Operations Management

Purpose of Course  showclose

Operations management is a science with which we are all, in some capacity, familiar.  We all have scarce resources and have to allocate those resources properly.  Think about the process of preparing a meal: you have to gather all the proper ingredients and prepare them for cooking.  Certain ingredients go in at certain times.  Occasionally, you fall behind or get too far ahead, jeopardizing the entire meal.  And, of course, if you find that you do not have enough ingredients, even more problems arise.  All of these elements of meal preparation – purchasing ingredients, prepping the ingredients by dicing them up, mixing ingredients together, boiling or baking the dish, serving, and cleaning – can be seen as parts of operations management.

In the realm of business, operations management is more complicated than preparing a family meal.  There may be hundreds or thousands of participants rather than just you and your brother or wife or grandfather cooking in the kitchen.  Each participant has a specific role in the operations process; if any step of the process is disrupted, the whole process can stall or fall apart.  Smart operations managers will have contingency plans in the event that stoppages occur.

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of operations management as they apply to both production and service-based operations.  Successful completion of this course will empower you to implement the concepts you have learned in your place of business.  Even if you do not plan to work in operations, every department of every company has processes that must be completed; someone savvy with operations management will be able to improve just about any process.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to BUS300.  Below, please find some general information on the course and its requirements.

Course Designer:

Primary Resources: This course is comprised of a range of different free, online materials.  However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all its assigned materials.  Pay special attention to Units 1 and 2, as these lay the groundwork for understanding the more advanced, exploratory material presented in later units.  You will also need to complete:

  • Sub-subunit 4.1.4 Assessment
  • The Final Exam
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through the assessment listed above and the resources in each unit.

In order to “pass” this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam.

Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of approximately 103 hours to complete.  Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly.  It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories and to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself.  For example, Unit 1 should take you 8 hours. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete the introductory reading (about 1 hour) and half of subunit 1.1 (about 1.5 hours) on Monday night; the remainder of subunit 1.1 and subunit 1.2 (about 2.5 hours) on Tuesday; subunit 1.3 and subunit 1.4 (a total of 3 hours) on Wednesday; etc.

Tips/Suggestions: As you work through the readings, web media, and lectures for this course, make sure to take notes on what you learn from each resource.  These notes will be useful as you study for your Final Exam.

A version of this course is also available in iTunes U.
Preview the course in your browser or view all our iTunes U courses.  

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Explain the role of operations and its relationship with the other functional areas of a business organization;
  • Analyze operation processes from a variety of perspectives such as productivity, workflow, and quality;
  • Apply the “Transformation Model” as a construct for understanding the relationship between the inputs, processes, and outputs of an organization;
  • Explain techniques and methodologies for managing an organization’s productive resources;
  • Apply basic design principles to determine appropriate facility location and layout;
  • Explain quality management and apply quality management principles to continuous improvement in operations management;
  • Discuss the goal of Supply Chain Management and its application in a variety of organizational settings;
  • Identify the critical factors involved in inventory control systems; and
  • Identify the operational processes in the student’s own organization.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have access to a computer.

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access.

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g. Adobe Reader or Flash).

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).

√    Have competency in the English language

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

√    Have completed the following courses listed in “The Core Program” of the Business Administration discipline: BUS103: Financial Accounting through BUS210: Corporate Communication.

Unit Outline show close