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Business & Operations Design (BOD)


It is increasingly important that organisations are effective, efficient and customer focussed in order to compete successfully in the global marketplace. To achieve this, many companies have undertaken major reviews of their businesses using an approach often referred to as Business Process Re-engineering. Research has shown however, that around 80% of such initiatives fail to deliver the benefits expected.

This module shows how the principles of the “Systems Approach”, which has been very successful in helping companies to redesign their operations, can be employed in the design of effective business processes. The module explores how systems theory can be applied to the holistic redesign of a business to create an integrated and competitive organisation. Some of the major issues, which will reduce the risk of such a redesign failing to achieve the maximum benefits, are addressed.

The module focuses on the Operations process, and provides students with the opportunity to explore the use of the Systems Approach within a real business environment.


Upon successful completion participants will be able to:

  1. Argue the benefits of being process-focussed in order to facilitate the delivery of customer facing strategies and competitive advantage.
  2. Critically apply the fundamental principles of systems theory to the analysis and design of business systems, including: processes; organisation structure; technology; people and knowledge management.
  3. Critically evaluate the interrelation and relative significance of the main business sub-systems within the context of a redesign project, namely: business processes; organisation design; IT; knowledge and people.
  4. Determine bespoke systems design methodologies for use at either:
    • Business level to create a customer focussed organisation
    • Business process level to create effective and efficient operations.
  5. Identify, select and apply appropriately relevant tools and techniques to support the design activity


  • The need for customer focus
  • Systems Theory, Thinking and Approach
  • The Process Focused Organisation
  • Strategy, Value and Processes
  • Processes
  • Organisation Structure
  • People
  • Knowledge Management
  • Technology
  • The Re-design process.
  • Business Redesign Case Studies.
  • The Systems Approach - Redesigning the Operations process.
  • ‘Factory re-design’ exercise.
  • Implementing the design.


5,000 words assignment (100% weighting)


1 week (including 27 hours of lectures, 12 hours of structured exercise)