Operational Excellence

What is the Higher Diploma in Business in Operational Excellence?
The Higher Diploma in Business in Operational Excellence is a one year Level 8 programme specifically developed to meet identified industry needs. Participants will acquire a breadth of knowledge, critical insight, and best practices from the blended-learning approach, whilst the project management component embeds the practical application of the learnings attained for immediate impact in the workplace.

This programme is aimed at individuals from various backgrounds and disciplines who require a deeper understanding of Operational Excellence, Lean Transformations, and Project Management. This programme enables participants develop their potential as team leads, supervisors, technical leaders, and managers. It also provides the foundations to enable those wishing to integrate Operational Excellence and Lean into areas such as Quality, Supply Chain, Engineering, Human Resources, or Finance.

Applicants may wish to undertake this programme to aid their personal development into leadership roles from team leads, supervisors, technical leaders, or management. Applications are invited from candidates on a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) basis wherein a candidate's accredited (formal education) and/or unaccredited (work experience) will be considered when assessing applications.

Special Feature
•To immerse students in operational excellence and lean philosophy and its application in a wide range of business contexts.
•To provide participants with the broad base of business skills and knowledge that can be used to advance their ability with respect to the application of operational excellence principles.
•To expose students to critical insight into operational excellence and Lean practice in production and service provision across a range of organisational and sectoral contexts.
•To inculcate creative thinking and innovative ability with a cross-functional and silo-free perspective.
•To extend the communication and leadership skills of individuals that combine to add value to organisations pursuing the adoption of operational excellence strategies.
•To provide the knowledge, tools, and techniques that will enable participants to design, deliver, and evaluate continuous improvement projects.
•To provide participants with the knowledge and skills that will underpin their professional development in an organisational change context.
•To equip students with an advanced level of knowledge of the theories, models, and practice in operational excellence management, together with an understanding of how this integrates within the wider business environment.
•To expose participants to critical perspectives with a view to broadening understanding of best practice in MNE and SME environments and to help students acquire an understanding of their career potential through the development of communication, analytical and interpersonal skills.
•To develop high levels of proficiency in project management through the application of project management skills in an operational excellence context.

The WIT School of Business Annual Lean Forum attracts in excess of 250 delegates from a multitude of organisations throughout the region and nationally to see presentations by industry and academic experts, participate in applied breakout and workshop sessions, and generally network with peers and colleagues about lean enterprise excellence and continuous improvement. This industry and academia forum is critical to enable the sharing and transfer of knowledge as it relates to contemporary theory and practice on lean enterprise excellence, and provides all parties with an invaluable networking opportunity. Please see here for details of the 2015 Lean Forum.

Entry requirements

Programme Entry Requirements
To be considered for entry onto the Higher Diploma in Business in Operational Excellence, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria.

Entry Criteria
•Applicants should have a Level 8 qualification, in any discipline, along with a minimum of 3 years relevant industry experience.


•Applicants who do not hold a Level 8 qualification may be considered on the basis of a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) application to a Level 8 standard or equivalent provided they have a minimum of 5 years' relevant industry experience.

•Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English - please see WIT's English Language Requirements for details.

Subjects taught

Semester 1 (Sep - Dec)
Operational Excellence Philosophy
Continuous Improvement Concepts
Operations Concepts
Project Management 1

Semester 2 (Jan - May)
Process Mapping & Improvement
Continuous Improvement in Practice
Operational Statistics
Project Management 2

Semester 3 (May - Aug)
Creativity & Problem-Solving for Managers
Coaching for Operational Excellence
Organisational Transformation
Project Management 3




1 Year Part-time

Post Course Info

The Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation has identified in its Action Plan for Jobs 2014 a national step-change in manufacturing as a strategic priority. This "step-change" affirms a drive towards achieving the highest standards of operational and enterprise excellence and the application of lean thinking and practice. Many sectors view operational excellence and lean as critical to their continued success, and identify continuous improvement programmes as integral to enhancing competitiveness. Furthermore, the recent Forfás Making it in Ireland: Manufacturing 2020 report emphasises the central and critical role that lean principles and practice will play, and further affirms in its Expert Group on Future Skills Requirement report (pg. 13) that "Lean manufacturing techniques… are driving up-skilling requirements for both generic skills and technical skills across virtually all occupations".

It is generally accepted that there is a skills shortage in lean and operational excellence, and it is therefore expected that our graduates will be highly sought-after. In addition to the extensive knowledge acquired, the applied nature of the programme and the real-world individual/group problem-solving provides graduates with invaluable experience and skills, and ensures they are workplace-ready.

Academically, and subject to meeting the respective programme entry requirements, students can go on to undertake any of the School of Business Level 9 programmes, including the Master of Business in Lean Practice, or go on to undertake a PhD in an area of their choosing or undertake the DBA.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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