How To Manage Operational Excellence
People think about operational excellence in several different ways. For the purpose of this article, let’s say operational excellence is a state that is best achieved through continuous improvement in key areas of a business that need attention, especially business objectives and customer satisfaction. The main focus is on key areas and continuous improvement. Key areas are important because this is where the responsible person determines business value that can be extracted. Continuous improvement implies continuous change, resulting in improved business value.
Shareholders, customers, regulators and employees all expect more from businesses. Competitors are getting better at what they do, and there are more and more of them each day. Businesses need to change just tostand still, but if they do not increase their businessvalue relative to their peers, then they do not improve. Organizations need to change as well as focus their resources in a smart and high-quality way in order to actually improve their business value. Ideas or recommendations for change can come as a corrective or preventive action or from focus groups or operations. Managing all recommendations or ideas for change is where well designed software can help — software specifically designed by change management experts for the automation of in-kind and not-inkind changes, organizational changes, IT infrastructure changes or ideas for lean process automation. All change carries risk. Whether that risk manifests as an accident, mishap or poor result is dependent on the quality of the change management process. It is important any changes made are managed in a highquality way by using the best tools available. Continuous change that drives improved business outcomes, increases business value and addresses all the risks inherited in a change can be considered continuous improvement.
Where does value come from?
Most businesses are content with the efficiency gains that software systems provide. In order to excel, an organization must decide what matters the most and then focus its resources there. Does it need to lower operating costs, lower risk or improve revenue? Are there processes that need streamlining using lean principles, or must we improve communication or quality? Whatever is decided will require change. Be sure to measure the results of any change as well as the change process itself. Data and ideas for change come from the men and women at the process end of the business, and the software that gathers the data and ideas must be designed for them. The quality of the data that provides business insights will play an important part in the quality of the business decisions being made, and great ideas for change that never make it to proper review are lost value opportunities.
Operational excellence requires knowledgeable people with continuous improvement ideas that are converted into business value. Change management software that is designed and implemented by experts in change management and continuous improvement is one of the most important business investments you can make.
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