GRA 6754 Operational Planning

GRA 6754 Operational Planning

Course code: 
GRA 6754
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Mehdi Sharifyazdi
Atle Nordli
Course name in Norwegian: 
Operational Planning
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Logistics and Supply Chain Management
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

In this course, students will learn key models, methods and strategies for logistics and supply chain operational planning and how to apply them. This course is built upon the course operations management where students have learned about basics of optimization in supply chain and logistics planning, demand forecasting, inventory planning, production planning, pricing and capacity planning. Operational planning extends students’ modelling skills and discusses models and strategies for supply chain network design, facility location and scheduling. In addition, they will learn to use concepts, models and methods such as, decision trees, risk pooling, sensitivity analysis, simulation and queuing models to cope with uncertainty and variability in supply chain and operational planning.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • To identify and interpret the basic trade-offs in supply network design and supply chain planning.
  • To recognize and reflect on the effects of uncertainty and variability on supply chain network decisions
  • To theorize how service time variability can affect a process.
  • To explain how risk pooling strategies can help to reduce risk.
  • To analyze the effects of sequencing of tasks on performance
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • To formulate, use and solve LP and MIP-based models for supply network design and supply chain planning using Excel's standard solver.
  • To examine the sensitivity of supply chain network decisions to uncertainty and variability of input data
  • To analyze and compare different alternatives in supply network design and supply chain planning, taking into account uncertainty and temporal value of money
  • To measure and improve the performance of queuing systems with uncertain arrival and service processes
  • To apply and estimate the effects of risk pooling strategies.
  • To optimize and evaluate the scheduling of tasks and activities.
General Competence
  • To make customized optimization models for supply chain network design and capacity/demand allocation
  • To perform sensitivity analysis experiments on the outputs of the optimization models
  • To compare different supply chain solutions through multiple periods taking into account the time value of money and different possibilities in uncertain conditions
  • To find suitable risk pooling solutions to cope with uncertainty and risk in supply chains
  • To evaluate performance measures in queuing systems
  • To find optimal or good enough sequence and timetable of tasks in operational planning
Course content
  • Supply Chain Network Design
  • Sencitivity analysis and simulation
  • Dealing with uncertainty and multi-periodicity in Supply Chain Planning
  • Variability and its Impact on Process Performance
  • Waiting lines
  • Risk Pooling Strategies
  • Scheduling and sequencing
Teaching and learning activities

The course is mainly delivered in a learning-by-doing manner. Students will make different models in Excel during the class and do exercises on extensions of those models outside of the class.

Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Additional information

It is necessary that the students have a computer with them (with Excel installed on it) during the lectures. 

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge
  • GRA 6753 Operations Management or equivalent
  • Basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Excel Solver, especially, how to enter and copy formulas and use relative and absolute addresses. (Basic Excel courses are offered at BI, but the students can also find free online tutorials including videos and exercises here:
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
5 Hour(s)
The exam has been changed from written school exam to home exam due to use of Excel on the exam.
Exam code: 
GRA 67541
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.