Field analysis is the practice of operations research usually at the place where the operations occur. It uses observations and data from those operations as they are carried out by the people who normally conduct them. Its purpose may be the immediate modification of an unsatisfactory process, or at longer range, the elucidation of the critical steps in the process for further analysis of options and changes. Its vital importance to systems analysis lies in this latter alternative.
As the operations under study are real and current, they involve the use of equipment or machines already in place, and the practices of operators who have been trained in their use. Projections of possible future capabilities and alternative training methods are not a major part of the basic data on which the analysis must be based.
Problems that are visible are those that obviously interfere with the smooth functioning of the system. Their solution must make major differences to be considered...
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