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INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT BANGALORE

Post-Graduate Programme (PGP) Elective Course

Course Title: Business Process Improvement


Number of Credits: Three
Term: VI
Faculty: Haritha Saranga (harithas@iimb.ernet.in)
Office: D-108
Phone: 3130
Context of the course
Increasingly the success of business is dictated by the degree of efficiency and
quality of the business processes that lie beneath the core competencies of an
organization. Successful organizations are constantly improving their processes
to stay ahead taking advantage of latest technologies, while the followers are
not far behind in catching up with the frontier firms. Organizations that are not
in the race soon cease to exist in todays world of global competition. As a
result, there is a greater need for managers and consultants to not only know
how to design and analyze a business process but to be able to identify ways to
improve the process and sustain the improvements in the long run to meet the
organizational objectives more effectively.
Objectives of the Course
This course focuses on analysis and improvement of processes used for
production and delivery of products and services, with a performance
orientation. The objective is (i) to create a clear understanding of various
business processes, (ii) identify potential improvements (iii) learn existing tools
and techniques for performance enhancement and (iv) design a framework to
implement the process improvement strategies.
Content of the Course
Concepts like Factory Physics, Product Process Matrix, Theory of cumulative
capabilities and the Theory of performance frontiers will be used to create a
greater understanding of inherent nature of operating processes. Various case
studies from manufacturing and service operations will be used to further the
understanding and scope for improvement. Benchmarking tools like Balanced
Score Card, Pareto analysis, statistical process control and quality
improvement tools like TQM, TPS, Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma will be
studied to analyze, evaluate and improve processes. Usefulness and challenges

faced by IT enabled advanced manufacturing technologies like CAD, CAM, CIM


and Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) in improving business processes will
be explored with the help of case studies of organizations that embraced these
technologies across the globe.
Learning from this course will enable a
systematic method of asking questions, collecting data, and analyzing that data
to learn how processes work, how to improve them and how to sustain the
improvements in the longer run.
Session Plan

Session

Date

TOPICS
Module I: Business Process Fundamentals
Topic: A Dynamic approach to Operations Management

14.12.09

15.12.09

21.12.09

Readings:
1. Frances X Frei, Breaking the Trade-Off Between Efficiency
and Service HBR, November 2006.
2. Roger W. Schmenner, Morgan L. Swink, (1998) On theory in
operations
management,
Journal
of
Operations
Management, 17, 97113.
3. Jaikumar and Bohn A Dynamic approach to Operations
Management: An alternative to Static optimisation
International Journal of Production Economics. 1992, 27, pp:
265-272.
4. Gray A E and Leonard J Process Fundamentals
Case: Sologen: Process Improvement in the Manufacture of
Gelatine at Kodak
Reading: Michael Hammer, Deep Change How Operational
Innovation Can Transform Your Company. HBR, April 2004.
Case: Stermon Mills Incorporated
Reading: David M Upton, The Management of Manufacturing
Flexibility, California Management Review. 1994, 36(2).

Module II: Process Performance measures & Benchmarking

22.12.09

29.12.09

Topic: Need for Metrics and measurement techniques The


Balanced Scorecard
Readings:
1. Robert S Kaplan and David P Norton The Balanced
Scorecard: Measures That Drive Performance HBR Classic,
July 2005
2. Kaplan and Norton Operations Management Processes
3. Raymond E. Kordupleski, Roland T Rust and Anthony J
Zahorik, Why Improving Quality Doesnt Improve Quality
California Management Review, 1993, 35(3).
Case: Integron Incorporated: The Integrated Components Division
(ICD)

04.01.10

Case: The Cummins engine company: Starting Up B Crankshaft


Manufacturing at the San Luis Potosi Plant

Module III: Process Improvement methodologies

05.01.10

Topic: Role of Quality in process improvement


Case: Hank Kolb, Director of Quality Assurance
Readings:
1. David A Garvin, A Note on Quality: The views of Deming,
Juran and Crosby HBR, February 1990.
2. Michael Hammer, Reengineering Work: Dont Automate,
Obliterate, HBR July August, 1990.

28.12.09

Topic: Statistical Process Control


Case: Deutsche Allgemeinversicherung

12.01.09

Case: Six Sigma Quality at Flyrock Tires


Reading: Michael Hammer, Process Management and the Future of
Six Sigma MIT Sloan Management Review, Winter 2002, Vol. 43(2).

13.01.09

Case: Johnson Controls, Automotive Systems Group: The


Georgetown Kentucky Plant
Reading: Steven Spear and Kent Bowen, Decoding the DNA of the
Toyota Production System, HBR, September October, 1999.
Reading: James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones Beyond Toyota:
How to Root Out Waste and Pursue Perfection, HBR, September
October, 1996.

19.01.09

Case: Lean at Wipro Technologies


Topic: Lean Thinking and Value Stream Mapping
Reading: Michael Hammer, The Super Efficient Company, HBR,
September 2001.

10

11

12

20.01.09

Topic: Business Process Improvement in practice Guest


Lecture

Module IV Designing and implementing operations improvement strategies


13

27.01.09

Topic: Framework for implementation of process improvement


strategies
Readings: Michael Hammer, The Process Audit, HBR, April 2007.

14

31.01.09

Case: John Crane UK Limited: The CAD-CAM Link

15

02.02.09

Case: ABC Transport Equipment Ltd. By Prof. B Mahadevan


Reading: Robert Kaplan, Must CIM be Justified by Faith Alone?
HBR, 1986.

Case: Corning Glass Works: The Z-Glass Project


Reading: Michael Hammer and Steven Stanton, How Process
Enterprises Really work? HBR November- December, 1999.

16

03.02.09

17

09.02.09

18

09.02.10

19

15.02.10

Project Presentations

20

16.02.10

Project Presentations

Case: Micom Caribe (A)


Reading: Harold Sirkin and George Stalk, Jr. Fix the Process, Not
the Problem HBR, July August 1990
Topic: Course review
Readings:
1. Robert Hayes and Gary Pisano, Beyond World Class: The
New Manufacturing Strategy, HBR, January February
1994.
2. Nelson P. Repenning and John D. Stermon, Nobody Ever
Gets Credit for Fixing Problems that Never Happened:
Creating and Sustaining Process Improvement, CMR, 2001,
43(4).

Course material
The students will be provided with handouts/links covering all parts of the course
contents.
Pedagogy
The course predominantly is case-based. The students have to form groups of size
four each (group size may change based on the class size). Each group has to submit
three case analyses. The groups have to turn-in the case analyses (both hard copy
and soft copy) before the respective class begins. Also each group has to take up a
project for the term, submit the report and make a presentation at the end of the
term.
Instructions regarding timelines for group formation and project work
It is required to form groups of four and inform by e-mail by 19 th December 5:00 pm
sharp. The schedule of case submissions by the groups would then be announced. All
the groups are required to decide and submit their project proposal by 15 th January,
which will be taken up for discussion in the subsequent week. The final project
reports and presentations (hard copy and soft copy) have to be submitted latest by
13th February, 1p.m.
Evaluation:
Case Analyses (2)

30%

Assignment

10%

Project

25%

End Term Examination

35%