MG401      Half Unit
Operations Management

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Richard Steinberg NAB3.08


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

This course is capped.  Students on the waiting list will be selected based on their suitability for the course based on their academic background.

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

This course includes a pre-assignment that is due at the first lecture of term. The pre-assignment will be posted to Moodle on the last day of Michaelmas term 2015.

Students will also 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 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 2014/15: 30

Average class size 2014/15: 10

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

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