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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Modelling Business for Strategic Impact (MBA) (CMSE11233)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course develops analytical skills needed for leadership in business improvement: understanding a business process; modelling it graphically; analysing its current performance; identifying current limitations, pitfalls and constraints to reach better performance; identifying opportunities for process improvement; quantifying the potential impact of such improvement options; setting the agenda towards process improvement; and controlling implementation of the set agenda. Opportunities for development of leadership through analysis will be emphasised by the students having to work in a project team to analyse a real world problem provided by a partner organisation, and by having to recommend suitable solutions and pathways to continuous improvement to the client. In this groupwork, the MBA students also have the opportunity to test their learning from the core courses taught in Semester 1 on a full scale business problem.
Course description The taught component of the course will provide students with the necessary quantitative and qualitative modelling and analysis methods, for them to successfully tackle the given problem, with a focus on the former (i.e. quantitative content) but also with an important role played by the latter (i.e. qualitative techniques), especially in the first phases of the project work.

The partner organisation providing the problem to be analysed will be chosen by the course organiser prior to the start of the course. The problem area to be studied will likely be related to service operations or manufacturing/logistics/distribution operations, and the level of analysis should be both strategic and mainly quantitative in nature.

Business processes as collections of entities and resources
Techniques for problem structuring
Process mapping techniques and related graphical modelling languages
Discrete Event Simulation
Design and Analysis of Experiments

Student Learning Experience:
In addition to the lectures and workshops, there is one real world problem area, provided by a real client organisation. Students are members of a project team, working on the given problem for the duration of the course. They are guided by a member of faculty. The course organiser works with the client organisation to select a challenging enough problem area for the project (that is also aligned with the technical content of the course). Students learn a range of quantitative and qualitative methods, including in a computer lab setting, with a hands-on approach, using commercial software (6 x 4 hour sessions). The member of faculty supervises the work of the project team throughout the semester and provides the project team with additional direction(as needed) to existing material that could be relevant to help them complete the project successfully.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and critically discuss the strategic role of quantitative methods for business process modelling and continuous process improvement, and the tight link with more qualitative methods for problem structuring/understanding.
  2. Understand and critically discuss the key ingredients of all business processes: entities (i.e. information, materials, energy) and resources (i.e. people, physical and financial assets, etc.).
  3. Understand and apply the main methodologies to structure real world business problems.
  4. Understand and discuss critically the main techniques and graphical modelling languages available to map business processes.
Reading List
The following textbooks provide more detailed explanations of the main techniques and software tools used in the course. They will be made available in the Hub for consultation.
Law, A.M (2014) Simulation Modeling and Analysis, 5th Ed, McGraw-Hill
Kelton, W.D., Sadowski, R.P. and Zupick, N.B. (2015) Simulation with Arena, 6th Ed, McGraw-Hill
Montgomery, D.C. (2012) Design and Analysis of Experiments, 8th Ed, McGraw-Hill
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive and Subject Specific Skills:
Apply project management basic concepts, ideas and techniques, as well knowledge from core courses taught in Semester 1, while working as a project team on a real world business modelling, analysis and improvement project.
Apply the correct blend of intuitive reasoning and of the quantitative and qualitative modelling and analysis techniques discussed in the course, as required by the specific real world business modelling and analysis project, to draw-out sound conclusions and feasible recommendations.
Skills of argument development and persuasion, both as a project team and as individuals.
Skills of working in a project team to reach a common goal, including ability of individual members to exploit their relevant prior experience and knowledge in a way that it helps the project team to reach the common goal.

Transferable Skills:
Client relationship skills - The ability to build and sustain a mutually satisfying and professional client relationship, through communication, negotiation and flexibility.
Ethical conduct - The ability to undertake research and deliver a project in a responsible manner which treats all stakeholders (e.g. client, colleagues in the project team) with respect and in accordance with professional codes of conduct.
Ability to deliver value - The ability to interpret and see beyond client requirements, identifying what is relevant to the client¿s value proposition.
Adaptability - Participants will need to respond appropriately and professionally to unforeseen circumstances and be able to negotiate with the client to reach an acceptable solution should any such disruption take place.
Presentation skills - The ability to present clearly and persuasively to the client and respond appropriately to questions that may challenge the assumptions, evidence and conclusions from the work of the project team.
Report writing skills - The ability to write a business report clearly and succinctly, making appropriate use of relevant academic frameworks and supporting evidence, but at the same time easy for the client to comprehend.
KeywordsModelling Operations Strategy Consultancy
Course organiserDr Maurizio Tomasella
Course secretaryMs Inga Ackermann
Tel: (0131 6)51 5294
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