About this Course
4.6
67 ratings
22 reviews
Over the past several decades, operations strategy has played an increasingly important role in business’ success. In this course, we will equip you with concepts and tools to build operations in a way that not only supports your competitive strategy, but also allows you to create new opportunities in the market place. Scaling operations: Linking strategy and execution is a five-week course dedicated to making strategic decisions that are grounded in operational reality. Together, we will study how to build and evaluate the “operating system” of the firm to maximize value. This involves tailoring the firm’s operational competencies, assets, and processes to a specific business strategy. Each week, we’ll explore case studies, engage in discussions and examine realistic data. Thanks to our data-driven approach, you’ll be able to implement your learning directly into practice. At the end of this course, you’ll be ready to build an effective, actionable plan to scale your department or organization....
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Flexible deadlines

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Clock

Suggested: 2-4 hours/week

Approx. 14 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Suggested: 2-4 hours/week

Approx. 14 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

The VCAP Framework

We start by explaining the concepts of operating systems and operations strategy. Then we introduce the main "VCAP" framework, which connects the key components of operations strategy and identifies three main views to analyze it. The module also describes the key decisions related to operations strategy. Several examples illustrate the impact of operations strategy and the importance of tailoring to increase value and alignment....
Reading
4 videos (Total 22 min), 6 readings, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
1.2 Scalability3m
1.3 Operations Strategy7m
1.4 Adopting a Resource, Process, and Capability View7m
Reading6 readings
Syllabus10m
Grading and Logistics10m
Meet Your Professors10m
Recommended Textbook10m
Lecture Slides10m
Glossary10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
The VCAP Framework8m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Value Creation and Operations: The Investor View

We start by reviewing the main idea of using operations to create value (and the VCAP framework). We briefly discuss the key questions and introduce the main firm we are going to use (the Mafia restaurant chain). We discuss the key idea of measuring financial return (EVA and ROIC). Then we introduce the main tool, the ROIC tree. We apply the ROIC tree to the firm and discuss the steps: constructing the tree, identifying metrics, assessing impact (sensitivity analysis), building a growth plan and communicating the narrative....
Reading
4 videos (Total 25 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
2.2 Quantifying Value5m
2.3 Linking ROIC to Operations with a ROIC Tree10m
2.4 Planning Scalable Growth in the ROIC Tree and Summary5m
Reading3 readings
Quiz 2 Image Prompt10m
Lecture Slides10m
Glossary10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Value Creation and Operations: The Investor View8m

3

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Capabilities and Competition: Defensibility and Trade-offs

Module 1 introduced the capability view of operations as the natural link between competitive strategy and operations. In this module we will investigate this link in greater depth and use the capability view to assess the competitive risk the firm faces. A good operations strategy clearly stipulates which capabilities are critical and which are of secondary importance. One can't have it all: operational capabilities exhibit trade-offs and superior performance requires making choices. But where do these trade-offs come from and how can operations shape them to our competitive advantage? That is the subject of this module. We will outline the main challenge; develop the framework, and the use a simple case to illustrate it. ...
Reading
4 videos (Total 24 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
3.2 The Concept of Tradeoff Curves3m
3.3 Tradeoff Curves to Analyze Competitive Threat9m
3.4 Example: Sugar and Spice7m
Reading3 readings
Sugar & Spice Desserts10m
Lecture Slides10m
Glossary10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 36m

4

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Process Strategy: Strategic Sourcing

In the previous modules, we introduced the VCAP framework for operations strategy and studied value and capabilities. We learned how to invest assets in the face of uncertain demand. Now we turn our attention to structuring operational processes. In this module, we will analyze two essential components of operations strategy: the questions of who should perform an activity or process in the value chain, and how we should manage the supply relationship....
Reading
4 videos (Total 17 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
4.2 Forecasting and Modeling Uncertainty3m
4.3 Tools to Incorporate Uncertainty into Capacity Analysis4m
4.4 Optimal Capacity Sizing5m
Reading2 readings
Lecture Slides10m
Glossary10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 410m
4.6

Top Reviews

By KSApr 27th 2017

Thanks to prof. Gad and prof. Jan for a piece of practical view. I will be happy to keep in touch if you don't mind. Also, please inform me if you've got next course. thanks, Kirill ks@mashtabator.ru

By AYJun 2nd 2018

It was a great course and would be beneficial to the the people who has basic idea on operations and have some work experience in the industry

Instructors

Gad Allon

Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences

Jan A. Van Mieghem

Harold L. Stuart Professor of Managerial Economics; Professor of Operations Management

About Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a private research and teaching university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, and Doha, Qatar. Northwestern combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment that transcends traditional academic boundaries. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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