What is Operational Excellence?

Operational Excellence (OE) helps organizations achieve continuous improvement in their business - primarily, product development or service delivery process. OE deals with people, processes, and technology.

Design is the key word in Operational Excellence. OE professionals design the flow of the value chain/stream, which is nothing but activities an organization does starting from the time an organization receives an order for a product (or a service) till the time it fulfills the order.

Applications of Project Management

Organizations get into OE to improve efficiency of their production process. An OE system can enable organisations to understand the quality or production problems, and solve them quickly; and eliminate waste. The key component of operational excellence is leanness, which means avoiding waste by keeping the system functioning as efficiently as possible.

It enhances customer centricity by aligning people performance, creating safe work place, adding sustainability, and adopting technology.

Popular Methodologies

OE had its genesis in manufacturing dating back to the pre-Industrial Revolution. As early as in the 17th century, the economist and philosopher Adam Smith, defined OE in his magnum opus, The Wealth of Nations. However, OE gained attention only during the industrial revolution of the 18th century.

The field took off in its modern avatar in the early 19th century. In the 1960s, the field exploded. Methodologies like Just-In-Time, Lean Manufacturing or Lean Production, Six Sigma, DMAIC (Define Measure Analyze Improve Control), DMADV (Define Measure Analyze Design and Verify), Kanban, Kaizen, and 5S were evolved. Use of OE methods have spread beyond manufacturing to a variety of service contexts, ranging from banks to electric utilities.

Career in OE

Formal training and certification in OE methodologies are important for candidates to get employed as OE managers. Organisations demand expertise in lean (Kaizen), and Six Sigma from employees for continuous improvement talent.

A 2013 study by The Avery Point Group, an executive search firm whose focus is lean, Six Sigma and operational excellence, examined nearly 7,100 Internet job postings (globally), and found that the combined demand for lean and Six Sigma talent has more than doubled 2010’s demand levels. The demand for jobs looking exclusively for lean, Kaizen, and Six Sigma talent rose to 27% of the postings reviewed.

In addition to certifications, candidates should continually growing their knowledge about the changes in improvement tools, OE techniques, and success case examples across industries.

Synergy's course offerings

Synergy offers training in Kaizen, and 5S. It also conducts foundation courses on Operational Excellence, besides training for Six Sigma - Green Belt and Black Belt.

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