Operations Management homework help. This is a graded discussion: 25 points possible
due May 10
Unit 8: Discussion
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Congratulations on making it to Unit 8, the final unit of the course. For the past 7 units you have had the opportunity to learn from the Kibby and Strand simulation scenarios, and you feel you have everything down in the company’s operational process. You understand how receiving, production, and shipping integrate together and potential impacts if you start tweaking one of the departments. Basically, you are in your comfort zone with regards to managing Kibby and Strand’s operations and you have receiving, production, and shipping running like a sewing machine. Well things are about to change!
Remember that decision the CEO was contemplating about leasing the building next door, moving production to that building, and expanding receiving and shipping in the existing building to utilize the production department’s current space? Well, the lease on that building fell through and it is no longer available. However, the CEO still has concerns because of the quality issue that occurred last quarter and your supply chain management analysis revealed that production capacity needs to be increased to accommodate the shorter delivery times customers are pushing for. The good news is the CEO was so impressed with your operations management work to date that she has assigned you as the project manager for the project below. You think, “this is going to be a piece of cake compared to running production”, but do not get over confident.
Many operations managers fall into this trap when they face their first project management assignment. Why? The reason is operations managers deal with business objectives and on-going processes, which usually have a steady state. Once the operational process is up and running it is easier to manage. The main challenge is starting the operational process, getting it to steady-state, and shutting the process down gracefully when required. One could say that once an operational process reaches steady state then you control it more than manage it. Basically, you keep the operational process inside of its parameters when you have it up and running.
Whereas operational processes are on-going, projects are short term, have a definite end state, usually contain many parallel tasks, and the objectives are specific to the project. There is more uncertainty with projects because we don’t do them that often, hence there is more risk management required. The project manager is given a defined end state for the project, a list of specific objectives the project must accomplish, a budget, resources, and a delivery date for the project. It is the project manager’s responsibility to utilize the resources effectively to deliver the project within the budget and by the delivery date. That’s it….the project manager is held accountable to deliver the project on time and within budget. Let’s see how you do on your first project management plan.
Stevenson, W. J. (2015). Operations Management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
http://www.pmchamp.com/3-things-you-need-to-know-about-projects-and-operations/ (Links to an external site.)
http://www.projectinsight.net/project-management-basics/projects-and-operations (Links to an external site.)
Unit Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate an understanding of project management techniques to include: work breakdown structure, Gantt Charts, PERT charts, and Critical Path Method (CPM). (CLO 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7)
- Determine the project life cycle for a project an organization is considering. (CLO 5 and 6)
- Construct network diagrams and identify the critical path for a project. (CLO 1, 6, and 7)
- Identify potential risk in a project and create a risk management plan. (CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7)
- Calculate waiting line metrics such as average wait time and average queue length. (CLO 2, 4, and 5)
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Back in Unit 5 you were told the CEO of Kibby and Strand was considering an expansion of production capacity by leasing a building next door. Unfortunately, the lease on the building fell through so the CEO has decided to expand the current building and move the Receiving Department into the new space, and the Production Department will take over the current space used by the Receiving Department.
You are the Operations Manager and the CEO has tasked you to come up with a project plan for moving the Receiving Department to the new space and expanding the Production Department. Your guidance is, “come up with a plan to shift receiving to the new addition and expand production capacity using receiving’s current space with minimal impact to operations. We need to meet our contractual deadlines.” You are told that you will be able to buy new machines for production’s increasing capacity, but the current machines in the production department will still be used. In other words, you can’t throw away the existing machines in production.
Develop a project plan that will allow production to continue while the movement of machines and staff into their new locations are is taking place. The plan needs to list assumptions, constraints, and a network diagram for the move. Identify the critical path in your plan.
Instruction Guidance: It would be prudent to consider content covered in chapters 17 and 18 of the textbook; however, there are many other useful resources available on the Internet and in the literature to support the construction of your project plan.
The project plan should be prepared as a Microsoft™ Word document, and then attached to the unit discussion thread. There is no minimum or maximum in terms of the word count; however, the response should explicitly address all required components of this discussion assignment. The document should be prepared consistent with the APA writing style (6th edition) and reflect higher level cognitive processing (analysis, synthesis and or evaluation).
Note from professor – This week you’re preparing a project management plan. The difference in a project plan and the other plans you created is a project has defined start and end dates, where as an operational plan is ongoing. Your project management plan needs to consider the construction timeline for the new expansion, and meet the intent of the CEO’s tasking. He / she is expecting a project plan that results in operations being conducted as much as possible while the expansion is taking place. You can have some downtime, but it needs to be minimized.
The three key items you need in the project management plan are: task list, network diagram, and critical path with total time required for the project and the tasks that lie on this path. Each task has a defined start and stop, and you are free to come up with those dates…just make them somewhat realistic.