What’s the first thought that strikes you when you think of project management operations?
Is it the planning phase, where resource allocation and risk management strategies become a prime concern? Or the execution phase, where a need for integrated performance across risk, revenue, and cost becomes essential for a project’s success?
Probably both? So, how do you improve these operations without compromising the quality of the end result? This is where utilizing operational excellence tools will work in your favor.
Let’s first understand the concept in brief.
What is Operational Excellence?
Operational excellence can be defined as
A philosophy with concepts like leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving result in improving the ongoing activities of an organization.
It is known to cover a number of key aspects, including:
- Continuous improvement of current activities at a workplace
- Focus on clientele needs
- Keeping employees positive and empowered during an ongoing project
This collaborative approach is essential for any organization as it brings in sustainable growth and performance.
Companies that work towards improving project management operations via operational excellence tools garner benefits such as:
- Building a systematic and effective approach to their business operations
- Helping their workforce to become more productive and innovative continuously
Therefore, its importance increases all the more during a project’s lifecycle. By adopting an operational excellence strategy you can reach desired project goals easily.
Question is, how to build a successful strategy in the first place?
Building an Effective Operational Excellence Strategy
Every organization has a different strategy of getting operations implemented. Their reasons may vary according to:
- An organization’s evolution in the market
- The status it holds amidst its consumers and competitors
However, there is one thread that is common in all operations – coordination. Effective coordination between production processes and business systems can lead to overall enhanced performance. Even though coordination initiative remains the same, some have evolved over the years and gone under different names.
Besides coordination, operational excellence strategy also includes initiatives like cost reduction, quality improvement, gaining competitive advantage, survival against competition, reliability improvement, business process re-engineering, and more.
These result in a strategy deployment process with six stages.
Let’s view each stage in brief:
- Develop a Strategy
Taking input from managers on how you’d like to organize the project management process can help you develop the basis of a strategy. Further, considering the MVV (mission, values, and vision) statement and a resource-based view can prove beneficial to develop a successful strategy.
- Plan the Strategy
Once you’ve developed a strategy, it is time you plan it in detail to make it more relevant to your project’s goal. Planning would involve its detailed description, how it will be measured, action programs required, funds for the initiative, and the person responsible to execute the strategy.
- Align the Organization According to the Strategy
As the plan goes into action, it is the time that managers try capturing the benefits by aligning company strategy to the strategies of their functional unit and business. Here they should ensure that all business units are aligned and employees are motivated towards the strategy execution process.
- Plan Project Management Operations
This is where companies link their day-to-day operation to long-term strategies. The operational plan helps to understand two aspects. The link between strategy, and operating plans and budget. And, to know which business process is crucial for strategy execution.
- Monitor and Know Better
This phase helps to monitor performance outcomes. Later, it leads to the act of improving the existing operations and strategies based on new information learned through the monitoring process.
- Test and Adjust to the Strategy
This last phase addresses one crucial question, “Has the organization implemented the right strategy?”. The strategy’s performance is assessed and its consequences to the external environment are understood subsequently.
Each phase may look small and easy to achieve. But they aren’t. Working on each phase requires both time and money. If they aren’t timed, most organizations might lose time only during the planning phase of a strategy.
Remember, strategy development has become both manual and automated. This has worked for many and so has the integration of simple project management tools. These can help you develop, plan, and execute a strategy hassle-free. Not only will it help you save time but labor too.
Let’s examine how operational excellence can be achieved through project management tools.
Improve Project Management Operations by Utilizing Operation Excellence Tools
Building an operational excellence strategy is no less of a job than initiating and planning a project. It requires brainstorming, inputs from the team, and to match an organization’s goals. But getting everything done in one go can be an issue.
Every activity needs a specific amount of time to meet its set objective. If they aren’t measured, the organization is bound to incur time loss. This is where the use of operational excellence tools come in handy.
However, it’s not just time management. There are other aspects that can be measured and tracked with the use of such tools. This, in turn, helps to improve project management operations easily.
Let’s view some of the many aspects in detail.
- Team Performance
Your team is working hard. They know that quality deliverable is what their client seek at the end of every project. Once the project comes to an end, you know it is the time they get rewarded for their excellent performance.
Question is: on what basis will the team be rewarded? Is it:
- The time they spent working on a project?
- The number of activities they gave their input to?
The answer is both.
However, evaluating each aspect can be time-consuming. So, adding operational excellence tools is a great way to monitor team performance.
- You will know the number of hours they spent to get the project delivered.
- Monitoring the various assigned tasks and tracking their progress rate becomes simple.
In short, by keeping a track of both, you can easily motivate your team to perform better.
- Team Collaboration
Long email chains result in losing track of the latest updates or files received from clients or the management. The end result? A massive delay in meeting project deadlines.
So, what is the best solution?
Operational excellence tools like project management software.
It can help you:
- Save both time and your project
- Invite your clients as users for them to monitor the project’s progress
- Easily drop in comments or attach a file to a task
- Give your team members the latest updates and changes regarding a specific task.
In case, the client isn’t satisfied with the current objective and thinks that the task isn’t relevant to their project goals, then they can easily communicate this to the team through the tool.
- Overall Benefit
Adopting operational excellence approach also leads to an increase in profit margins while reducing both time and capital investment. However, monitoring their flow isn’t that easy as it seems. So, the use of operational excellence tools, such as a PM software, can prove to be beneficial in this case.
- Manage the budget for every stage of the project
- Plan out resource allocation
- Share the details through the software with clients to get their input
- Set a timer for every task you create and assign them to your team members
- Receive notifications in case your team delivers a task post-deadline
Utilize Operational Excellence Tools to Improve Project Management Operations!
Over the years, organizations have started utilizing operational excellence tools as they understand that it helps their employees:
- Stay motivated
- Deliver work on time and with quality, and
- Work as per clientele needs.
Except, this can only be achieved through a project management software such as ProProfs Project, that can make it all possible.
The software helps organizations
- Track work progress
- Estimate project budget
- Track actual project expenses
- Time spent on every task
- Analyze individual work performance
In short, a simple project management software can help organizations successfully achieve operational excellence and deliver quality results to clients at the same time.