Your Operations and Quality Management module assignment requires you to perform a broad analysis on a selected operation of your choice. Your goal is to use a range of techniques and approaches to operations and quality management during this module, to improve the end to end cycle time and overall flow of your selected operation. You should be bold and creative in terms of the proposed improvements you make. Make sure you consider all the materials we have reviewed during this module.

You should choose a case study that you find interesting and where perhaps, you have already experienced problems with the performance of the operation as a customer.

Ensure the case study you selected has identifiable problems from the customer perspective, such as excessive delays or rework.

Therefore, using the learning outcomes from your lectures and group exercises you are required to Investigate and produce a report which evaluates a selected end to end value stream from an organisation you are familiar with.

You can select your preferred industry to study for your analysis, which should be an operation you have been involved in as a customer. You may also use exposure to an operation from previous work experience.  Whatever industrial area you choose, you should ensure you can ascertain the following information from your selected case study:

  • A complete end to end value stream (from the customer perspective)
  • Broad operational timings from each key step in the operation
  • A basic understanding of the information systems that support the operation (your tutor can assist with this)
  • An understanding or set of assumptions about the organizational departmental structure
  • The design of a specific operational process e.g. fulfilment of an online shopping order

You may use your own assumptions, should there be some gaps in the information above. For instance, information on the organizational structure may not be available.

Your tutor will also help guide you regarding any areas of information which need clarification.

Your assignment should be based on a real-world case study. This could be UK or from your country of origin.

Here are some example sectors from which you may wish to source your case study:

  • Retail e.g. supermarkets, fast food restaurants, clothing stores, automobile sales – including online or high street stores
  • Banking e.g. personal banking,
  • Insurance e.g. automobile or property insurance
  • Property e.g. property rental
  • Sports, leisure and tourism e.g. cinemas, swimming pools, tourist attractions in London
  • Fast moving consumer goods e.g. supermarkets
  • Transport (please do not use long-distance UK rail) e.g. flights, automobile hire
  • Education & educational facilities e.g. university library facilities, course registration
  • Public sector e.g. health services, Passport Agency
  • Logistics e.g. mail and parcel delivery

Sectors such as manufacturing and engineering may be challenging to obtain required information and are best avoided.

It is recommended you undertake additional reading and research in addition to the teaching materials for this module. You must reference all materials used, adopting the teaching school referencing standard.

Going to the Gemba

To improve your understanding of the operation, you are encouraged to ‘go to the Gemba’ to witness and experience the operational process first hand. To enrich your report, please include photographs to illustrate your investigation.

If you are struggling to identify a specific operation to study, Appendix A contains a table of example operational problems which you may wish to base your analysis on.


Report Contents

The table below outlines the analysis which you should present in your report

Report Requirement Marks /100
1.       Assess and illustrate how the operation you have selected is positioned in terms of the 4 V’s. You need to create a diagram to represent this and should also include a short commentary 10
2.       Outline and critically evaluate the strategies the organisation is studying are using to effectively fulfil/ manage the levels of demand placed upon them. You should also recommend any potential problems and recommendations for improvement  
3.       A completed ‘Current State’ value stream map for the selected operational of your choice. You should include
·       An indication on which specific variation on the customer journey you are reviewing (see additional notes)
·       A clear start and end point to the value stream
·       Information systems involved
·       The function or department performing each action
·       The current time taken to process the step defined
·       A list of observations regarding difficulties with problems the customer is experiencing with this ‘journey’
·       An outline of the sources of waste that have been identified in your analysis
4.       A completed ‘Future State’ value stream map for the selected operational of your choice. You should include
·       A list of identified improvements to overall cycle time and flow. You should include a mixture of continuous improvement (Kaizen) and breakthrough improvements to achieve your goals
·       Metrics to demonstrate the estimated improved performance
·       A list of Lean techniques you could employ to support/ implement your improvements
5.       For a single step in your value stream map, drill down to produce a detailed process map using the ISO notation outlined in your lectures. (Remember to include swim lanes and ideally a time line) 10
6.       A recommendation on which of the following quality techniques you believe will most effectively assist the organisation you are studying and your reasoning for this fit:
·       Total Quality Management
·       Six Sigma
·       ISO
·       EFQM
7.       An explanation how you would measure the success of the customer journey improvements you have implemented once the project is completed 10
8.       Provide a conclusion which provides a critical analysis on the operational challenges and risks that may arise during the process of implementing the recommended improvement you have made


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