If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t much matter how you get there.
—THE CHESHIRE CAT (PARAPHRASED FROM ALICE IN WONDERLAND BY LEWIS CARROLL)
When you think about operations, what picture comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you think of a manufacturing plant or assembly line. Occasionally, I will have a student who relates it to the context of surgery, as in “I’m having an operation to remove a tumor tomorrow.”
While none of these ideas is wrong, the correct answer is much broader. Operations consist of whatever an organization does to make inputs become outputs. It’s that simple. Really. Whether the organization is a service company, a government agency, a not-for-profit entity, or a publicly ...