Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS300: Operations Management

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.

Course Description

An examination of how companies manage processes to produce the products or services required by their customers, including product design, supply chain management, quality, inventory, and planning.

Course Introduction

Operations management is a science that we are all familiar with, at least to some degree. None of us have infinite resources, and we must allocate the resources we do have properly. Think about the process of preparing a meal: you have to gather all the ingredients and prepare them for cooking. Certain ingredients go in at certain times. Occasionally, you fall behind or get too far ahead, and that jeopardizes the entire meal. Of course, if you find that you don't have enough ingredients, you then have even more problems. All of these elements of meal preparation – purchasing ingredients, prepping them, mixing them together, boiling or baking the dish, serving, and cleaning – can be seen as parts of operations management.

In the realm of business, operations management is more complicated than preparing a family meal. There may be hundreds or thousands of participants, rather than just you and your friends or family in the kitchen. Each participant has a specific role in the operations process; if any step of the process is disrupted, the whole process can stall or fall apart. Smart operations managers will have contingency plans in the event that stoppages occur.

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of operations management as they apply to both production and service-based operations. Successfully completing this course will empower you to implement the concepts you have learned in your place of business. Even if you do not plan to work in operations, every department of every company has processes that must be completed, and someone savvy with operations management will be able to improve just about any process.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: Overview of Operations Management
  • Unit 2: Operations Strategy
  • Unit 3: Product Design and Process Selection
  • Unit 4: Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • Unit 5: Just-In-Time and Lean Systems
  • Unit 6: Capacity Planning and Facility Layout
  • Unit 7: Work Systems Design
  • Unit 8: Inventory
  • Unit 9: Quality Management

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • explain the role of operations management and the use of the transformational model in the success of manufacturing and service organizations;
  • evaluate the importance of market needs and operational capabilities (e.g., productivity, workflow, and quality) in formulating a business strategy that creates a sustainable competitive advantage;
  • analyze operation processes from a variety of perspectives such as productivity, workflow, and quality;
  • discuss the goal of Supply Chain Management and its application in a variety of organizational settings;
  • apply basic design principles to determine appropriate facility location and layout;
  • explain techniques and methods for creating and evaluating work systems design;
  • identify the critical factors involved in inventory control systems; and
  • explain quality management and apply continuous quality improvement principles to operations management.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.

Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are readings, lectures, and videos.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.

Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

There are also end-of-unit assessments and self-assessments in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.

Earning College Credit

This course is eligible for college credit via Saylor Academy's Direct Credit Program. If you want to earn college credit, you must take and pass the Direct Credit final exam. That exam will be password protected and requires a proctor. If you pass the Direct Credit exam, you will receive a Proctor Verified Course Certificate and be eligible to earn an official transcript. For more information about applying for college credit, review the guide to college credit opportunities. Be sure to check the section on proctoring for details like fees and technical requirements.

There is a 14-day waiting period between attempts of the Direct Credit final exam. There is no waiting period between attempts for the not-for-credit exam and the Direct Credit exam. You may only attempt each Direct Credit final exam a maximum of 3 times. Be sure to study in between each attempt!


Tips for Success

BUS300: Operations Management is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 54 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.
  • Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at

Suggested Prerequisites

In order to take this course, you should have taken:

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.
  • If you plan to attempt the optional Direct Credit final exam, then you will also need access to a webcam. This lets our remote proctoring service verify your identity, which is required to issue an official transcript to schools on your behalf.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.


This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This course also has an optional final exam that can give you an opportunity to earn college credit. This exam requires the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring for this optional exam is $5 per session.

Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2021, 4:52 PM