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Introduction to Operations Management

Christian Terwiesch

This comprehensive course delves into operations management and process improvement principles and techniques, providing you with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and eliminate inefficiencies in your organization. You will gain a solid foundation in operations management by analyzing key concepts such as cost-quality trade-offs, the efficiency frontier, and system inhibitors.

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This comprehensive course delves into operations management and process improvement principles and techniques, providing you with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and eliminate inefficiencies in your organization. You will gain a solid foundation in operations management by analyzing key concepts such as cost-quality trade-offs, the efficiency frontier, and system inhibitors.

Get ready to delve into process analysis, where you'll identify and analyze steps in a process, implementing changes for enhanced outcomes. With practical exercises, including creating process flow diagrams and capacity calculations, you'll strengthen your analytical skills firsthand.

Experience the power of optimizing flow within operations as you uncover waste sources and design efficient processes for maximum output, reduced costs, and heightened customer satisfaction. An in-depth exploration of Little's Law will equip you to make informed decisions on capacity planning and process improvements, optimizing inventory levels, reducing lead times, and enhancing supply chain coordination.

Additionally, you'll learn to effectively manage variability, laying the groundwork for consistent and exceptional quality standards. Statistical analysis, problem-solving methodologies, and real-time information utilization will empower you to tackle issues, find root causes, and foster continuous improvement.

Throughout the course, the focus remains on driving improvements and achieving excellence. Analyze, improve, and reimagine how work gets done, armed with the necessary tools and frameworks to enhance work processes across diverse industries.

Join this course to analyze, improve, and reimagine how work gets done and to acquire the necessary tools and knowledge to make meaningful improvements in your organization's operations.

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What's inside

Syllabus

Introduction to Operations Management and Process Analysis
At its core, operations management is about finding and then reducing inefficiencies. We will start by examining key concepts such as cost-quality trade-off, the efficiency frontier, and three system inhibitors. We will also explore process analysis, enabling you to identify and analyze the steps involved in a process and make changes to improve its outcomes. By the end of this module, you will have opportunities to practice these concepts by creating process flow diagrams and calculating the resource with the lowest capacity. Additionally, you'll be able to practice calculating capacity, flow rate, and utilization. You will be able to transfer these skills to initiate process analysis within your organization.
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Module 2: Flow Management and Lean Operations
In operations management, flow focuses on the movement of materials, products, and information through the various stages of a production or service process. Lean operations focus on identifying sources of waste both in terms of resources and processes. Optimizing flow can improve productivity, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. By learning to carefully observe how work is done, we can become better at identifying waste. The goal is to create efficient and effective processes that maximize output while minimizing waste.
Module 3: Little’s Law
Little's Law, a foundational concept in operations management, helps quantify and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of a system by providing key performance indicators. By understanding the relationship between inventory, arrival rate, and cycle time, managers can make informed decisions regarding capacity planning. Little’s Law also serves as a diagnostic tool for process improvement initiatives and is particularly valuable in supply chain management, where it enables companies to optimize inventory levels, reduce lead times, and enhance coordination among various stages of the supply chain. It helps strike a balance between supply and demand, improving overall responsiveness and customer service.
Module 4: Quality
Variability can introduce defects and hinder the pursuit of excellence. By recognizing and managing variability, organizations can lay the foundation for consistent and exceptional quality standards. This module introduces frameworks that provide systematic ways to analyze variability. We’ll look at how statistical analysis and problem-solving methodologies can enhance quality. We’ll also explore the power of real-time information and how it fosters continuous improvement. We’ll examine strategies for finding the root cause of an issue and explore how we might develop targeted solutions as we unravel complex problems.

Good to know

Know what's good
, what to watch for
, and possible dealbreakers
Develops core operations management principles and techniques
Taught by Christian Terwiesch, an experienced instructor with a reputation in the field
Provides hands-on exercises to strengthen analytical skills
Emphasizes on reducing inefficiencies in organizations
Covers a range of topics relevant to the field

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Reviews summary

Highly recommended operations management course

Learners say Introduction to Operations Management is an excellent course that gives you a lot of knowledge on how to improve operations in an organization. The course features engaging assignments and good lectures by Professor Tereswich. The course is well paced, challenging, and worthwhile. Learners mention that the course has plenty of real life examples and provides challenging homework assignments that help to improve understanding of the topic. An overwhelming majority of learners recommend enrolling in this course without hesitation.
Course includes plenty of real life examples.
"Excellent example of teaching and one of the best MOOCs I have taken. Plenty of real life examples"
"This course is wonderfully structured and has a lot of useful material which can be applied in many different industries."
"The knowledge received can be easily applied in a real-life company."
Assignments are challenging and help improve understanding.
"The assignments in particular give very realistic examples to work through, and I felt that they were adequately difficult to challenge a student's understanding of the topic."
"Challenging and rewarding assignments."
"Just finished this course and managed to pass with distinction. Course was excellent. Well paced, interesting examples. Good lectures by the professor . Exercises were difficult enough to be interesting. Very worthwhile."
Professor is knowledgeable and makes concepts easy to follow.
"Prof T is very knowledgeable, organized and right on point with this course."
"Professor who definitely knows what he is talking about"
"The instructor is an expert in process design and makes the concepts easy to follow."
Highly recommended course.
"Excellent course."
"Excellent example of teaching and one of the best MOOCs I have taken."
"By far the best MOOC I have ever taken (out of 10)."
Course may require previous knowledge of statistics and excel.
"The course itself seems more about business operation information and analysis and requires previous / background knowledge of statistics and excel even though the introduction makes no mention of this."
"I found some of the assignments to be redundant and had a lot more math in it than I expected."

Career center

Learners who complete Introduction to Operations Management will develop knowledge and skills that may be useful to these careers:
Process Analyst
Process Analysts work to analyze and improve processes within an organization. Those seeking to become Process Analysts may find the course to be a valuable addition as it delves into process analysis and how to apply changes to improve outcomes. Furthermore, exercises such as creating process flow diagrams and calculating capacity can provide hands-on experience.
Continuous Improvement Manager
Continuous Improvement Managers are responsible for leading and implementing continuous improvement initiatives within organizations. This course may be beneficial for individuals seeking this role as it emphasizes the importance of identifying waste sources, designing efficient processes, and fostering continuous improvement.
Lean Manufacturing Engineer
Lean Manufacturing Engineers apply lean principles to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes. Those looking to pursue this role may find value in Introduction to Operations Management since it provides an understanding of lean operations, waste sources, and how to design efficient processes for maximum output.
Project Manager
Project Managers plan, execute, and oversee projects. The course may benefit those seeking to become project managers as it emphasizes analyzing, improving, and reimagining how work gets done. The practical exercises and frameworks can be applied to enhance work processes in various industries.
Management Consultant
Management Consultants advise organizations on how to improve their performance. Introduction to Operations Management may be a valuable addition for individuals looking to enter this field as it provides a comprehensive overview of the principles and techniques used to analyze and improve business operations.
Operations Research Analyst
Operations Research Analysts use mathematical and analytical methods to solve complex problems in various industries. The course may prove useful for those seeking to become Operations Research Analysts as it establishes a solid understanding of operations management and optimization techniques.
Quality Engineer
Quality Engineers are responsible for ensuring the quality of products and services. The course may be beneficial for those aspiring to become Quality Engineers as it covers topics such as statistical analysis, problem-solving methodologies, and quality control, all of which are essential for maintaining high quality standards.
Quality Control Manager
Quality Control Managers focus on ensuring that products or services meet customer requirements and quality standards. The Quality module within the course may be of value as it introduces frameworks for analyzing variability and strategies for finding the root cause of an issue. This knowledge can be crucial for improving and maintaining quality standards.
Operations Manager
The function of an Operations Manager is to control, plan, and oversee all business operations. Introduction to Operations Management may be helpful for those looking to get into this role as it offers a baseline understanding of operations management and process improvement principles and techniques. It tackles key concepts such as cost-quality trade-offs and system inhibitors.
Supply Chain Manager
Supply Chain Managers oversee the efficient flow of goods, services, and information within a supply chain. Little's Law, a concept covered in the course, is particularly valuable for this role as it helps with capacity planning and optimizing inventory levels, leading to improved supply chain coordination and customer service.
Inventory Manager
Inventory Managers are responsible for managing the flow of goods and materials within an organization. Little's Law, covered in the course, is particularly valuable for this role as it helps optimize inventory levels and improve supply chain coordination.
Production Manager
Production Managers oversee the production process and ensure that products are manufactured efficiently. The course may be relevant to those seeking to become Production Managers as it provides a foundation in operations management, process analysis, and flow management, all of which are crucial for effective production management.
Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineers design and improve manufacturing processes and systems. The course may be useful for aspiring Manufacturing Engineers as it provides a foundation in operations management, process analysis, and flow management, all of which are relevant to this role.
Industrial Engineer
Industrial Engineers improve the efficiency of production systems and processes. Those aspiring to become Industrial Engineers may find the course helpful as it covers topics such as flow management, lean operations, and process analysis, all of which are relevant to this role.
Business Analyst
Business Analysts help organizations improve their performance through analysis and recommendations. This course may be useful for aspiring Business Analysts as it provides a foundation in operations management, process analysis, and data analysis, all of which are essential skills for understanding and optimizing business processes.

Reading list

We've selected 42 books that we think will supplement your learning. Use these to develop background knowledge, enrich your coursework, and gain a deeper understanding of the topics covered in Introduction to Operations Management.
This comprehensive textbook provides a solid foundation in operations and supply chain management principles and practices. It covers a wide range of topics, including process analysis, flow management, quality management, and supply chain coordination.
This widely-used textbook provides a comprehensive overview of operations management and is considered a classic in the field. It covers a wide range of topics, including process analysis, flow management, quality management, and supply chain management.
This practical guide provides a concise overview of 100 Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques. It valuable reference for anyone looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.
Provides a comprehensive introduction to statistical quality control techniques. It valuable resource for practitioners who want to improve their quality management skills.
This groundbreaking book introduces the principles of lean thinking, a powerful approach to improving efficiency and reducing waste in organizations. It provides practical insights and case studies that can be applied to any industry.
Provides a comprehensive overview of quality management tools and techniques. It valuable resource for anyone looking to improve the quality of their products or services.
Provides a handy reference guide to 100 Lean Six Sigma tools. It useful resource for practitioners who want to quickly find the right tool for the job.
Provides a comprehensive overview of supply chain management. It valuable resource for anyone looking to understand how to manage the flow of goods and services from suppliers to customers.
This comprehensive textbook provides a thorough introduction to statistical quality control techniques. It covers the fundamentals of statistical analysis, as well as advanced topics such as process capability analysis and design of experiments.
Provides a practical guide to process improvement. It valuable resource for practitioners who want to improve their process management skills.
Provides a comprehensive overview of operations management concepts and cases. It valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about the field of operations management.
Classic work on process improvement. It provides a fictionalized account of a company's journey to improve its operations.
Provides a comprehensive overview of agile project management with Scrum. It valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about agile methodologies.
Provides a practical guide to statistical process control techniques. It valuable resource for practitioners who want to improve their quality management skills.
This international bestseller provides a comprehensive overview of logistics and supply chain management. It covers topics such as transportation, warehousing, inventory management, and global supply chains.
Provides a detailed overview of the Toyota Production System (TPS). It valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about lean manufacturing.
This novel provides a fictionalized account of the Toyota Production System (TPS). It valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about lean manufacturing.
Provides a comprehensive overview of supply chain management principles and techniques. It covers topics such as supply chain strategy, planning, and operations.
This textbook provides a comprehensive overview of project management principles and practices. It covers all aspects of project management, from planning and initiation to execution and closing.
This practical guide provides a step-by-step approach to implementing business process management (BPM) in organizations. It covers topics such as process mapping, process improvement, and process automation.
Provides a comprehensive overview of statistical methods for quality improvement. It valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about how to use statistical methods to improve the quality of their products or services.
Provides a detailed overview of the Toyota Production System (TPS). It covers topics such as lean manufacturing, just-in-time production, and continuous improvement.
Provides a comprehensive overview of enterprise information systems (EIS) for business executives. It covers topics such as EIS architecture, implementation, and benefits.
Provides a practical introduction to data analytics for business managers. It covers topics such as data collection, analysis, and visualization.
Provides a comprehensive overview of the service-profit chain. It valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about how to use customer service to drive sales and profit.
Provides a practical guide to the lean startup methodology, a popular approach to product development and entrepreneurship. It covers topics such as customer validation, rapid prototyping, and iterative learning.
Provides a detailed overview of the McKinsey Method. It valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about how to use the McKinsey Method to manage their career.
Provides a detailed overview of the service-profit chain. It covers topics such as customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and profitability.
Provides a detailed overview of the lean thinking philosophy. It covers topics such as value stream mapping, kaizen, and continuous improvement.
Provides a comprehensive overview of production and operations management. It covers topics such as product design, process selection, and inventory management.
Provides a comprehensive overview of operations management theory and practice. It covers topics such as process design, capacity planning, and scheduling.
This ancient Chinese military treatise provides timeless insights into strategy, tactics, and leadership. It valuable read for anyone who wants to improve their understanding of operations management.
Provides a comprehensive overview of production planning and control. It covers topics such as forecasting, scheduling, and inventory management.
Provides a comprehensive overview of operations management. It covers topics such as process design, capacity planning, and scheduling.
Provides a detailed overview of statistical quality control. It covers topics such as control charts, acceptance sampling, and process capability analysis.
Provides a detailed overview of the blue ocean strategy. It valuable resource for anyone looking to learn more about how to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant.

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