Welcome to Operations Management Course. This course is also known alternatively known as quantitative tools for decision making. This module is all about looking at various ways in which quantitative ideas (not mathematics per se) can be helpful in analysing many types of public administrative problems faced by modern day’s administrators. We shall look at the ideas of ‘modelling’ aspects of a public Administration problem – that is representing it, using certain simplifying assumptions, by a formula, or a set of equations or within a computer. The whole of this module is to give the participants an idea they can use these techniques to improve the outcomes of their policy decision. This module reviews various decision making approaches and develops knowledge of quantitative concepts that are of direct relevance to public policy professionals, both with a theoretical treatment and with use of computer assisted approaches. Some specific topics covered are optimisation of gains or minimising cost within limited resources, project and material requirements planning and the analysis of decisions under uncertain conditions.
The purpose of the course is to appraise the participants with very basic knowledge on quantitative decision-making tools. These tools, collectively discussed (with many other tools) under the title of Operations Research have been largely developed since the World War II. These techniques, supported by sophisticated software programs, are now routinely employed to guide and support management decisions in defence, civil society organisation and business organisations. The course broadly covers deterministic and stochastic decision models for planning, decision-making, resource allocation, and control at a very basic level.
In particular, the courses focuses on system thinking approach and think structurally about decision problems and understanding why and how the quantitative techniques are applied in solving them. The course is designed to equip administrators with a conceptual understanding of quantitative decision making tools and the skill to use them effectively in making managerial decisions. The course is not at all an attempt to make you master of these techniques or apply these techniques yourself. With the awareness gained in this stream you may be able to use these techniques or direct your subordinates or consultants to work according to these models. The content is presented in the context of practical administrative situations in various public services like health care organizations, public sector enterprises, defence organisations etc.