WEST Wisdom Blog

Operational Excellence

Posted by Jaime Luna on Sep 11, 2017 1:11:00 PM

Is your team operating at its best? Do you have a systematic way of evaluating progress towards goals and removing the various impediments your team faces? Is your team delivering the best service or product quality at the right cost? The concept of operational excellence is a guiding philosophy which requires teams and organizations strive to achieve excellence in all aspects of its operations, adding value at every step. It offers a series of tools and methods that can help efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability. It makes visible key performance indicators and what needs to be done to support performance. Join us on 9/14 for a workshop on Operational Excellence for Team Performance. You will learn about various operational excellence frameworks and how you can create and implement your own using proven techniques and methods. Specifically, you will leave with 10 tools to make your team more effective that you can start using immediately after the workshop. 

Why did Iris chose this topic?

“I had just become the manager of an operational business unit after five years with the company. Our job was to make sure that operations ran smoothly as planned and, in cases of any emergency or breakdown, that we could quickly and effectively return things to normal. Previously, as part of a planning group, my role had been to create simulated scenarios of potential emergencies and the action plans to tackle them. In going from simulations to the real thing I felt confident as I knew the team and our technological systems very well.

With less than a week on the job, an emergency struck and we had to make quick decisions on the spot. During the heat of coordinated actions that follow a critical incident, I saw the front line operator dictate a command I considered an error. I considered challenging him but stopped myself thinking that despite my position of authority I was new to the group and that I could not bypass the chain of command that included his direct supervisor. Yet, when I finally decided to keep quiet, I did it because I thought “This is such a monumental error that the technical system will disregard it. The operation will not go through and then we will try something else”. My error.

With horror I saw the system accept the order – for a few seconds, I held my breath waiting for the worst. Fortunately, when systems are complex many things need to fail for a major failure to arise. After 30 minutes we had finished recovering the system from the initial failure and during the debrief that followed all that it took for me was to describe the sequence of operations for all to acknowledge the error. We were grateful the system had not collapsed. It took us days to elucidate why the system had obeyed the order when it should not, why we had avoided a major failure, and how to avoid the same errors in the future.

Since that day, I became obsessed with Operational Excellence frameworks that help teams make better decisions in critical situations. In my WEST Operational Excellence workshops I will share tools that can help you make sure you and your team deliver the desired results no matter the pressure and emergencies surrounding work. I look forward to seeing you in my upcoming Operational Excellence workshops at WEST!!!!"


Click Here for Workshop Details and to Get Registered 

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Topics: Events, Leadership, Women, Team, Science, Community, Networking, Upcoming Events, Excellence, Operational

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