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OM Syllabus: University of Tennessee, BA 341, Dr. Bogdan Bichescu

September 2, 2010

 BA 341 – Lean Operations

Spring Semester 2011

MW, 12:20-1:10 p.m., AMB 210

                  Instructor: Dr. Bogdan Bichescu

                  618 SMC, Tel: (865) 974-1668, 

                  Office hours: MW, 10:30 -12:00 p.m. & by appointment


                                 Teaching Assistants:

                                 Je Guk Kim and Wei Wu

                   (check Blackboard for their contact info & office hours)

Operations Management, 10th Edition, with MyOMLab aceess. By Jay Heizer, and Barry Render. The textbook is available in several formats, as shown below. Each format includes access to MyOMLab and is acceptable for class.

  • Hardcover edition, available on, e.g., Amazon. Price: ~ $145.
  • Student value edition (three-hole-punched), available at the UT bookstore or directly from Pearson. Price: ~ $130 (the bookstore price seems cheaper).
  • eBook, available from Pearson (MyOMLab with Pearson eText). Price: $100.

If you already have a copy of the textbook, it is possible to purchase only a MyOMLab access card (MyOMLab without Pearson eText) for $50 from Pearson. (Click “Don’t have a Course ID” link, next select textbook, and follow instructions)


Course Texts:    

The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox, 3rd edition (July 2004). Used copies or earlier editions are acceptable.


In order to gain access to your homework assignments, you will need a Pearson’s MyOMLab access code. This code comes bundled with a new textbook (in any of the formats mentioned above) or can be purchased separately, as also explained above. Note that during the registration process for MyOMLab you will be asked for a “course ID provided by your instructor”. The code is available in “BA 341–CourseID.pdf” also posted on Blackboard under “Course Syllabus”.



 Online@UT:  Lecture Notes, various class information, and a discussion board will be available onBlackboard. Note that it is your responsibility to download any posted lecture notes and materials and have them available for class. Blackboard will also be used for communication throughout the course. Therefore, be sure to have Blackboard access. 
Course Topics and Objectives: Operations is the study of the way that products are made, distributed, and sold, and the way that services are provided. The course will cover four primary topics, designed to expose you to a diverse set of practical techniques that are essential in achieving a lean organization. Lean operations, our first topic, refers to a particular way of managing business processes that focuses on minimizing waste, as explained in Chapter 16. Note, however, that all principles studied in this class contribute to a more efficient and leaner organization.The second topic is the Theory of Constraints (TOC), which is the subject of The Goal and Chapter 7 (supplement) in the text. TOC is a means of linking operational decisions to the profitability of an organization. We will study the application of TOC to process flow analysis and project management. The third topic deals with the analysis of flows in manufacturing and service processes, as described in Chapters 7 and 7(S), and the objective is to understand the importance of flow on operating performance. Next, we will introduce a set of quantitative techniques based on waiting-line models (see quantitative module D in the text) to measure the impact of waiting and variability on process flow. We will examine specific examples that illustrate how such models can help service organizations improve customer experience.     Chapter 3 introduces our fourth topic, Project Management, and illustrates the distinctive style of management required to accomplish limited-duration, unique tasks so often undertaken by nowadays’ organizations, such as the introduction of new products and services. We will also study the benefits of applying TOC in a project context, in the form of Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM).
Exams: There will be four non-comprehensive, multiple-choice, closed-book exams. Only the best three exams will count towards your final grade, each worth 25%. Note that a single-page (i.e., single face) sheet with notes, either typed or handwritten, will be allowed on each exam. Tentative exam dates are highlighted in the timetable below.
Homework Assignments: Homework is a class requirement and worth 24% of the final grade. There will be 10 assignments during the semester, and your lowest two scores will be dropped (i.e., only 8 assignments will count toward your final grade). The assignments will be administered electronically via the MyOMLab system. The complete grading scheme and assignment due dates are provided below. Note that all assignments are individual and you are allowed a single attempt to solve each assignment. For additional information concerning MyOMLab and assignment policies, please refer to the class discussion board available on Blackboard. For MyOMLab technical support visit    
Class Attendance, Participation, & Conduct: Attendance is critical to learning and academic success. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to attend all classes. There will be 2 random attendance quizzes worth a total of 0.50% of the final grade. As an additional motivation for coming to class, some exam and homework questions will be based on specific class examples and discussion. I expect that you will be polite, punctual (class starts promptly at 12:20 p.m.), prepared and actively engaged in class discussion. Students engaging in rude and unprofessional behavior are disruptive to others and will be asked to leave the classroom. Please turn off your cell phones before class and refrain from using laptop computers for anything other than note taking. I will also assign an online class survey, worth 0.50% of the final grade, that will require you to provide specific course feedback. The date of the survey will be announced in class. It is critical that you read the lecture notes, textbook and any other assigned materials after every class. Given the mostly quantitative content of this class (and, implicitly, exams), you should constantly prepare and work out all class problems, assigned homework problems, as well as additional problems included in the textbook.  You are also responsible for any related material in the textbook that we do not have the time to cover in class. 
Grading Summary % in Final Score   Final Grade
3 Exams, 25% each  75.00   Grade Percentage
8 Assignments, 3% each 24.00   A 93.0 – 100
1 online class survey 0.50   A- 90.0 – 92.9
2 random attendance quizzes, 0.25% each 0.50   B+ 87.0 – 89.9
Total 100.00   B 83.0 – 86.9
      B- 80.0 – 82.9
        C+ 77.0 – 79.9
      C 73.0 – 76.9
      C- 70.0 – 72.9
      D+ 67.0 – 69.9
      D 63.0 –66.9
        D- 60.0 – 62.9
        F Below 60.0



Tentative Timetable:

Week Date Lecture Topic Class Readings   Homework Due
1 1/12, W Introduction Text: Ch. 1  
2 1/17, M MLK Holiday, No Classes  
1/19, W Theory of Constraints (TOC) Text: Ch. 7(S) & The Goal, Ch. 1-6  
3 1/24, M Theory of Constraints (TOC) Text: Ch. 7(S) & The Goal, Ch. 7-13 Ch. 1 Assignment
1/26, W Applications of TOC Text: Ch. 7(S) & The Goal, Ch. 14-20  
4 1/31, M Analysis of Process Flow Text: Ch. 7(S) & The Goal, Ch. 21-30 Ch. 7(S) Assignment 1
2/02, W Analysis of Process Flow Text: Ch. 7(S) & The Goal, Ch. 31-40  
5 2/07, M Exam 1 Review Set of questions posted on Blackboard Ch. 7(S) Assignment 2
2/09, W Midterm Exam #1 Text: Ch. 1, 7(S) & The Goal  
6 2/14, M Layout Strategies Text: Ch. 9  
2/16, W Break-Even Analysis Text: Ch. 7(S)  
7 2/21, M Decision-Making Tools Text: Quantitative Module A Ch. 7(S) Assignment 3
2/23, W Lean Principles Text: Ch. 16  
8 2/28, M Lean Principles Text: Ch. 16 QM. A Assignment
3/02, W Lean Principles Text: Ch. 16  
9 3/07, M Exam 2 Review Set of questions posted on Blackboard Ch. 16 Assignment
3/09, W Midterm Exam #2 Text: Ch. 7(S), 9, 16, & QM A  
10 3/14, M Spring Break, No Classes  
3/16, W
11 3/21, M Waiting-Line Models Text: Quantitative Module D  
3/23, W Waiting-Line Models Text: Quantitative Module D  
12 3/28, M Waiting-Line Models Text: Quantitative Module D QM. D Assignment 1
3/30, W Waiting-Line Models Text: Quantitative Module D  
13 4/04, M Exam 3 Review Set of questions posted on Blackboard QM. D Assignment 2
4/06, W Midterm Exam #3 Text: QM D  
14 4/11, M Intro to Project Management Text: Ch. 3  
4/13, W Project Scheduling Text: Ch. 3  
15 4/18, M Project Scheduling Text: Ch. 3  Ch. 3 Assignment 1
4/20, W Cost-Time Trade-offs Text: Ch. 3  
16 4/25, M CCPM Text: Ch. 3  
4/27, W Final Exam Review Set of questions posted on Blackboard Ch. 3 Assignment 2
17 5/09, M Final Exam(8:00 – 10:00a.m.) Text: Ch. 3  


Make-up Policy:  I expect you to take the exams during the scheduled times and submit your homework assignments by the scheduled deadline. There will be no make-up options for missed exams and homework assignments. Late work is not accepted. If you experience technical problems accessing your homework assignments, please contact us immediately and include a screenshot or a description of the error. Check constantly the accuracy of the grades posted on Blackboard and alert us as soon as you notice a missing grade or any inconsistencies. Do not wait until the end of the semester to contact us!  
Disability Services: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a documented disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 974-6087 or email: This will ensure that you are properly registered for such services.
Integrity: I expect students to approach their studies with honesty and integrity. Students must do their own work on all exams and graded assignments.  Dishonest behavior in completing assignments and exams will not be tolerated and will be reported to the Student Judicial Affairs Office.  Students are expected to adhere to the University’s Honor Statement set forth in Hilltopics and reproduced below and to honor the detailed academic standards described on pages 11-13 of Hilltopics at            An essential feature of The University of Tennessee is a commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual integrity and academic honesty.  As a student of the University, I pledge that I will neither knowingly give nor receive any inappropriate assistance in academic work, thus affirming my own personal commitment to honor and integrity.I and the other instructors will actively monitor your work to detect shared or copied assignments. Please do your own work. Copying and/or modifying another student’s work is cheating. Sharing questions and answers from exams or assignments
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