Operations and Information Management | Babson College

The Course Catalog includes course descriptions of all courses offered by F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business. For descriptions of the courses offered in the current or upcoming semesters, please see our Course Listing

Operations and Information Management


DES7500 Re-Imagining X
3 Elective Credits
Over the past two decades, changes in political, technological and cultural arenas have dramatically increased the need for companies, organizations, and individuals to innovate. In the future, inventing, developing, and implementing new solutions, be they products, processes, services, initiatives, business models, policies or entire organizations, will require at the minimum two sets of skills. First, with many saturated markets and solutions that are only superficially beneficial for users and consumers, a deeper and more empathetic understanding of user needs and aspirations is critical. Second, technological and political developments have made the world a much more interconnected place. People and devices today are much more connected than in the past. Similarly, many problems have grown in complexity, and require involvement of various stakeholder groups and the consideration of how they might be affected. As a result, a systems understanding is the second required skill set.

In this course, Human-Centered Design and its recent version Design Thinking, coupled with a System Thinking perspective, will provide the mindset and the tools that participants learn to apply, and with which they will work to invent and develop new opportunities. The course combines reflective reading and case discussions with hands-on in-depth project work for students to learn and develop the relevant skills along with the new opportunities.

Prerequisites: None

3 credits


3 Credits

Entrepreneurial Leaders change the dynamics of competition in a market or bring new value to society. Entrepreneurial leadership is context independent. One can find entrepreneurial leaders inside a small, medium, large, non-profit, or a govt. enterprise. One does not have to be a genius to impact change when given a lot of resources. Many times, entrepreneurial leaders impact change with little resources. Innovation is the weapon of the entrepreneurial leader. Without entrepreneurial leadership, there is no entrepreneurship. Without entrepreneurial leadership, there is no innovation. While invention and creativity could be an individual or small group activity, innovation is for the most part is a large group activity. For this to happen, entrepreneurial leaders assemble resources by energizing, engaging and enabling disparate groups and entities. Entrepreneurial Leadership is different from Charismatic Leadership, Ideological Leadership, Servant Leadership, Evocative Leadership and other forms of leadership. It is much closer to Transformational Leadership, Situational Leadership and Crisis Leadership. It has its genesis in Entrepreneurship and Military Leadership. This course will delve deep into the concepts, methods and tools of entrepreneurial leadership and innovation by examining case studies from a variety of industries: Mining, Personal Computers, Steel, Automotive, Smartphones, Apparel, Newspaper/Media, Malnutrition, Medical Devices, Healthcare Services, Food, Software, Financial Services, Airlines, Govt. Services, U.S. Navy and others.

3 credits


MBA7604 Special Topics: Entrepreneurship in a Digital World

3 CreditsDigital technologies, processes and business models are impacting all aspects of businesses today, from startups to large organizations that need to practice corporate intrapreneurship. This course will focus on how digital strategies, tactics, and tools can be leveraged by today's entrepreneurial leaders to innovate, grow, and renew initiatives in their organizations. We will study how digital platforms can be used to scale operations, improve decision-making, and enable new business models to grow customers and revenue. Topics will include cloud computing platforms that focus on operations, employee collaboration, customer relationships, and machine-to-machine connections such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to capture, analyze, and share data and insights. New digital business models will be explored that will inform corporate strategy and business opportunities. Students will gain hands-on experience using popular data analytics and visualization tools, such as Tableau, to explore opportunities, gather insights, and make more informed decisions. The course will expose students to emerging technology enablers, such as machine learning and augmented/virtual reality tools, and effectively identify the role they can play in the organization's growth and renewal. Finally, we will discuss digital development and implementation strategies, including agile methods, to deliver digital technologies and gain adoption throughout the organization.

3 credits


MBA9525 Leading Innovation at Gorillas, Chimps & Monkeys
(Formerly MOB9525)
1.5 Intensive Elective Credits
There are only two ways to grow: M&A and Organic. Organic Growth is much much much more difficult than M&A. Growth is the only common thing that all types of firms -- start-ups, small, medium, large, family-businesses, non-profits -- have in common. However, how they go about achieving growth could be very very different. This course focuses on how innovation is a mechanism for growth in a variety of firms and situations.

If you are going to work for a Gorilla / Chimp (Large / Medium Business):
M&A, incremental innovation, risk management and bureaucracy building are all skills and capabilities that are in abundance inside large enterprises. However, organic growth, radical innovation, uncertainty navigation, and entrepreneurial leadership skills and capabilities are all scarcities within large enterprises. Hence, many medium- and large-sized enterprises are creating internal innovation leaders who are able to drive organic growth by building innovation sandboxes and creating and nurturing a culture of innovation.

If you are going to start or work at a Monkey (Startup / Small Business):
Large firms routinely don't want to cater to certain markets and certain customers. They are very picky in terms of what margins they want and will protect. So, large enterprises do not pursue many opportunities. These spurned opportunities are precisely the ones that start-ups and small businesses should go after. Having a clear understanding of how large firms make their decisions in terms of markets and margins will improve the opportunities for start-ups and small businesses. Also, start-ups and small firms are notoriously lacking in resources. Creativity and Innovation is the primary weapon of the entrepreneur to compete against the Gorillas & Chimps. This course will provide several strategies for start-ups and small businesses to compete against the larger enterprises.

If you are from / going-to-join a family business:
All family business leaders have to comprehend that Strategy, Innovation and Leadership cannot be discussed independently and in isolation. They are all highly intertwined. At the heart of this triangle sits an even more difficult concept called "Culture." Depending on the generational, technological and socio-economic changes that are underway in their countries / industries / businesses, family business leaders have to navigate VUCAH (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity & hyperconnectedness) through a careful combination of multi-dexterous skills in terms of Strategy, Innovation, Leadership & Culture. This course will help you gain those multi-dexterous skills.

1.5 credits


MIS7200 Global Connections Through Technology

2 CreditsGlobal Connections through Technology (GCTT) - This course is an information technology course that educates knowledge workers to use information and technology to think and act entrepreneurially to create and sustain social and economic value in a global environment

2 credits


OIM6110 Information Technology
(Formerly MIS6110)

If you took and passed MIS6110, you cannot register for OIM6110, as these two courses are equivalent

This course prepares students to become digital innovators-global entrepreneurs and business leaders who can make strategic business decisions involving data, digital products, and digital services; experiment with information technologies and platforms; build and work in diverse teams; and create social, environmental and economic value from data in a business context.

1.5 credits


OIM6111 Operations Management
(Formerly OPS6110)

If you took and passed OPS6110, you cannot register for OIM6111, as these two courses are equivalent

In enterprises of any kind, managing operations effectively is essential to success. The course explores the role of operations in enabling a firm's strategy, affecting its business model, and in creating extensible systems to capture value for multiple stakeholder classes. Students will identify critical systems, design solutions, and apply problem solving practices in ways that could potentially reset competitive conventions or enable a new initiative or venture to overcome constraints posed by a nascent & uncertain operating environment.

1.5 credits


OIM6301 Programming for Business Analytics
(Formerly MIS6300)
3 Credits

If you took and passed MIS6300, you cannot register for OIM6301, as these two courses are equivalent

This course will introduce fundamental programming concepts, including data structures, networked application program interfaces, and relational database using the Python programming language. In addition, students will apply statistical, machine learning, information visualization, text analysis, and social network analysis techniques through popular python toolkits such as pandas, matplotlib, scikit-learn, nltk, and networkx to gain insight into their data. At the end, this course will guide students through a project to design and create their own applications for data retrieval, processing, and visualization.

Prerequisites: Admission in to the MSBA program. CAM students should contact Graduate Academic Services to pursue enrollment in this course. MBA students will be required to review approximately 2 hours of pre-work videos.

3 credits


OIM6600 Scaling a New Business Within the Enterprise Through Digital
3 Credits (MSAEL Core)
Digitized processes and platforms are an essential approach for leaders to scale major projects and initiatives in an organization. Cloud computing enable digital platforms that focus on operations, employee collaboration, customer relationships, and machine-to-machine connections such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to capture, analyze, and share data and insights. Instead of experimenting in an incubation state, the entire organization has to get involved with the innovation process. In this course, we explore how and when to use these digital platforms. This includes not only the rollout of the digital change from an operations and resourcing perspective but understanding who the active and passive champions and resistors are and working with them to drive diffusion. We will also discuss operations challenges and solutions associated with moving from a pilot to full scale production. Finally, the course will expose students to emerging technology enablers (e.g. data visualization, 3D printing, robotics, machine learning, augmented/virtual reality tools) and effectively identify the role they can play in the organization's growth and renewal.

Prerequisites: MOB6600 and EPS6600

3 credits


OIM6601 Project Management Under Uncertainty
3 Credits (MSAEL Core)
This course offers methods and frameworks for commercializing nascent technologies that offer potentially breakthrough value to the market and therefore, enormous reward for the firm, but whose value propositions and applications are highly uncertain at the outset. Aside from readings and cases, students' job will be to undertake a project either from their own organization or one provided by the faculty and, applying the tools and methods of the course, understand the technology, learn how to articulate it in terms of market opportunity, scope out the potential applications, and begin doing the hard work of evaluating the potential of the opportunity, incubating it and determining next steps.

Prerequisites: MOB6600 and EPS6600; OIM 6600

3 credits


OIM7501 Introduction to Database Management
(Formerly MIS7501)
1.5 Elective Credits

If you took and passed MIS7501, you cannot register for OIM7501, as these two courses are equivalent

SQL forms the cornerstone of all relational database operations. The ability to write the SQL language is essential for those who develop database applications. This course provides a solid foundation of the SQL programming language that enables students to build, query and manipulate databases. Working in SQL Server Management, the students will be actively engaged in a hands-on classroom experience.

The list of topics include: Understand entity-relationship modeling (ER Model) at the conceptual level; Data design terminology, SQL Basics, Joins and Views, Conditional Logic, Procedures, Functions.

1.5 credits


OIM7502 Advanced Programming for Business Analytics
3 Elective Credits

Python is a general-purpose programming language that has rapidly become one of the most popular languages for data science. Python allows users to quickly and efficiently collect, clean, analyze, visualize and narrate using any kind of data (structured, semi-structured or un-structured); irrespective of how messy the data might be. In this course, students will advance their python skills for data science. Students use a variety of data to learn powerful ways to conduct data analytics and learn helpful data science tools along the way. This will equip students to conduct their own analyses towards the end of the course.

Prerequisites: OIM 6301

3 credits


OIM7503 Experiment to Scale
(Formerly MOB7503)
3 Elective Credits

If you took and passed MOB7503, you cannot register for OIM7503, as these two courses are equivalent

Innovators in all industries are searching for ways to bring products and services to market at an even faster pace and to scale. However, companies face a myriad of challenges that make such growth difficult, namely: environmental uncertainty, unquestioned industry standards, and seemingly stagnant organizational cultures. And while ideating and prototyping new ideas becomes more manageable for firms, bringing those ideas to scale is still elusive Experimentation has recently been revered as the way forward to address these challenges. In this course, students will study historical and more recent experimentation techniques from technology and operations management. Students will compare and contrast these techniques and apply them to a project.

3 credits


OIM7505 Digital Transformation
(Formerly MIS7505)
3 Elective Credits

If you took and passed MIS7505, you cannot register for OIM7505, as these two courses are equivalent

The digitalization of products, processes, and business models is accelerating the rate of change in every industry and how organizations deliver value. While the majority of organizations report having initiated digital transformation efforts, studies highlight that fewer than 30% of these digital initiatives deliver positive results. However, no single digital transformation strategy applies to every company's situation, as digital transformation depends as much on the business context and organizational design, culture, and talent as it does on digital technologies.

In this course, we will use the case method to explore digital transformation efforts for a number of organizations across a variety of industries, and learn about the emerging technologies (e.g., AI, blockchain, extended reality, robotics) driving their transformation. Students will gain critical-thinking skills, work in groups, learn to apply different perspectives and frameworks to analyze complex business scenarios, and practice communication skills. Case analyses and in-class discussions will be complemented with a digital transformation consulting project.

Prerequisites: OIM7800

3 credits


OIM7511 Future Lab: Complex Problem Solving for Social Impact
(Formerly MBA7502)
3 Elective Credits

If you took and passed MBA7502, you cannot register for OIM7511, as these two courses are equivalent

Sinan Erzurumlu, Faculty Director at FutureLab & Prof. of Innovation and Ops Mngment
Cheryl Kiser, Executive Director, The Lewis Institute & Babson Social Innovation Lab

FutureLab combines the entrepreneurial mindset and social design principles to engage students, organizations and community to explore pioneering entrepreneurial challenges and create economic and social/environmental progress for selected partner organizations. The FutureLab is a discovery and action-learning lab. It involves experiential learning in service to address challenges in real time and in real contexts. As a FutureLab student partner, you will collaborate with an ensemble of faculty members and partner organizations to explore their challenges and develop solutions for social impact at scale. You should be prepared to engage in an active learning environment and apply principles of complex problem solving for social impact.

Given the increasing preference shown by employers for demonstrated problem solving experience, this lab will provide you with the opportunity to add a very realistic problem solving experience to the portfolio of qualifications on your resumes. We envision regular, ongoing interaction with our partners, with details to be determined in collaboration with these partners. You will gain skills in creativity, critical thinking, innovation, complex problem solving, social change, entrepreneurial leadership and influence. Depending on the demands of the project, you will apply these skills towards framing the problem and co-creating solutions with community and partner organization.

The 14-week lab experience is designed for active learning, experimenting, generating and launching an implementation plan. Student partners of prior semesters addressed various problems, such as improving the efficiency and effectiveness of key patient care processes for a major academic medical center and analyzing the mobility challenges of older adults for governmental organizations. It is important to know that this is a team-based engagement and anticipate the flexible investment of time and effort that high-performance teams and deep work often demands. This Lab requires a high willingness to work in a flexible timeframe and framework. Student partners may be interviewed prior to class by the Lab faculty team.

3 credits