Countless factors can impact upon an organisation’s operational performance. Yet if you can identify and solve the 5 biggest issues you’ll see a startling improvement in productivity and service quality.
The 5 most common and most damaging operational challenges are:
1. Poorly defined measurements
2. No clear management processes and inconsistent behaviours
3. Ineffective management information from multiple sources
4. Insufficient understanding of end-to-end front and back office processes
5. Lack of skilled front line managers to communicate and engage with their people effectively
Considering each of these in turn:
Poorly Defined Measurements
Without clearly defined measurements it’s impossible to establish a baseline for staff and managerial performance. And without a baseline, no one will ever know what “good” looks like. For example, your team may be operating at just 60% of industry productivity, but unless you’re able to benchmark against industry standards, you’ll be completely unaware of this level of underperformance.
“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”
No Clear Management Processes and Consistent Behaviours
Without clear management processes it’s all too easy for your team leaders to lose their way, creating a situation where a significant part of their day is spent firefighting. By introducing a performance framework that incorporates daily, weekly and monthly routines it creates a structure to each role. As a result, leaders and their teams can more easily maintain a tight focus on hitting their key performance indicators.
Ineffective Management Information From Multiple sources
Managers often struggle to gain a clear picture of operational performance because they’re working off multiple spreadsheets. Without a unified work and performance management system, data is scattered, inaccurate, inconsistent and often delayed. Attempting to collate and analyse information under these conditions is either difficult or impossible to perform effectively.
“What gets measured gets managed.”
Insufficient Understanding Of End-To-End Front And Back Office Processes
Duplicated work is a common symptom of a lack of understanding about the customer journey and the experience you create for them. For example:
- How many times do they transact and what is the elapsed time both internally and externally?
- What other tasks / processes does the customer complete which is outside of the internally / anecdotal defined process?
- What drives completions and rework
- How do all these likely unknown factors benchmark to the competition and weaken competitive advantage
This lack of understanding not only generates waste but also adds workload to outstanding backlogs, with time-critical process flows in particular having unnecessary hours being added to the completion time. Identifying duplication and the root causes is therefore an effective way to eliminate waste and improve service.
Lack of front line management training in effective communication and engagement
Almost all large organisations experience this problem, since many front-line managers have risen through the ranks and usually have a wealth of practical experience but little management training (i.e. the skills to effectively communicate and connect). By up-skilling these “home grown” managers, organisations are able to leverage maximum value from their unquestioned experience.
How dhp Transforms Problems Into Opportunities
dhp’s consultants are experts at identifying operational problems and drilling down to reveal the root causes. By disassembling processes and studying workflows at a granular level, problem areas are uncovered with startling clarity – and inefficiencies are also investigated to discover their underlying causes.
Where issues are identified, we resolve these by embedding efficient management routines within your operation. Our process creates the opportunity to unlock your teams’ potential by using Nexus (our proprietary software), enabling managers to gain access to detailed, historical, real-time and predictive MI by person, process and end to end customer experience.
As a result, management activities can be re-focussed on developing and maintaining tighter control over operations, to ensure consistency of both performance and quality.