​Strategic Operational Decisions

​Developing Analytical and Strategic Insights to Strengthen Performance

Coming Fall 2020


Operations involve all the activities that are performed in order to produce and deliver a product or service. A firm's operations are crucial to its strategic differentiation and performance. Aligning the operational decisions with the firm's business strategy is a key ingredient of success for most industries. In this course we will learn how to create a best-in-class operations strategy that drives innovation and operational excellence, establishes a long-term competitive advantage, boosts financial performance, and maximizes shareholder value. This course will provide you with frameworks and tools to: 1) formulate an operations strategy; 2) analyze, value, and optimize the key decisions involved in operations strategy; 3) develop innovative operations to increase efficiency, improve responsiveness, create flexibility; and 4) configure operations networks to mitigate risk and enhance global competitive position.

This course will adopt an interactive and experiential format. Through a mix of lectures, case studies, team exercises, and simulation games, participants will learn leading-edge theories and their applications. They will also develop analytical and strategic insights into the operations of manufacturing and service firms. Upon completion of the course, participants will be ready to implement operational changes that can strengthen an organization's performance and position in the marketplace.


  • Frameworks for outlining and evaluating operations strategy
  • Operations metrics that create value
  • Competitive intelligence in operations
  • Capacity strategy and risk management
  • E-commerce operations
  • Managing global operational networks
  • Business model innovation


This course will teach participants how to:
  • Link operations to customer experience and financial performance
  • Assess operations system from the perspectives of investors and internal management
  • Develop strategic thinking and tools to achieve operational excellence
  • Learn design thinking methodology and mindset to lead operational innovation
  • Network with peers from diverse industries to gain new insights


Mid-level executives and managers who are responsible for developing and executing operations strategy; operations leaders and strategic planners; functional area leaders who want to learn more about operations; general managers and consultants; innovators, aspiring entrepreneurs, and owners of startup businesses.


Fuqiang Zhang
Professor of Operations & Manufacturing Management at Washington University's Olin Business School

CLICK HERE to request more information

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