Online course: Introduction to Operations Management (part of a long term online programme: Business Foundations)

Dates: any time

Duration: 10 hours

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 out of 2190 ratings (see top rating courses here)

Participating countries: any country

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Organizer: University of Pennsylvania at Coursera


  • FREE
  • $49 with sharable certificate

Introduction to Operations Management

Learn to analyze and improve business processes in services or in manufacturing by learning how to increase productivity and deliver higher quality standards. Key concepts include process analysis, bottlenecks, flows rates, and inventory levels, and more. After successfully completing this course, you can apply these skills to a real-world business challenge as part of the Wharton Business Foundations Specialization.



WEEK 1: 27 minutes to complete


This short module was designed to introduce you to the course, and to give you an overview of what you can expect from the course and the instructor!

Course Logistics
Four Dimensions of Operational Performance
Trade-offs and the Efficient Frontier

WEEK 2: 3 hours to complete

Process Analysis

In this module, you’ll learn how to identify key elements of process analysis: flow rates, and flow times, how to uncover bottlenecks, how to optimize labor and inventory, and how to handle the complexities of multiple flow units. At the end of this module, you’ll be able to break down operations into processes which can then be improved to maximize profits and efficiency.

Flow Rate, Inventory, and Flow Time
Finding the Bottleneck
Labor Cost and Labor Utilization
Little’s Law
Inventory Turns
Make to Stock vs Make to Order / Reasons for Inventory
Dealing with Multiple Flow Units
Review of Process Analysis
Module 2 Practice Problem: Atlas Inc (video)
Module 2 Practice Problem: Multiple Flow Units (video)

WEEK 3: 3 hours to complete


You’ll learn the key components of productivity in this module. Beginning with the academic definitions of productivity, you’ll move on to the common blockers, measurements, indicators of effectiveness, improvement techniques and financial values. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to identify, describe and measure the relationship between inputs and outputs and also be able to develop strategies for decreasing inputs while increasing outputs, thereby boosting productivity wherever you see the need to.

Intro to Productivity, Taylorism
The Seven Sources of Waste
Financial Value of Productivity
Key Performance Indicators and KPI Trees
Overall Equipment Effectiveness
Takt Time
Quartile Analysis
Productivity Ratios
Review of Productivity
Module 3 Practice Problem: Dr. Peters (video)
Module 3 Practice Problem: Assign Tasks to Workers (video)

WEEK 4: 3 hours to complete


Quality is not only a cornerstone of operations management, but also a critical component of an organization’s long-term viability and success. This module covers all the major aspects of quality in operations, from examining the common reasons for defects to the most widely used implementation techniques for addressing problems of quality and ensuring reliability and standards. At the end of this module, you’ll be able to anticipate where defects may occur and recommend a sound strategy for maintaining quality and stability.

Reasons for Defects
Quality and Flow
Six Sigma
Control Charts
Problem Solving
Toyota Production System
Module 4 Review
Module 4 Practice Problem: Assembly Tolerances (video)
Module 4 Practice Problem: Security Check (video)

Long term online programme Business Foundations

This online course is one of the parts of long term online programme Business Foundation, provided by University of California:

Introduction to marketing 4.8 9811
Introduction to Financial Accounting 4.7 6431
Managing Social and Human Capital 4.5 2000
Introduction to Corporate Finance 4.6 4467
Introduction to Operations Management 4.5 2182
Wharton Business Foundations Capstone 4.6 260