SM 32 Downloads
Software use terms
- This software is not free. You many download
and try our software for 30 days.
- After the trail period you must discontinue
using PSM32 or register it by contacting sales.
- The trail version is fully functional in every
way except the total problem size is limited. Registered users need
only enter a serial number issued by Problematics to "unlock"
- If you have questions please contact support.
- System Requirements:
- Windows 98, 98se, ME, 2000, XP, 2003 server.
Macintosh and older versions of Windows are not supported.
- Pentium class machine. Pentium II or higher
- 32mb of RAM memory. More memory will significantly
speed up the performance of the analysis for large problems.
- 50mb of free disk space. Additional disk
space may be required to store problems.
- Internet Explorer users may elect to run this
program from this location to do the install.
- Existing users should choose a custom installation
and uncheck the data files.
The PSM32 program is used to implement the Dependency
Structure Method (DSM). DSM is a way of looking at businesses from the
point of view of the problems they solve. It is a tool to gain competitive
advantage by increasing oneís capabilities for dealing with complex
We are currently seeing many attempts to reduce
a firmís complexity by restructuring, reengineering, outsourcing, partnering,
empowering and many other techniques. DSM allows you to look at the
structure of the problems to be solved and their required communication
patterns to make better decisions about how to reduce complexity.
Understanding the communication patterns inherent
in each problem can greatly increase the efficiency with which an enterprise
solves that problem. It can provide a competitive advantage by allowing
significant reductions in the times needed to develop new products.
The Dependency Structure Method is based on the
- To solve a problem, first look at the structure,
i.e., what depends on what. The structure can be analyzed to reveal
the communication needed to solve the problem.
- Hierarchical organizations are adept at solving
problems that have a tree structure. However, we find that most business
problems have a web structure, making it very inefficient to solve
these problems working through a hierarchical organization. DSM provides
the communication pattern that provides the organization tailored
for solving each specific problem.
To develop this communication structure, we proceed
- List all the items that must be known or have
been done once you have solved the problem.
- For each item, list the others items that must
be done or known before this item can be done or determined. This
is called the predecessors.
This is represented by the Dependency Structure
Matrix, which can easily be manipulated by the program for an understanding
of the needed communication patterns.
The program is used to:
- Partition: See which items:
- Must be considered in Sequence,
- Can be considered in Parallel,
- Must be considered Simultaneously or Iteratively.
- (In a critical path schedule this simultaneous
or iterative situation does not arise or is not explicitly shown
because one is dealing only with items to be done. But here we
are dealing both with what is to be done and what information
is to be determined. Information is needed to determine how a
task item it to be done, and information is produced by doing
The introduction of information flow raises the possibility, indeed
the probability, of being confronted with blocks of more than
one item where each item in the block depends on all the other
items in the same block. This is usually resolved by making assumptions
and iterating to refine the assumptions.)
- Following A:
Tear: Analyze blocks found in A to choose what assumptions
to use, where they will be used, when they will be reviewed, and how
the items within the blocks will be iterated depending on those reviews.
- Following B and given durations for each iteration
of each item:
Schedule: Develop a critical path schedule. (The calculation
of early times and an interface to Microsoft Project will be available
- Following A and given items to be changed:
Impact: Trace the other items that may be affected by the change.
- During the problem solving process:
Notify: As items are completed, show which other items are
now ready to be dealt with. Using the Dependency Structure Method
(DSM) to tear blocks involves an interaction between the program,
which helps in the analysis of the structure and provides heuristics,
and the user, who uses the heuristics and brings to bear the semantics.
The semantics are the additional understandings of what each item
means and what is involved in resolving it.
Significant reductions (perhaps 20% to 30% or more)
in product development times can be realized by tailoring the iteration
and review process to the specific structure of the problem rather than
using the more common generic review phases.
The dependency structure of systems can usually
be seen and understood more clearly by using the matrix and interacting
with it on the computer than by viewing large diagrams. This visualization
of the structure can also be updated more quickly and made fully available
to everyone with a PC on his or her desktop.
This situation visibility makes it easier for people
to see what needs to be done and assume or bid for the authorization
to do it. This reduces the amount of information intermediation required
of management and places greater responsibility on the individual to
recognize the skills he or she needs and to plan for their training
or opportunities to realize those skills.
Some features of the program that make it easy
- INPUT and EDITING
- Item names can be entered initially. Later
they can be added to, deleted or edited.
- Precedence relations between items, i.e.,
what depends on what, can be entered, deleted and edited either
by clicking on the appropriate cells of the matrix, or by working
with tables of predecessors and successors.
- Partitioning determines the orders in which
the items can be considered; sequentially, in parallel, or in
blocks. The dependencies can be assigned level numbers 0-9. This
numbering can be used to order the partitioning of the matrix
to show a hierarchy of iterated blocks within iterated blocks.
- A wizard is available to help initially
set up the matrix.
- DISPLAY and MANIPULATION OF MATRIX
- The matrix can be resized, and scrolled
vertically and horizontally, or scrolled up and down along the
diagonal. One can drag the cursor over a section of the matrix
to see that section fill the screen.
- Marks with different levels are shown in
different colors. After partitioning, the blocks within blocks
associated with the different levels are also shown using those
- Once an order for the matrix is established,
the ordering can be captured so that one can return to that order
at a later time.
- Partitioning: The items in the matrix can
be reordered so that the square blocks occur along the diagonal
and all other dependencies (sequence and parallel) occur below
- Tearing: The items within the blocks can
be reordered so that only the marks representing the dependencies
where assumptions are used will occur above the diagonal, but
still within the block. This reordering process involves choosing
what assumptions to make and where to use them. This is done through
the user making decisions guided by heuristics provided by the
Your next step
A full-featured demonstration version of the program
that will handle up to twenty items can be downloaded from our web at
above. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more
information, working papers, PowerPoint information slides and tutorials,
to arrange to pay for and receive a registration number that will eliminate
the twenty-item barrier, or to arrange for training and consulting.
The program is currently in a late beta development
stage. We are constantly adding features. Stories about how you have
used the program and suggestions for its improvement will be very welcome.