SCM 361 - Syllabus

Course Description

This is an introductory course in Operations Management with five primary purposes: help students (1) recognize that value is created through transformational processes, (2) understand how the skillful management operations (delivery of value) can dramatically enhance company competitiveness and organizational effectiveness, (3) learn methods that help organizations deliver value to customers, (4) learn the language of operations management and (5) practice and improve their spreadsheet modeling and analytical skills. Topics covered include operations strategy, project management, forecasting, process analysis, sourcing, and distribution management. Readings, Excel tutorials, homework problems, qualitative and quantitative assessments, and web-based simulations will play an important role throughout the course.

Learning Outcomes

What we will KNOW and be able to DO by the end of the semester:


Before taking SCM 361 you must have completed at least 48 credits and complete one of the following courses:

Materials and Fees

Here are the required materials and fees for this course:


Grades will be based on the following point scale:

A ≥ 93%

B ≥ 84%

C ≥ 74%

D ≥ 64%

A- ≥ 90%

B- ≥ 80%

C- ≥ 70%

D- ≥ 60%

B+ ≥ 87%

C+ ≥ 77%

D+ ≥ 67%

F ≤ 59%

Grading Summary

Discussion Board Q&A (12 discussions; 3 points each)

36 points

Homework Problems (29 homework assignments; about 1 point each)

32 points

Miscellaneous Assignments (9 assignments; varying points)

45 points

Littlefield Simulations (2 assignments; varying points)

100 points

Question Exams (12 exams; 6 points each)

72 points

Problem Exams (11 exams; 10 points each)

110 points

Spreadsheet Files/Quizzes (11 quizzes; 1 point each)

11 points

Final Exams (2 exams; varying points)

100 points

Mid-Course Feedback and End of Course Evaluation (2 points each)

4 points

Total (regular points)

510 points

Extra Credit Assignments

12 points

Grading Details

Discussion Board Q&A: These are designed to help students teach each other. Each week students will be required to post one question related to that week’s module topic. Students will also be required to post two answers to other students’ previously posted questions.

Homework Problems: Homework assignments will be due on Fridays at 11 PM during the week they are assigned. They will be administered through I-Learn and will allow for five attempts. They are largely quantitative in nature and geared to reinforce the principles taught throughout the course. The exams will contain many problems that are very similar to the homework assignments. You may discuss your homework with other class members, however; you are not allowed to share spreadsheet files (build your own). If after five attempts you have not answered all the problems correctly, contact your instructor to get help and open another attempt.

Miscellaneous Assignments: These will consist primarily of short writing assignments and individual simulations.

Littlefield Technologies:  This factory simulation will test your team’s ability to make several decisions as you manage the operations of a simulated manufacturer of satellite receivers. We will play two rounds in this simulator (one week each, mostly out of class time). Success in this activity is most likely to be achieved when your team correctly applies skills in forecasting, capacity management, the theory of constraints, inventory management, and contract management. This activity is an excellent gauge of a team’s ability to work together and of its understanding of relevant key concepts.

Question EXAMS: Question Exams will consist of true/false, multiple-choice, multiple-answer, and matching questions, based on chapter readings and class activities. These are open-book, open-note, closed-websearch, timed exams. They are to be taken by yourself, without any discussion or communication about the exam with anyone, including past or present students!

Problem EXAMS: Problem Exams will consist of problems similar to those found in the homework assignments. Each exam is worth 10 points. These are open-book, open-note, open-spreadsheet (your own spreadsheet file), closed-websearch, timed exams. They are to be taken by yourself, without any discussion or communication about the exam with anyone, including past or present students! Please note that these open-book exams have a high standard for getting things right the first time, so no retakes are allowed (even for little mistakes). However, if you score less than 70 percent on any problem exam, you may raise your score to 70 percent by determining the correct answers to your missed questions (on your own or with help from your instructor or with help from a teaching assistant or tutor) and sending those corrected answers via email to your instructor (along with your corrected spreadsheet file).

Spreadsheet Assignments/Quizzes: For each chapter with quantitative material you will be asked to submit a spreadsheet file at the end of the week and answer some questions (quiz) to receive credit for your submission. Each submission is worth one (1) point and is intended to help you organize your work such that you better learn the operations concepts and spreadsheet mechanics. Roughly 32 percent of your overall class grade comes from assignments and exams that depend on your spreadsheet skills, hence you must create your own spreadsheet files. Yes, you may ask others for help or see how they do things in their files, but you are not to share files for this and related assignments. All keystrokes must be your own. Note that there will be very serious consequences for sharing files on this assignment.

Preparation for the Workplace: Timed, Open-Book Assessments

From time to time a few students will express concern over the timed assessments employed in this course. They will say that their performance on these assessments don’t accurately reflect their knowledge of the material. While this may be true, these assessments are good practice for what many will face in the workplace: firm deadlines (timed deadlines) but open access to any material that will help you with that work assignment. Make sure you have a rock solid Internet connection when you take these assessments.

Tips for Success with Quantitative Material (Homework Assessments)

To borrow and paraphrase from a scripture, “the way for [this course] is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before [you]” (see 2 Nephi 9:41). In other words, this course has exacting requirements (narrow) but there are straightforward things you can do to ensure that you learn the material and, as a natural byproduct, get the best grade possible. These things include:

Class Policies