Operations research can be described as a scientific approach to the solution of problems in the management of complex systems. In a rapidly changing environment an understanding is sought which will facilitate the choice and the implementation of more effective solutions which, typically, may involve complex interactions among people, materials and money.
Operations research has been used intensively in business, industry and government. Many new analytical methods have evolved, such as: mathematical programming, simulation, game theory, queuing theory, network analysis, decision analysis, multicriteria analysis, analytic hierarchy process, etc., which have powerful application to practical problems with the appropriate logical structure.
Operations research in practice is a team effort, requiring close cooperation among the decision-makers, the skilled OR analyst and the people who will be affected by the management action.