Unit 16: Operations and Project Management
Unit code T/508/0528
Unit level 5
Credit value 15
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,
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.
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.
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
The operation process in a service sector and manufacturing sector organisation.
The relationship between operations and other business functions.
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
The significant impact that technology has had upon operational functions and
Consideration of software systems Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP),
Supply Chain Management (SCM), New-Product development (NPD) and Customer
Relationship Management (CRM).
Reducing defects through Total Quality Management, the concept of Kaizen and
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.
To include the project initiation document, project plan, cost benefit analysis and
work breakdown structure.
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.
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
LO1 Review and critique the effectiveness of operations
P1 Conduct a review
and critique of the implementation of operations management principles within an organisational
M1 Review and critique the implementation of operations management in relation to Six Sigma methodology
and Lean principles
D1 Apply appropriate theories, concepts and/or models to
justify strategies of a continuous improvement plan for achieving improved
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
LO3 Apply the
Project Life Cycle
(PLC) to a given
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
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
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.