Operations and project management:
Operations and project management are very important functions in any organisation. Operations management is is concerned with the production and delivery of an organisation's products and services. According to Slack et al (2006), "Everything you wear, eat, use, or read comes to you courtesy of the operations managers who organised its production, as does every bank transaction, hospital visit and hotel stay. The people who produced them may not always be called operations managers, but that is what they really are." Similarly, businesses are regularly faced with a number of events - introduction of new products or services, construction, etc. - which could be viewed as projects. Growing project complexity and collapsing product/service life cycles post significant project management challenges.
The diagram below shows the role of operations compared with the other main functions of an organisation. Most of the capital invested in an organisation is in its operations function and so are the majority of jobs! Effective operations management can keep costs down, win business and develop capabilities that provide for competitive advantage. It therefore is strategically important to organisations and is relevant to all sectors of the economy, including public and not-for-profit organisations. Operations managers are concerned with planning, organising, staffing, leading and controlling, and therefore some of the principles and practice of operations management are relevant to any manager!
The new global environment for operations demands new ways of thinking on the way we approach the management of our own organization and those we network to. Global sourcing and relocation are now commonplace for manufacturing and service organisations, and public sector organisations are now contracting on a global scale. The module seeks to provide a fundamental understanding of operations management and procurement. This is then developed into the new ways in which organisations should be managed in the global context.