About this Course
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Intermediate Level

Approx. 22 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks, 4-5 hours/week...


Subtitles: English
Learners taking this Course are
  • Operations Analysts
  • Business Analysts
  • Managers
  • Project Managers

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Intermediate Level

Approx. 22 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks, 4-5 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

3 hours to complete

Fundamentals of Business Strategy

18 videos (Total 90 min), 8 readings, 1 quiz
18 videos
What is Strategy?6m
Economic Profit2m
The Value-Price-Cost (VPC) Framework5m
Elements of Strategy, Part 1: Arenas and Vehicles5m
Elements of Strategy, Part 2: Staging, Differentiators, and Economic Logic5m
Transition – Two Perspectives on Economic Profit1m
Introduction to External Analysis2m
Political, Economic, Social and Technological (PEST) Framework6m
Introduction to Industry Analysis5m
Porter’s "Five Forces" Analysis, Part 1: Threat of Entry7m
Porter’s "Five Forces" Analysis, Part 2: Buyer and Supplier Power5m
Porter’s ‘Five Forces’ Analysis, Part 3: Substitutes and Rivalry7m
Introduction to Internal Analysis5m
Resources, Capabilities and Temporary Competitive Advantage4m
Resources, Capabilities and Sustainable Competitive Advantage5m
The Value Chain5m
Generic Strategies5m
8 readings
Key Terms - Introduction to Strategy2m
"The Perils of Bad Strategy," by Richard Rumelt12m
"Strategy: An Executive's Definition," by Ken Favaro5m
Key Terms - External Analysis2m
"Porter's Five Forces," by Ovidijus Jurevicius15m
Key Terms - Internal Analysis10m
"VRIO Framework," by Ovidijus Jurevicius10m
Business Strategy Key Terms2m
1 practice exercise
Fundamentals of Business Strategy Quiz20m
3 hours to complete

Strategy Execution

12 videos (Total 117 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
12 videos
Introduction and understanding how functional strategies align with corporate strategy6m
Optional: Interview with José Muñoz, Nissan North America5m
The Mission Statement5m
Operations Objectives11m
Winners vs. Qualifiers11m
McDonald’s Mini Case2m
Operations Levers10m
Introduction and Metric Pitfalls12m
Good and Bad Metrics / Metric Theory16m
Interview with Gary A. Garfield, Bridgestone Americas20m
Interview with Scott E. Becker, Nissan North America11m
1 reading
Optional: Hoshin Kanri5m
2 practice exercises
Strategy Execution Practice Quiz20m
Strategy Execution Quiz20m
5 hours to complete

Project Excellence

24 videos (Total 89 min), 1 reading, 5 quizzes
24 videos
Why Care About Projects3m
Project Success Factors5m
Project Selection6m
Front-end questions3m
Triple Constraint3m
Project Charter4m
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)3m
Avoiding White Space Risk in Creating a WBS3m
Team-Based WBS Mind Mapping2m
How to Create a WBS Mind Map with a Team3m
Project Risks and Uncertainties5m
Categorizing Risk3m
Anticipating Uncertainties / Project Risk Assessment3m
Project Scheduling3m
When Is the Schedule Developed?2m
Estimating Time3m
The Network Diagram4m
Gantt Chart2m
Team-Based Scheduling3m
The Communication Plan2m
Project Delivery4m
Project Closure3m
Project Learning3m
1 reading
Primer on Scheduling30m
4 practice exercises
Project Excellence Quiz No. 114m
Project Excellence Quiz No. 210m
Project Excellence Quiz No. 310m
Project Excellence Quiz No. 48m
4 hours to complete

Operations Management

22 videos (Total 152 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
22 videos
Process View of the Firm10m
Process Flow Diagrams8m
Real World Example: Pizza Shop Process Flow7m
Simulation: Smiley Face Game5m
Process Terminology12m
Meli's Bakes Case: Introduction6m
Meli's Bakes Case: Case Overview2m
Meli's Bakes Case: Throughput Time4m
Meli's Bakes Case: Capacity5m
Meli's Bakes Case: Gantt Charts11m
Meli's Bakes Case: Pricing3m
Meli's Bakes Case: Delivery Time Estimation3m
Meli's Bakes Case: Mixer Capacity3m
Meli's Bakes Case: Resource Planning3m
Meli's Bakes Case: Increasing Capacity4m
Meli's Bakes Case: Process Analysis9m
Summary of Key Learnings5m
Queueing Introduction12m
Relationship Between Utilization and Wait10m
Application of Concepts: Call Center12m
Psychology of Waiting5m
2 readings
Meli's Bakes Case10m
David Maister, "The Psychology of Waiting Lines"15m
1 practice exercise
Operations Management Process Analysis Quiz12m
2 hours to complete

Final Project

1 reading, 1 quiz
1 reading
Final Project: McDonald's Case10m
14 ReviewsChevron Right


got a tangible career benefit from this course


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Top reviews from Operations Management and Strategy Toolkit for Managers

By AAOct 1st 2017

Personally I saw this course very practical and helpful and did made an impact on my current responsibilities. I like how operations manangement tied into project management.

By JPJun 16th 2018

This course teaches essential knowledge, while introducing innovative thinking models. I learned a lot from this course.



Nancy Lea Hyer

Associate Professor of Operations Management, and Associate Dean MBA Programs
Owen Graduate School of Management

Mumin Kurtulus

Associate Professor of Operations Management
Owen Graduate School of Management

Brian McCann

Associate Professor of Strategic Management
Owen Graduate School of Management

M. Eric Johnson

Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy
Owen Graduate School of Management

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tenn., is a private research university and medical center offering a full-range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees....

About the Business Essentials for Managers Specialization

Learn to drive change, inspire innovation, and cultivate excellence with four practical career-relevant courses taught by some of Vanderbilt’s top business faculty. Each course is designed to accelerate your career trajectory by providing hands-on training in one of four key areas—innovation, finance and accounting, strategy and operations, and leadership—and every course concludes with a real-world project that will help you demonstrate your value and expertise to current and potential future employers. When you complete the Specialization, you’ll have the tools you need to position yourself for a promotion, job change, or any other growth opportunity. You will also be eligible for 6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). You will need to request the CEU certificate by contacting Vanderbilt upon completion: execed@owen.vanderbilt.edu....
Business Essentials for Managers

Frequently Asked Questions

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