Introduction to operations management
Introduction to operations management

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Introduction to operations management

5 Are you an operations manager?

At this point, you will reflect on the relevance of this topic to you, either as an employee/manager or as a participant in a service process. Now that you are being introduced to operations management theory, you will most likely start to analyse operations that you experience from a new perspective. You are encouraged to do this as a way of embedding your understanding of the subject.

The final activity of this course provides you with an opportunity to reflect on your own situation in relation to this subject.

Activity 6: Reflecting on operations management – your own perspective

Allow around 30 minutes for this activity

Many people will be able to readily apply the framework to their own role, even if they do not work in the organisation’s core operations that deliver their main products, or services, to external customers. Departments conventionally classed as ‘non-operations’ will still contain processes with outputs, each with corresponding processes. For example, a finance manager has outputs such as financial reports, and a HR manager has outputs such as recruited or trained staff. It is important, therefore, that you apply the concepts explored in this course as much as you can to your own situation.

Review the reading [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (Walley, 2017) one more time and read the final sections ‘Are you an operations manager?’ and ‘Summary’.

If you are reflecting on the role of operations management as an employee/manager, you should answer the questions in Part 1 of this activity. If you are approaching this activity in your role as a participant, you might want to go straight to the questions in Part 2 of this activity.

Part 1

For an operation of your choice, address the following questions:

  • What input resources are involved?
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  • What processes can you identify?
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  • What outputs are you asked to deliver?
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Discussion

If you apply the operations frameworks to your own work, you should be readily able to identify your own input resources, processes and outputs. It is useful to think about how your own operations must perform in terms of dimensions such as quality and cost.

Part 2

For those of you who analyse your role as a participant in operations, answer the following questions for any operation of your choice:

  • Are you an input resource in the process?
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  • What processes do you participate in?
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  • What transformation process is taking place?
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Discussion

Looking at operations from the perspective of the customer can yield some insights. You should think about how you assist in the process of service delivery. Examples include:

  • providing information or filling in forms
  • performing duties such as carrying or packing items that you purchase
  • contributing to the overall service experience by helping create ambiance or atmosphere in a restaurant or part of a crowd at a sports event.

When you think about yourself in a service process, are you moved from stage to stage just like a product in a factory? Self-service restaurants, for example, have a sequence of carefully timed steps that allow the smooth flow of customers through the ordering process.

Finally, you may be able to identify the transformation process that is taking place. Are you being psychologically or physically transformed in a healthcare-related process? Is there a location transformation on a flight? Many examples are quite complex because different types of transformation can take place at the same time. Does the flight transform you psychologically or physically at the same time as the location transformation? Is this something important for airlines to consider and even manage?

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