessary steps to develop the forecast and why you would use the forecast you chose

The best situation to use forecasting is when predicting the future number of sales of a product in the company, especially for a new product that is growing in popularity. To develop a forecast, one needs to identify the problem and define it, then the relevant information is gathered, initial analysis of the collected data is done, the best model is chosen and fitted, and finally the model is used to make a forecast. The chosen forecast would be used to assist the company in deciding on the volume of production for a certain product in a certain period of time. Forecasting the demand will assists the company in producing enough products to address the demand and thus, avoiding market surplus or deficiency

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