What are Operational Reviews

Faced with growing competition, businesses continually need to find new innovative solutions and ideas to improved organizational performance, especially in various cut-throat industries where innovation and good management can make or break the company.

This is the reason why, businesses place greater emphasis on the evaluation of efficiency, effectiveness, and economics of its operations.

Conducting regular Operational Reviews are key to keeping your company at peak performance.

What is an Operational Review

An operational review is an in-depth and objective review of an entire organization or a specific segment of that organization. It can be used to identify and address existing concerns within your company such as communication issues between departments, problems with customer relations, operating procedures, lack of profitability issues, and other factors that affect the stability of the business.

Operational reviews allow the organization members to evaluate how well they are performing, given that they perform appropriately according to the procedures set by them, allocating their resources properly, and performing such tasks within time frame set and using cost-effective measures. More importantly, it also shows your company how well it is prepared to meet future challenges.

What are the objectives of an Operational Review

The goals of an operational review are to increase revenue, improve market share, and reduce cost.

An operational review allows the management to see their company in a different light i.e a larger perspective. That is, it gives the management the opportunity to evaluate if the entrusted resources were used wisely to achieve the desired results of operations.

Operational reviews provide a comprehensive assessment of authority in that they help define expectations, and empower people within an organization to enact? up on it. This is due feedback provided will help them to better gauge the value of tasks performed and whether the job is being done the right or wrong way, and on what areas the company can excel and improve on.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Questions worth considering in an Operational Review

Are you able to view your own organization as a whole from an objective angle?

Do the different departments complement each other so that they form a cohesive unit that boosts your business in the right direction?

With our comprehensive assessment of your organization?s current systems, operations, processes, and strategies, our operational review programs aim to help you in achieving these lofty goals: to improve business profitability and identify incompetence in both operations and organizational systems.

Benefits of an Operational Review

The main objective of an operational review is to help organizations like yours to learn how to deal with and address issues, instead of simply reacting to the challenges brought about by growth and change.

Information and data gathered in an Operational Review is practical from both a financial and operational perspective. Using? data, management can then formulate recommendations, which are not only realistic, but more importantly, can help the organization achieve its goals.

The Operational Review recognizes the extent to which your internal controls actually work, and enables you to identify and understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

What should be included in an operational review

  • Assess compliance within your own organizational objectives, policies and procedures
  • Evaluate specific company operations independently and objectively
  • Impartial assessment regarding the effectiveness of an organization’s control systems
  • Identify the appropriate standards for quantifying achievement of organizational objectives
  • Evaluate the reliability and value of the company’s management data and reports
  • Pinpoint problem areas and their underlying causes
  • Identify opportunities to increase profit, augment revenue, and reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of the product or service.

More Operational Review Blogs

 

Carrying out an Operational Review

 

Operational Reviews

 

Operational Efficiency Initiatives

 

Operational Review Defined

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The Child at Work: Fun Team Builds with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY

There is a child just below the surface in all of us. When were kids, adults lopped off the sharp bits that intruded into their ?genteel? society. Schools, to their everlasting shame sanded away our unique free spirits, as they stuck us into uniforms and imposed a daily classroom discipline. We received badges and prizes if we obeyed, and strict sanctions when we did not. This produced a generation of middle-age managers who no longer know how to play.

Life can be so deadly serious ?

Things work pretty much the same in business. Life is deadly serious. If we want to keep our jobs, we must deliver on the bottom line in our departments. There is little time for fun outside the Christmas party, when we may, within the limits of decorum engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation, rather than a serious or practical purpose.

Team builds (and strategic planning sessions) can be deadly boring affairs that proceed down narrow funnels defined by human resource facilitators. No matter how hard HR they may try, the structural hierarchy will remain intact, unless they find a way to set it aside during the program. Injecting fun into the occasion liberates independent thought, and this is why.

? But not for a little child at play

Next time you dine out at a branded family restaurant, select a seat that allows you observe the kiddies? play zone. Notice how inventive children become, when the family hierarchy is not there to tell them what to do (although parents may try from the wrong side of the soundproof glass). The ?serious play? side of fun team-builds aims to liberate managers by releasing their child for the duration. Shall we dig a little deeper into this and discover the dynamics?

Many of us have less than perfect oral communication skills. This is one of the great impediments to modern business meetings. We may not have sufficient time to formulate our thoughts for them to remain relevant when we speak. When we express them, we sense the group?s impatience for us to hurry up, so other members can have their opportunity to contribute.

Sharing better thinking with LEGO? bricks

Most of us feel an urge to click the brightly coloured plastic bricks together that carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen released into a war-weary world in 1949. The basic kit is a great leveller because the blocks are all the same, and the discriminators are the colours and the power of our imagination. Watching a free-form LEGO builder in action is equally fascinating, as we wonder ?what they will do next? and ?what is happening in their mind.?

Examples of LEGO Serious PLAY in action

Instead of asking team members to describe themselves in a minute, a LEGO? SERIOUS PLAY? facilitator may gather them around a table piled high with LEGO bricks instead, and ask them to each build a model of themselves. The atmosphere is informal with interaction and banter encouraged. It is still serious play though, as team members get to know each other, and their own personalities better

The system is equally effective in strategic sessions, where the facilitator provides specially selected building blocks for the team to experiment with as they learn to listen, and share. This enables them to deconstruct a problem into its component parts, and share solutions regardless of seniority, culture, and communication skills.

Creating problem- and solution-landscapes three dimensionally this way, enables open conversations that keep the focus on the problem. Participants at these team builds do not only reach effective consensus faster. They are also busy building better communication skills as they do.

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  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK
When Carrefour Pushed the Right Buttons

Retail giant Carrefour based in Boulogne Billancourt, France is big business in anybody?s numbers. Europe?s #1 retailer opened its first store in 1958 near a crossroads (Carrefour means ?crossroad? in French) and has largely not looked back since then. The slogan for the hypermarket chain with more than 1,500 outlets and close to a half million employees is ?choice and quality for everyone?. Our story begins when Carrefour decided these things belong at home too.

The company implemented a worldwide universal responsibility program firmly anchored on a tripod of goals for environmental, economic and social progress. Its first step was to appoint a five-person project team tasked with liaising with program delegates in all thirty countries in which it operates, and who had responsibility for driving these goals.

The team?s job was to make sure that policies, standards, procedures and key performance areas were common visions throughout Carrefour. By contrast, the local managers? were tasked with aligning these specifics to local conditions in terms of environmental, political and social issues. The project team checked the fit quarterly via video conferences.

The Triple Bottom Line Goals were woven through with Carrefour?s Seven Core Values, namely Freedom, Responsibility, Sharing, Respect, Integrity, Solidarity and Progress. Constant contact was maintained with staff and other stakeholders through ?awareness training? seminars and other dialogues. As the program took hold and flourished, it became evident that the retail giant needed help with managing the constant stream of metrics flowing in.

After reviewing options, Carrefour appointed a software provider to monitor progress against its primary focuses on energy, water, waste, refrigeration, paper, disposable checkout bags, hygiene & quality, management gender parity, disabled people and logistics. This enabled it to track progress online against past performance, and produce meaningful reports.

The Environmental Manager in the Corporate Sustainability Department waxed lyrical when he said, ?We believe that our sustainability strategy and software solution have powerfully improved collaboration, innovation, and overall performance?. He went on to describe how it was helping drive cost down and profitability up, while simultaneously growing brand.

Non-conformance costs can be high and run counter to the imperative to make a profit – while simultaneously ensuring a better world for our children?s children. In Carrefour?s case, having a consultant to measure progress was the key that unblocked the administrative bottleneck. Irish company Ecovaro does this for companies around the world. Click here. Discover what we will do for you.

Becoming Nimble the Agile Project Management Way

In dictionary terms, ?agile? means ?able to move quickly and easily?. In project management terms, the definition is ?project management characterized by division of tasks into short work phases called ?sprints?, with frequent reassessments and adaptation of plans?. This technique is popular in software development but is also useful when rolling out other projects.

Managing the Seven Agile Development Phases

  • Stage 1: Vision. Define the software product in terms of how it will support the company vision and strategy, and what value it will provide the user. Customer satisfaction is of paramount value including accommodating user requirement changes.
  • Stage 2: Product Roadmap. Appoint a product owner responsible for liaising with the customer, business stakeholders and the development team. Task the owner with writing a high-level product description, creating a loose time frame and estimating effort for each phase.
  • Stage 3: Release Plan. Agile always looks ahead towards the benefits that will flow. Once agreed, the Product Road-map becomes the target deadline for delivery. With Vision, Road Map and Release Plan in place the next stage is to divide the project into manageable chunks, which may be parallel or serial.
  • Stage 4: Sprint Plans. Manage each of these phases as individual ?sprints?, with emphasis on speed and meeting targets. Before the development team starts working, make sure it agrees a common goal, identifies requirements and lists the tasks it will perform.
  • Stage 5: Daily Meetings. Meet with the development team each morning for a 15-minute review. Discuss what happened yesterday, identify and celebrate progress, and find a way to resolve or work around roadblocks. The goal is to get to alpha phase quickly. Nice-to-haves can be part of subsequent upgrades.
  • Stage 6: Sprint Review. When the phase of the project is complete, facilitate a sprint review with the team to confirm this. Invite the customer, business stakeholders and development team to a presentation where you demonstrate the project/ project phase that is implemented.
  • Stage 7: Sprint Retrospective. Call the team together again (the next day if possible) for a project review to discuss lessons learned. Focus on achievements and how to do even better next time. Document and implement process changes.

The Seven Agile Development Phases ? Conclusions and Thoughts

The Agile method is an excellent way of motivating project teams, achieving goals and building result-based communities. It is however, not a static system. The product owner must conduct regular, separate reviews with the customer too.

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