Introduction to Operations Management
Value: 24 credits
Course Co-ordinator: Mark Stevenson (A71, LUMS)
Lecturers: Mark Stevenson and Jerry Busby
Pre-requisites: MSCI 100, 101, 110 or equivalent.
Terms Taught: Lent & Summer
Course Website: https://mle.lancs.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=908 [Moodle]
Slack et al. (2007) define operations management as “the activities, decisions and responsibilities of managing the production and delivery of products and services”. It is the core managerial discipline for all kinds of operations, from private sector manufacturing through to public sector services. It is about the capability to organise all of the operations that underpin the modern world, including: transportation, the generation of energy, retailing, the production of goods, and the provision of medical care and education.
Part of this discipline is analytical: being able to formalise, measure and understand operational problems, such as congestion, under-capacity and failure. Part of it is constructive: being able to plan and design production and service processes. The course reflects this combination, and includes both qualitative and quantitative methods.
By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Apply basic planning and analysis techniques to particular cases
- Identify different kinds of operations and predict their attributes
- Understand operations problems and find improvement strategies
The course is made up of a combination of lectures and seminars (up to 30 lecture hours and 15 seminar hours).
- The lectures will present the concepts and methods, drawing on business applications to illustrate them.
- The seminars will be based on case problems set in the lectures. Students can work on the problems during the seminar but will make the most use of their time with tutors if they attempt the problem in their own time first. During the seminars, the cases and an approach to solving the case will be discussed. Students will have the opportunity to raise problems and issues with the tutors.
- Attendance at seminars is compulsory. Seminars are an integral part of the course, providing students with an opportunity to obtain guidance on those parts of the course where they are having difficulty and to extend their understanding.
- The Moodle web-board will be used to distribute all materials for the course.
To meet the University’s requirement that attendance is monitored at least once a fortnight, the seminars have been designated as compulsory events. Registers will be used to monitor attendance.
Outline Lecture Plan
The following provides an outline (provisional and subject to change) of the topics covered in the course:
- Operations characteristics and objectives;
- Operations strategy;
- Processes, process mapping and process characteristics;
- Capacity management;
- Inventory planning and control;
- Enterprise resource planning systems;
- Quality control and management;
- Project planning and control;
- Networks and supply;
- Risk analysis and organisational reliability.
Several lecture hours will be held in reserve should issues and problems arise during the course.
There will be two pieces of assessment:
- One piece of coursework, counting for 50% of the total grade for the course;
- An examination in the summer term counting for the other 50% of the total grade.
The total workload for the course will be approximately 100 hours, although this depends on the capacities of individual students. This includes time needed for:
- Set reading. The lecturer will recommend specific, short pieces of set reading from the course text.
- Case preparation. The lecturer will recommend the study and solution of cases in preparation for the tutorials.
- Coursework assignments.
- Revision for the examination.
Reading and Lecture Notes
- Lecture slides for each lecture will be posted on Moodle around 24 hours in advance of the lecture. Slides are NOT intended to be self-explanatory - attendance at lectures is essential to understand them, and additional material may sometimes be handed out at lectures.
- A model solution to each case dealt with in the seminars will be posted on the web-board after the seminar.
In addition, you will also need to have regular access to the course text for the set reading, the set cases, and the further development of your understanding.
The course text, which you are strongly recommended to obtain, is:
- “Operations Management” by Slack N, Chambers S and Johnston R, 6th Edition, Prentice-Hall.
- The Management Science Department undergraduate secretary is based in A68 of the Management School. Her office hours are 10 - 12 and 14.30 - 16.30.
We hope that you enjoy the course and welcome feedback informally or via course reps.