Discussion Questions for Operational Management

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Discussion Questions for OM 5016

Class 2

Ch 1 &2. Operations Management Introduction and Strategy

1. What is Operations Management? What are major OM decisions? 2. What are the key differences between goods and services? 3. What a role does productivity play? How to measure productivity and what challenges do we have in measuring and improving productivity? 4. What is mission and strategy? How important is it for an organization to develop a mission and strategy? 5. What is OM strategy? How can operations management help a company achieve competitive advantages? 6. What is SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) analysis? Under what circumstances do you think should we conduct SWOT analysis?

Class 3

Southwest Airlines
1. Why has Southwest Airlines been so successful?
2. What recommendations would you make about the issues raised on pages 13 – 15 of the case? 3. What are the implications for Southwest of the actual or threatened bankruptcies of other major U.S. airline?

Class 4

Ch 05. Product and Service Design
1. Why do companies need to continuously develop new products? How to generate new ideas? 2. What factors should be considered in product development? Describe the typical phases of product development and evaluate their relative importance. 3. What is the role of quality function deployment (QFD)? How is Quality of House working in product development? 4. Describe the main techniques used in designing products. Give some real world examples. What strategic advantages do techniques provide? 5. Describe the documents used to define and produce a product? How are they important and necessary? 6. Describe four organizational approaches to product development. What pros and cons do they have? 7. What are the key differences between product design and service design? 8. What an impact does environmental friendly design have on product development? How do you address conflicts between ethical design and company profitability?

Class 6

Discussion questions for IDEO

If you have interest, watch the video on Youtube: the Deep Dive

Q1. How would you characterize IDEO’s design process, organization, culture and management?

Q2. Should IDEO accept the Visor project as is (on a dramatically reduced schedule)? Should they try to persuade Handspring’s management to change its aggressive launch schedule? Or should they simply decline the project? Please consider both the IDEO and Handspring perspectives.

Class 7

Process and Layout Strategy
1. What process strategies does an organization usually use? What key factors does a company consider in choosing its process strategy? What are the competitive advantages a firm (producing goods or service) has by using different process strategy? 2. What is mass customization? What major factors contribute to the success of mass customization? 3. How to analyze and design a process by using different tools? 4. What process strategies should be used for service? What are the key differences between a service process and a product process? How to improve the service process? 5. What layout strategies can a company use? What are the main characteristics and concerns of these strategies? 6. What are the relationships between process and layout?

Class 8

Mass Gen Hospital

Q1. What are primary challenges in improving operating processes in a health care environment such as that of MGH? Why choose CABG for care path?

Q2. What implementation approach would you recommend for Bohmer and Torchiana? Be specific as to where you would start, what resources you would bring to bear, what performance you would expect, and what timeline you would hope to follow. What would you recommend MGH to do for its longer-term process improvement?

Q3. How should MGH balance the tension between process standardization and process customization? What are the hazards of standardizing the...
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