What should you focus your Operational Excellence strategy on?

By: PEX Network

The journey towards achieving Operational Excellence can be a very challenging one with many aspects of the business needing consideration. Process improvement affects not only business processes but the very culture of an organisation and everything in between. So, how does a business decide what the focus of their transformation journey should be? We surveyed over 100+ senior Operational Excellence professionals for our annual OPEX Leaders Benchmarking report to discover their focuses for 2019-2020. Ranging from process automation to redesigning performance metrics, the main focus of Operational Excellence strategies varies from one business to another. However, one specific focus came out significantly on top with 62% of respondents regarding it as their main focus and that is leadership and culture strategy. But why has leadership and culture taken the top space?

“Culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”
- Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Former CEO of IBM

Realistically, a culture and leadership system’s attitudes towards Operational Excellence have the ability to make or break a transformation. If no-one within a business is willing to support change, the change will be met with significant resistance and the entire process is more likely to fail. If the culture of a company is willing to accept the changes, then the transformation process is more likely to go forward. Focusing on creating a robust leadership and culture strategy makes the transformation more likely to succeed. Therefore, it should be very unsurprising that leadership and culture are rated so highly when it comes to strategic focuses.

Of course, developing a leadership and culture strategy isn’t the only focus for businesses. According to our surveys there has been a steady focus on change management, process automation and process redesign frameworks over the annual reports. This year however has seen a significant increase in businesses focusing on a process management frameworks. Process management frameworks are used to assure success. Businesses need to ensure they have the perfect combination of tools and processes in their strategy to ensure that their transformation is successful. Recently, the operational excellence space have been focusing a lot more on the individual steps of the journey to minimise failures and this is reflected in the 2019 results, with 24% of respondents making this a focus in comparison to only 12% in our previous survey.

What each business needs to focus their projects on varies greatly depending on the business and their end goals, but this years’ survey results give an important insight into what successful businesses are focusing on and how this has changed over the space of 12 months. With the main focuses remaining the main focuses, perhaps it’s time to make culture, management and process automation the main focuses of your Operational Excellence strategy in 2019.

Interested in seeing how successful European business leaders are currently conducting their business processes? Discover more exclusive survey results in the annual OPEX European Leaders Survey 2019, download the full report here.