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.
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 agile manufacturing.
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 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).
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.
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.