Operations Lab (Ops-Lab) has two characteristics that make it unique in the space of Action Learning offerings. First, it is exclusively focused on operations. Second, all organizations sponsoring projects must be within an hour of campus. This latter requirement provides the opportunity for deeper and more thorough interactions with client companies. This can better adhere to the Action Learning ethos of applying classroom learning to real-world problems.
Ops-Lab provides MIT Sloan students with hands-on experience in operations leadership and change. Teams of typically three students act as consultants on operations improvement engagements for small- to medium-size organizations in the Greater Boston, Massachusetts, area. These include both manufacturing companies and service organizations such as hospitals. Throughout the term, students visit the site to work closely with the client. The typically small or medium size of the company also allows for a broader understanding of the range of operations issues. Classroom time (once per week) is used for project reviews as well as material that students can use on their projects. Ops-Lab operations projects have focused on areas such as inventory policy implementation, process layout and flow, supplier management, and broader supply chain issues. Ops-Lab projects have also included projects in associated areas such as operations strategy, product development and the marketing-operations interface. All projects have the primary goal of delivering solutions that the companies can implement. Operations Lab is open to Master’s students, LGO students and to students in other graduate-level programs.