Whether you’re a long-standing CEO or you’re completely new to the role, it’s essential that you develop a deep and detailed insight into the operational health of your organisation as it’s your operations department that deliver on your companies promise to your customer.
Gaining clarity around operational health and effectiveness is essential if you’re to deliver rapid change, and there are three main areas to investigate.
1. Healthy operations starts with a clear understanding of the customer’s requirements and company vision. Can you answer the following questions?
- How do you know what the customers’ needs are?
- What is your overarching vision for the business and how does it align to the customer’s needs?
- What are your operational goals?
- How will you measure the outcomes?
Staying on the right track
- How do you monitor inputs?
- How do you know you’re on course to achieve your objectives?
- What real-time data do have to alert you when you’re off track?
- Do you have a clear understanding of your current position?
- Do you know what corrective actions are available to you?
- Do you know how your actions today impact tomorrow?
For many leaders, clarity of vision is not the problem. It’s not even understanding how they can transform their vision into reality. For most CEO’s the real problem is a lack of information, which severely limits their decision-making capability and essentially impairs their ability to lead.
So the most important question of all is, do you have the right data to make effective decisions and secure the future of your organisation?
“Nothing stops an organization faster than people who believe that the way you worked yesterday is the best way to work tomorrow.”
2. Ineffective data reporting and analysis is common to many organisations in the FS sector. How accurately does your management information reflect the operational reality?
- Is your data accurate?
- Is it selective or missing key information?
- Is it difficult to penetrate or interpret?
- Do you find it difficult to make practical use of your data?
- Is your data an internal metric rather than customer outcome centric?
If you’re to make intelligent, informed operational decisions, your data must be correct, well-defined, transparent and usable.
“A key to achieving success is to assemble a strong and stable management team.”
3. Are your front line managers trained in operational management routines?
The efficiency of your front-line managers is a key driver of operational performance. Yet in most organisations much of their time is taken up firefighting. Try to lessen their workload by centralising control and you risk reducing their sense of involvement and creating a sense of disengagement. So your front-line managers need a management approach that gives them decision-making responsibility and a degree of control, yet relieves them of many of the day-to-day reactive tasks that shift their focus away from optimising operational performance.
The first step to gaining tighter control of your operations is to understand how much you really know about them, and you can do that by asking yourself a few simple questions:
- Is there an established methodology in place for managers to systematically improve operational activities?
- Is there a clarity on the way we manage and lead in this area?
- Do your managers have formal procedures for capacity planning?
- Do you have a central database for collation and reporting of management information?
- Do you have the tools to facilitate operational collaboration to achieve optimal efficiency?
- Do you have the tools to allow your managers to forecast, plan and anticipate problems before they happen?
If you answered “no” to any of these question, you need to gain a deeper understanding of the health of your operation. A DHP diagnostic provides a quick and effective way to diagnose operational health issues by identifying opportunities to reduce waste, eliminate costs and heighten operational efficiency.