Operations Discipline – Systems/Processes

Operations Discipline helps to create a culture of innovation and continuous improvement in an operation, whether it is manufacturing, distribution, service, or retail. Operations Discipline is comprised of the three elements:

  • Systems/processes
  • Constructs/rules
  • Behavior/accountability

Let’s take a look at Systems/processes. An operational environment is comprised of a series of processes that, taken together, represent the system that delivers what the customer wants, when they want it, at the lowest possible cost. Companies need to acknowledge those processes as building blocks in order to identify opportunities for continuous improvement.

Every process needs to have an owner who is accountable for the performance of the process. Each process has inputs, outputs and methods which taken as a whole represent the vital elements of how the operations perform. Improvement can only occur in an environment where the processes are clearly defined and understood.

The first step in developing Operations Discipline is to develop a clear understanding of 1) the basic processes, 2) the expectation of how they should be working, and 3) how they are currently working. This reveals the gaps where continuous improvement can be applied to achieve greatness in the operations organization.

© 2010 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved

Operations Discipline

I am developing a new area of thought I call Operations Discipline. This area of thought comprises those elements required to most efficiently and effectively execute the key aspects of manufacturing, distribution and service operations. Operations Discipline includes the elements of systems/processes, constructs/rules and behavior/accountability. These elements are all within a framework of continuous improvement.

A strong culture of Operations Discipline results in a highly profitable operation with strong customer service and effective use of assets such as inventory. Weak Operations Discipline results in not only the antithesis of the above, but also low morale.

There is another similarly named area of thought called Operational Discipline, but it tends to focus more on safety and environmental issues particularly in process industries. Operations Discipline deals at a much more strategic level, affecting the very culture of an organization and its ability to carry out its mission. I will be writing more on the elements of Operations Discipline in future postings.

Operations Discipline

© 2010 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved