Operational excellence

Common issues and opportunities

When it comes to improving ongoing business performance, or developing an operational excellence program – at a department, operation or business level – clients commonly face issues and opportunities such as:

  • Balancing a relentless focus on productivity with safely managing and running a business
  • Setting up business-level systems and processes to maximise value delivery in a way that is practical for everyday application
  • Knowing how to determine where to start to achieve the best results amid a wealth of data and numerous visible problems
  • Developing assessments that effectively identify and prioritise improvement
  • Understanding production workflows, and the drivers and bottlenecks to better performance, including how to use these to increase value
  • Replicating improvements and good practices quickly, including potentially setting up central repositories of best practices, such as communities of practice
  • Setting up and engaging leadership teams to direct and drive improvement programs
  • Adapting, applying and incorporating new ideas in practical ways, including getting the most from practices in other industries
  • Addressing inefficient interactions and handovers between groups across the business, whether information or physical items
  • Integrating new technologies into existing business processes to improve operations, and ensuring people and roles are equipped to accommodate changes to the way work is done
  • Strengthening processes and measures between site and remote operating personnel
  • Embedding knowledge in business systems and processes, not individual people, to ensure all team members are effective in delivering their role and reducing business risk
  • Being clear on the measures that will influence team behaviours to increase performance – and managing this with huge volumes of data.

In seeking improvement, it’s all too easy to overlook, undervalue or under-resource areas such as developing an integrated improvement system that can be applied to all parts of a business. It can also seem much easier to dive straight in when solving a business problem, than taking the time to engage leaders first. Yet, that upfront investment in agreeing on principles and ways of working is what will really develop an improvement culture. This includes the skill of managing often complex and time-consuming planning, including engaging the right stakeholders and ensuring effective ongoing communication. We also appreciate that people often take on operational excellence roles without necessarily having an improvement background. Particularly at the early stages of project definition, this is where we provide a key role in helping leaders and teams consider important principles they may have otherwise overlooked.

Our approach

Minset offers a comprehensive range of improvement services to support the set-up and delivery of operational excellence and business improvement programs. A key part of our role is helping clients change the way they think about operational excellence, and turn often high-level, vague principles into practical systems, processes and tactics. It’s the connection between knowing what it is; where to start and benchmark; when and how to go about it; who to work with; and why different approaches influence sustainability. Rather than spinning wheels, impacting trust and credibility, we help clients deliver value faster.

We start by working to understand what the required performance levels are to deliver value for their business, going beyond products and services to consider interactions with community, environment, safety, wellbeing etc. This guides identification of the potential goal, not constrained to solely what is needed today. From there, internal and external assessments define their current reality and gaps, supported by benchmarking. Often long lists are rigorously challenged to determine what to prioritise and how to go about improvement to maximise benefit. Engaging the business throughout is critical to encouraging commitment, ownership and action. Out of numerous potential delivery models, we support clients in defining the optimal strategy and approach to deliver their desired improvement, matched to individual business needs and capacity. As improvement goals are reached, attention is then turned to replication and sharing to expand gains. Work is always anchored in value, tracking results and continuing the journey.

operations process improvement

Services

Program and structure design
Leader mentoring/capability building
Improvement team mentoring/upskilling
Team role/responsibility definition
Specialist personnel
Program assessments
Performance assessments
Assessment development
Gap analyses
Digital transformation integration
Communities of practice models
Information sharing models
Process development
Performance measurements
Benchmarking processes
Remote working transitions
Value delivery tracking

Benefits

Deliver value faster

Reduce rework during establishment

Match scale to your business

Avoid mistakes

Gain an integrated not siloed approach

Communicate and generate buy-in

Fast-track system development

Remove waste

Delivering practical, accountable, shared value

Minset’s work delivers practical value to clients in areas such as:

  • Enabling easy scalability at a department, operation or business level
  • Providing an initial boost of resources as a circuit-breaker and support for busy teams
  • Defining the best approach to delivery – from targeted, small, highly capable teams working on a few high-value projects, to many upskilled team members working on many localised improvements, to outsourced solutions
  • Fast-tracking disciplined problem identification and problem solving to close gaps, with no bias or baggage, due to our processes, experience and independence
  • Streamlining a consistent approach to dissecting and solving problems across different groups with different interests
  • Implementing and delivering as quickly as possible without agendas or allegiances, including to specific technologies
  • Guiding the staged development of sustainable systems and processes to deliver value faster with the benefit of knowing how and why everything will ultimately fit together
  • Using a structured, data-driven approach and developing measures to drive behaviours aligned to process
  • Clearly defining roles and what people need to contribute to support the move toward operational excellence
  • Increasing alignment, interaction and relationships between different workgroups based on shared understanding and common goals
  • Supporting effective digital integration to add value, remove the fear of change and improve daily work practices without backward steps
  • Developing avenues to share best practice across a business (eg via communities of practice, information kiosks etc) to quickly replicate improvements and magnify gains
  • Mentoring and guiding leaders responsible for operational excellence programs in critical skills such as how to create the foundation for success, engage peers, lead through influence rather than authority, and keep people informed of progress.

With clients often constrained by being ‘too familiar’ with their own business, our team provides the experience, expertise and resources to step back; understand problems and opportunities; observe and speak with people to identify solutions; and guide efficient, effective implementation of improvement. Our ethos is to embed skills as we go so that teams can continue improvement after our role has finished.

Related services

Browse some of our recent projects

If you're seeking to drive greater business improvement and operational excellence outcomes, or learn more about what other leading companies are doing in this arena, we'd value the opportunity to meet with you