This book first takes the reader through a simple example - the '8 day BCA' (Part 1). This illustration provides an easy to understand approach for a relatively simple decision support problem - whether or not to upgrade existing office computers. It is deceptive, however, in that it acquaints the reader with many of the analysis tools that are actually used for much more complex business decisions - and that are often found in expensive management studies. The book then progresses into an overview of the concepts behind these decision support approaches (Part 2). Featured are topics dealing with the historical development of the techniques, and with the inevitable need to reconcile human perceptions with 'mechanical' calculations. A socio-technical theory is presented as a potential approach for reconciliation of human-mathematical aspects of business decisions. Next, comprehensive examples of specific decision support techniques illustrate calculations and algorithms for many of the most common business situations (Part 3). Examples for specific techniques include how to develop economic, statistical and risk analyses, human process modelling and network analysis.
Also, simulation, linear programming and inventory models (for both consumables and reparable items) are illustrated. In these detailed examples the book reveals many of the 'secrets' that professional consultants use for all sorts of business analysis situations. Finally, step-by-step procedures provide both descriptive report guidelines and an example final briefing for finished BCA reports (Part 4). Following this basic approach, the reader learns how to conduct their own business case analysis; or, alternatively, what they should expect when consultants are used. This comprehensive 'how to' approach that considers both behavioural and management science aspects to decision support situations. It provides a refreshing, rarely found combination of these business decision support approaches.
James W Brannock