You are on page 1of 6

BUS 3020 Syllabus – Achieving Effective Operations

Term A 2015
Prof. Walter Towner
Phone: (508) 944-3862 cell
I am available to meet you on campus by appointment.
Course web page:

Overview and Objectives
Emphasis will be on learning how to think critically and creatively. In this course you will be
encouraged to approach operational problems from many perspectives and to combine various
approaches to find innovative solutions. As a result of this course you will be expected to have an
increased understanding of professional and ethical responsibility; and knowledge of
contemporary issues. The processes that organizations use to get work done have changed
fundamentally in the last 10 years, taking advantage of new information technologies and
concepts of lean thinking. Production systems is a term that probably describes the products
(which might be a physical item, service, or environmental system) and processes of an
organization. This course focuses on providing an introduction to the design and operation of
such systems. Specific learning objectives include:

To familiarize students with operations decisions (e.g. layout, quality, process design,
productivity, inventory) in a lean environment, focused on the entire supply chain
To familiarize students with broader issues that impact process design including global, societal
and ethical issues.
To develop students’ abilities to analyze data and draw conclusions
To develop students’ problem-solving skills as well as innovation and new ways of thinking.

Our Mission
The School of Business at WPI is committed to providing education, research, and outreach that
focus on:
 leading and managing technology-based organizations;
 integrating technology into the workplace; and
 creating new processes, products, services, and organizations based on technology.


In addition to the text there will be recent articles from journals that relate to the textbook chapters. Within the organization. while also valuing the scholarship of application and the scholarship of instruction. and technological) need to be ethically allocated and aligned with strategic goals. each of which is described in more detail below. F. This course focuses on process analysis. Course Materials Required Reading Operations & Supply Chain Management The Core 3th Edition. I use the following grading standards: A: Superior level work. design. adequate level work. Operations are embedded in a constantly changing network of relationships with various stakeholders including customers and suppliers. and prepares students to assume positions of leadership in an increasingly global business environment. Outstanding grasp of concepts and theories. while the second two lab and project will be completed in 19.  basic scholarship. Catalog Course Description BUS 3020. Recent news articles as they relate to the course material will also be required reading. and effective use of source material. You will work in the same team throughout the course. The course will be graded on the basis of or activities. human.We emphasize:  innovative and project-based education that integrates the theory and the practice of management. Students will work in teams of three summary assignment beginning of the course. B: Good. and  interaction with the business community focused primarily on technological entrepreneurship. 2 . ACHIEVING EFFECTIVE OPERATIONS. richness of interpretation. First two activities exams in class participation will be based on individual work. Course The course format includes four hours of classroom instruction and discussion and 2 1/2 hours of labs per week plus a term project. Robert Jacobs and Richard B Chase. Work incorporates well-developed arguments and good application of class concepts. Course Assignments and Grading Each student will be expected to attend each class having read the assignment that they as described in the task course schedule. Participation and assignments bring new insights to the discussion. Work is marked by a superior integration of ideas. and implementation within the constraints of stakeholder networks and available resources. scarce resources (including financial.

2. this should be a priority task. the paper and presentation should describe the operations management in a service or manufacturing industry. Usually marked by reasonable conclusions that are supported by superficial analyses and arguments. Because this is a short presentation. Submission of your work and email communications We will use the digital drop box available on mywpi. not including appendices. B  80%. PowerPoint files and pdf’s of scanned handwritten pages. and C  70% scale. you should make sure that you contact your group members and exchange contact information. and data to help illustrate your points are greatly encouraged. participation that can state the facts but does not typically bring new insights or important questions to the topic at hand. A paper. Early in the course.C: Work that is acceptable but below average expectations. As noted above. A Prerecorded 10-15 min. A grad TA will run the lab sessions. which is limited to about 6 to 10 PowerPoint slides. I will assign groups (with your input) at the beginning of the course. which will be 15 to 20 double-spaced for all assignments. and cannot be duplicated by individuals or small groups of students. If you have not registered with WPI to have access to mywpi. Some of the graded activities will be conducted in groups. You may submit them to me in any electronic fashion that I can reasonably open. The physical simulations we will carry out the lab require participation of everyone in the class. charts. Generally characterized by a basic level of understanding of the concepts and theories. If you miss the lab cannot be made up. Final Exam 5% Team Project 20% The team project is due at the end of the course. D. Excel sheets. F: Let’s hope not!! You should assume at the outset that the course will be graded on an A  90% of the total points. on the day that your project is presented you will have two deliverables: 1. This will primarily be Word docs.  Course Grade Breakdown  Chapter HW 30% Chapter Quizzes 30% Laboratory Assignments 15% Attendance in lab sessions is critical. you need to focus on the most important aspects of your project. presentation. Topics to be considered include: 3 .

but should also include recent journal articles or books and personal interviews. and issues Green manufacturing Operating airport security You may select a specific company to use as a case study or discuss industry more broadly. Sources can include websites and other web-based material. Notes:  Students are expected to read the material assigned BEFORE coming to each class. or solar power effects on operations) Plant layout Operations management applied to sports management Food services (operations management apply to restaurants or food wholesalers) Healthcare (operations of emergency rooms or other hospital care operations) Mail in freight delivery operations (UPS or Federal Express) Hotels or resorts operations (chains versus independents) Telecommunications operations Outsourcing: pros. 4 .              Airlines (how do the operations management of large versus low cost airlines differ) Project management Banks (commercial bank operations or large investment bank operations) Environmental (energy such as wind. which is documented through many references. Your project should be based on research. cons.  Each student should own a text and keep it after the course as this text will serve as an excellent reference source for many years.

I do not have regularly scheduled office hours because I have not found them to be very effective.wpi. Library and Other Resources You will find electronic indices. please give your name and number SLOWLY and CLEARLY at the end of the message.. so please leave a message if I do not answer. if you have a very complex flow I penalize by a letter grade for each day the assignment is late. Electronic Submission I prefer that you turn in electronic copies of all assignments before the beginning of class via the assignment manager. for example) please let me know this when you submit the file)  Check your files to make sure that they are and expect that you will be checking this page a couple of times per week. particularly Ebsco Business Sources Premier. to be invaluable resources in searching for books and articles. I’m generally available before and after class. but it is not necessary. you should make sure that you forward mail sent to WPI to the email address that you use*. 5 . For other assignments. If you anticipate difficulty in meeting a deadline for a legitimate reason (I am excluding procrastination here as a legitimate reason!). You may submit a hard copy as well if you like. please:  Give your files meaningful and unique names  Include your name in the document being submitted (so that if I print it out. I also try to return phone calls and email within 24 hours (during the week). I assume that email is read by students within one business day after it is posted.html Office Hours and Contacting Me My availability is a high priority. I will not accept any reflective assignments or group case analyses after the deadline. Deadlines All assignments in this course have deadlines. I will be posting announcements regularly on the course web page at http://my. you will need to log in to access the page): http://www.wpi.g. If you use an email address other than your wpi account. If you leave me voice mail. I check voice mail frequently during the day.Policies and Procedures Urgent Messages and Announcements Any urgent messages about the class I will send out via email. You may access the library via the WPI website (http://www. *Visit this link to forward your wpi email to another email account (refresh the page if you get an error message. and am happy to set up appointments at other times. please contact me in advance.wpi. I use Microsoft Office 2010. When you submit your files. your name appears on the printed copy)  Format your files for printing (if for some reason this is not possible (

wpi. ideas. and teach you strategies for organizing. these sessions can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. nor can one student accept material from another. This includes the legal acquisition of the rights to all assigned material. the Writing Center is a valuable resource for helping you improve as a writer. This includes using the thoughts.Academic Honesty WPI has an established academic honor code. revising. Writing Center tutors are your peers (other undergraduate and graduate students at WPI) who are experienced writers themselves and who enjoy helping others work through thinking and writing rather than accurately and adequately attributing them to the original source. Writing Center services are free and open to all WPI students in all classes. It is not considered ethical for students in the School of Business to pass digital copies of material or paper reproductions that violate the terms of purchase. this means that material purchased by one student may not be distributed to another student. polishing sentences in a final draft). with no transfer of ownership or use. To view WPI’s Academic Honesty policy: http://www. please do not hesitate to ask. it is my expectation that you will not discuss any examinations with other students in the course. described in The WPI Student Judicial Policies and Procedures. In simple terms. The WPI School of Business expects students to behave in an ethical manner at all times. words. 6 . and presentations. If you have a question about whether something is appropriate. and editing your course papers. Each student is expected to purchase his/her own access to assignments. Digital material (such as Harvard Business School Publishing cases and articles) typically limits the use to one buyer.html Students with Disabilities Located on the first floor of Daniels Hall (room 116). Work prepared for other courses at WPI (including those you are taking concurrently) or another institution is not considered original for the purposes of this course. it is unethical to plagiarize. or expressions of another in submitted academic work and representing them as one’s own. Although a single tutoring session should never be seen as a quick fix for any writing difficulty. I expect all of the work that you create for this class (either individually or as a team) will be>> to make an appointment. and tutors will happily work with you at any stage of the writing process (early brainstorming. revising a draft. Similarly. Visit the Writing Center website <<http://wpi. While I encourage you to talk with other students about course material and reflective assignments. projects.