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The recessionary environment of the last several years has taught all firms the importance of reducing waste and adding value. That is the theme of “lean management,” which forms the core of a specialization in business process improvement. Companies need managers who can improve their operations and enhance the quality of their products. This specialty is sure to be in demand, now and into the future.

Specialization Courses in Business Process Improvement

MGT 5180 Operations Management for Sustainable Business

Managing an Organization’s Inputs, Transformations, and Outputs to Structure Automation in Administration

Operations management is concerned with the process of transforming inputs into higher-value outputs with maximum efficiency. Topics include process design; quality management and control; lean production; supplier certification; capacity planning, facilities, and scheduling; and inventory management including materials requirements planning. Students research facility and personnel requirements, along with production and delivery plans including milestone dates for their business plan. (2-4 credits) Prerequisite: MATH 153

MGT 5240 Statistics for Business Process Improvement

Knowledge has Organizing Power

Students will learn key principles of data analysis and statistical thinking that underlie contemporary management approaches to improving business performance and quality through business process improvement, such as the Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma system employed by leading companies worldwide. Topics include: review of one- and two-sample hypothesis tests for means and proportions, quantifying process performance using process capability analysis, statistical process control, modeling relationships between process variables using bivariate and multiple regression, and introduction to two-level factorial experiments for improving business performance. (4 credits) Prerequisite: MATH 153 and MGT 5170 or equivalent.

MGT 5020 Business Process Improvement

Business Activity in Accord with Nature’s Law of Least Action

This course covers the theory and practice of performance improvement in both large and small organizations in the manufacturing and service sectors so that they operate in accordance with all the laws of nature. The focus will be on using lean thinking to transform every activity in an organization towards sustainable operations. Students will explore how to extend the principles, rules and tools of lean thinking to achieve sustainability along with the improvement in quality, reduction of costs, and maintenance of customer delight. The course uses a combination of interactive classroom instruction and project-based learning. Students learn how to align operations along the value stream in any organization, how to improve efficiency, enliven creativity, and so achieve real sustainability. They will understand how to structure ongoing incremental improvement so that performance improvement becomes part of the shift to sustainability. (4 credits) Prerequisites: MGT 5180 and MGT 5240.

MGT 5090 Performance Improvement Project

Business Activity in Accord with Nature’s Law of Least Action

Students will learn the practical and managerial skills for implementing sustainability through value based process improvement in both large and small organizations. The course is based around implementing Lean Thinking in real world situations. Students will act as junior consultants under the guidance of experienced faculty. They will learn to define value from the perspective of all the stakeholders, how to map value streams, identify waste, and facilitate Kaizen-based process improvement events. They will assist with all aspects of policy deployment, which ensures that the ongoing process improvement reflects strategic business objectives while shifting the organization towards full sustainability. (4 credits) Prerequisite: MGT 5020

To view all the courses required for this specialization, see the MBA Degree Requirements.


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MBA Business Process Improvement Specialization

Professor Bargerstock discusses the LEAN Accounting Summit.

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