In the world of team management, the concept of operational excellence is gaining notoriety. It is mainly a question of steering performance and optimising processes to increase efficiency. In a context that aims for constant improvement, operational excellence has its place. However, it must be translated into the implementation of good practices, which presupposes that the method is adopted with conviction by the employees. The use of software solutions can help create this buy-in.
1-What is operational excellence?
Operational excellence is less a method than a state of mind. We could even talk about a new corporate culture, which aims at continuous improvement and contributes to giving meaning to the actions of the members of the various teams. Operational excellence is thus different from a managerial approach that is too pyramidalThis is only driven from the top. Far from being subjected to or reduced to being an executor, employees are invited to understand, participate and experiment, so that everyone contributes to increasing performance and efficiency.
It is certainly the responsibility of the company’s management to drive operational excellence, so as to put the internal organization at the service of customers, but it is also a method that is intended to be a global and structured approach, based on carefully chosen tools to optimize the actions of each person at the service of the teams.
The aim is to replace purely hierarchical management, which is still too widespread in companies, with a strategy that develops the autonomy of employees. In the context of operational excellence, individual efforts are embedded in a team framework that provides a structure for continuous improvement.
Operational excellence is therefore an integral part of a lean management strategy.
2-Vision, strategy, objectives and governance
The deployment of an operational excellence strategy requires first of all a governance effort, with the clear and precise definition of objectives, which can then be translated into strategy. In other words, theoperational excellence involves optimizing the management of operationsto increase production, improve productivity and enhance work performance.
In the implementation phase of the company’s strategy, the use of digital checklists is an important contribution to operational excellence. It allows us to reduce waste as well as to limit problems by better anticipating their occurrence. For example, work instructions and checklists managed by shared software largely reduce the time and energy wasted by paper-based media without added value.
The use of digital media contributes greatly to better governance, and even to a better appropriation of the company’s vision by the various employees.
3-Performance management and process efficiency
Operational excellence improves performance management. Many companies that have seen their processes improve over the years are faced with a major challenge: how to continue this positive momentum and further optimize performance and results? The managers, on the ground, have the task of driving the implementation of the company’s global strategy. But they must have the methods to do so. Operational excellence is therefore primarily a matter of team management.
The objective is to put this operational excellence in the service of quality It is not a goal in itself. Efficient management of teams and production processes contributes to reducing costs through the optimization of work organization. But what principles should be followed? Above all, it is a matter of avoiding a certain number of problems or pitfalls that are common in companies. The points to be optimized often include too long or poorly planned transport times. Sometimes, a better structuring of the space within the company allows to reduce the displacements, and thus the waste of time. But it is equally important to eliminate redundant and unnecessary processes.
4-Human Resources Management
Operational excellence and management are inseparable. The former involves optimizing the use of resources. But what resources are we talking about? Material resources, of course, but also, and above all, human resources, i.e. teams. Better management of human capital often leads to cost savings, but also to increased productivity at work.
Too many companies are distinguished by a real waste of their human capital. This is one of the main obstacles to productivity. Whether employees are under- or over-employed based on their skills, their poor deployment is a problem: unmotivated employees do not contribute to operational excellence.
5-Towards a culture of continuous improvement
It is the responsibility of managers, but also of the company’s management, to ensure thatoperational excellence follows certain good practices.
Among these, we can mention the following:
- consider your employees,
- help everyone to excel,
- re-evaluate your processes,
- do better the first time,
- connect the synergies,
- clearly state the objectives to be achieved.
The implementation of the overall strategy requires the definition and application of rigorous and efficient methods to avoid waste. The purpose of theThe aim ofoperational excellence is to create a dynamic of continuous improvement.
Managers and executives alike must define and apply rigorous and efficient methods and ensure that the overall strategy is implemented to avoid waste.
This sometimes requires a fundamental transformation of practices, which must be aligned with lean principles through a software solution, such as Six Sigma. It is therefore clear that theoperational excellence and lean management are inseparable.
Operational excellence therefore requires improving processes as well as employee skills and working conditions. It can be measured through performance indicators.
It allows companies to renew their product to adapt to a constantly growing environment. To achieve this, they need to be able to identify as early as possible problems that indicate the need for process and/or skill adjustments.