An Introduction to Operations Management

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10/10 stars
based on  108 reviews
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An Introduction to Operations Management

Course Details

Cost

FREE

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  • TBA

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4691 reviews

Course Description

**PART OF THE WHARTON FOUNDATION SERIES** Remember the last time you went to a restaurant. What did you expect from that restaurant? You wanted to find something on the menu that you liked, you wanted the meal to be prepared according to high quality standards, you wanted to get it quickly and didn’t want to pay too much money for it. Now, remember the last time you went to a doctor’s office or a hospital. What did you want the doctors and nurses to do? You wanted them to provide the right care for you, you wanted the care delivered with great quality, you wanted to get the care quickly, and you (or your insurance) didn’t want to pay too much for it. Put differently, the management skills that you need to run the operations of a restaurant are the same that you need to run a hospital. And these are the skills you will learn in this course. Specifically, you will learn how to improve productivity, increase responsiveness, provi... **PART OF THE WHARTON FOUNDATION SERIES** Remember the last time you went to a restaurant. What did you expect from that restaurant? You wanted to find something on the menu that you liked, you wanted the meal to be prepared according to high quality standards, you wanted to get it quickly and didn’t want to pay too much money for it. Now, remember the last time you went to a doctor’s office or a hospital. What did you want the doctors and nurses to do? You wanted them to provide the right care for you, you wanted the care delivered with great quality, you wanted to get the care quickly, and you (or your insurance) didn’t want to pay too much for it. Put differently, the management skills that you need to run the operations of a restaurant are the same that you need to run a hospital. And these are the skills you will learn in this course. Specifically, you will learn how to improve productivity, increase responsiveness, provide more choice to the customer, and deliver higher quality standards. In short, you will learn how to analyze business processes and how to improve them. Along the way, you will learn about topics such as Lean Operations, Six Sigma, and the Toyota production system, you will hear about bottlenecks, flows rates, and inventory levels. And, much, much more. Watch this video to learn more about the Wharton Foundation Series on Coursera: **Click below for the other Wharton Foundation Series courses:** [An Introduction to Marketing](https://www.coursera.org/course/marketing) [An Introduction to Corporate Finance ](https://www.coursera.org/course/finance) [An Introduction to Financial Accounting](https://www.coursera.org/course/accounting)
Reviews 10/10 stars
108 Reviews for An Introduction to Operations Management

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Melinda Barber profile image
Melinda Barber profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Background: Former Marketing Manager, MBA, Stay-home mom for decade -- trying to update knowledge base. I registered for An Introduction to Operations Management, a nine-week MBA course. The professor, a very personable German native from the University of Pennsylvania, conducted weekly lectures from his university office. I viewed them, at my convenience, from the comfort of my laptop. There were periodic Q&A;’s throughout the lecture to keep you engaged – I later learned that they track the responses to these questions. The professor spent an appropriate amount of time on each concept, was upbeat in his delivery, and shared interesting anecdotes. After watching the lectures, there were practice problems with solutions and homework assignments, which could be worked offline but had to be submitted online by the due date. When I had a question, I simply posted it on the discussion forum and a teaching assistant or fellow student woul... Background: Former Marketing Manager, MBA, Stay-home mom for decade -- trying to update knowledge base. I registered for An Introduction to Operations Management, a nine-week MBA course. The professor, a very personable German native from the University of Pennsylvania, conducted weekly lectures from his university office. I viewed them, at my convenience, from the comfort of my laptop. There were periodic Q&A;’s throughout the lecture to keep you engaged – I later learned that they track the responses to these questions. The professor spent an appropriate amount of time on each concept, was upbeat in his delivery, and shared interesting anecdotes. After watching the lectures, there were practice problems with solutions and homework assignments, which could be worked offline but had to be submitted online by the due date. When I had a question, I simply posted it on the discussion forum and a teaching assistant or fellow student would help me through it. The final exam was broken into sections, which could be completed and submitted separately – it was long, but not unreasonable. Midway through the course, our professor offered an optional challenge, which gave us the opportunity to apply our knowledge to a workplace or personal experience. This one-page submission was randomly distributed to at least five other students for peer review. In turn, I had to evaluate at least five papers. The course outline estimated a weekly time commitment of five to seven hours. I probably averaged ten hours per week. However, with a final score of 97.8%, I received a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction. According to the professor, 87,000 people signed up for the course, about half participated to some extent, 7,000 completed the course, and 4,000 received a Statement of Accomplishment. Individuals from every continent, except Antarctica, participated in this new- age classroom – half of the students live outside of North America. I am the product of a brick and mortar education and have always questioned the legitimacy of online education. This experience has changed my opinion: it really seems to be a quality option for disciplined adults who are committed to learning but limited on time. My Coursera endeavor provided me with new business tools, exercised dormant parts of my brain, boosted my confidence level (not too old to learn), and gave me something fresh to add to my LinkedIn page. I would certainly recommend it – well worth the time, nothing to lose. College students should consider this program prior to taking a challenging course. I will no doubt take another Coursera course.
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10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 9 months ago
i personally think these is a very interesting course because most of the people are not aware that everything that they do is part of operation where by one will always have their inputs transformation and out puts.i will really want to learn more about operations management.
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8/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 10 months ago
I not speak english, but how i want to learn this lenguage and also to express my ideas with own conviction It seems to me a very good chance to get it.
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Anonymous Coward profile image
Anonymous Coward profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 10 reviews
  • 9 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
Another home run for the Wharton School. Many other reviewers on this site have already highlighted all the positives. I will just echo that the explanations, lectures, theory, examples, and the assignments are all great. This class is a model example of what all MOOC's should be.
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Adtya Agrwal profile image
Adtya Agrwal profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 8 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
Enrol in this class without hesitation. You won't regret it. I am looking forward to more courses by this instructor!
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Rohit Iyer profile image
Rohit Iyer profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
The course was introductory but gave a great insight into operations management. Operations management is massive and has many subjects into it. Hence one such introductory course was not exactly the easiest to teach for the prof but he did an amazing job using basic examples with simplistic explanation. Using the mouse for scribbing is also something you wont find anyone else doing but it helps so much for one to understand. Felt like an actual student. In terms of the course content it does not teach all the basic aspects of operations but to do so will take months more than proposed time frame. Hence using primary modules of productivity, quality, variety, process analysis was sufficient for beginners. Hope that prof thinks of using an intemediate course so that working professionals can use advanced tactics in tackling issues of real life.
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Gwen M profile image
Gwen M profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 11 reviews
  • 10 completed
4 years, 10 months ago
Excellent content and very well taught, a very good mix of theory and practice. Unfortunately, I could not finish the class because of vacation (very slow internet: too frustrating!) I will definitely finish it next time it is on.
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leonard mangini profile image
leonard mangini profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 39 reviews
  • 37 completed
4 years, 12 months ago
Excellent course- with engaging Professor- interesting and clear lectures and challenging assignments. Practicum track requires one to solve a real world operations project to earn Honors. You get a modestly deep and broad understanding of process flow, efficiency, bottlenecks, KPI trees, TQM, Six Sigma, queueing.
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Magdalena Krawczyk profile image
Magdalena Krawczyk profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
4 years, 11 months ago
I didn't have much experience with the subject before taking this course and I took it only by having been followed by curiousity. I work more as project manager, but I found it really useful to know something about operations managment anyway. The course itself was really challenging! I really enjoyed it and feel really proud of myself that I was able to finish it with a great score, especially when english (as you probably already notcied ;) isn't my mother tongue. The video lectures are full of examples and really good conveyed and explained the matter, however it could be better quality though. The homework assignments were the clue here! They really help understand provided material and boost learning. And additional you will learn some japanease words ;) Highly recommended!
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Allison Lanager profile image
Allison Lanager profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 3 months ago
This was a completely new topic to me, and it wasn't what I expected at all. However, it's turned out to be a surprisingly fun course and really opened my eyes to what operations management is all about. Christian is a great teacher, as well, and the material is engaging and well laid out. I especially enjoyed the extra sessions he had to do examples of what the homework was made up of.
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Maike profile image
Maike profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
5 years, 4 months ago
Really interesting topic! Good explanations and examples were rich in variety! Best MOOC I took so far! Thanks a lot for the great course!
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Alan Fitzgerald profile image
Alan Fitzgerald profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 4 months ago
Having little experience in the field of operations management, and a long time since using algebra I found the academic side of the course quite tough, meanwhile once grasping the tools on this side of the course it makes the project work a very simple procedure. The tools given in this class are amazing and once having command of them they can be brought to almost every business. A very well thoughtout course and delivered by an excellent professor.
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Jagran Bhaskar profile image
Jagran Bhaskar profile image
7/10 starsDropped
  • 2 reviews
  • 0 completed
5 years, 6 months ago
The overall course content is good, but it is only good for individuals working in the line of operations. I did assignments but I never knew where I was going wrong and that is how I lost interest in the course.
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Winthrop Yu profile image
Winthrop Yu profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 33 reviews
  • 27 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
Very comprehensive basic course. Very well taught/explained, so concepts are readily grasped. Difficulty level is high due to much computational work, but only arithmetic and some (very) basic algebra is required. Don't panic (i nearly did), when the going get's a bit hairy towards the middle of the course. Well worth the effort.
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Steven Lieu profile image
Steven Lieu profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
First of all, I would like to give my sincere gratitude to Professor Christian Terwiesch for teaching us such an enjoyable and an amazing valuable course. Your lectures are very clear, concise and easy to follow. I enjoyed every lectures of yours. After completing the Introduction to Operations Management, it has changed my perception in all operations. Everything that was taught in the course, is so valuable and can be apply to all types of operations. Thank you again Professor Christian Terwiesch. I definitely will encourage and tell my colleagues and friends about this course. Still can't believe that it is free. I look forward to the next course you may teach in the future. All the best!
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Larry Oslund profile image
Larry Oslund profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
There are two elements that I was quite happy to see and one suggestion. a) I like the thematic approach. There was the big picture then each element of that subset was explained by video podcast, a realistic example, practice and quiz questions. b) There was a second tract for practitioners called Coursera Operations Project (COP). This allowed those working in the field to put into practice what was academically being taught. Real assignments were submitted then feedback was provided by peer review. The papers that I reviewed were quite good. Who would imagine that a MOOC could do something such as this... the professor raised the MOOC academic bar! Suggestion COOP Peer review. It is good when peers add comments. Though this takes time, it is a value added effort. A current course that I am taking through Coursera, Introductory Physics I with Laboratory, through Georgia Tech, has an elaborate approach. Peers grade the video lab rep... There are two elements that I was quite happy to see and one suggestion. a) I like the thematic approach. There was the big picture then each element of that subset was explained by video podcast, a realistic example, practice and quiz questions. b) There was a second tract for practitioners called Coursera Operations Project (COP). This allowed those working in the field to put into practice what was academically being taught. Real assignments were submitted then feedback was provided by peer review. The papers that I reviewed were quite good. Who would imagine that a MOOC could do something such as this... the professor raised the MOOC academic bar! Suggestion COOP Peer review. It is good when peers add comments. Though this takes time, it is a value added effort. A current course that I am taking through Coursera, Introductory Physics I with Laboratory, through Georgia Tech, has an elaborate approach. Peers grade the video lab reports and the grading process earns the peers points. But, before peer reviewers grade lab reports, they must first calibrate their grading skills, based on a rubric, and on papers pre-graded by the instructional staff. This takes considerable effort as there are two practice, two calibration, then finally five papers to grade. Maybe some ideas from Georgia Tech could improve the peer review process in ops management.
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Jason Sun profile image
Jason Sun profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
Hi, I have signed up to this course as a refresher after completion of my MBA in 2008. The course was great! The instructor was very clear, the material was easy to follow and the pace of the course appropriate for a couple of hours study on the weekend. Highly recommended. Jason
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Michael Sue-Ling profile image
Michael Sue-Ling profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
I took 2nd iteration of this course in the summer of 2013. I have worked in a manufacturing industry as an engineer for 6 years and have a pretty good concept of business concepts . Christian was a fantastic teacher and able to communicate the math and reasons behind these concepts. He was also capable of breaking down the mathematics so people of all backgrounds can understand and participate. Because of my satisfaction with this class, I intend to take other business MOOCs being offered by Wharton this fall (Finance, Accounting, and Marketing).
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Christian Reinboth profile image
Christian Reinboth profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
"An Introduction to Operations Management" is a challenging course about how business processes can be analyzed and improved using a broad variety of operations management tools. The course, which is taught by a quite spirited Prof. Dr. Christian Terwiesch from the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera.org, centers very much on the significance, computation and analysis of various key operating figures, such as average labor utilization, cost of direct labor, cycle time, flow rate, idle time and product variability. Aside from the regular lectures and quizzes, the course offers the so-called "Coursera Operations Challenge", in which students, who own or work in a business are challenged to analyze their own business processes and (anonymously) share them with their peers in search for improvement possibilities. Put in a nutshell, this is a very demanding but also rewarding course for anyone interested in operations management and bu... "An Introduction to Operations Management" is a challenging course about how business processes can be analyzed and improved using a broad variety of operations management tools. The course, which is taught by a quite spirited Prof. Dr. Christian Terwiesch from the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera.org, centers very much on the significance, computation and analysis of various key operating figures, such as average labor utilization, cost of direct labor, cycle time, flow rate, idle time and product variability. Aside from the regular lectures and quizzes, the course offers the so-called "Coursera Operations Challenge", in which students, who own or work in a business are challenged to analyze their own business processes and (anonymously) share them with their peers in search for improvement possibilities. Put in a nutshell, this is a very demanding but also rewarding course for anyone interested in operations management and business process analysis.
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Omar Becerra profile image
Omar Becerra profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
This has been an interesting and rewarding course. For 10 years I taught Operations Research and Applied Statistic at a graduate level. This experience gave a privileged point of view to appreciate both the subject and the pedagogical approach Christian had on it. I liked the way the material was organized. It does not have the traditional from easy to hard sequence, but keeps a nice rhythm. There is room for improvement on how the material is presented. I think that there should have been more consistency on how things are called and labeled on the videos, the exams, etc. There was a good balance of entertainment and subject mastery, which help to connect Christian to a virtual audience. This is a very difficult thing to achieve even on a face to face interaction. I have taken other online courses -including several Coursera-, and so far, this is the best one.
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Alexandra Davis profile image
Alexandra Davis profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
I had a fantastic time learning with Prof. Terwiesch! His humor was hilarious and he made the course very interesting and pertinent with every day examples. I FULLY recommend taking this course. I had no background in management and the course got me thinking about how to better my current company and position. I took the easy route and just completed the course by doing the homework and not by performing the case study (which is much more rewarding but a lot more work!). I found the homework to be very easy and fast because Prof. Terwiesch would have similar examples in the lectures. He clearly wanted the course to be very accessible to all. Overall, I LOVED the course and would love to take another with Prof. Terwiesch
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Mauricio Avila profile image
Mauricio Avila profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
I didn't had any experience pior to the subject. This course was the greatest introduction I could ever think of. I studied marketing but taking this course was an inspiration to start working on operations projects.
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Vinay Chandrasekhar profile image
Vinay Chandrasekhar profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
Dr. Terwiesch slowly grabs your interest and drags you into the topic. Loved the course and his teaching methods. His assignments can be attempted unlimited times which I found very useful; I could go back and relearn the concept and attempt the assignments again and that gave me a better understanding of the subject matter. The one suggestion would be to take students on a "virtual tour" of a real factory, store, shop or hospital when teaching so we can better relate. Overall, I loved the course and would highly recommend it to others.
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Andrés Lagerlöf profile image
Andrés Lagerlöf profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
I had previous experience and knowledge in quality management, but this course helpt me a lot by giving me some new input and it also helped my understand some concepts that I had previously not really understood. I thought that the professor was great and I am really happy that I took the course.
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Michael Rand profile image
Michael Rand profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
Having no prior experience with operations management, I decided to take An Introduction to Operations Management (April 2013). The main learning outcome of the course is to teach the student a set of quantitative models centered on each of the 4 elements of operating performance (Time, Variety, Quality, and Cost). Examples of tools encountered include process time measurement, Takt time, analysis of the impact of setup times, waiting models, loss models, and Six Sigma calculations. There was also a parallel path to do an in-class project based on a problem the student faces at work, etc. I did not go down that path, so this review is only for the lecture/quiz/exam portion of the class. What was good: The professor did a fantastic job of introducing many useful models. He explained them clearly and thoroughly, without being dry or boring. There were plenty of practice problems for each of the models (1 lecture review set of problems,... Having no prior experience with operations management, I decided to take An Introduction to Operations Management (April 2013). The main learning outcome of the course is to teach the student a set of quantitative models centered on each of the 4 elements of operating performance (Time, Variety, Quality, and Cost). Examples of tools encountered include process time measurement, Takt time, analysis of the impact of setup times, waiting models, loss models, and Six Sigma calculations. There was also a parallel path to do an in-class project based on a problem the student faces at work, etc. I did not go down that path, so this review is only for the lecture/quiz/exam portion of the class. What was good: The professor did a fantastic job of introducing many useful models. He explained them clearly and thoroughly, without being dry or boring. There were plenty of practice problems for each of the models (1 lecture review set of problems, 1 practice problem set, 1 real problem set). What I'd change: I'd like the course to be a bit longer (2 weeks per operating objective) with more time spent applying the models to slightly more challenging examples. But that's basically just asking for more of a good thing. Overall: fantastic course to teach you the "greatest hits" of operations management. You'll need to buy the textbook or more advanced texts to drill deeper, though.
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Niall Kane profile image
Niall Kane profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
for the first few lectures, I found the material on theis course easy and intitutive, but as it went on, it became more challenging.
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Davide Casti profile image
Davide Casti profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
It helps a lot if you know a little from algebra. The professor skips a part in some calculations. But that way It will stick. Join a facebook or Linkedin Study group an you can easily find the answers your are looking for. Good luck for those who are starting or doing this course. Thanks again professor Terwiesch for the things you have learned me.
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Kostiantyn Lukianets profile image
Kostiantyn Lukianets profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
Well, this is Wharton MBA for free (or for 50$ via Signature Track). What are you waiting for? Enroll!
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Luca Conti profile image
Luca Conti profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
Prior Experience: I have 5 years experience in management as Producer/Project Manager, and an academic introduction to operations, but not a specific experience or knowledge in Operations Management. Comparison to other courses: Highly Analytical, Model based, Number based It is not important the number of students who enrolled, completed the course or the final: what is important is how learned the ones who attended learned, and how much they will benefit from it in their personal and professional life, what people with Operations Management training will be able to do in the world. According to me, that will be a lot, this is the most relevant metric of such a course. Liked: Professor's passion about the topic and effort to establish links to real business world situations Practical applications and potential benefits of Operations Management Guidance in solving exercises: the homework review videos were very helpful Disliked: "Fla... Prior Experience: I have 5 years experience in management as Producer/Project Manager, and an academic introduction to operations, but not a specific experience or knowledge in Operations Management. Comparison to other courses: Highly Analytical, Model based, Number based It is not important the number of students who enrolled, completed the course or the final: what is important is how learned the ones who attended learned, and how much they will benefit from it in their personal and professional life, what people with Operations Management training will be able to do in the world. According to me, that will be a lot, this is the most relevant metric of such a course. Liked: Professor's passion about the topic and effort to establish links to real business world situations Practical applications and potential benefits of Operations Management Guidance in solving exercises: the homework review videos were very helpful Disliked: "Flat" teaching style: the professor put efforts to introduce some external contents in the lectures, but the overall sensation is a very limited variation: in other words the teaching style is never other than a presentation of information, while memory benefits a lot from inputs other than text and numbers, like and visuals and fun. Slightly high focus on numbers: they are necessary, but I am sure Operations in a company can be significantly improved even without analyzing in detail all the steps of the processes and other metrics.
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Mike Robinson profile image
Mike Robinson profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
I whole-heartedly recommend this class to anyone with a professional interest in operations management. Prof Terwiesch did a magnificent job of structuring the course; lectures were clear, direct, and to the point. Assignments were well-designed to complement the lectures, requiring thought and effort but specifically and clearly related to the lectures. I've taken a dozen post- degree free-standing courses: in person, correspondence, and via Coursera and Edx, and not only was this was one of the best courses I've taken, but it's one I've used in my professional life starting actually while I was taking the course.
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