Operations Management

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How to Lead an Operations Management Project

Successful operations management projects require a leader who can coordinate a number of people from different organizations with different objectives and skill sets. Yet they need to work together toward [more…]

How to Make a Critical Path Diagram for Operations Management

Figuring out how much time you need for various activities and operations is difficult. For this, try a critical path diagram. A critical path diagram identifies which activities need to be completed before [more…]

How to Perform a Forward Pass Analysis for Operations Management

With a critical path diagram complete, you can calculate a timing estimate for your operations project. Follow these steps to perform a forward pass analysis, [more…]

How to Create a Backward Pass Analysis for Operations Management

When you’ve finished entering timing data for a forward pass analysis, you can create the backward pass analysisfor your operations, which determines the latest times an activity can be started and finished [more…]

How to Assess Earned Value for Your Operations Management Project

There are a number of ways to track the progress of your operations project. One of the simplest is to set up milestones during the project planning phase of the project life cycle. If there are enough [more…]

How to Determine if Your Operations Management Project is in Trouble

While it’s nice to know that your operations management project is ahead of schedule and under budget, the actions you’ll take are probably minimal (other than patting everyone on the back!). What you [more…]

What Can Go Wrong in Your Operations Management Project

The first and possibly most important risk management activity for an operations project is to brainstorm all the things that can go wrong. Do this during the planning phase — well before you begin actually [more…]

How to Prioritize Risks with Risk Registers in an Operations Management Project

Risk registers prioritize risks by likelihood of occurring and severity of impact if it does occur. In an ideal world, an operations project manager has access to a numerical probability of a risk occurring [more…]

Develop a Contingency Plan to Handle Risk in an Operations Management Project

After you identify the risks in your operations management project, you need to figure out a way to handle them. The best way to handle risks for a given project depends on the nature of the risk and the [more…]

How to Respond Productively to Risk in an Operations Management Project

Responding to risks when they occur is one of the great tests of an operations project manager. This is particularly complicated by three “laws” that work against efficiently completing the project. One [more…]

The Benefits of Outsourcing in an Operations Management Project

Hiring a separate company to build a product or provide a service can make sense for some operations management projects because outsourcing may be cheaper, provide higher component quality, or reduce [more…]

The Disadvantages of Outsourcing in an Operations Management Project

If the goal of outsourcing is to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, operations managers need to seriously weigh the outsourcing option. For some businesses, sharing intellectual property [more…]

What Should You Outsource in an Operations Management Project?

Operations managers first need to decide decide what to outsource. Outsourcing the wrong part of your product or service can result in poor quality, increased costs, and other mishaps. A poor outsourcing [more…]

Who Should You Outsource to for an Operations Management Project?

Getting the most out of your outsourcing relationship depends on several factors. One obvious factor that operations managers need to consider is that the supplier needs to be financially stable so that [more…]

How to Overcome Outsourcing Problems for an Operations Management Project

Managing outsourced projects is almost always more difficult than people expect. The learning curve — for operations managers, your firm and the supplier — that goes into the making of a smooth, successful [more…]

How to Integrate an Outsourced Product for an Operations Management Project

Outsourcing a product for an operation managements project is much like smashing Humpty Dumpty. After its components have been scattered to dozens of suppliers all over the world, all the king’s men may [more…]

How to Deal with a New Product in an Operations Management Project

New products are like babies — they need constant attention by operations management and they change rapidly. New products are said to be in the incubation phase [more…]

How to Manage Operations During a Product’s Growth Phase

Many products that make it out of the incubator fail in the growth phase. The growth phase is almost always turbulent. The product faces both internal and external obstacles. Demand, market forces, and [more…]

How to Manage Operations during Market Maturity

Operations managers face a new challenge as a product matures. Its sales usually level off as the market becomes saturated. This saturation phase is usually a relatively calm period in which the demand [more…]

How to Manage Operations in the Declining Phase

Most products reach a point at which sales start to decrease. This declining phase requires many important end-of-life operations decisions, such as when to permanently retire the product, how to handle [more…]

How to Manage Operations to Prevent Sales Decline

You can take some measures in your operations management to help prevent the decline of a product or to avoid it stalling out in the saturation phase. Some products, such as baking soda or refrigerators [more…]

How to Manage a Start-up Operation

Managing operations in the incubation phase and entering the growth phase is much easier for a company with multiple products in different phases of the curve than for one that has only one product that [more…]

Why Operations Management is Important for Your Company

Operations management is a fundamental part of any organization. In fact, Forbes magazine reported in 2011 that about three quarters of all CEOs came from an operations background. Not all these CEOs studied [more…]

The Diversity of Processes in Operations Management

Processes vary in thousands of ways for different kinds of organizations with different kinds of operational needs. Start-up firms need to scale up rapidly, and the restaurant business requires some artistry [more…]

How to Manage Operations Processes

Although processes vary in many ways, they also share some common characteristics that apply across a broad spectrum of operations. Good operations management begins with understanding and preparing your [more…]


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