Creating A Comprehensive Improvement Plan.

Article by Tim Hatari

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What is Operational Excellence?

Operational excellence encompasses all relevant aspects of your business. Rather than focusing on a single issue such as production, marketing, or risk planning, you work towards a more comprehensive and holistic type of improvement.

Operational excellence involves the following areas of your business:

  • Lowering expenses.
  • Improving the quality of products and services.
  • Increasing revenue.
  • Watching the competition and planning a strategy to outperform them.

Operational Excellence is a Mindset

It’s important to understand that operational excellence isn’t about making a few improvements here and there. It’s more about a way of thinking that includes several key principles.

  • Seek ongoing improvements. Conditions are always changing. As Aristotle said, “Excellence is not an act but a habit.”
  • Encourage feedback and criticism. If employees don’t feel comfortable pointing out potential problems, it will be harder for them to suggest areas that need improving.
  • Focus on systems and processes. While the efforts of individuals and teams are certainly important, you need to shift your main focus to the process. Look for ways to accomplish tasks more efficiently, using better tools, and facilitating better communication.
  • Pay attention to communication between departments. Operational excellence has a lot to do with the way teams and departments work together. Be on the lookout for organisational silos, where people in a department have a limited, insular view. For example, if your IT and customer service teams aren’t on the same page, it can create problems such as IT not passing along important updates to customer service.