MG401      Half Unit
Operations Management

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Richard Steinberg NAB3.08


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, IMEX Exchange, MSc in Management, MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), MSc in Management (MiM Exchange), MSc in Management Science (Decision Sciences), MSc in Management Science (Operational Research), MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation, MSc in Management, Organisations and Governance and MiM Exchange. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


There is a pre-assignment that is due at the first lecture of Lent term 2017. The specification of the pre-assignment will be posted to Moodle on the last day of Michaelmas term 2016. Note that the pre-assignment is compulsory and cannot be accepted late.

Course content

The course covers eight topics: (1) Process Flow Analysis, (2) The Toyota Production System, (3) Inventory Management, (4) Assembly Line Balancing, (5) Project Management, (6) Quality Management for Services, (7) Forecasting, and (8) Scheduling. The course is structured in three parts. Part I is called 'Cases', and is based around a set of 5 readings: three Harvard Business School cases and two articles. Part II is called 'Techniques'. Part III is called 'The Goal', which takes place during the final 2-hour session, and consists of an in-depth discussion of the book, The Goal, by E.M. Goldratt and J. Cox.


16 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

In addition to the pre-assignment students will have six assignments throughout the term covering the material in the course, and will be expected to work as a group on each assignment. The problems comprising each assignment will be discussed in the seminar classes, and each student will be individually responsible for answering all the problems for each assignment.

Indicative reading

(1) Case: 'National cranberry cooperative (abridged)'

(2) Case: 'Toshiba: Ome works'

(3) Case: 'Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc.'

(4) Article: 'Controlling variation in health care: a consultation from Walter Shewhart'

(5) Article: 'Monitoring patients using control charts: systematic review'

(6) Book: The Goal, Fourth revised (30th anniversary) edition, E.M. Goldratt and J. Cox, 2014.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2015/16: 31

Average class size 2015/16: 11

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills