OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT | Università degli studi di Bergamo - Didattica e Rubrica


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Ingegneria gestionale

Basics of Production Management

Educational goals

Operations Management (OM) is considered as the process of planning, implementing and improving a manufacturing system. The production of goods or the supply of services requires a complex series of transformation processes: from the procurement of raw materials, the manufacturing of components, the assembly of the finished products, to the distribution of the products along the supply chain until the sale to the customer. OM is in charge of the coordination of all these separate processes, in the most effectively and efficient way.
In this context, the OM course (6 CFU module) aims to provide the student of the graduate program in Management Engineering with an understanding of the issues related to the strategic management of Operations in terms of concepts, methodologies and tools needed to optimize the manufacturing processes both in terms of radical change and of continuous improvement, and
By the end of the course, students will acquire:
-Knowledge of the methods of analysis, modelling and simulation of the operation processes and related tools
-Mastery on how to manage the Production Planning and Control Process, in order to complement the knowledge acquired during the industrial production management course
-Good theoretical and practical understanding of the lean production techniques: kaizen principles, auto-quality, just in time techniques, Value Stream Mapping, SMED, Jidoka, TPM.
The course contributes to the educational goals of the graduate programs of the technological-industrial area, in particular regarding the process analysis and the operations management in the industrial companies.

Course content

- Role of Operations in manufacturing and service industries
- Operations Strategy
- Business Process Management
- Methods and techniques for business processes modelling and re-engineering
- Discrete-event simulation methods and software tools for operations processes
- Principles of Lean Thinking in OM
- Lean Production: Value stream mapping, SMED, 6S, TPM, Jidoka
- Production key performance metrics

Teaching methods

The course contents are discussed in lectures and case discussions, with particular attention to the interaction with the students who have the opportunity to formulate questions and propose topics for further discussion.
Lectures aim to introduce and discuss the methods and the principles of management outlined in the objectives of the course.
The course material consists mainly of the slides available on the course page on the e-learning portal. The slides are complemented with further readings from the recommended books in the bibliography. The slides serve as a support to the classroom discussion: therefore, during the discussion in the classroom, further details not present on the slides may be provided.
During the semester, seminars held by industrial experts will be organized in order to improve the comprehension of the theoretical concepts and understand how they can be applied in a real environment. For the same purpose, an industrial visit will be organized.
The password to access the material published on the course e-learning portal is communicated during the first lecture of the course. If unable to attend the first lesson, please contact the professor by e-mail.

Assessment and Evaluation

The assessment and evaluation consist of a written exam (approximately 1,5 hours long) and an oral exam.
The written exam usually includes 10 true or false questions, 1 or 2 essay questions, 3 or 4 definitions and 2 or 3 exercises. The written exam mark can be up to 30/30. During the exam is forbidden to use the lecture material (notes, books, slides, etc.).
If the mark of the written exam is at least 18/30, students are allowed to attend the oral exam.
The oral exam allows to increase the grade obtained in the written test by a maximum of 3 points. It takes place through the discussion of one home take assignment related to all the parts of the course. The texts of the assignment will be provided to the students during the semester. The home take assignment must be prepared in groups from 1 to 3 people. The assignment discussion takes place in ad hoc sessions organized during / at the end of the semester (in this case the evaluation mark is valid for 1 year) or during the oral sessions that take place after having successfully passed the written exam. Usually, the oral discussion is organized 1 week after the written exam. The discussion lasts around 45 minutes. The assignment is evaluated with a mark from 1 to 3.
If the oral examination is failed, the result of the written exam is cancelled.

The home-take assignment is related to all parts of the course. The home-take assignment can be discussed in a special session organized during/at the end of the semester or during the oral exam. The students are required to provide a presentation for each assignment and to upload it on the e-learning portal some days before the written exam. The students cannot upload the assignment after the deadline. The calendar with the deadlines will be uploaded on the e-learning portal.
The assignment preparation favors the acquisition of the course concepts through their application to real cases and numerical examples; it also fosters the acquisition of communication and team-working skills.
The assignments evaluation mark is published on the e-learning portal.
The exam structure is the same for attending and non-attending students.
The final mark of the integrated exam is calculated as an arithmetic average of the marks achieved in the Operations Management Module and the Supply and Service Chain Management Module.

Further information

Would the course be taught in dual or distance-based lecturing modes, modifications might be carried out with respect to above, to make the course and the exams accessible under the new modes.