Software Engineering (3 Years) [BSc]

Managing Business Operations

Unit code: BMAN20811
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Semester 1
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit?: Y



Additional Requirements

BMAN20811 is a free choice option for students with prior agreement from their home schools. Core for BScTexTech, MEngChemEngwBM


The aim of this course is to provide students with a detailed understanding of how operations management practices can be used to improve an organisation’s performance. It will demonstrate how the major elements concerned with the production of products and services are shaped by leading organisations through effective operations management practices. This course will cover a broad range of operations management practices, including operations strategy, quality management, process analysis, capacity planning, inventory management, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems, the Lean Production System, Lean Management, the Theory of Constraints (TOC), Supply Chain Management, Logistics Management and Service Operations Management.


This course is designed to introduce students to the latest operations management practices developed by leading businesses around the world. Operations Management focuses on designing, managing and improving value adding processes within an organisation. Operations Management is one of the core functions of any organisation and plays a central role in increasing financial performance and ensuring that products and services are made to the highest quality. In particular, this course focuses on the practical skills that operations managers use to improve processes within an organisation and across the supply chain.

Teaching and learning methods

Methods of delivery: Lectures, in-class discussions, videos of operations management practices, Case Studies developed from Harvard Business School and problem solving exercises.

Total study hours: 100 hours split between lectures, classes, self study and preparation for classes, coursework and examinations.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:
- describe how Operations Management fits within the organization
- outline the strategic role of Operations Management
- understand the importance of materials and supply chain management to ensure effective business operations
- be able to describe the developmeand understand tools used in quality management
- appreciate the role of performance measurement and improvement within the operations function
- understand how organizations manage capacity and inventory
- apply operations concepts and techniques to address real operations problem

Assessment Further Information

Written Examination (100%) - 2 hour exam.


Employability skills

Students with practical skills in the latest operations management techniques are in high demand by employers in a wide range of industries and countries. This course will focus on the practical skills that operations managers and directors use to improve organisational performance. Some of the practical skills covered in each lecture are listed below:



Lecture 1: Operations Strategy

- Strategic analysis

- Operational strategies


Lecture 2: Quality management

- Total Quality Management (TQM)

- House of Quality (HOQ) Model

- Statistical Process Control (SPC)

- Six Sigma Methodology

- Seven tools of quality management

- Quality Circles


Lecture 3: Process Analysis

- Process Performance Metrics

- Process improvement techniques

- Little’s Law

- Layout typology


Lecture 4: Capacity Management

- Level, chase and demand management

- Yield management

- Queuing theory


Lecture 5: Inventory Management

- Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)

- Just In Time (JIT) system


Lecture 6: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

- ERP Systems

- Master Production System (MPS)

- Bill Of Materials (BOM)


Lecture 7: Lean Production System

- Waste reduction

- Kaizen continuous improvement

- JIT systems

- Jidoka

- Levelled production

- Standardized work

- Visual management


Lecture 8: Lean Management

- Strategy Deployment

- Lean Leadership

- Lean Culture


Lecture 9: Theory Of Constraints (TOC)

- Bottleneck analysis

- Drum Buffer Rope (DBR) scheduling


Lecture 10: Supply Chain Management

- Strategic sourcing process

- Make/buy decision

- Supplier selection

- Supplier development

- Supplier relationship management


Lecture 11: Logistics Management

- Warehouse management

- Transportation management


Lecture 12: Service Operations Management

- Service Management

- Service Profit Chain

- ServQual Model

- Systems Integration



Recommended reading

  • Slack, N., Chambers, S., & Johnston, R. (2013) Operations Management, Seventh Edition, Pearson Education, Harlow, UK.
  • Liker, J. (2004) The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer, McGraw-Hill, New York.


Feedback methods

  • In-class feedback: Advice during lectures and in-class discussions related to student questions and queries.
  • Case Study feedback: The Case Study Method developed at Harvard Business School will be used during each lecture. This will require students to read a case study on an operational problem facing a company and come to each lecture prepared to discuss their managerial recommendations. During the lecture students will be provided with feedback on their solutions to the operational problem and the answers to the case study.
  • In-class practice test: Students will complete a non-assessed practice test half way through the semester to evaluate how they are performing on the course.
  • Email feedback:  Responses to student emails and questions from the course coordinator, including feedback provided via the Blackboard system.
  • Exam performance feedback: Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 2 hours
  • Lectures - 20 hours
  • Independent study hours - 78 hours

Teaching staff

Antony Potter - Unit coordinator

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