INSC 60020, Managing Operations & Processes

COURSE PURPOSE

Other MBA courses address managing people, money, customers, strategies, and information technologies.  This course deals with managing the actual work that organizations do.  Managers must choose the right kind of processes and find the right balance of efficiency and effectiveness that leads to a high-value result.  Towards that end, this course deals with major concepts and basic techniques of enterprise operations management (OM). We look at operations from an integrated processes perspective, stressing that all activities and functions of a firm must work together in an organized way to provide a result of value to the firm’s stakeholders.  OM spans the entire organization—e.g., a Chief Operating Officer (COO) overseeing the work of research and development, design/engineering, production, marketing, sales, support, service, etc.  A COO is responsible for the effective, efficient, and predictable execution of integrated processes to achieve results of value.

A working knowledge of operations is indispensable for all managers and entrepreneurs.  Hence, this course is part of the MBA core curriculum and aims to (1) familiarize participants with several of the challenges and issues in managing the way a company operates and (2) provide participants with vocabulary, concepts, insights, and tools to address these issues and gain competitive advantage.  The course provides an overview of several areas, brief exposure to some decision support models, and experience with some basic tools.  Throughout, we will stress the importance of critical thinking and understanding the assumptions underlying managerial models.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

  • Understand and appreciate the roles of operations management and processes as competitive weapons.

  • Understand process flows in the context of repetitive operations to support business and marketing goals.

  • Understand the purposes of process improvement philosophies such as Lean and Six Sigma.

  • Demonstrate understanding and application of methods for:  aligning operations with strategy, analyzing repetitive processes (including throughput, flow time, cost, and capacity), developing valuable products and services, selecting appropriate process designs, and improving processes.

  • Appreciate the role of quantitative modeling for managerial decision support. Apply knowledge, conduct analyses, and make suitable recommendations in case-based situations.

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