As an organisation, you know where you want to go. You want to be more effective, stay ahead of the competition, deliver customer satisfaction, reduce costs and improve quality.

But the challenge is how to get there – what is the best approach to improve your operating model and how do you ensure change is delivered?

Organisations often face uncertainty around how to approach achieving operational effectiveness. Which initiatives should you prioritise, when the priorities keep changing? What should you do differently, when a transformation hasn’t achieved the results you’d hoped for in the past?

I think there are two key reasons why it is so difficult for organisations to achieve operational effectiveness.

Firstly, because when changes are made to the operating model, they are siloed and uncoordinated. And this is often because the management of people, processes, systems and technology is the responsibility of different functions.

Secondly, because changes are not effectively embedded as part of business as usual, which means the changes are not sustained.

But you can change this.

Here are three recommendations Change Associates has found useful in our work with organisations in achieving operational effectiveness:

Recognise that the Operating Model is multidimensional

  • The operating model is a complex system of roles, positions, employees, processes, technology and more. It can only be managed by viewing it from different angles and recognising the interactions and complexities.
  • Organisations, therefore, need to think holistically when managing their operating model, with initiatives being coordinated across functions/departments.
  • We use the tool orgvueTM to design and test organisations’ operating models. orgvueTM brings together people, processes and systems, which helps us to understand how organisations work and identify ways to optimise effectiveness.

Manage the Operating Model on an ongoing basis

  • The Operating Model needs to be monitored on an ongoing basis, to maintain a strong level of performance and leverage opportunities for improvement. Without this inefficiencies creep in and effectiveness deteriorates.
  • Tracking and managing the implementation of planned operating model changes is vital to safeguard the delivery of associated benefit. We recommend setting up orgvueTM reports that will streamline your approach.

Do not outsource the management of the Operating Model

  • Operational Effectiveness is a critical capability for any organisation. It should be fully embedded within the organisation to gain competitive advantage.
  • To achieve this internal accountability, roles and capabilities need to be clearly defined within the team, to manage and track changes in the operating model. 

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Charlotte Gatehouse