MN7030 – Digital Business Delivery

A business adds value through its operations, which today are typically highly dependent on the use of digital technology to link together organisations within the value network, connect with customers, improve delivery, personalise products and services, and match demand and supply. It is vital that managers and leaders understand both how business operations are designed, managed and improved, and the relationship between new product/service development and operations.

The potential for AI, the Internet of Things, big data and robotics to further increase the use of technology in the operational domain is already clear, whether using AI in legal process or robots to make burgers. An understanding of the links between technology and operations is critical for anyone aspiring to be a business manager, owner or entrepreneur.

Throughout the course of the module consideration will be given to the need for businesses to reduce their impact on climate change and to operate in a sustainable and ethical manner.

The module aims to:
• build knowledge and understanding of the key challenges of building and managing operations and technology systems
• strengthen awareness of the importance of reducing contributions to climate change and the current and emerging means to achieve this goal in business operations
• build knowledge and understanding of the role played by people in operational delivery including Lean and Agile working
• equip students to be able to analyse and recommend improvements to the operation of a business system, whether a start-up or a well-established enterprise

Prior learning requirements



1. Introduction to Operations Management and Enterprise Systems
a. Operations Strategy
b. Operations Performance Objectives
c. Supply chains, value chains and value networks overview 1,2,3

2. Capacity Planning
a. Planning long term capacity
b. Tools for capacity planning
c. Forecasting and forecasting techniques. 1,2

3. Lean operations
a. Toyota Production System
b. Lean and Kanban
c. Current and future state mapping 1,2

4. Quality management
a. The role of a Quality Management System
b. Systems approach to QM
c. Analytical quality management tools and techniques 1,2

5. Enterprise Resource Management and ERP Systems
a. Enterprise Resource Planning
b. Inventory Management
c. ERP Systems 1,2,3

6. Supply Chain Management and Systems
a. Supply Chain design
b. Supplier Chain Management Process and Systems
c. Supply Chain Disruptions 1,2,3

7. Knowledge Management
a. Understanding data, Information and Knowledge
b. Learning Organisations
c. KM systems 1,2,3

8. Current and future digital technologies
a. Internet of Things
b. AI
c. Robotics
d. Blockchain 3

9. New Product and Service Innovation and Development
a. New Product Development
b. Requirements engineering and management
c. The role of open and closed innovation 1,2,3

10. Process Design and Technology Enablement
a. Process structures and flow mapping
b. Business Process Reengineering and Improvement
c. Technology enablement 1

11. Digital Project Management – Linear and Agile Approaches
a. Project categorisation
b. Project Management Approaches – Critical Path, Critical Chain, Lean, Agile
c. Agile Organisations 1,3

12. Risk Assessment and Management
a. Risk management strategies and operational risk management
b. Risk Analysis
c. Recovering from the effects of failure 1,2,3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will attend weekly 3-hour workshops during which time they will receive material in the form of lectures/discussions, discuss case studies and current issues. They will also complete a range of exercises to build practical skills in forecasting, process modelling, and capacity planning.

WebLearn will be used in support of blended learning to provide the reading list, lecture recordings, additional video material and items of topical interest.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Critique key practices and theories within the areas of operations management, service operations, and process management.
2. Critically evaluate the contribution of operations management and information systems to a business organisation’s performance and strategic aims
3. Critically evaluate the business operations implications of current and emerging digital technologies as constraints, opportunities and threats

Assessment strategy

Assessment 1 – Flipped Classroom/Group Presentation

Working in groups students will prepare a presentation on the implications for operations managers of a new or emerging technology. The presentation will be delivered to the whole class as a teaching session covering one or more technologies e.g. IOT, AI, Blockchain, Robotics.

Assessment 2 – Case Study

Working individually, students will critically evaluate the operations and systems of a business, unit or process and make recommendations for improvement (2,500 words)