Individually and Collectively, we need to work towards making “Excellence” as a Way of our life, in our organisation. And for this to happen, the most important requirement is that we sustain, the “best version of ourselves” at all times, at work ..!! Remember, excellence is always linked to being the best and is accomplished through persistent efforts. There is nothing like being “lucky”, when it comes down to Quality ..!! Excellence is not about accomplishing a flawless outcome once but being able to achieve it, repeatedly.

The Myth – Deep and Flawless Understanding of Functional Domain is the only Critical Factor for Driving Operational Excellence …!!

Probably at times, this (Functional Strength / Capabilities ) is more of ego at work rather than focusing on the process for outcomes !!. There is large mass of people who believe that knowing the subject very well will ensure that quality is delivered consistently. However, there is a deep problem with the above concept even if anyone is operating in the model of an “Individual Contributor”. While functional domain strength might be appropriate for one task or a group of tasks (an Activity), it generally fails to address the large concept of an “Inclusive Thinking or Approach “ in Operations. There are other elements which contribute in making the Eco System ( Culture ) robust.

Operational Excellence goes beyond just the knowledge of the subject (functional domain). It focuses on the aggregation of all the “Elements of the Organisation (Eco System)” through which all the tasks pass through before resulting in, outcomes or results for the Customers. Organisation Eco System is certainly made up of all the employees however for Operations Excellence; all the employees, their aggregate outcomes, and the key elements of the Eco System, needs to be in good harmony.

Powering Organisation Eco System, what are the Key Elements that drive It? …

“Organisation Eco System”, is powered by, Learning Management, Human Resource Availability, Core Model Definition and Operationalising of Business Process, Investment in Tools and Technology, Physical Infrastructure and Communications Management. Of course, all of them needs to be wrapped by an efficient Governance Model where every Leader is playing out his / her part consistently.

All elements that are listed out contribute to developing behaviour patterns of employees, teams and Leaders that get repeatedly demonstrated in response to; Business Requirements, Situations and Incidents. These responses stay on within the organisation and we know them as “Organisation Culture “

How do we Leverage the Key Elements of the Organisation Eco System to sustain Operations Excellence ….?

The visual above, is an excellent suggestion on one of the important guiding principles of Excellence. Keep things simple around your thought process and execution is a proven approach across many organisations over decades. As an extension of it, following brief pointers could be treated as broad guidelines for making significant progress, in Operations Excellence within an organisation….

  • “Treat excellence as a journey“ where outcomes happen, over a period of time. Hence, it is all about “Willingness and Patience “to go through a structured journey with milestones, to highlight progress of the endeavour. It is possible that the pressures are high, for quick results but the value of “ patience and a structured methodology “ is huge for sustainable results.
  • Have a “Problem Solving Approach” instead of an “Incident Management based Approach “. It is generally not possible to resolve problems that have accumulated over the years through an “Incident Management based Approach“. Avoid temptations for quick fixes instead focus on a phased approach of “Problem Solving “by defining in detail, all the points of failures, working on the root cause analysis and implement corrective and preventive solutions for sustainable excellence.
  • Link the Vision / Mission of the Organisation to the definition of, “Excellence as a Way of Life“. This linkage and related road map need to be established very clearly and should be well communicated, within the organisation and to all the key stake holders. It is also recommended to ensure that there is active engagement of all the employees in all initiatives to ensure widespread ownership within the organisation.
  • Digital Strategy needs to be clearly defined and closely linked to the Eco system for effective implementation. Once this strategy is defined, the approach of utilising effective tools and technology to achieve excellence across all dimensions of the organisation needs to be accomplished. It is important for the organisation to understand, what they would want their technology plans to deliver in the, medium and long terms ? And also important for the Leadership Group, to ensure that they consistently sponsor the “Eco System“, that would enable all Digital implementations to succeed.
  • Investment Strategy needs to be planned with a futuristic perspective, there will need to be a provision for adequate lead times for the investments to achieve the, desired returns. Key is to have, willingness and patience to go through an extended timelines for returns on investments. Generally, there is nothing like fast-track benefits in most of the, major investments …! The Executive Sponsor (CEO ) of Investment Strategies, is the key to success hence will determine the altitude of achievements

    In the scope of investment strategies I would include; Digital and Physical Assets, Human Capital and Skills Upgrade, Implementation of Emerging Technologies, Collaboration Models /Plans, Process Reengineering and other related areas.

  • Thought Leadership, is also a contributing factor in deciding the path the organisation would like to adopt in achieving the outcomes. Imperative that all outcomes pass through seamlessly through the channels of; Customer Centricity, Service Excellence and Digital Transformation. While I will not go into details, but these become critical elements of accomplishing Change, within the organisation and for moving the organisation to the next level of capability.

In the final analysis, Operations Excellence is about many more important areas beyond Functional Domain Capabilities. When all these critical areas combine with the strength of Functional Domain, outcomes are brilliant. Key is to have an Inclusive approach and keep in context, sustainability of actions and results in the areas of; Customer Experience, Stake Holder Value Creation, Carbon Neutrality and Business Strategies.

At INCHES, it is about actively engaging in every transaction of the organisation keeping all the elements of Excellence and Customer Centricity in context. Every day is a “Moment of Truth and an Opportunity“, to understand ourselves better and to work towards further improvements …!!