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Advanced Operations Management

  • Enseignant(s):
  • Titre en français: Gestion des Opérations avancée
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS:
  • Horaire: Semestre d'automne 2016-2017, 4.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
      WARNING :   this is an old version of the syllabus, old versions contain   OBSOLETE   data.
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In most industries, some firms are growing and prospering, while others are shrinking or failing. Many differences can separate the winners from the losers. The way operations are managed is usually a key factor. Indeed, it is rare to find a successful company that is not managing its operations to provide a high-quality product or service at a reasonable cost. Very frequently struggling companies can trace their problems to faltering operations. Thus, effective operations management is a key ingredient of success. Good operations are also well integrated with other functions in the company, which means that everyone, no matter what their function or specialty, needs to know something about operations.

One of the challenging features of operations management is that conventional wisdom is so often wrong. The best decisions are often counterintuitive. The course thus covers a number of analytical tools that allow managers to rise above their faulty intuition.

We will analyze several cases, most of which are available from Harvard Business Publishing. These cases are geared to allow participants to apply analytical tools in a realistic setting.

Based on these premises, the course has the objective to provide participants:

  1. both a solid theoretical background on Operations Management and a very practical view of problems and challenges that companies are facing nowdays.
  2. a framework and a basic “language” to understand the problems and the challenges which an Operations Manager has to face in his/her job.
  3. an understanding of the strategic relevance of Operations Management.
  4. an understanding of the main choices (strategic, tactical and operative) an Operations Manager has to take.
  5. an understanding of the main OM principles, techniques and tools to analyze, diagnose and then to improve processes.
  6. the opportunity to improve their analytical skills.



  1. Measuring demand volatility
  2. Balancing overstocks and understocks: The newsvendor model
  3. The cost of responsiveness: The cost-differential frontier
  4. The order-up-to model
  5. Risk pooling
  6. Cellular manufacturing
  7. Creating a volatility portfolio of products
  8. The bullwhip effect
  9. Manufacturing Critical Time analysis
  10. Process analysis
  11. Queuing theory
  12. Quality management
  13. Lean production: The Toyota Production System


Required course materials

Participants are required to acquire course materials from the Harvard Business School Press at a cost per student of approximately USD 40. Details will be available on Moodle.




1ère tentative

Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

In-class online quizzes (3 @ 10%) 30%

Comprehensive online quizzes (CEI, 3 @ 10%) 30%

The demand game 10%

Participation in the Rootbeer game 5%

ForClass 20%

Participation (in class or on the Forum) 5%


Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

Grades received from participation, the demand game, and the Rootbeer game will be retained. A 2-hour online quiz will be given in the CEI during the exam session that will replace the quiz grades. All documentation is permitted, and any calculator generally accepted for exams at HEC. The computer screen must remain on the quiz and in fullscreen mode during the entire session.

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