Under the realistic background of excess production capacity, product structure imbalance and high material and energy consumption in steel enterprises, the implementation of operation optimization for steel manufacturing process is essential for reducing production cost, increasing production efficiency or energy efficiency and improving production management. In this paper, the operation optimization problem of the steel manufacturing process was analyzed, which needed to go through a complex production organization from customers’ orders to workshop production. The existing research on the operation optimization techniques were reviewed, including the process simulation, the production planning, the production scheduling, the interface scheduling and the scheduling of auxiliary equipment. The literature review reveals that, although much research has been devoted to optimizing the operation of steel production, these techniques are usually independent and unsystematic. Therefore, future works related to the operation optimization of the steel manufacturing process were finally summarized, which were based on the multi-technology fusion and the multi-discipline crossover.