In your report you are to carry out an analysis of your organisation or a self-contained section of the organisation. The organisation or sub-section selected has to be of such a size that it merits analysis of a strategic nature. If you are at all unsure about whether the scope of the organisation, or sub-section selected, meets this strategic requirement then you should contact your module leader. Similarly consult him/her if you perceive difficulty in using your organisation either because of size or any other reason. The basic theme of this assignment is to analyse and comment on aspects of Operations and Information Management theories and apply them to the practical situations covered in the questions.
You should structure your submission as follows:
(a) An introduction to the assignment
(b) The main section where you address the required themes. This should be divided to equally cover the Operations Management themes and the Information Management themes.
(c) An end statement containing your reflection on learning.
In the Introduction to the assignment you should indicate your role in the organisation and give details about methodological issues connected with your collection and analysis of evidence to support your submission including, where relevant, collected data.
In the Main section you should apply, where relevant, theories covered in the module, in the recommended textbooks[ Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A., Johnson, R. and Betts, A., (2015) Operations and Process Management; Beynon-Davies, P. (2009) Business Information Systems, Palgrave Macmillan.] and in the OIM literatures in general. These theories should be used to analyse the situations relevant to the individual questions and comment on the main themes that you are asked to address.
In the Reflection on Learning statement you should consider your learning during the module, including completing the assignment.
It is recommended that you use the Harvard approach to citation and referencing appropriate for the Social Sciences; however other approaches are acceptable providing they are comprehensive and used consistently. It is recommended that you provide an end list of references rather than adopt other forms of referencing (e.g. in footnotes).
Appendices are not included in the word count and are regarded as supportive but not essential to the submission and therefore are not marked.
Main Themes of the assignment
1.The Nature of Operations
Analyse the nature of the operations function in your organisation using the theories covered in the Operations Management element of the module and in the recommended textbook (Slack et al, 2015).
You should introduce the reader to the organisational context and to the nature of Operations. Do not assume your reader will know about your organisation. If this has not been given in the introduction section to your submission, you should give sufficient information such as the purpose of the organisation, its structure, size and location, to enable the reader to understand your analysis. Provide an organisation chart and clearly identify which elements of the organisation constitute the Operations function. Apply the transformation systems viewpoint to your organisation. Comment on the environmental challenges facing the organisation with particular reference to any need to change the operations. Comment on aspects of Operations such as: the four key dimensions (volume, variety, variation and visibility), the processes and layout, work organisation, planning systems, the customer interface and the relationships of Operations to other functions. What is the overall contribution of Operations to the company?
2.The Nature of Information Management
Analyse the strategic use of information in your organisation using the models and theories covered in the Information Management element of the module.
Apply the systems viewpoint to your organisation to examine the strategic use of information in your organisation. Comment on the elements of the Information Life Cycle and on aspects related to key information management enablers (information, technology, people) in your organisation. What is the overall contribution of Information Management to the company?
Analyse the operations philosophy of your organisation using the theories covered in the Operations Management element of the module and in the recommended textbook (Slack et al. 2015).
Articulate and analyse the philosophy underlying Operations. Can the existing philosophy be identified as fitting one of the standard types covered in the literature (such as ECR, TQM, CI, JIT, OPT, MRP II, etc.)? Consider how the values and attitudes of the existing philosophy are reflected in the aspects of Operations covered in the previous sections of the report. In particular when considering philosophy it may be useful to comment on the position Operations occupies in the organisation structure, and matters such as the career progression and status of Operations personnel. Include comments, where relevant to your organisation's situation, on whether adopting a new philosophy would be appropriate and feasible.
4.Information Management Challenges
Analyse some of the key information management challenges in your organisation.
Identify some of the key information management challenges in your organisation or business unit. Select one area (information governance, implementation of information systems, IM and business model development, digital transformation management etc.) and discuss the impact of this challenge on the organisation. Provide an analysis of how the challenges could be addressed. You will need to draw upon both the materials covered in class and other the wider research literature to analyse the challenges.
All coursework assignments that contribute to the assessment of a module are subject to a word limit, as specified in the online module handbook in the relevant module area of the MINERVA. The word limit is an extremely important aspect of good academic practice, and must be adhered to. Unless stated specifically otherwise in the relevant module handbook, the word count includes EVERYTHING (i.e. all text in the main body of the assignment including summaries, subtitles, contents pages, tables, supportive material whether in footnotes or in-text references) except the main title, reference list and/or bibliography and any appendices. It is not acceptable to present matters of substance, which should be included in the main body of the text, in the appendices (“appendix abuse”). It is not acceptable to attempt to hide words in graphs and diagrams; only text which is strictly necessary should be included in graphs and diagram.