main | about us | download | faq | readings | blogs | support | tutorial | *

SM 32 Downloads
Read all about PSM32 Features and Benefits

Description Type Size Updated
PSM 32 Version 3.9j (Jump)
People who had trouble installing the previous version should try this one.
Install shield installation, executable
includes all PSM components.
11.1 mb
Sample Data Files
Self extracting executable
41 kb
Replacement Database and Lock File
Self extracting executable
161 kb
FAQ/KB Files
Self extracting executable
252 kb

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" the product. 
  • If you have questions please contact support

Installation Notes:

  • System Requirements:
    1. Windows 98, 98se, ME, 2000, XP, 2003 server. 
      Macintosh and older versions of Windows are not supported.
    2. Pentium class machine. Pentium II or higher recommended.
    3. 32mb of RAM memory. More memory will significantly speed up the performance of the analysis for large problems.
    4. 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.

About PSM32 and its Features

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 problems.

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 following concepts:

  • 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 as follows:

  1. List all the items that must be known or have been done once you have solved the problem.
  2. 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:

  1. Partition: See which items:
    1. Must be considered in Sequence,
    2. Can be considered in Parallel,
    3. Must be considered Simultaneously or Iteratively.
    4. (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 task.

      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.)

  2. 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.

  3. 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 later.)

  4. Following A and given items to be changed:
    Impact: Trace the other items that may be affected by the change.

  5. 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.

What can be accomplished by using this program?

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 to use

    • 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.

    • 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 colors.
    • 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 the diagonal.
    • 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 program.

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 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.

Updated: 07/10/2004

Problematics Ideas!
© 1995-2015 Problematics

Contact us via email at:

| Site Design by Wonderlane Studios |