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Module description

Operational Consulting


Knowledge in Business Administration, further knowledge required depending on the subject.

Teaching methods Seminar
Learning target

Description and targets of the module

According to the study and examination regulations, the students must chose courses from the compulsory elective core subject catalogue with the goal to acquire 8 credit points in total.

The Compulsory elective core subject catalogue consists of three subjects:
-    Operational Consulting
-    Strategic Consulting
-    German Language.
The contents of the first two fields - Operational Consulting and Strategic Consulting - provide an attractive additional offer intending to hone and further improve the program profile. Numerous courses have – in addition to the compulsory subjects - an interdisciplinary character. This character is even more pronounced by including students from the engineering MSc program of the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences.

Even if the separation between the „operational“ and „strategic“ aspect is not always given (which is by the way also the case in practice), all subjects are with regard to content either a continuation of the subjects of the compulsory catalogue or are new topics.

German Language is the third topic of the Compulsory elective core subject catalogue and gives students the opportunity to learn the German language. This offer has been existing since the beginning of the program. The basic idea is that

o    many things in daily life (incl. becoming acquainted with the host country’s culture) are only possible with basic language skills
o    Acquisition of German language skills in order to strengthen the student’s profile

However, only 2 credit points can be acquired by choosing German language from the Compulsory elective core subject catalogue.

Duration 2 Semester
Hours per week 8.0
  • Classes:90 h
  • Individual/
    Group work:150 h

  • Workload:240 h
Credits and grades

Project work

The elective subjects are factored in 8/90 in the final grade and are equally weighed in the module grade.

ECTS 8.0
Responsible person

Prof. Dr. Rainer Fischer

Max. participants 20
Recommended semester 1 and 2
Frequency Every sem.

The content of the module can partly be used for the University's own part-time program "General Management".

Lectures Project Management
Type Seminar
Nr. IBC-11-03
Hours per week 2.0
Lecture contents

The Project Environment
• Definitions
• Project structures
• Project Manager
• Communication difficulties
• The difference of R&D projects
• Over-the-wall approach
Project Management Methods
• Project Planning
• Breakdown of an objective into different tasks
• The Timeline: Gantt
• Network Diagrams: CPM, PERT
The particularities of the R&D function
• The career of scientists and engineers
• Why scientists and engineers do not really plan?
• Defense reactions and how to avoid them
Project Management Software
• Necessity and Motivation
• Data structure
• Views, Graphics and Reports
• Use of PM Software
Management Systems for R&D
• Components
• Implementation phases
• Freezing the system into rules
• Quality norms: ISO 9000, QS 9000, VDA, AFNOR, etc.
During the course, students will identify a case study of a typical innovation project which runs into difficulties, and learn to organize, plan and manage such a project. Topics will include resource allocation, continuous re-planning, implementing early warning systems, managing crises etc.
The students will be assessed on their capacity to translate the learned theory into practice (project planning, tracking and management), as well as on their capacity to reflect on topics adjacent to project management. To this end, the following evaluations are foreseen:
• Identification and detailed description of an innovation project through analysis of press articles, literature, personal experience, etc. Definition of objectives for a re-orientation of the project. (Presentation)
• Detailed organization of the project using the techniques discussed in the lecture and modern project management tools. (continuous evaluation)
• Project recovery presentation.

The University of Offenburg is currently negotiating terms for the introduction of a new IT-based project management and planning system. Depending on the outcome of these negotiations, a tool-specific evaluation may replace one or several of the above mentioned evaluations.


A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Project Management Institute Standards Committee

Managing Complexity
Type Seminar
Nr. IBC-11-01
Hours per week 2.0
Lecture contents

The course is designed to provide a fundamental basis for management and leadership in the information age. It will introduce a scientific and philosophical approach to management and explore the historical origins of an analytical methodology that allows profound insight into the behaviour of processes and systems. It will teach that management is prediction and provide an understanding of a methodology for transforming raw data into knowledge in order to secure a sound basis for future action. Case histories will demonstrate how the costly errors of inappropriate action and sub-optimisation can be avoided and how a scientific basis for continual improvement and sustainable competitiveness is achieved.

Links to system thinking, human behaviour and the theory of knowledge (epistemology) will be maintained throughout the course.


- Wheeler, Donald J, 1993, Understanding Variation - The Key to Managing Chaos, SPC Press Inc.
- Wheeler, Donald J, 1995, Advanced Topics in Statistical Process Control, SPC Press Inc.
- Deming, W. Edwards, 1982, 1986, Out of the Crisis, Massa-chusetts Institute of Technology
- Neave, Henry R. 1990, The Deming Dimension, SPC Press Inc.
- Scholtes, Peter R., 1998, The Leaders Handbook, McGraw-Hill
- Deming, W. Edwards, 1994, 1995, The New Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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