OPM 561: Production Management: Lean Approaches and Variability

To match supply/capacity with demand, managers and planners have to consider different types of variability. This course discusses sources for three dimensions of variability and analyzes the effects on several operational performance measures. It introduces planning tasks for the design and management of operations systems from the strategic to the operational level. The first part of the course deals with design problems for flow production systems. The second part of the course covers control and scheduling decisions. Challenges and opportunities arising from the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) and key concepts for future factories are presented. To manage and reduce variability, we introduce modern business analytics tools as well as classical lean management approaches.
This course aims to provide insights into the key decisions regarding the design and management of lean production systems. For this purpose, quantitative models for the performance analysis and optimization are discussed.

Learning outcomes
Students will

  • develop skills for quantitative planning in the field of production management,
  • have an overview of requirements, objectives and key concepts in lean production management, and
  • understand reasons and effects of variability in operations management.

Necessary prerequisites

Recommended prerequisites
Basic knowledge in operations management (e.g. BSc course “Produktion” or “OPM 301 Operations Management”), basic knowledge in mathematics (including Linear Programming) and in statistics (probability distributions).

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture1 SWS6 SWS
Exercise class1 SWS3 SWS
ECTS credits4
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (60 min)
Restricted admissionno
Further information
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Raik Stolletz
Prof. Dr. Raik Stolletz
Frequency of offeringFall semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationM.Sc. MMM, M.Sc. WiPäd, M.Sc. VWL, M.Sc. Wirt. Inf., M.Sc. Wirt. Math.
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1, CG 4
LiteratureWill be announced during the lecture
Course outlinePlease note that this outline will be subject to changes:
  • Variability in Operations Management
Capacity planning in Operations Management
  • Introduction to stochastic variability
  • Design of flow production & transfer lines
Lean Management
  • Principles of lean management and implementation of lean systems
Scheduling Applications
  • Operational planning and scheduling
  • Lot sizing and sustainability