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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Operations Management by University of Pennsylvania

2,648 ratings

About the Course

This comprehensive course delves into operations management and process improvement principles and techniques, providing you with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and eliminate inefficiencies in your organization. You will gain a solid foundation in operations management by analyzing key concepts such as cost-quality trade-offs, the efficiency frontier, and system inhibitors. Get ready to delve into process analysis, where you'll identify and analyze steps in a process, implementing changes for enhanced outcomes. With practical exercises, including creating process flow diagrams and capacity calculations, you'll strengthen your analytical skills firsthand. Experience the power of optimizing flow within operations as you uncover waste sources and design efficient processes for maximum output, reduced costs, and heightened customer satisfaction. An in-depth exploration of Little's Law will equip you to make informed decisions on capacity planning and process improvements, optimizing inventory levels, reducing lead times, and enhancing supply chain coordination. Additionally, you'll learn to effectively manage variability, laying the groundwork for consistent and exceptional quality standards. Statistical analysis, problem-solving methodologies, and real-time information utilization will empower you to tackle issues, find root causes, and foster continuous improvement. Throughout the course, the focus remains on driving improvements and achieving excellence. Analyze, improve, and reimagine how work gets done, armed with the necessary tools and frameworks to enhance work processes across diverse industries. Join this course to analyze, improve, and reimagine how work gets done and to acquire the necessary tools and knowledge to make meaningful improvements in your organization's operations....

Top reviews


Aug 24, 2020

Great Instruction by Prof Christian - very lucid and with real world examples. Learning a business skill is mostly learning observation.. Now I know what to observe when looking for productivity!


Jan 28, 2021

I found this course to be very informational; the practice and homework were excellent to prepare for the exams, and the instructor covered all material in the lectures that was on the exams.

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1 - 25 of 602 Reviews for Introduction to Operations Management

By Nicholas J C

Mar 12, 2019

I understand that if you're reading this, it's probably already too late, but if not, I'd strongly advise that you research better opportunities to learn this material.

First, the presentation is poor. This feels like it would be a state of the art course in 2007, but is very archaic now. The powerpoints are sloppy, there's no editorial oversight, the audio quality is very bad, and it is harder to focus than it needs to be. They need the instructor from the Corporate Finance course to come in here and teach this team how to make a powerpoint that's legible.

Second, which is a problem I've had with other Coursera Wharton products, is the disconnect between the lectures, the practice, and the assignments. Things are left out or left to your own intuition, and you're on your own. The discussion forums are a great idea, but are totally neutered by the Coursera Honor Code which forbids students from discussing the assignments in any real detail. The Mentors are largely useless due to this limitation. This course should take note from the Financial Accounting course, which was similar in difficulty but worked you through every step of every possible problem type, and met you with challenging but doable assignments.

Third, is basic quality control. There are typos, self-contradicting statements, etc., that have remained unfixed in this material over the course of years (lectures are six years old I've gleaned). I'm astounded that Wharton is willing to put its brand name on a packaged product of this quality. Ironically enough, you're often sitting through a lecture about process integrity and quality assurance-related topics.

In sum, my experience in this course was mainly fighting against the class itself, not the material. Trying to figure out what the question means, what it's asking, rather than doing the math or remembering whatever function or logical process. It's really disappointing to have spent all this time on this course and the Business Foundations certificate program, when the utility per hour is so very very low. A complete rework is in order, if for no other reason than to get the instructor a new mic and have some grad assistant put together a nice sharp powerpoint instead of forcing students to read chicken scratches (which don't remain on the slides, so you better take really fast notes!)

By Sophia T

Nov 24, 2017

Out of all the business foundations courses, this was one of my favorites in terms of content and real-world application. I enjoyed learning about the main operations management concepts, but the tests and exams were extremely frustrating and difficult to pass. I spent an unimaginable time each week on HW and exams (way more than the estimated time) in order to pass. Not only were almost all questions open-ended, but problem questions came in sets, so if you got the first answer incorrect, you had a slim chance of passing on the first try. Additionally, since calculations involved a number of steps, it was painstaking to figure out where in the process you went wrong. Finally, some problem sets introduced new and different scenarios that were never discussed in the videos. Even after re-watching videos and reviewing practice problem multiple times, I could not understand how to adjust for the change. The only thing that helped was reading user questions on the discussion forum, which required a lot of time.

By jack o

Apr 8, 2020

I passed this course only because I had taken another operation management course (in order to pass this one). In that another course, each terminology is explained in detail and provided with clear examples. As I can recall, two or three terminologies are explained in a 15-min course. However, in this course, more than 5 terminologies are given in a less-than-10-min course without sufficient explanations, examples.

The homework&test in this course are challenging, which is great. However, I would suggest some hints be given after every incorrect answer. To me, W2 is the most frustrating one and this is when I start to take another similar course.

Instead of giving up, I take responsibility for my learning and that's why I try so hard studying for this course. Interestingly speaking, most of my knowledge about operation management are learned from other courses. I hope that this course could be made better.

By Sayo A

May 25, 2020

I'm very frustrated and disappointed with the course Introduction to Operations Management. I've gone through the course materials several times and yet I am stuck on week 2, unable to pass. When I go to the discussion groups, it seems everyone is stuck on those questions but we have no help. We get vague answers/replies. Can there be examples that speak directly to the quiz questions or alternatively, provide quiz questions that align with the course content? You give us one example in the content and then give quiz questions with unique twists. Many of us are just learning these concepts and this course is very frustrating.

By Karolina S

Jun 16, 2016

Its week 2 and I am done. I was really looking forward to this course but quizzes are impossible to pass. Some hints and better examples would be great. Note: this is not an intro to ops management

By Vanessa A D S M

Oct 6, 2019

For every person that is thinking on taking this course/Specialization. This is supposed to be an Introduction to Operations Management but the deeper you go through the weeks it gets a little bit more confusing. If you watch and understand the videos that's great but if you get lost and want to have a better explanation of how the professor came up with a result that is going to be difficult. Some of the quizzes and exams are redacted in such confusing way is really hard (at least to me it was) on how to approach. I tried to look for help on the forums for each week but it was even more confusing at times. Mentors don't give an answer that you can deduct just by reading at it and some people seemed to be desperate for a clear clue on how to solve a problem. I understand no answers can be posted but just going around in circles trying to figure out a solution to a question is time consuming and exhausting. I really struggled to get pass this course and I was hopping I could make it just because I want to get the Specialization. If you still want to try it out good luck and may the force be with you.

By Ana R

Oct 2, 2017

I did not like this course at all. The teacher is not good and its very hard to follow.

The course is complex, and it is even harder with the teacher's tone of voice, the audio is not good. The teacher goes through the concepts really fast and asumes a lot of math operations, so I had to repeat the videos millions of times.

Then in the practical material, things are done differently than what the teacher said earlier.

It took me a lot of time to finish this course, it was exhausting.

The teacher could learn about the other teachers, for example, Bushee, he has to explain algo complex topics but manages to do it in a dynamic way, algo the teachers of Human Capital are quite more charming.

By Kenneth C

Feb 6, 2019

i know the content is not only useful and directly applicable, but the gap between the texts and homework vs the lecture videos is too far removed. its clear from the number of example case studies provided that the explanations in the lectures are insufficient in giving the depth and detail needed to fully understand the principles, consequently it makes the homework and tests far too complex. I found it further more, extremely frustrating that there was no further resources other than the videos provided and the associated example homeworks from which to get further information to better my understanding and therefore actually pass the tests and homeworks. the discussion forums were not helpful in furthering my understanding of where i was going wrong an why, and simply added to the frustration. i feel like this course would have been useful as a supplement to an in-person course, but without deeper explanation and some FEEDBACK on where and how i was going wrong, its frustrating. very disappointed.

By Sarah H

Aug 8, 2020

I hated this class so much. I'm only rounding up to two stars because if it weren't for the discussion forums, I would never have passed any of the assignments (and even those had multiple questions from students that had gone unanswered for literally years). When the material is this dry, you need a professor who can make it fun and engaging but it was such a slog, just getting through the videos. Also, I failed multiple assignments multiple times because I didn't realize you weren't supposed to round up your answers to the second decimal place. This was never explained in the course information. If you get an answer wrong on the quiz or the homework, there is no one to help you figure out where you made a mistake -- answers from the forum moderators are years old and are cryptic, at best or they simply say "I can't give you the answer and if I tell you where you went wrong, that would give it away." Overall, I'm just glad it's over.

By Erin M

May 26, 2016

I had a desperate time on the first graded module's Final (module 2) and after repeatedly asking for help to understand what I was doing wrong, I was at a loss. After HOURS of reworking and having to enroll in the course TWICE, I was finally able to pass the first final, but still am lacking the feedback on what I was doing wrong as to LEARN from my mistakes. I certainly wasn't asking for anyone to do my work, but it was obvious that I needed help with that particular section. And as it appears from the NUMBER of discussion threads on this course, many others were in my same boat. I have taken all 4 courses and this was the only one where I was worried I wouldn't have the support and knowledge to complete the first task to even MOVE forward with the course. Just disappointed in this one process, overall I have really enjoyed these Foundation Courses.

By Francesca M

Mar 31, 2019

The layout of the course is too cumbersome. There's too many videos, practice videos, practice problems, homework quizzes, and then final quizzes. The courses should all be structured the same, have the videos for each week and then a quiz at the end. Since the course is supposedly designed for beginners , the material needs to reflect that. This course seems like it would be better suited toward someone who already has some knowledge in the field of operations management. The best designed courses in this series has been Intro to Marketing and Managing Social and Human Capital.

By Debdulal K

May 19, 2020

The Exam questions were not easy to clear. I will suggest that each Weekly session may have suggested solutions of a range of problems so that learners find it comfortable to pass the Examinations . it is Not an easy subject.

By shubham t

Apr 12, 2020

solving questions was very challenging for module 3

By Edward W

Jul 26, 2020

Unfortunately, after undertaking the other courses within the Wharton Business Foundations Certificate, this course falls short of expectations.

Full of highly outdated and non-transferable content, this course is poorly polished, full of errors and inadequate in its delivery. The lecture content contained some useful information and overarching concepts, which are swiftly thrown aside in the desperate attempt to trip the learner through cryptic assessments. These assessments come in the form of 'Homework' and 'Final Exams', which both have exactly the same content, and fully punish any person who foolishly thought they would be tested on content covered in the lectures.

I have a Master in Engineering, and I was surprised at the level of assumed math knowledge. Good luck to those from an arts or social science background; an understanding of statistics, algebra and general math notation is recommended, because Prof Terwiesch will speed past explanation without a thought to those attempting to keep up.

Given the high standard of the other courses in the Wharton Business Foundations Certificate, I have found this course extremely frustrating and highly disappointing. It needs a complete renovation with proper oversight through peer review.

By Martina H

Dec 3, 2019


By Andrew J

Oct 28, 2018

This is an awesome comprehensive operations management course. Although, the course in an introductory course, it covers pretty much everything you need to know about operations management.

By August M

Aug 4, 2019

Interesting course. I feel that it could have been condensed a bit and more specifications were needed to answer some of the homework questions.

By kevin t

Jun 17, 2020

This course was far too focused on proving one's knowledge of math and excel vice focusing on the core tenets of business operations management. Demonstrating where the unfortunate focus of this course is, the quizzes are primarily focused on math and excel skills, at the expense of better learning and understanding the fundamentals of business operations. While math and excel knowledge play a role, an important one, in business operations, this should not be the focus of the lectures or the tests.

Additionally, given the heavy math/excel focus, the professor does not adequately explain in practical, relatively easy-to-understand terms how he solves the problems he presents. Similarly, the tests are both redundant and punitive. Candidly, the ROI on this course is likely to be very low. It should be completely revamped.

By Michael C

May 7, 2021

The content of this course was quite useful and well taught, however the format of the exams were very poor. As a course that was suggested to be 4 hours/week of time allocated, it has taken several-fold more time than this to complete due to the format of the exams requiring an open answer, rather than multiple choice like the other modules in this course. My opinion is that this needs to be addressed and improved, and judging from the comments in the forums I don't believe I am the only student to have had this experience.

By Aishwarya P

May 12, 2019

the materials were very informative and the thing that helped me the most were the practice problems which if genuinely solved will give very deep understanding help get through the exams.

By Samuel B

Aug 26, 2020

Good content, but poor overall presentation and confusing HWs / tests. Would not recommend.

By David F B

Oct 23, 2019

I take many online courses, including specializations and long courses. This is the course that I liked, it may have been developed many years ago but that teacher is admirable, his way of teaching is impressive, he is the best teacher I have had by this means, I would like to do more courses with that teacher. Even as the subject is part of my professional career, it would be an honor to one day be able to take a master's degree, even if it is blended (online course that has a face to face section), or in any case have the opportunity to take a postgraduate degree with such excellent teacher. He has an excellent mood and also makes what seems complicated very simple.

GRACIAS!! from Bogotá, Colombia!

By Boitumelo S

Nov 27, 2016

This course has really opened my mind to things that I did not actually think would have an impact in the production industry. I have learned a lot more especially in the operations industry. I work in the Operations department of the Telecommunication in my country and I have learn some tricks of how to manage an operation. I have learned that when there is a defect in to the production, we need to find the root course instate of masking the defect and then rectifying the problem. I have also learned that we can also be able to calculate a resource that has a bottleneck and measures that can be taken to reduce the bottleneck.

By Yulia H

May 2, 2020

When I started this course I expected to be joining another course online like others: easy to follow, just passing because of seeing the videos, etc. However, what I found was a super complete course, with videos but also with a big level of exigency and the requirement of hours of dedication and concentration to be able to complete the modules, its assignments and exams. After completing it, I understand what operations department is and how it works, I learnt basic concepts and (what I thing is the best part) I was able to make calculations and resolve problems I didn't know I would be able to do.

By Jingxia P

Jan 11, 2016

I had taken another operation analytics courses from Wharton Coursera, so I was thinking this one may be just another supplemental course. However, out of my expectation, ALL material thought here are very extensive and need a lot of effort to pay attention to.

I especially like the format that the professor provided, i.e the review and example explanation sessions, just like TA office hour in the real world.

I also admire the way the professor explain the material, very serious and thorough thinking! Maybe this is the way how German treat knowledge, very cool!!

Five starts definitely!!