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Coursework Title: ‘Practice Operations’ – Game Play and Report
Task Details/Description:
Operations are the engine that drives a business. Practice Operations (McGraw Hill
http://www.mhpractice.com/products/Practice_Operations ) puts students in the role of an operations decision maker
for a clothing manufacturing company. Students become players in a serious learning game. Play begins with an
overview of the heart of that engine – managing the production process. Players review the contract specifications as
well as the production process by walking through the production floor and shipping area.
Students then analyse functions of the receiving department to manage the supply chain and material inventories to
ensure clients’ needs can be met. In order to grow the business players must bid for new contracts and optimize their
receiving, production and shipping departments accordingly. As the business grows, players manage both the human
and production facility’s resources in order to meet capacity challenges. Customer satisfaction is also a key metric for
success.
In the final stages of the game, the Practice Operations game puts players in control over all areas of operations. A
challenge to given to players (e.g. to maximise profit and/or net worth).
Module Learning Outcomes Assessed:




understanding of how elements of operations come together
ability to manage operations based on a gamified learning scenario with facts and data
understanding of how other functional areas of a company (e.g. Human Resources, Marketing, Accounting,
and Sales) need to work together to meet company goals
ability to analyse and evaluate qualitative and quantitative aspects of operations and explain strategic and
operational decisions in a concise and clearly structured business style report.
Presentation Requirements:
Word Count: up to 3,000 words (excluding appendices, diagrams, figures, front sheet and tables which are not
included in the word count).
Font Size: Arial 12. Line Spacing: 1.5
Submission Date & Time:
3rd April 2019 12:00pm.
Assessment Weighting for the Module:
40% individual coursework.
Your report should have your name clearly stated on the front (as used in the game) and your candidate number so
that your report and your game performance can be cross- checked. Your report and your performance in the game
are therefore NOT anonymous.
Assessment Criteria
The final results and position from the game should be clearly stated at the beginning of the report along with an
overview of why this is. Then for each part of the game (e.g. production process, managing suppliers, forecasting and
contracts, human resources and capacity planning, the new branch and/or maximise net worth) students will be
expected to explain decisions made.
25% of the coursework marks will be awarded to the final position of the student in the game. 75% of the coursework
marks will be awarded for the written report based on the game.
Students will need to keep a detailed journal of their thoughts and actions during the game to be able to reflect any
significant them during the write-up of the assessed report. Students should explain their decisions, say why they
were effective or ineffective, and critique in detail the most important decisions which they believe had a significant
effect on the final outcome of the game. Students should also state what they would do differently, to get a better
result, if they were to replay the game. Marks will be given for concisely and professionally presenting this as a
business style report with suitable use of appendices, tables, references etc.
Ethical Requirements
No primary data is required as all the data will be provided by the simulation.
The coursework sections related to reflection on theory and on practice. Please see below relevant advice.
• Reflect on practice
✓ What would you advise real managers, in similar situations, in real production facilities to do?
• Reflect on theory
✓ make a connection between the lecture/tutorial material, where relevant, and use it to explain actions and
behaviours in the game (e.g. capacity planning, bottlenecks, quality, SCM, etc.)
Student Manual
Updated June 3, 2015
McGraw-Hill Practice Operations
Table of Contents
Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3
Game Description …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
How to Win ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Gameplay ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
Learning Outcomes ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
Overview of Modules ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
Module 1: The Production Process …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Module 2: Managing Suppliers ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
Module 3: Forecasting and Contracts ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
Module 4: Human Resources and Capacity Planning …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Module 5: The New Branch ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Module 6: Maximize Net Worth ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
System Requirements ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
Registering and Logging In ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….6
Module 1: The Production Process …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….7
Make-to-Order Processes ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
Operations Management: Priority and Utilization ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9
Follow the Tutorial for Module 1 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
Module 2: Managing Suppliers ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
The “Lean or “Just-In-Time” Strategy …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13
Quality Inspection ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15
Quantity Flexibility and Supplier Capacity ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 16
Creating a Vendor Scorecard …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
Follow the Tutorial for Module 2 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 19
Module 3: Forecasting and Contracts ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 20
Research ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20
Make-to-Order vs. Make-to-Stock ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20
Bids ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
Work Request Analysis………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21
Batch Manufacturing ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23
Forecasting and Specialization ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
Follow the Tutorial for Module 3 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
Module 4: Human Resources and Capacity Planning …………………………………………………………………………………… 25
Human Resources ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 25
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McGraw-Hill Practice Operations
Training……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………26
Hiring ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….26
Managing the Organization Chart ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..27
Capacity Planning………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 27
Scheduling a Job Shop with a Spreadsheet ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 29
Gather Basic Information …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….29
Prepare a Schedule ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….29
Compare Schedules using Different Priorities ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….30
Matching Capacity to Demand ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 31
Maximizing Throughput ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………31
Constraints and Bottlenecks …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 32
Routing Pathways………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….33
Finding Bottlenecks ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………33
End of the Tutorial …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 36
Module 5: The New Branch ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 37
Hiring vs. Training……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 37
Analyzing Employee Expenses …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..38
Reputation …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42
Module 6: Maximizing Profits ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 43
Long-Term Perspective ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 43
Total Cost of Ownership ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………44
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McGraw-Hill Practice Operations
Introduction
Game Description
Practice Operations puts players in the role of an operations decision maker for a clothing
manufacturing company. Operations is the engine that drives a business. Play begins with an overview
of the heart of that engine – managing the production process. Players review the contract
specifications as well as the production process by walking through the Production Floor and Shipping
area. Players then analyze the receiving department functions of managing the supply chain and
material inventories to ensure client needs can be met. In order to grow the business, players choose
which new contracts to pursue and then optimize their receiving, production, and shipping departments
accordingly. As the business grows, players manage both the human and facility resources in order to
meet capacity challenges. Customer satisfaction is a key metric for success. In the final stages of the
game, the company puts players in complete control over all areas of operations at the New Branch,
with the challenge to build the most profitable company possible.
How to Win
Your goal is to make the most money possible. This will happen if you run your operation efficiently.
Getting orders out to customers on time, with the correct quantity and quality will make your customers
happy, which in turn raises your reputation. As your reputation increases, you will be able to
successfully bid on contracts from a larger pool of customers, which will generate more revenue. If you
run your operation poorly and your customers receive orders late or with errors in quality or amount,
your sales force will lose bids to your competitors and you will make less money, or even run a deficit!
Gameplay
The game is turn-based. Each turn is one week. Each module is a specific length and has objectives that
must be achieved before time runs out.
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McGraw-Hill Practice Operations
Learning Outcomes

The interactive experience focuses on gaining experience through trial and error and learning
how the elements of operations and production come together.

Supports online, out-of-class play and competition between you and your fellow students.

Features game-world data and situations that reflect real world operational situations.

Highlights the inherently interdisciplinary nature of business by demonstrating that the various
functional areas of the company – Human Resources, Manufacturing, Accounting, and Sales –
must work together in order to meet company goals.

Opportunity for actual hands-on practice as an operations manager in a manufacturing scenario

Analyze and evaluate quality considerations in the production process.

Stresses both customer satisfaction and financial results as the key success metrics.

Provides reporting features that make it easy for instructors and students to review and assess
your performance and decision-making.
Overview of Modules
Module 1: The Production Process
Operations is the engine that drives a business. This module focuses on the heart of that engine,
managing the production process. Module 1 should take 25-45 minutes to complete.
Module 2: Managing Suppliers
This module unlocks the receiving department, putting players in charge of managing the supply
chain and material inventories to meet client needs. Module 2 should take 25-45 minutes to
complete.
Module 3: Forecasting and Contracts
In this module, players choose which contracts to pursue, and optimize their receiving,
production, and shipping departments accordingly. Module 3 should take 25-45 minutes to
complete.
Module 4: Human Resources and Capacity Planning
In this challenging scenario, players will manage both human and facility resources to meet
capacity challenges. Module 4 should take 35-55 minutes to complete.
Module 5: The New Branch
In this module, players will have complete control over all areas of their operations, and will be
challenged to reach a net worth of $50,000 as quickly as possible. Module 5 should take 1 to 2
hours to complete.
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McGraw-Hill Practice Operations
Module 6: Maximize Net Worth
In this capstone module, players again have complete control over all areas of their operations.
The goal is to maximize the net worth of the firm over 50 turns. Module 6 should take 2 to 3
hours to complete.
System Requirements
Computers used to run Practice Operations must meet the Technical Requirements listed below.
Windows OS:
1. Operating systems: Windows XP with Service Pack 3 / Windows Vista SP2 / Windows 7 /
Windows 8.
2. Internet Browser: Firefox version 31 or above OR Internet Explorer 11 or above OR
Google Chrome version 31 or above
3. Memory: 512MB RAM
4. Processor: Intel Pentium 3-4 processor or equivalent/better
5. Video: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better OR ATI Radeon 8500, 9250 or better OR Intel 945
chipset or better, 1024 x 768 resolution minimum
6. Internet: 128kbit/s Cable/DSL/LAN connection per computer
7. Hard Disk Space: 500MB free
8. Direct X: DirectX 9.0c
Mac OSX:
1. Operating system: Must have OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later.
2. Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo (PowerPC not supported)
3. RAM: 1GB System Memory
4. Video Memory: 256MB graphics card or decent …
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