Defining Operational Excellence
Written by Jeremy Wilbert, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, AVEVA
Operational excellence is developed by maximizing efficiencies, enabling team agility, and establishing a high level of reliability
Operational excellence is the ultimate pursuit of an organization, and it is created by establishing a high level of reliability and enabling the team to agilely maximize efficiencies. These efficiencies extend across all inter-related aspects of the business, including sales, marketing, finance, engineering, production, supply chain, legal, and front office.
An article on ReliabilityWeb.com by Joseph F Paris Jr, Chairman, XONITEK Group of Companies defines:
“Operational Excellence is when the efforts throughout the organization are in a state of alignment for achieving its strategies and where the corporate culture is committed to the continuous and deliberate improvement of company performance and the circumstances of those who work there to pursue Operational Excellence by Design and not by coincidence.”
What that state of alignment means or looks like in any specific case will vary based on the market, company size, and other dynamics unique to your organization, though the intent remains the same—aligning people, processes, and assets to improve company performance.
Mapping the Journey
Understanding the correct specific moves to achieve operational excellence, however, is another matter. Tackling operations excellence in one broad stroke can be intimidating and possibly indefinable. Organizations need a road map to guide incremental activities along the operational excellence journey. They often need help prioritizing tactical activities that can be completed for measurable improvement as they progress towards a higher overall program goal.
A defined plan provides a clear understanding of the current status in relation to future objectives, it is necessary for the organization to advance operational excellence, and it must include areas where improvement opportunities will result in the quickest return. However, successful plans must also effectively address long-term results by establishing systems and procedural resiliency objectives, and by ensuring sustainability goals are reached.
Progressing in the Plan
According to a study from McKinsey, close to 70 percent of companies initiating projects eventually struggle to move on and deliver sustainable impact at scale. For this reason, it is critical for organizations to begin small by focusing on a single area and evaluating the appropriate technology, resources, and partners necessary to achieve success in their operational excellence initiatives.
At AVEVA we help industrial and manufacturing organizations by taking a holistic approach towards improving the resiliency of their operations, while offering targeted solutions that meet common challenges related to operational efficiency, agility, and reliability. We have identified five steps to help organizations on their operational excellence journey, you can read about them in this blog post Five Steps for Defining an Operational Excellence Plan.