There is a science of operations. This seems obvious to those who do not work in operations. After all, there is the science of chemistry for chemical engineers. However, for those who work in operations, the discussion of a science of operations has been confounded and confused with a plethora of efficiency and continuous improvement efforts since the dawn of the industrial age. There is certainly science applied in operations but it is typically at the academic Operations Research level which is not readily translated to executives and managers trying to run companies day to day. Here we state the definition of operations science. It is practical, comprehensive and predictive as any legitimate science must be.
Operations science is knowledge of the general truths about converting material and labor into goods and services. It addresses the fundamental relationships between:
• Capacity (machines and people)
Operations science is also the practical analysis and application of those relationships to become more:
• effective with people and efficient in operation
• easily managed
For more information on operations science see Our Approach. For the award-winning textbook which first stated the principles of a comprehensive operations science, see Factory Physics. For discussion of the science and its application in business, see Factory Physics for Managers.