Operations managers are essential to almost every industry, and as market trends change constantly, operations management skills are invaluable. Good operational management results in sustained success, whereas bad operational management can ultimately result in the collapse of even the best business.
Our Certificate of Operations Management is ideal for Operations Mangers, General Managers or anyone seeking or wanting to enhance an operational role in sectors ranging from retail, finance and education to insurance, healthcare and more.
In this operations management course you will learn to meet strategic objectives, organise workplaces, and improve the efficiency and quality of external and internal processes and operations.
You will explore popular inventory and information management tools, learn how to develop a business plan, and understand implementation strategies and strategic planning.
You will also learn about business control systems, from interpreting and accounting reports to contingency planning and risk analysis, as well as how to evaluate marketing strategies.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking an operations management course includes:
- Learning about the economic environment and the world of economics
- Exploring scarcity, economic resources, opportunity costs and goods
- Gaining an understanding of definitions, and economic systems including traditional, public (command economic system) and private (market economic system)
- Studying economic ownership, performance criteria for an economy, basic economic principles and other economic performance indicators
- Examining the laws of demand, substitution, diminishing return and diminished marginal unity
- Understanding competition, sustainability, total quality management and how to create a strategic plan
- Attaining knowledge of SWAT and SMART analysis
- Gaining insights into the European Economic Union, the role of the European Central Bank and APEC
- Learning about external influences including market types, monopoly and monopolistic competition and oligopoly
- Exploring perfect competition, external influences, international markets and tradable commodities
- Gaining an understanding of globalisation trends, supply and demand and market forces
- Studying elasticity, economics of scale, cost structures and liquidity
- Examining information management including the scope and nature of office work, common office functions and processes (reception, clerical, secretarial, information processing), common jobs within an office and departments within an organisation
- Understanding flow charts, data knowledge, storage and management, filing systems, classifying information, hard copy information, filing procedures, computer databases, data protection and financial records
- Attaining knowledge of the different ways to approach bookkeeping, steps in the bookkeeping process and developing a record keeping and accounting system
- Gaining insights into financial reports, ledgers and journals, source documents, cash and credit transactions, returns and allowances, statements of accounts and other business documents
- Learning about the cash book, credit sales and purchases journals, the general journal, the ledger, a trial balance, bank reconciliation and petty cash
- Exploring strategic planning including strategic and operational planning, the key components of a business plan, and planning procedures
- Gaining an understanding of SWOT analysis, finance budgets, financial plans and the structure of a marketing plan
- Studying how to implement strategies, review strategy and strategy management
- Examining bench marking, environmental audits and the steps in environmental assessment process
- Understanding the key elements of an environmental impact assessment (EIA)
- Attaining knowledge of study design, baseline studies, predicting impacts and mitigation measures
- Gaining insights into flora and fauna assessment, open space management plans and rehabilitation plans
- Learning how to develop a business plan
- Exploring sensitivity analysis
- Formulating a project based learning (PBL) project to formulate criteria required for implementation of a business proposal to develop a business plan.
- Gaining an understanding of business control systems including financial statements, the balance sheet, working capital and profit and loss statements
- Studying depreciation of assets, analysing and interpreting accounting reports and analytical, profitability, operating efficiency, liquidity and financial stability ratios
- Understanding gearing rate of return on investment, limitations to ratio analysis, risk analysis, contingency plans and business and quality systems
- Attaining knowledge of PERT (program evaluation and review), CPA (critical path analysis) and GANTT (charts fastest and slowest completion times)
- Gaining insights into business expansion, overdraft facility, equity credit and record keeping
- Learning about the importance of marketing a business, market research, the marketing mix, marketing planning and market analysis
- Exploring strategic response, the Four P’s of Marketing and services marketing
- Gaining an understanding of customer service, transactional versus relationship marketing and buyer behaviour
- Studying buying/selling and the decision making process
- Examining different heuristics, the customer’s point of view and customer satisfaction and goodwill
- Understanding target markets, market segmentation and marketing strategies
- Attaining knowledge of projecting the future, positioning and the business portfolio
As you’ll learn in an operations management course, PERT is a flowchart technique used in project management that is used to identify the time it takes to finish a particular activity or task. It is a system that assists in the proper coordination and scheduling of tasks and keeps track of the progress (or lack of) the overall project.
Knowing the time it should take to execute a project is critical as it helps project managers decide on other factors such as task delegation and budget. Using a PERT chart can help them determine realistic estimates. Other benefits include:
- It helps maximise the use of resources.
- It makes project planning more manageable.
- It can be used even if there is little or no previous schedule data.
- It enables project managers to determine or better estimate a more definite completion date.
In the flowchart, “nodes” represent events and indicate the start of end of tasks or activities. Directorial lines indicate tasks that need to be completed, and arrows show the sequence of activities.
There are four definitions of time used to estimate project time requirements:
- Optimistic time – The least amount of time it can take to complete a task.
- Pessimistic time – The maximum amount of time it should take to complete a task.
- Most likely time – The best or most reasonable estimate of how long it should take to complete a task, assuming there are no issues.
- Expected time – The best estimate of how much time will be required to complete a task, assuming there will be issues.
Terms typically used in a PERT chart include:
- Float/Slack – Refers to the amount of time a task can be delayed without resulting in an overall delay in completion of other tasks or the project.
- Critical Path – Indicates the longest possible continuous path from the start to the end of a task or event.
- Critical Path Activity – Refers to an activity without any Slack.
- Lead Time – Refers to the amount of time needed to finish a task without affecting subsequent tasks.
- Lag Time – The earliest time by which a successor event/task can follow a prior event/task.
- Fast Tracking – Refers to handling tasks or activities in parallel.
- Crashing Critical Path – Shortening the amount of time to do a critical task.
Another project management term you will learn about in our operations management course is CPA, also known as a Critical Path Method. It identifies the sequence of interdependent and crucial steps that comprise a project from start to finish. It also identifies non-critical tasks, and these may be important, because when identified, they won’t hold up any other tasks and jeopardise the execution of the entire project. It also includes identifying the minimum and maximum amount of time necessary to finish each activity and the dependencies of each activity on any others.
It is used to set a realistic deadline for a project, track its progress along the way and determine whether any adjustments need to be made. It also notes the dependencies among tasks, and confirms the amount of “float” or “slack” (like a PERT) that can be associated with each in order to arrive at a reasonable overall deadline date. The timeline in a CPA is often expressed as a Gantt chart (see below).
CPA is used widely in industries devoted to extremely complex projects, from the defence and aerospace to product development and construction industries.
A Gantt chart is a project management tool that assists in the planning and scheduling of projects and is also used for simplifying complex projects. The underlying concept of a Gantt chart is to map out which tasks need to be done sequentially, and which can be done in parallel.
Combined with project resources, it allows project managers to explore the trade-off between cost (using more or less resources), scope (doing more or less work) and the time scales for the project. By reducing the scope or adding more resources, project managers can see the effect on the end deadline.
Tasks and timelines are converted into a horizontal bar chart which shows the start and end dates as well as deadlines, scheduling, dependencies, how much of the task is completed per stage, and who the task owner is.
Project management solutions that integrate Gantt charts give project managers visibility into team workloads, as well as current and future availability, and allows for more accurate scheduling. They are particularly useful to keep tasks on track when there is a large team and multiple stakeholders involved when the scope changes.
Because it is in a bar chat format, it allows users to check on progress easily, including:
- a visual display of the whole project
- timelines and deadlines of all tasks
- relationships and dependencies between the various activities
- project phases
To create a Gantt chart, you need to:
- Think through all the tasks involved in the project and divide them in manageable components.
- Decide who will be responsible for each tasks and delegate to the team.
- Identify task relationships.
- Decide on the completion date sequence for each task, showing the expected time duration of the sub-tasks and entire project. A Gantt chart will show the tasks in a sequential order and display how one task relates to each other (task dependencies).
- Determine and allocate resources.
- Anticipate risks and problems that may be encountered and create a contingency plan for any issues.
Gain insights into the transformational strategies that will help you an enhance an organisation’s “best practices” operations to be sustainable over the long term with an operations management course such as our Certificate of Operations Management.