What’s In Your Bag?


Golf, one of the greatest games ever invented; enjoyed by millions of people across the world. With advancements in technology and designs, golf clubs have evolved into complex equipment that was completely unimaginable in just a few decades ago. Twenty years ago golfers would go to the store and purchase a set of clubs that feels good to them. These clubs were put together on an assembly line through the use of a product focus strategy that yielded high volume and low variety. As the game evolves over the past couple of decades so have the taste of golfers and the production process of golf clubs manufacturers.


Got Ping!

Founded in 1959, Ping Golf has become a powerhouse in the golf industry. They are well recognized by their innovation in custom club making. When Ping introduced their fitting system 10 years ago, they offered golfers with custom made clubs based on their physique and swing type. This was made possible by utilizing a repetitive focus strategy in their production process. Ping would make different clubheads with various lie angle and offset, shaft with different length and flexibility, and grips of different diameters. By measuring a golfer’s physique and analysis his swing, Ping is able to use the data to create a unique set of clubs by combining various components already manufactured. Ping’s production process is similar to that of Harley Davidson, where modules are combined to form many output options. Although Ping’s production process costs more than the traditional continuous flow process, it gives them a competitive advantage that is well worth.

Click here for more information on Ping’s fitting system: http://www.ping.com/fitting/5steps.aspx


Is not your daddy’s old club!

As other manufacturers try to gain competitive advantage in customization, a new evolution in club making has begun. TaylorMade just launched their new R-series driver, which embodies full customization while maintaining a low cost continuous flow production process. The R11S Driver offers loft, clubface, and center of gravity adjustments by having tuning devices build within the clubhead. This innovated design allows golfers to adjust the club to a specification suitable for them, and changes to previously set specification can be made again at any time. In terms of production process, TaylorMade only has to manufacture one type of clubhead, which greatly reduce production cost. Of course, the production of such elaborate clubhead requires additional research and development, and the cost of each clubhead is more than the traditional non-adjustable clubhead. But in the long-run, utilizing a continuous flow process will be less expensive in meeting market demand of customization.

Click here for more information on TaylorMade R11 Series Driver: http://taylormadegolf.com/taylormade/R11S-Driver/DW-JN721,default,pd.html?start=1&cgid=taylormade-drivers-r11s


The R11 series by TaylorMade is a great example of achieving customization while maintaining a low cost continuous flow production process. Do you know any products that can also do that?



Works Cited

Ping. (2012, 07 09). Custom Fitting. Retrieved from Ping Golf: http://www.ping.com/fitting/default.aspx

TaylorMade. (2012, 07 09). R11S Driver. Retrieved from TaylorMade Golf: http://taylormadegolf.com/taylormade/R11S-Driver/DW-JN721,default,pd.html?start=1&cgid=taylormade-drivers-r11s


The Dark Side of CPM

We learned in class how Critical Path Method (CPM) can assist us in delivering a project on time and in a successful manner. There is, however, a dark side to such an approach in managing a project. This dark side is of fault of CPM, but rather it is caused by phenomena best described as the Parkinson’s Law and Murphy’s Law. In a nutshell Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill, and often exceed, the time allowed. Murphy’s Law tells us that whatever can go wrong will go wrong.


Let me provide an example to illustrate the correlation between the dark side of CPM and these two laws. I have a research paper to do and it is due in 3 weeks. It will take me 2 weeks to turn it into an “A” paper. Since I have 1 week of slack time I decided to start my project on week 2. This delay in starting, as suggested by Parkinson’s Law, is a natural postponement that results in the entire project time being used. The dark side also has another weapon to derail my project – uncertainty.

Murphy’s wisdom tells us that when something can go wrong, it will. The uncertainly I may face can be trouble with research materials, my computer stops working, my car breaks down, I get sick, etc. These are just some uncertainties that can cause me to miss my deadline. My only recourse in such an event is to crash the project. The cost of crashing will most likely be a less quality paper.


The Critical Chain Scheduling and Buffer Management approach is one way to combat this dark side of CPM. Basically, this approach assigns each task time based on an aggressive estimate, which has a 50% confidence level of completion, and the safety time of each task is allocated into a buffer location. When a task is completed in excess of the assigned time, which will most likely be the case because of the 50% confidence level of completion and the time spend on dealing with uncertainty, an equal amount of time will be deducted from the buffer. By monitoring the buffer I can assess the status of my project and take action when the buffer reaches a critical level.










The use of Critical Chain Scheduling and Buffer Management can counter the effects of Parkinson’s Law and Murphy’s Law. This, however, does not render CPM ineffective, nor does it diminish its usefulness. What I’m trying to do here is to provide a bit more holistic view on CPM. In addition, my description of Critical Chain Scheduling and Buffer Management is by no means comprehensive; a more detail description on this topic can found at http://www.focusedperformance.com/articles/ccpm.html. By understanding the characteristics of CPM we can better plan our project and combat against postponement and uncertainty.


Francis, P. (1999, April). Critical Chain Scheduling and Buffer Management: Getting Out From Between Parkinson’s Rock and Murphy’s Hard Place. Retrieved from Focused Performance: http://www.focusedperformance.com/articles/ccpm.html