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Review and critique the effectiveness of operations management principles

Unit 16: Operations and Project Management

Unit code T/508/0528

Unit level 5

Credit value 15


Introduction

The aim of this unit is to develop students’ understanding of contemporary operations

theory as a function of a modern organisation. Students explore key benchmarks and

processes which will enable effective critique of an operation function. Students will

also consider the fundamentals of project management utilising the prescribed, but

well established, project life cycle.

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed sufficient

knowledge and understanding of operations and project management to make an

effective and immediate contribution to the way in which an organisation conducts its

business. Students will also be in a strong position to contribute to, as well as lead,

small-scale projects.

Underpinning all aspects of the content for this unit will be the consideration of the

strategic role of operations management and planning and control of resources, and

project management theories and the project life cycle.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit a student will be able to:

1 Review and critique the effectiveness of operations management principles.

2 Apply the concept of continuous improvement in an operational context.

3 Apply the project life cycle (PLC) to a given context.

4 Review and critique the application of the PLC used in a given project.


Essential Content

LO1 Review and critique the effectiveness of operations management principles

Operations vs operations management:

Operations as a concept and as a function vs management as strategic oversight

Operations as a concept:

Different approaches to operations management, Taylor’s theory of Scientific

Management, flexible specialisation, lean production, mass customisation and

agile manufacturing.

The operation process in a service sector and manufacturing sector organisation.

The relationship between operations and other business functions.

Operations management:

Overseeing the design, implementation and effectiveness of an operations function.

Utilising control systems and contingencies to ensure efficiency.

The use of Six Sigma and Lean principles to improve efficiency and effectiveness.


LO2 Apply the concept of continuous improvement in an operational context

Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the operations function:

Policies and processes including cost reduction and quality improvement.

Continuous improvement as a philosophy and approach using the application of

Lean principles within a cycle of continuous improvement.

Operations as a cross-organisation activity and not simply an independent

function.

The significant impact that technology has had upon operational functions and

information flows.

Consideration of software systems Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP),

Supply Chain Management (SCM), New-Product development (NPD) and Customer

Relationship Management (CRM).

Improving quality:

Reducing defects through Total Quality Management, the concept of Kaizen and

process re-engineering.


LO3 Apply the Project Life Cycle (PLC) to a given context

The Project Life Cycle (PLC):

The phases and activities of the PLC: initiation, planning, execution and closure.

Developing the business case for a project and undertaking feasibility study.

The theories and practice of project management:

To include agile methodologies, project management tools and project

leadership within the PLC.

Project documentation:

To include the project initiation document, project plan, cost benefit analysis and

work breakdown structure.

Directing projects:

Differentiating between large and small-scale projects and those used in the

public, private or not-for-profit sectors.


LO4 Review and critique the application of the PLC used in a given project

Holistic and focused critiques:

The broader influence/impacts of a project alongside a detailed analysis of the

application of the PLC.

Performance measurement:

To include milestones, targets, deliverables, benchmarks (internal and external)

and key performance indicators.

The review and critique process:

Using project monitoring to inform an evaluation.

The importance of reliability and validity in evaluation.

Programme theory and logic models to support a review.


Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

 

Pass

Merit

Distinction

LO1 Review and critique the effectiveness of operations management principles

 

P1 Conduct a review and critique of the implementation of operations management principles within an organisational context.

M1 Review and critique the implementation of operations management in relation to Six Sigma methodology and Lean principles

LO1 and LO2

D1 Apply appropriate theories, concepts and/or models to justify strategies of a continuous improvement plan for achieving improved efficiency.

LO2 Apply the concept of continuous improvement in an operational context

P2 Prepare a continuous improvement plan based on the review and critique of operations management principles within an organisational context.

M2 Analyse the effectiveness of a continuous improvement plan using appropriate theories, concepts and/or models.

 

LO3 Apply the Project Life Cycle (PLC) to a given context

 

P3 Apply each stage of the PLC to a given project, producing necessary supporting documentation for completing the project.

M3 Analyse the rationale for the project methodologies, tools and leadership within the PLC for the given project.

LO3 and LO4

D2 Critically evaluate the PLC through a practical and theoretical exploration of its effectiveness to draw valid conclusions and recommendations for improvement.

LO4 Review and critique the application of the PLC used in a given project

P4 Review and critique the effectiveness of the PLC in application to the chosen project using appropriate theories, concepts and models.

M4 Critically analyse how the use of appropriate theories, concepts and models in the PLC will differentiate between large and small-scale projects.


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