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Avoid the Hustle

Operations Management

Category: Management

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Assignment Brief
As part of the formal assessment for the Master of Business Administration you are
required to submit an Operations Management assignment. Please refer to your
Student Handbook for full details of the programme assessment scheme and general
information on preparing and submitting assignments.
Learning Outcomes
After completing the module the student should be able to:
1. Critically evaluate the role of project management in a modern business
environment;
2. Critically evaluate the contribution of wider issues, such as quality
management and risk assessment, in a project environment.
3. Critically evaluate operating plans and identify areas for improvement;
4. Evaluate operation processes so that customer requirements including
quality, delivery and reliability are achieved.
Word Count: 3,000 words (maximum).
Assignment Task
Choose an Operations Management problem relating to an organisation with which you
are familiar and undertake a critical review. This should include (indicative marks
provided):
1. An introduction to the problem, including an explanation of the process(es) under
consideration (incorporating some form of process map) (25 Marks)
2. A brief description of two or three relevant Operations theories (the theories should
address the underlying processes on which quality depends – do not rely on general
quality/business process theory only) (15 Marks*)
3. A comparison of the theory with the process (15 Marks*)
4. Consideration of how potential changes would improve quality and/or customer
requirements (15 Marks)
5. Recommendations, based on the comparison above, as to how the process(es) could
be improved and the changes implemented, accompanied by a revised process map
clearly showing the improvements (20 Marks)
6. Referencing both in text and in the Reference list, using the Harvard
System (10 marks)
*No more than 5 marks will be awarded if you only consider general (‘soft’)
quality/business process theory (such as TQM, SERVQUAL, Six Sigma and BPR/BPM)
Normally, a published case study will not let you display the depth of knowledge of its
Operations which this assignment requires, so you are advised to use an organisation with
which you are familiar. The problem you select should be significant, it should allow you to
make reference to the learning outcomes of the module as listed above, and it should
relate mainly to the Operations of the organisation.
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Examples of issues which would form the basis of the assignment include:
– Investment in new plant or machinery
– Location of business premises
– Implementation of new quality processes
– Development of products and processes
– Distribution of products
– Development of control processes
– The management of change projects
It is essential that you explain what changes need to be made to the operations processes
to provide improvements in quality.
You should make use of the theory to critique organisational practice, and to develop
recommendations showing how similar issues could be handled better.
You are expected to show evidence of reading beyond the online course material and
basic internet resources (eg Wikipedia) and to reference using the Harvard system.
Before starting this assignment you are required to send to your tutor an outline in up to
500 words of the problem you will consider, what theory you plan to use and how you
would expect to improve the problem situation. You should include two or three of the
references you plan to use in the Harvard format.
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Guidelines:
You MUST underpin your analysis and evaluation of the key issues with appropriate
and wide ranging academic research and ensure this is referenced using the Harvard
system. The My Study Skills Area contains the following useful resources; Study
Skills Guide (containing a Harvard Referencing section) and a Harvard Referencing
Interactive Tutorial. You must use the Harvard Referencing method in your
assignment.
Additional Notes
The word count excludes the title page, executive summary, reference list and
appendices. Where assessment questions have been reprinted from the
assessment brief these will also be excluded from the word count. ALL other
printed words ARE included in the word count. Printed words include those
contained within charts and tables. See ‘Word Count Policy’ on the homepage of
this module for more information.
Assignments submitted late will not be accepted and will be marked as a 0% fail.
Your assessment should be submitted as a single word or pdf file. For more information
please see the “Guide to Submitting an Assignment” document available on the module
page on ilearn.
You must ensure that the submitted assignment is all your own work and that all sources
used are correctly attributed. Penalties apply to assignments which show evidence of
academic unfair practice. (See the Student Handbook which is available in the Induction
Area on ilearn).
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Level 7 is characterised by an expectation of students’ expertise in their specialism. Students are semi-autonomous, demonstrating
independence in the negotiation of assessment tasks (including the major project) and the ability to evaluate, challenge, modify and
develop theory and practice. Students are expected to demonstrate an ability to isolate and focus on the significant features of
problems and to offer synthetic and coherent solutions, with some students producing original or innovative work in their specialism that
is worthy of publication or public performance or display.
Mark Bands Outcome
Generic Learning Outcomes (GLOs) (Academic Regulations, Section 2)
Knowledge & Understanding
Intellectual (thinking), Practical,
Affective and Transferable Skills
Characteristics of Student Achievement by Marking Band
90-100%
Achieves module
outcome(s) related to
GLO at this level
Exceptional analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics with
very clear originality and autonomy. Exceptional
development of conceptual structures and argument
making an exceptional use of scholarly conventions.
Demonstrates independence of thought and a very high
level of intellectual rigour and consistency. Work pushes
the boundaries of the discipline and may be considered for
external publication
Exceptional analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics.
Exceptional development of conceptual structures and
argument, making consistent use of scholarly
conventions. Exceptional research skills, independence
of thought, an extremely high level of intellectual rigour
and consistency, exceptional expressive/professional
skills, and substantial creativity and originality.
Exceptional academic/intellectual skills. Work pushes the
boundaries of the discipline and may be considered for
external publication
80-89%
Outstanding analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics with
clear originality and autonomy. Outstanding development
of conceptual structures and argument making an
exemplary use of scholarly conventions. Demonstrates
independence of thought and a very high level of
intellectual rigour and consistency
Outstanding analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics. Very
high level development of conceptual structures and
argument, making consistent use of scholarly
conventions. Outstanding research skills, independence
of thought, a high level of intellectual rigour and
consistency, outstanding expressive/professional skills,
and considerable creativity and originality. Exemplary
academic/intellectual skills
70-79%
Excellent analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics.
Excellent development of conceptual structures and
argument making excellent use of scholarly conventions.
Demonstrates independence of thought and a high level of
intellectual rigour and consistency
Excellent analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics. High
level development of conceptual structures and
argument, making consistent use of scholarly
conventions. Excellent research skills, independence of
thought, a high level of intellectual rigour and
consistency, excellent expressive/ professional skills, and
considerable creativity and originality. Excellent
academic/intellectual skills, and considerable creativity
and originality
60-69%
Good analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics.
Development of conceptual structures and argument
making consistent use of scholarly conventions
Good analysis of key issues/concepts/ethics.
Development of conceptual structures and argument,
making consistent use of scholarly conventions
50-59%
Satisfactory knowledge of key issues/ concepts/ethics in
discipline. Descriptive in parts but some ability to
synthesise scholarship and argument. Minor lapses in
use of scholarly conventions
Satisfactory knowledge of key issues/ concepts/ethics in
discipline. Descriptive in parts but some ability to
synthesise scholarship and argument. Minor lapses in
use of scholarly conventions
40-49%
A marginal pass in
module outcome(s)
related to GLO at this
level
Basic knowledge of key issues/concepts/ethics in
discipline. Generally descriptive, with restricted synthesis
of existing scholarship and little argument. Use of
scholarly conventions inconsistent
Basic knowledge of key issues/concepts/ethics in
discipline. Generally descriptive, with restricted synthesis
of existing scholarship and little argument. Use of
scholarly conventions inconsistent.
30-39%
A marginal fail in
module outcome(s)
related to GLO at this
level. Possible
compensation.
Satisfies qualifying
mark
Limited knowledge of key issues/concepts/ethics in
discipline. Largely descriptive, with restricted synthesis of
existing scholarship and limited argument. Limited use of
scholarly conventions.
Limited research skills impede use of learning resources
and problem solving. Significant problems with
structure/accuracy in expression. Team/Practical/
Professional skills not yet secure. Weak academic/
intellectual skills. Limited use of scholarly conventions
20-29% Fails to achieve
module outcome(s)
related to this GLO.
Qualifying mark not
satisfied. No
compensation
available
Little evidence of knowledge of key issues/concepts/ethics
in discipline. Largely descriptive, with little synthesis of
existing scholarship and little evidence of argument. Little
evidence of use of scholarly conventions.
Little evidence of research skills, use of learning
resources and problem solving. Major problems with
structure/ accuracy in expression.
Team/Practical/Professional skills virtually absent. Very
weak academic/intellectual skills. Little evidence of use of
scholarly conventions
10-19%
Inadequate knowledge of key issues/concepts/ethics in
discipline. Wholly descriptive, with inadequate synthesis
of existing scholarship and inadequate argument.
Inadequate use of scholarly conventions.
Inadequate use of research skills, learning resources and
problem solving. Major problems with structure/accuracy
in expression. Team/Practical/Professional skills absent.
Extremely weak academic/intellectual skills. Inadequate
use of scholarly conventions