The final project is an opportunity to apply course concepts and to perform an in-depth analysis of operations strategy issues that are of interest to you. You may do this in a team of up to five people.
Guidelines for Final Project
The final project can be done individually or in groups of up to five people. The project is to write a paper and make a presentation on an operations strategy “comparison study.” Identify a pair of organizations in the same (or similar) industry and compare their operations strategies. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of each company and give your opinions on the appropriateness of the operations strategy of each. Give your opinions on the relative competitive strengths of each company going forward in time and the role that operations play in each company’s competitive strengths and weaknesses. You may use public or private companies, large or small, foreign or domestic.
Leaders for Global Operations students may use their internship company as one of the companies in the final paper and thus use what was learned during the internship as the basis of the project.
The paper should be 15-20 pages in length (double-spaced, 12 point font with one-inch margins on each side). Examples of company pairs might be: HP/Dell, Toyota/Honda, Starbucks/Au Bon Pain , Fedex/ UPS, Fidelity/Vanguard, Mass General Hospital/Beth Israel, etc. The paper is due during Ses #23.
In addition to the paper, each team/individual will make a short presentation (5 minutes or so depending on how many teams we end up with) on the last two days of class, Ses #23 and 24.
Honor Code for Final Project
You should make very clear what part of your write-up is based on your own thinking and what part summarizes pre-existing outside sources. Please cite all significant external sources used for your report. This applies in particular to papers you may have written for other classes, to documents you may have received from the company you are analyzing, interviews with industry experts, etc. Building on external sources is by no means a “bad thing”— solid work is typically aware of and builds on what others have done. Ideally though, you should take this external information and add the filter of your own critical thinking and the concepts studied in this class to synthesize it, critique it, etc.