During my years in operations management across various organisations it has become clear that there are some fundamentals that are key to successful operations management whatever business you are in. I have brought these fundamental together in this diagram.

There are four key areas to focus on in order to deliver service excellence through effective operations management; these are Client Service, People, Operational Excellence, and KPIs.

First and foremost we need to ensure that everyone in the organisation is aligned to Client Service (understanding client needs) being the number one priority. Crucial to delivering service excellence is the most important resource that any organisation has, that is the People. Service excellence will be delivered through effective performance management, development, and objective setting for every employee in your organisation. This includes an effective approach to change management so that People feel part of the growing and developing organisation as change programmes are progressed.

People/Client Satisfaction ‘Loop’

Client Service and People are brought together by what I call the People/Client Satisfaction ‘Loop’. Of the three ‘loops’ outlined in the diagram this is the most important. If you get this ‘loop’ working effectively then you are well on your way to delivering service excellence. I have seen organisations with excellent systems and processes deliver poor service because they don’t have their people with them. Equally, I have seen organisations operate with average systems and processes but because they have their people aligned to client needs they are able to deliver a high quality service.

Systems Thinking ‘Loop’

Clearly your People will have a greater chance of succeeding if they are able to work with effective and efficient systems and processes. These elements are brought together by the Systems Thinking ‘Loop’. Operational excellence is delivered through strong process analysis and design ensuring that people, systems, and processes are working together. 

More for Less ‘Loop’

Finally, the More for Less ‘Loop’ ensures that operations management has a focus on the ‘bottom line’. Establishing disciplines such as capacity planning, measures for utilisation and productivity, work scheduling, and cost control will ensure an optimum return in relation to service excellence and associated costs.

So, in my view, in order to deliver effective operations management you need to focus on four elements, Client Service, People, Operational Excellence, and KPIs. These are brought together by the People/Client Satisfaction ‘Loop’, the Systems Thinking ‘Loop’, and the More for Less ‘Loop’.


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