Operational management as a subject initially appeared to be broad and hard to comprehend. From its introduction, operation management is all about management and design of processes, supply chains and services. These activities are not easy to understand in theory and most are the times I got stuck on the way during subject tuition. Before I could get convinced that operational management is a hard nut to crack, I grasped at least something about the subject; that operational management considers the acquisition of development and utilization of resources which is required by an entity in the goods and services delivery as demanded by the client (Mahadevan 2009). I banked on this knowledge which led me into a breakthrough in the subject. I understood the practical aspect of operation management. Resource management was not a new area to me. The only problem I had was to comprehend its relationship with operations.
After realizing that I really had a problem with understanding everything about operational management, I thought it wise to roll out a personal project on the subject. In this individual projects, the objective was to delineate operations management and differentiate it from resource management which I was familiar with from the previous studies. A review on resource management revealed that this is all about management of resources such as labor, machinery, money and other assets which are required in firm. Resource management aims at reduction of operational costs by eliminating redundancy. Operations management on the other hand involves management of activities through which goods and services are produced and delivered to consumers (Mahadevan 2009). Despite the difference in definition and application of these two categories of management there exists a similarity in that on both resource and operations management, obtaining efficiency is a key objective. I am weak in understanding theoretical concepts without practical involvement. Therefore I decided to extend the individual projects by designing my own company, developing its operational structure and come up with operation strategies whose parameters were maximizing efficiency and effectiveness in resource utilization and customer satisfaction respectively.
The individual project uplifted my understanding of the subject and in fact I felt well prepared for the group project. The group project which was based on a service company was much more involving. As a team we had to review operation management of the company in all management levels i.e. operational, tactical and strategic levels. We had to research and list operation issues in each level of management detailing their weakness and strengths in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the company (Mahadevan 2009). As a team player I was to deal with tactical level. The task was challenging since I had no enough knowledge on issues that relate to other management levels. In summary I managed to identify four management issues which are directly dealt with in this management level. They include project management methods, layout and structures, and equipment selection and replacement.
The group project objective was to understand the whole spectrum of operations management in the selected company. However, we ended up brainstorming on some of the decisions regarding operations which can be made in various levels. This is because, with the selected service company, the chain of activities was never clear and most of the decisions related to the strategic level of management. Some of the decisions like inventory management which was expected to be under operational level were found to be under tactical level. To avoid such confusion in future it is good to select a bigger company with a clear structure and most preferably a manufacturing company. Nevertheless, studying operational management has been great experience.
Mahadevan, B 2009, “Operations management: theory and practice,” New Delhi, Published by Dorling Kindersley (India), licensees of Pearson Education in South Asia.