Are you existing business operations under-performing, with errors, defects, delays and waste? Do you want to improve customer outcomes? Are you looking to enhance profitability? An operational review can help you address all of these!
An operational review looks at how your people, systems and processes are working together to meet the goals of your business and the needs of your customers, and identifies ways of solving issues or seizing opportunities for improvement. I’ll tailor and scale an operational review to your needs – you may want to focus on one particular process or product, or look more widely at a whole function or department. You may even want to review operations across your organisation.
Whatever the size of the domain, an operational review will generally follow the same core steps:
Assess how things are working right now.
It’s really important to understand what’s happening today.
This primarily involves conversations – with those that do the work, those that direct the work, and (where possible) the customers of the work. Seeing processes in action is also really useful, so I’ll ideally spend some time on-site observing how things are really done. I’ll also want to look at any relevant documents or data you’ve currently got available. I’ll review things from a number of angles:
- Rules and policies
- Risks and controls
- Goals, targets and customer outcomes
This work will typically result in a collection of process documents and models, as well as any issues or problems identified during the review.
Explore issues and opportunities
I’ll assess how your operation is currently performing against your aspirations and needs. I’ll discuss your wider strategic plans to see how well the current operations fit with that vision. I can score processes against a range of factors, including sustainability, effort, quality or customer satisfaction. Root cause analysis can be used to understand how issues are arising. I can also look at performance trends, user and customer feedback, or external factors such as competitors or emerging tech).
Once it’s clear what really needs to change, I can work with you and your people to identify potential solutions or opportunities. Your people have deep expertise and experience, and I’ll help them turn this into innovative ideas for improvement. These typically involve a mix of process changes, new technology capabilities, and adjustments to organisation structures, roles, and resourcing.
At this stage, we will try and generate as many ideas as possible, and the focus is on creativity and innovation.
Understand the ability to pursue changes
It’s important to understand how easy it will be to make any changes. Does your organisation have the skills, knowledge, investment capital, and time to pursue projects or implement new systems? Are your aspirations achievable? What constraints do you have to work within? What risks need to be avoided at all costs?
I can help you take stock of your current change capabilities and see where you need to enhance them; this will help tailor ideas and solutions to fit your reality.
Recommend a course of action
Having identified a collection of potential changes and explored any constraints on what’s possible, I’ll present you with options and recommend a way forward.
I’ll assess the investment required by each potential change and the benefit likely to be gained. This helps determine which changes are really worth pursuing. I can then explore how these changes can best be delivered. Some may easy and standalone quick wins that can be rapidly implemented, while others may be best grouped into larger, more formal programmes or projects.
I’ll recommend an approach that’s right for your organisation. While I would typically provide a “recommendations pack”, I can also present a summary of findings and recommendations to your leadership team.
If you’d like to know more…
If you want to find out more about how an operational review can unlock potential in your organisation, why not get in touch for an informal chat? I’ll listen to what you hope to achieve, and help you explore routes to success. If an operational review sounds right for your business, I can work with you to establish a plan and pricing structure to help get things moving.