QB2505 – Operations Management: Assignment 1
The purpose of this assignment is to reinforce and assess your learning from the early part of the
course. You will be asked to apply what you have learned and use it to analyse a real operation. The
purpose of this is for you to understand how the tools and techniques taught in the course can be
applied to real examples, and to demonstrate the complexity that exists in real world operations.
For this assignment you should visit one of the following types of operations and analyse it as an
operation. NOTE that this is not an exercise in marketing or management of people.
An airport; a railway station: a bus station; or a museum or gallery.
The operation need not be based in Qatar, but it must be an operation that you can visit during the preparation of the assignment. It is important that you base your report on your observation of a real operation as this will increase your understanding of issues that you are asked to address. Your report should include an analysis of: The Volume, Variety, Variation and Variability (4 Vs) characteristics of the operation (from pg
14 of the textbook); The type of process (within the craft era, mass production era or strategic operations era), its layout, and how it uses process technologies (from p60 of the textbook); The relative importance of each of the 5 performance objectives (cost, quality, flexibility,
dependability and speed) to the operation and how layout and process technology contribute
to achieving those objectives (from pg 34 of the textbook); Either:
o any changes you would recommend to improve the operation; or
o why the things you have observed are entirely appropriate for that operation.
When describing the 4 Vs, make sure you get the characteristics right. For example, variety is about variety of processes and visibility is about the extent to which customers can customise the product or service. You should indicate how the operation differs from other operations providing similar goods or services. When discussing the 5 performance objectives, you should discuss which are most important to the operation. You may want to think about order winners and qualifiers (see pg 33 of the textbook. Qualify to be considered as a customer (the 5 POs and Win business from customer).
Remember that you should consider the analysis from the operations management perspective.
When visiting the operation, you should ensure that you in no way interfere with the operation, its customers, its employees or its management. You may visit the operation in groups, but each member of the group must produce an independent report. Be aware that we will use Turnitin to check for similarities between assignments.
Your report should start with a single paragraph summary, highlighting the main findings of your
assignment. (Think of this as the paragraph in which you sell your ideas to the CEO—or in this case,
grab the attention of those grading the assignment.)
You must also include at least 3 citations and 3 references in Harvard style. Since this assignment
focuses on observation rather than extensive background reading, you need not reference more than
two or three textbooks, though the graders will look kindly on evidence of relevant background
reading. We encourage you to use appropriate photographs or diagrams in your report to illustrate
your findings. All figures and tables should be clearly numbered and referred to in the main text.
Writing the Assignment
The report should be no longer than 1,200 words and should be written in a default font at no less
than 11 points. Default margins and 1.5 line spacing The report should have no more than 6 pages
including diagrams. The word count includes everything except the assignment cover sheet and the
list of references. Do not put a page break after the summary or before the list of references.
Submit the assignment through MyAberdeen by Saturday 16 February 2019, 9.00pm. Late submissions
will not be accepted.
The course website on http://www.abdn.ac.uk/MyAberdeen/ contains links to material on report
writing and on referencing in Harvard style.
The University pcs have Microsoft Word installed on them. If you use your own computer, make sure
you can save your file in Microsoft Word format or in pdf format. Libreoffice
http://www.libreoffice.org/ is a freely available word processor that can save in the required format.
You should see the assignment submission details on MyAberdeen when you log in.
If you have questions about the assignment you should contact Dr Rogers or Dr Lamb when he visits
in Week 3.
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