Project #87655 - Discussion Activity

Basic Instructions:

  • This week each student first succinctly defines in his or her own words the terms “operations management”, “operational efficiency”, “operational effectiveness”, “operations strategy”, and “operational sustainability.”
  • Next, each student critically discusses the process of operations management and how it is done within their organization, using the terms just defined.  Find at least one internal area where operations management is implemented, discuss the process, and comment on the relative effectiveness of the process. 
  • What OM techniques are used?  How?  If a particular technique is not used, why not (e.g., lack of time, lack of knowledge, culture resistance, complexity)?
  • Specifically, is Six Sigma used?  Why or why not?
  • In addition, each student defines the concept of “quality” as used in his or her work organization.  

Additional Instructions:

You may or may not be able to agree with the following distinction between "operational efficiency" and "operational effectiveness":

In terms of the executing the day-to-day processes of an organization - ie, its operations, 

  • Efficiency refers to resource conservation, while 
  • Effectiveness has to do with mission or task accomplishment 

The photographs in the weekly overview could help to make this distinction clear.

There are numerous important external factors that affect the operational effectiveness and operational efficiency of an organization.  Two of the most significant, typically, are resource constraints imposed from above and laws and regulations with which compliance is required.

Strategy refers to major steps or actions taken to achieve organizational goals.  Sustainability implies repeatability or endurance, or it may mean "greenness."

Quality is rather hard to define.  You may or may not be able to agree that in essence, quality means either the "best" or the "best for the price".  See the topic following, "A Note by Professor Banash on "Quality."

 Six Sigma. According to the full version of Jacobs & Chase (2013)

Six Sigma is a philosophy and set of methods companies use to eliminate defects in their products and processes 

If you are not working outside the home, you may refer to any organization of your choice, to include your family.

Then join in the discussions of these terms online.

Required Format:

None.  However, use good English in all your postings.

If replying to another posting, include enough of it to give the context for your reply.

 Required Readings:

  • Jacobs, F.R & Chase, R.B. (2013). Operations and supply management: the core, 3e. Chapter 1 and Appendix A

 Multimedia (the three linear programming references are for those who wish to look ahead to W5IA):

  • D’Mello, J.G. (2010). Introduction to operations management. Download Transcript link in video
  • Knode, C.S. (2011). Linear programming - part 1 - formulating the problem. Download Transcript
  • Knode, C.S. (2011). Linear programming 2 – solving with Solver. Download Transcript
  • Knode, C.S. (2011). Linear programming 3 - sensitivity analysis. Download Transcript

Additional Readings:

Find them in Content/Week 4 above (before) the Assignment Instructions that you are now reading.

This week there are informative readings on quality, Six Sigma, the Toyota Production System (aka lean manufacturing), and new frontiers for lean manufacturing per se.

Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 10/31/2015 12:00 am
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