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Operational and Financial Management

Module description

Operational management provides a critical link between design and execution of organisational strategy. As Stephen Case, Chairman and Chief Executive officer of America Online put it, “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination”.

This module will explain the importance of understanding strategic direction and how to contribute to the strategic planning process through the creation and management of operational plans.

You will learn about the knowledge and skills required to create and deliver operational plans, such as the need to set key performance indicators, monitor quality and outcomes against the plan, and how to report on findings.

It will introduce you to tools and techniques to support planning, problem solving and decision making.   

The role of operational managers in an organisation includes a need to work with finance colleagues to make appropriate decisions and ensure that revenue, profit and cash meet the needs of the organisation.

This module focuses on finance for managers and explains the importance of being able to understand key financial documents and make effective decisions concerning finance.

It will introduce you to approaches of forecasting, budgeting, financial control and reporting.

Full module specification

Module title:Operational and Financial Management
Module code:BEM1031DA
Module level:1
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

The aim of the module is to introduce and consolidate apprentice’s knowledge and learning around operational planning in the context of their workplace. To dissect their own organisations operational plans, consider the KPI’s and targets set and critically review these.

This module will also introduce key concepts around budgeting and data security which should be considered by an operational manager, and encourage apprentices to analyse these in their own organisational context.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Consider the principles of operational planning in an organisation, managing change including contingency planning K1.1, K1.4, K1.5
  • 2. Analyse financial forecasting within an organisation K3.1

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Discuss operational planning in line with organisational objectives K1.1
  • 4. Monitor and measure the outcomes of operational planning, sales and marketing, setting targets K1.3
  • 5. Address gaps and weaknesses in operational performance through effective decision making and continuous improvement K1.2
  • 6. Consider data security and effective use of technology in an organisation K1.6
  • 7. Monitor and manage budgets.K3.1, S3.1

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Manage and lead the delivery of an operational plan
  • 9. Evaluate and manage financial information relevant to own role

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Masterclasses12The Masterclasses are designed to run either face to face or remotely to provide the expert led content of the module
Webinars5The webinars provide opportunity to dissect and discuss topics
1-1's21-1’s are arranged to provide an opportunity for apprentices to check understanding and discuss their assessments
Independent research, workplace activities and applied practice131Apprentices will all apply the theory to their own workplace and test out the strategies discussed in a live, applied way. Apprentices will then review, discuss and improve on these approaches.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft presentations – buddy up5 minutes1-9Peer feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation10015 minute voice over powerpoint with 500 word accompanying notes1-9Written feedback via ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PresentationPresentation1-9Next re-assessment period

Syllabus plan

Masterclass 1:

  • The concept of operational planning
  • How operational plans work within the organisation’s own policies and practices
  • Introducing analytical tools used to prepare the plan
  • The role of finance in an organisation
  • The role of forecasting and budgeting in the planning process

Masterclass 2:

  • Operational objectives and creating performance targets; 
  • Performance monitoring and reporting, including: 
  • Variance, problem and root cause analysis 
  • Principles of Lean Systems Thinking

 Using the SIPOC tool (Supplier, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customer) 

Operational resilience and sustainability

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in context of initiating and managing change 

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Johnson, Whittington & Scholes (2012) Fundamentals of Strategy 
  • Adair (2010) Strategic Leadership: how to think and plan strategically and provide direction  
  • Atrill & McLaney (2015) Accounting and Finance for Non-Specialists 

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Plan Do Check Act cycle (Deming, 1950s) 
  • Fishbone Diagram (Ishikawa, 1968) 
  • Rational Decision Making (Kepner and Tregoe, 1965) 

Origin date


Last revision date