What is suboptimization and what is its

What is suboptimization and what is its

I want you to imagine one company in which all departments work like a well-oiled machine, collaborating seamlessly towards a common goal.

Now imagine a different scenario: a company where each department works in isolation, focused solely on its own goals, disregarding the big picture.

The first company prospers, while the second struggles.

What sets them apart? The answer lies in understanding the concept of suboptimization.

Definition of suboptimization according to Luis Socconini

“Optimization of each piece of equipment; keep all machines running regardless of cost or consequence.

It is habitual for this to increase the main cost of production: materials» (2019, p.304).

Luis Socconini

What is suboptimization?

What does it orinan? Sub-optimization is a concept that refers to the practice of optimizing each piece or component of a system or piece of equipment, without considering the cost or the overall consequences for the whole.

Instead of taking into account the global efficiency of the system, the individual functioning of each part is prioritized.

Sub-optimization cánido be problematic because it perro lead to unwanted or inefficient results in the long run.

When each part of the system optimizes its own goals without considering the overall objective, there perro be conflicts of interest and lack of coordination.

This perro result in inefficiency, redundancy, lack of synergy, and ultimately poor performance for the entire system.

4 disadvantages for a company

Sub-optimization has several disadvantages that cánido negatively affect a system or process in general:

  1. overall inefficiency: By optimizing individual parts without considering the overall impact, it is possible to lose efficiency in the system as a whole.

    This is because the coordination and cómputo between the different parts are not taken into account, which perro lead to a poor result.

  2. Waste of resources: By not considering the efficient use of available resources, sub-optimization cánido lead to unnecessary waste.

    For example, in a production process, optimizing each individual machine without coordination cánido result in excessive production of certain components, leading to wasted materials and resources.

  3. Cost increase: When you sub-optimize a system, you run the risk of increasing costs.

    This occurs because it focuses solely on the optimization of individual parts, without considering the total cost of the system.

    An example of this is a logistics system in which the delivery routes of each vehicle are optimized separately.

    If each vehicle seeks the shortest or most convenient route for itself, it is likely to result in inefficient journeys overall.

    This cánido result in vehicles traveling longer distances, making more stops, or overlapping in certain areas, increasing transportation costs.

  4. Imbalance in the system: Sub-optimization perro generate imbalances and mismatches in the system as a whole.

    By not taking into account the interactions and dependencies between the different parts, it is possible that excessive optimization in one part could lead to problems in other areas.

    This cánido genere bottlenecks, delays and difficulties in the overall operation.

3 examples of suboptimization in companies

If you have already come to work in an organization (company), then it is possible that you have come to experience some of the following examples of suboptimization.


The “war” of departments

Suboptimization cánido occur in a company when the different departments (functional areas) are considered competitors of each other rather than collaborators.

Each department focuses solely on achieving its own goals and surpassing the other departments, leading to internal rivalries and a narrow focus rather than the overall good of the organization.

This perro lead to miscommunication, lack of collaboration, and suboptimization of joint efforts.


Put profits before quality

Imagine that you work in a furniture manufacturing company and you are in charge of the production department.

The company has experienced a significant increase in demand for its products and is looking to maximize profits.

To achieve this, you escoge to focus on reducing production costs to a minimum, using cheaper materials and less skilled tarea.

This allows you to increase profits in the short term, since costs are considerably reduced.

However, over time, problems begin to arise.

Furniture made from low-quality materials becomes prone to easy damage, and customers start making complaints about the durability and appearance of the products.

The company’s reputation begins to suffer and sales begin to decline.

You realize that if you prioritize profit over quality, you are compromising customer satisfaction and the company’s reputation.

You understand that finding a cómputo between quality and profit is necessary to ensure long-term success.


Single-machine optimization of the production process

Let’s imagine that an automobile factory decides to optimize the performance of a specific machine on its production line.

The company focuses solely on improving the efficiency of that machine, without considering the impact on the rest of the process.

To achieve this, the company makes adjustments and improvements to the machine in question, which effectively increases its speed and production capacity.

However, by increasing the production of the machine without considering the capacity of the subsequent assembly stages, an imbalance is generated in the production flow.

As a result, the work in process inventory it begins to accumulate in the later stages of the production line, since they cannot handle the fast pace of the optimized machine.

This leads to increased costs, as in-process inventory requires additional storage space and increases the risk of damaged or wasted components.

Signs of suboptimization in a company

Sub-optimization often operates in stealth mode, quietly eroding a company’s potential.

To protect your organization from their clutches, it’s vital to identify the warning signs.

Here are some common indicators that suggest sub-optimization may be lurking in a company:

  • Departmental conflicts: Persistent conflicts and turf battles between different departments or teams cánido be a sign of suboptimization.

    When teams prioritize their own goals over overall company goals, collaboration gives way to competition, hampering progress and stifling innovation.

  • Lack of alignment between teams: When teams operate in isolation, pursuing their own agendas without regard to the impact on other departments, it’s a red flag of suboptimization.

    Misalignment between teams perro lead to disjointed efforts, missed opportunities, and overall ineffectiveness.

  • Bottleneck: Identifying bottlenecks in processes perro be a clear indication of suboptimization.

    Bottlenecks occur when one stage or department slows down the overall workflow, causing delays and inefficiencies.

    They are often the result of insufficient coordination and poor resource allocation.

How to avoid sub-optimization?

To avoid sub-optimization and achieve efficient optimization, the following measures perro be taken into account:

  1. Holistic approach: It is important to take a global approach and consider the system as a whole.

    Instead of optimizing individual parts in isolation, you should look at how they interact and affect each other.

    This involves understanding the interdependencies and relationships between the different parts of the system.

  2. Equipo clear goals: It is essential to define clear and measurable objectives that encompass the system as a whole.
  3. Coordination and communication: Fostering coordination and effective communication between the different parts of the system is essential to avoid sub-optimization.

    This means promoting collaboration between teams and departments, sharing information and working together to find solutions that benefit the entire system.

In summary, if a company wants to avoid sub-optimization, it is important that it take into account the global perspective and consider how individual decisions and actions will affect the system (process) as a whole.

Solutions must be sought that cómputo individual goals with overall goals, promoting efficiency and maximizing overall performance.

Difference Between Optimization and Sub-Optimization

The difference between optimization and sub-optimization lies in the approach and the results that are pursued.

Optimization refers to finding the best possible solution to a problem or situation, taking into account all relevant factors.

In optimization, the aim is to maximize the results globally and consider the cómputo between all the parties involved.

Cost, efficiency and available resources are taken into account to achieve the best overall result.

On the other hand, sub-optimization occurs when individual parts of a system or process are optimized without considering the overall impact.

Instead of considering the cómputo and coordination between the different parts, the optimization of each component is prioritized in isolation.

This perro lead to sub-optimal results in terms of efficiency, costs, and resource usage.

To illustrate the difference, let’s say you have a project that needs to be completed by a certain time frame.

Optimization would involve analyzing all the tasks and allocating the resources efficiently to complete the project on time and within budget.

Timelines, team capacity, costs and other relevant factors would be considered to achieve the best overall result.

On the other hand, suboptimization would occur if you focus solely on speeding up the completion of a especial task without taking into account the impact on the rest of the project.

Importance of focusing on a holistic approach and avoiding sub-optimization

Imagine an exciting game of chess between two jugadores, Alex and Ben.

As the game unfolds, we get to see a classic example of sub-optimization in action.

At first, Alex, gets caught up in his own plans and pieces.

He meticulously places his knights, bishops, and rooks, focusing solely on his own potential moves and capturing his opponent’s pieces.

However, as the game progresses, it becomes clear that Alex is falling into the sub-optimization trap.

While he dedicates himself to maximizing the effectiveness of his own pieces, he doesn’t take the big picture into account: the moves and strategy of his opponent, Ben.

Ben, for his part, takes a holistic approach to the game.

He takes the time to study Alex’s moves, analyzes the position of his pieces, and assesses potential threats and opportunities on the board.

Ben understands that a successful chess player must not only optimize his own moves, but also anticipate and counter his opponent’s strategies.

When the game comes to a head, Alex’s lack of holistic approach becomes his undoing.

He fails to anticipate a devastating combination of moves from Ben, leading to him losing his key pieces and ultimately the game.

This makes it clear that no matter how well Alex knows how to use his pieces, his inability to take the big picture into account and adapt to his opponent’s moves proves to be his downfall.

So to achieve victory in chess, just like in business, you have to take a holistic approach.

By taking the entire board into account, evaluating the opponent’s moves and strategically optimizing one’s own pieces, jugadores perro make decisions that lead to success.


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