Course Syllabus

NOTE: This course code has changed from B 361 to SCM 361. You may occasionally see references to the old course code or title.

Course Description

This course in production and operations management has three primary purposes by helping students:

(1) Improve their spreadsheet modeling skills.

(2) Improve file organization skills.

(3) Learn principles of production and operations management, how to effectively manage transformational processes that achieve delivery, cost, and quality objectives.

Specific topics covered include process strategy, productivity, quality management, quality control, project management, forecasting, inventory management, production planning, material requirements planning, just-in-time and lean production, supply management, and logistics management. This course will pursue these purposes using a variety of teaching techniques including readings, homework problems, qualitative and quantitative assessments, and in-class activities and simulations.

Learning Outcomes

What we will know and be able to do by the end of the semester:

  • Describe true material wealth: Recognize the true source of material wealth and describe the godly basis for production.
  • Match product to process: Identify the appropriate production process focus-efficiency or flexibility-based on the requirements of the product or service being offered.
  • Seek out and find the right data: Become skilled at sifting through ambiguous data. (Real-life operations problems are like solving very complex story problems from math class.)
  • Apply the right tools: Identify and apply appropriate tools to improve operational performance, primarily in a variety of simulations. Topics of study include project management, product forecasting, process and capacity planning, quality management and control, production planning, just-in-time, supply management, and logistics management.


Before taking SCM 361 you must have completed at least 48 credits and complete one of the following courses:

  • MATH 221A: Business Statistics
  • MATH 221B: Biostatistics
  • MATH 221C: Social Science Statistics
  • MATH 330: Engineering Statistics
  • CSE 150: Data Intuition and Insight 

Materials and Fees

Here are the required materials and fees for this course:

  • A Very Industrious People: Production and Operations Management from a Latter-day Saint Perspective, fifth edition, by Michael G. Clark. PDF files for each chapter are available (free) in I-Learn, however, due to the highly technical nature of the book, you are highly encouraged to purchase a hard copy of the text.
  • Littlefield Management Simulation, access code, automatically purchased for you through the BYU-Idaho University Store. The store will add a charge to your student account after the add/drop date (typically in the second week of the semester).
  • Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price.
  • Microphone and webcam


Grades will be based on the following point scale:

Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 93% – 100%
A- 90% – 92%
B+ 87% – 89%
B 83% – 86%
B- 80% – 82%
C+ 77% – 79%
C 73% – 76%
C- 70% – 72%
D+ 67% – 69%
D 63% – 66%
D- 60% – 62%
F 59% and below

Grading Summary

 Discussion Board Q&A (12 discussions; 3 points each)  36 points
 Homework Problems (11 homework assignments; 4 points each)  44 points
 Miscellaneous Assignments (8 assignments; varying points)  50 points
 Littlefield Simulations (2 assignments; varying points)  100 points
 Question Exams (12 exams; 7 points each)  84 points
 Problem Exams (11 exams; 10 points each)  110 points
 Spreadsheet Assignments /Quizzes (11 files; 11 quizzes; 1 point each)  22 points
 Key Term Quizzes (11 quizzes; 1 point each)  11 points
 Study Quizzes (11 quizzes; 1 point each)  11 points
 Final Exams (2 exams; varying points)  100 points
 Mid-Course Feedback & End of Course Evaluation (2 points each)  4 points
 Total  572 points

Grading Details

Discussion Board Q&A: These are designed to help students teach each other. Each week students will be required to post one question related to that week’s module topic. Students will also be required to post two answers to other students’ previously posted questions.

Homework Problems: Homework assignments will be due midweek they are assigned. They will be administered through I-Learn and will allow for five attempts. They are largely quantitative in nature and geared to reinforce the principles taught throughout the course. The exams will contain many problems that are very similar to the homework assignments. You may discuss your homework with other class members, however; you are not allowed to share spreadsheet files (build your own). If after five attempts you have not answered all the problems correctly, contact your instructor to get help and open another attempt.

Miscellaneous Assignments: These will consist primarily of short writing assignments and individual simulations.

Littlefield Technologies: This factory simulation will test your team’s ability to make several decisions as you manage the operations of a simulated manufacturer of satellite receivers. We will play two rounds in this simulator (one week each, mostly out-of-class time). Success in this activity is most likely to be achieved when your team correctly applies skills in forecasting, capacity management, the theory of constraints, inventory management, and contract management. This activity is an excellent gauge of a team’s ability to work together and of its understanding of relevant key concepts.

Question Exams: Question Exams will consist of true/false, multiple-choice, multiple-answer, and matching questions, based on chapter readings and class activities. These are open-book, open-note, closed-web search, timed exams. They are to be taken by yourself, without any discussion or communication about the exam with anyone, including past or present students.

Problem Exams: Problem Exams will consist of problems similar to those found in the homework assignments. Each exam is worth 10 points. These are open-book, open-note, open-spreadsheet (your own spreadsheet file), closed-web search, timed exams. They are to be taken by yourself, without any discussion or communication about the exam with anyone, including past or present students. Please note that these open-book exams have a high standard for getting things right the first time, so no retakes are allowed (even for little mistakes). However, if you score less than 70 percent on any problem exam, you may raise your score to 70 percent by determining the correct answers to your missed questions (on your own or with help from your instructor or with help from a teaching assistant or tutor) and sending those corrected answers via email to your instructor (along with your corrected spreadsheet file).

Spreadsheet Assignments/Quizzes: For each chapter with quantitative material you will be asked to submit a spreadsheet file at the end of the week and answer some questions (quiz) to receive credit for your submission. Each submission is worth one point and is intended to help you organize your work such that you better learn the operations concepts and spreadsheet mechanics. Roughly 32 percent of your overall class grade comes from assignments and exams that depend on your spreadsheet skills, hence you must create your own spreadsheet files. Yes, you may ask others for help or see how they do things in their files, but you are not to share files for this and related assignments. All keystrokes must be your own. Note that there will be very serious consequences for sharing files on this assignment.

Preparation for the Workplace: Timed, Open-Book Assessments

From time to time a few students will express concern over the timed assessments employed in this course. They will say that their performance on these assessments doesn’t accurately reflect their knowledge of the material. While this may be true, these assessments are good practice for what many will face in the workplace: firm deadlines (timed deadlines) but open access to any material that will help you with that work assignment. Make sure you have a solid internet connection when you take these assessments.

Tips for Success with Quantitative Material (Homework Assessments)

To borrow and paraphrase from a scripture, “the way for [this course] is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before [you]” (2 Nephi 9:41). In other words, this course has exacting requirements (narrow) but there are straightforward things you can do to ensure that you learn the material and, as a natural byproduct, get the best grade possible. These things include the following:

  • Read the entire chapter to understand the underlying principles. You will be tempted to skip this step and cut right to the tutorial videos and the homework problems. Do this (skip the reading) at your own risk, as it will likely take you longer to work through the problems if you do this.
  • Watch the tutorial videos and build spreadsheets like those you will see. Don’t just copy the formulas but rather take time to understand how the formulas use the given data to calculate the desired answers.
  • Create a separate Excel file for each homework assignment and use a separate spreadsheet tab for each problem within a chapter (homework assignment). Doing so will pay huge dividends when you take each ending assessment.
  • Clearly label and organize all your work. This includes (a) clearly labeling your given data and the answers within your spreadsheet models, (b) using cell references in your formulas rather than hard-coded numbers, (c) using a descriptive title for each spreadsheet tab, (d) having a naming system for your Excel homework files, and (e) putting those files into a clearly labeled, separate folder that you can access quickly and easily.
  • Do not put commas into answer fields in I-Learn. Depending on how this course was created, I-Learn could mark your answer wrong if you put a comma into your answer. For example, if an answer to a problem should be 25,000, then simply input 25000. I-Learn could also accept the commas, but again, it depends if the course adding multiple answer possibilities.
  • Let Excel do the rounding. Many questions ask you to round your answer to a certain number of decimal places. If a question asks for three decimal places, then change the cell’s display in Excel to show three decimal places and input that rounded number into the answer field in I-Learn. In this example, you should not manually round (in your head) the answer to three decimal places as this may give you a different answer than what Excel does and will likely be marked incorrect.
  • Get help from your instructor or from a tutor. The Tutoring Center is equipped to assist online students. Your instructor is also eager to help you learn and master the quantitative methods introduced in this class.

Class Policies

  • This is an online course. Each student is responsible for his or her own computer and internet connection. Internet access problems and/or individual computer problems may not be used as a plea for leniency on any assignment. Each student is responsible for finding the means to be online when necessary.
  • A maximum of two assignments during the course may be submitted late. Late work will be accepted up to one week after the due date for 70% of the original value.
  • The Honor Code standards apply and will be enforced, particularly the Academic Standards—which means not discussing any individual assessments with classmates or team assessments with other teams.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

Support & Help

If you need assistance, visit the “Help” tab located on the left-hand side of your screen to contact the appropriate support center. 

Course Summary:

Date Details Due