Assessment Portfolio of Business Operations and Process Management

Business Operations and Process Management

Assessment Portfolio


This module explores the theory and practice of operations and process management in various organisational contexts across a range of industries. You will develop the critical, theoretical and practical skills to be able to position the role of operations and process management in the contemporary organisation. You will also be able to appreciate how they directly impact on the financial position and profitability of an organisation and how they are determined by and will influence organisational strategy.

The assessment should be based on an organisation of your choice. This may be within your experience, or simply based upon your research interests, but should be concentrated where enough information is retrievable within your domain to enable you to research the organisation effectively.

Portfolio Content

Task 1: A3 Poster submission

Toyota, often considered the originator of world-class process improvement methods, developed the idea of the A3 problem-solving technique – the suggestion that every problem an organisation encounters should be captured on a single sheet of paper which is A3 sized (297mm x 420mm).

In this task you are required to use the A3 management process methodology to tackle a problem within an organisation you are familiar with.

You may examine multiple operational aspects of the organisation including but not limited to the following options.

(Please note that you’re not required to cover all of the above. These are just some indicators. You need to see for yourself what tools, models and concepts can help you analyse the case more effectively and fulfil the assessment criteria.)

You could make valid assumptions about the organisation where data and/or information cannot be easily accessed e.g. privileged information to which you do not have access; however you are expected to carry out a fairly comprehensive research and will be marked according to the validity of the referencing.

Submission Method

You should submit your A3 poster file, MS PowerPoint, MS VISIO or MS Publisher to the Blackboard Submission Point.

Regarding to the hand in date of the A3 poster, please see the Blackboard site/Assessment section.

Useful Sources of Further Information

Anderson, J.S., Morgan, J.N., and Williams, S.K., (2011) Using Toyota’s A3 Thinking for Analysing MBA Business Cases. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education. 9 (2) 275-285

Liker, J., (2004) The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From The World’s Greatest Manufacturer. New York: McGraw-Hill

Maroni, R., (2011) After the Haiti Earthquake: A Healthcare Missionary’s Personal Journal [online].

Shook, J., (2008) Managing To Learn: Using the A3 Management Process. Cambridge, MA: Lean Enterprise, Inc

Shook, J., (2009) Toyota’s Secret: The A3 Report. MIT Sloan Management Review. 50 (4) 30-33

Sobek, D., (2009). A3 Process [online]. Available at:  [Last Accessed: 07 Nov, 2017]

Sobek, D., and Smalley, A., (2008) Understanding A3 Thinking: A Critical Element of Toyota’s PDCA Management System. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press

Thomson, A., (2003) Critical Reasoning: A Practical Introduction (2ed). London: Routledge

Task 2: Lean Management and its challenges

With reference to a particular business or organisation:

The final submission will consist of an individual essay, 2500 words (+/-10%).

Please note that direct quotes, executive summaries, and abstracts are included in the word count. Tables, reference list and appendices are outside of the word count.

Your work must be supported by the relevant academic literature related to this field, as well as any necessary or relevant practice-based literature, to develop a fuller discussion.

Your submissions will be expected to demonstrate the following qualities:

Submission Method

We can only accept the essay through the submission point on Blackboardandwewill not usually consider other methods of assignment submission (such as printed hard copy or email) unless express permission is given by the module leader, or you have a disability-based learning contract stating otherwise.

You should submit your MS word file to the BB Submission Point. Regarding to the hand in date, please see the Blackboard site/Assessment section.

Useful Sources of Further Information

Jayanth Jayaram, Kefeng Xu, (2016) Determinants of quality and efficiency performance in service operations, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 36 Issue: 3, pp.265-285,

Gronroos, C., (1988) Service quality: the six criteria of good perceived service quality. Review of Business. 9(3) 10-13

Gulati, R., (2007) Silo busting: how to execute on the promise of customer focus. HBR, 85(5) 98-108

Hammer, M., (1990) Reengineering work: don’t automate, obliterate. HBR, 68(4) 104-112, Jul-Aug

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A., and Berry, L.L., (1985) A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. Journal of Marketing. 49, 41

Prahalad, C.K., and Hamel, G. (1990) Core Competence of the Corporation. HBR, 68(3) 79-91,  May-June

Rother, M., and Shook, J., (1999) Learning To See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate Muda. USA: Lean Enterprise Institute.

Seth, D. & Gupta, V. (2005), Application of value stream mapping for lean operations and cycle time reduction: an Indian case study. Production Planning & Control Vol. 16 , Iss. 1, 2005.

Seth, D., Seth, N. & Dhariwal, P. (2017) Application of value stream mapping (VSM) for lean and cycle time reduction in complex production environments: a case study. Production Planning & Control Vol. 28 , Iss. 5

Shankar, V., Berry, L., and Dotzel, T., (2009) A practical guide to combining products and services. HBR, 87 (11)

Sheu, C., McHaney, R., and Babbar, S., (2003) Service process design flexibility and customer waiting time. International Journal of Operations and Production Management. 23 (8) 901-917

Womack, J.P., Jones, D.T., and Roos, D., (1990) The Machine That Changed The World. How Lean Production Revolutionized The Global Car Wars. London: Simon & Schuster

Womack, J.P., and Jones, D.T (2003) Lean Thinking: How to Banish Waste and Create Value. London: Simon & Schuster

Task 3: Reflection

Critically reflect on your own learning in this module, evaluating how the theories and concepts influence your role as a leader and manager and exploring the potential impact on your organisation.  As a result, please identify any effects on your personal and professional development, citing actions which you now need to take and any potential barriers.

The word count for this component is 500 words (+/-10%).

Submission Method

You should submit your MS word file to the BB Submission Point. Regarding to the hand in date, please see the Blackboard site/Assessment section.

Useful Sources of Further Information

Gibbs, G. ,(1988) Learning by Doing: a guide to teaching and learning methods.  London Further Educational Unit

Kolb, D.A.,(1984) Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development.  Prentice-Hall.

Moon, J., (2000) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice, Routledge

3. What You Should Do

You have access to the module materials, recommended core text for the module, computing facilities, library books, journals and ‘Library Search’ databases, as well as to the module teaching team and your colleagues.  You will need access to information within the chosen organisation, some of which may publicly be available. This task will draw on the Business Operations and Process Management module; however, other modules or sources may have some relevance. You are always encouraged to explore further.

4. Referencing & Plagiarism

This work will require you to conduct an appropriate literature review. You must correctly cite and list all the references that you used to produce your paper. Please ensure that you exhaustively search reference sources in pursuit of the work you present in this assignment.

Assignment submissions that rely upon undependable sources like Wikipedia or anecdotal web pages may not receive a strong mark. Focus instead on making good use of the SHU Learning Centre’s online Information Databases – – . Such resources will point you to peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers and book chapters.

You must cite every source of information (even images, web pages, interviews and media broadcasts) that you use throughout all the sections of your work.  If you do not fully cite your references you are, in effect, stealing intellectual property – and the evidence will be there for all to see in your work. Plagiarism can be more extensive than you may realise (e.g. failing to reference your own previous assignments can sometimes be taken as plagiarising your own work. Ask your tutor if you are not sure about this).

Please do not copy material into your paper. Even if you cite the original authors you are not adding any of your own interpretation, thus you are still plagiarising.  Read the university’s up-to-date guidance on this which is always available from the Learning Centre or through SHUSpace.

5. Marking Scheme

Your work will be assessed using the marking scheme at the end of this section. Originality, quality of argument and good structure are required. Your work should evidence that you can take a body of theory, understand it, choose what you want from it, apply it in a reasonable fashion and hence evaluate it. The marking criteria give you a clear indication of what is required to achieve stronger grades.

Marking scheme for all work included in the portfolio
Criteria0-39%  (fail)40-49%(marginal fail)50-59% (pass)60-69%  (Merit)70-79%  (distinction)80%+  (outstanding)
1.1 Critical understanding of the A3 method, relevant business process, operations and management in the context of the organisation coupled with the use of suitable analysis tools to explain the current and future state of the elected process.Incoherent, showing no clear links, no clearly defined problem and/or no attempt at the development of a cause analysis.Reasonably coherent but shows limited understanding of the problem.Coherent and shows a good understanding of the problem.Well-structured and gives a strong understanding of the problem, with clear links to wider business needs.An in depth and insightful understanding of the problem, showing very clear links to the immediate and wider business needs.An excellent and insightful understanding of the problem, showing excellent links to the immediate and wider business needs.
1.2 Well-presented piece of work, demonstrating presentation and written skills at postgraduate level.Very poorly designed and inappropriately arranged. Not innovative or creative. Students have made no effort.Some thought given to design but not particularly well arranged.  Some elements lack innovation /or creativeness. Students have made little effort.Structure could’ve been improved butfairly logical arrangement.  Reasonably innovative and/or creative in approach. Students have made some effort.Quite well designed overall, interesting and sound arrangement. An innovative and/or creative approach. Students have clearly worked hard to utilise the methodology.Well-designed overall, very interesting and robust arrangement. A very innovative and creative approach. Students have clearly worked very hard to utilise the methodology.Very well designed overall, very interesting, engaging arrangement. A highly innovative and creative approach. A great deal of thought and effort by the students.
2.1 Critical understanding of relevant business processes, operations and performance management and other relevant literature, contemporary research and theories relevant to the topic.  Significant failure to understand of relevant theories, very poor work with no sources, or sources of little relevance and credibility. The work does not meet the specified criteria.Marginal failure in understanding of relevant theories. Irrelevant or very little sources are forced into the study, particularly where directed literature only is used. Lacks interpretation with no analysis.Partially addressed, but with insufficient theory and reliance on directed literature. Research findings considered but well not integrated.Good understanding of relevant theories. Clearly expressed, sufficient literature from own sources, research findings and theory considered but only partially applied.Excellent appreciation of the concept, extensive referencing with comprehensively utilised research findings applied throughout.Outstanding appreciation of the relevant theories.  Work demonstrating a wholly critical application with undeniable links to theory and practice, including contemporary and/or seminal work in the field.
2.2 Relevance/justification of approach to addressing issues and ability to apply the models, concepts and theories using examples and case studies.  Not addressed, no evidence or likelihood of applicability with very little or no evidence of background research.Limited relevance with an uncritical justification for the issues and limited applicability. Very limited background research.Relevant and justified with balanced consideration of key issues. Credible applicability and with moderate research.Sound and well justified consideration of many issues beyond the core expectation. Applicable and with decent research.Clearly expressed, critically applied and evaluated. Deeper understanding of applicability of theories, strong background research.Outstanding work that meets all previous criterion and is undeniably justified and relevant. The work is the basis of a conference paper or case study article.
3. The reflective report effectively summarises the student’s evaluation of the module.  …poorly with little effort and very little or no referencing. None or very little evaluation of the student’s experience is given.  …in places but is weak with few references. Little evaluation of the student’s experience is given.…reasonably well, is interesting in places and with some referencing, although limited.…clearly with some good referencing. The work is interesting and reasonably insightful offering a critical assessment of the student’s experience.…excellently with a deep insight into the rationale that is very well referenced and critically evaluates the student’s with the previous category but more fully, with an in-depth and critical understanding, faultless referencing and presentation.
4. Quality of overall presentation – including referencing and structure.  Poor presentation: inconsistent referencing and muddled structure.Reasonable presentation but inconsistent referencing and unclear structure.Satisfactory presentation with consistent referencing and clear structure.Good, clear presentation with consistent and accurate referencing and logical, clear structure.Excellent presentation with faultless referencing throughout and a clear, logical structure.Builds on previous criterion and is publishable as either a conference paper or case study article. an outstanding attempt..