MG401      Half Unit
Operations Management for Management Consultancy

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Richard Steinberg NAB.3.08


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Management (1 Year Programme) and MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 45.  Students on the waiting list will be selected based on their academic background. 


There is a pre-assignment that is due on the Thursday before the first lecture of Lent term 2022. The specification of the pre-assignment will be posted to Moodle on the last day of Michaelmas term 2021. Note that the pre-assignment is compulsory and cannot be accepted late.

Course content

The course covers nine topics: (1) Process Flow Analysis, (2) Bottleneck Analysis, (3) The Toyota Production System, (4) Inventory Management, (5) Assembly Line Balancing, (6) Critical Path Method, (7) Quality Management for Services—with an emphasis on Quality Management in Healthcare,  (8) Forecasting, and (9) 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: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, 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: -‘Distinguishing between common cause variation and special cause variation in a manufacturing system’

(6) Book: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement, E.M. Goldratt and J. Cox.


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

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2020/21: 31

Average class size 2020/21: 12

Controlled access 2020/21: 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