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NBS8488 : Projects, Programmes, and Operations Management

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Paul Lewis
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Operations Management is a core ongoing organisational function that manages the transformation of inputs into outputs in order to produce products or supply services. Well-designed, robust operational systems that align with an organisation's strategy within programmes are central to sustaining high levels of organisational performance. In contrast, projects are temporary and help businesses met organisational goals, permitting increased agility and adaptation to the external environment. Organisations use projects to change operations, products and services to meet business need, gain competitive advantage and respond to new markets. An organisation will need to manage both their projects, programmes and operations effectively in order to add value and fulfil the short and long term objectives of any business.

This module introduces the purpose, processes and key methodologies, tools and techniques used to manage projects, programmes and operations. There is particular emphasis on the use of these techniques and understandings in non-traditional environments, such as organisational change programmes, where projects are undertaken in parallel with ‘Business as Usual’ (BaU) commitments and often in the face of substantial inter-personal and political complexity. The module will position the task of meeting or fulfilling the objectives of business, for the multiple stakeholders of employees, owners and customers at all points in the supply chain.

Outline Of Syllabus

Project definition and start-up
Project execution and control - Benefits and risk management
Project governance and dealing with changes
Managing communications, responding to stakeholders
The inevitability of uncertainty: why projects fail, and how to avoid it
Beyond mechanistic control: wicked problems and complex projects
Multi-party projects and the project manager as politician
Organisation of operational strategies to support market focus and the achievement of profitability.
The focus on systems and structures as the means of systematising operations and working practices.
An analysis of service value in association with product value and the means of managing costs.
An understanding of operations improvement.
Design issues associated with both products and services and the processes adopted by organisations to produce them.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion125:0025:00Time for students to complete formative and summative assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture93:0027:00PIP sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture23:006:00Online classes with the option of transferring to PiP
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading171:0017:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:0025:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching will be conducted through the problem-centred approach of case studies, exercises and participative learning.
In class discussions will be required to take managerial positions on key issues.
Basic readings that provide the essential core reference learning will be discussed and reviewed.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100Individual assignment/report, 3000 words.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Case study1MGroups of 4-5 students
Prob solv exercises1MClass exercise
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Lectures, readings and class discussions/activities are designed to help students develop the understanding and analytical skills needed to complete the assessment. Formative assessment is undertaken through a presentation based upon a case scenario. The assessment then tests the students individually to assess how well they have developed both their factual understanding of the topic and their skills in applying their knowledge.

Reading Lists