Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence (OE) is a catch-phrase that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. OE is at the heart of all Hardesty Hackett projects and we define it as the process by which organizations align their resources, systems and employees to their strategic objectives. This is achieved by focusing on activities that insure goals are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner.

OE means focusing on both behaviors and results, and in order to improve results, it is necessary to change behaviors. We believe that in order to change behaviors, focus on 4 key areas is required:

Processes: basically the way (or steps) in which things are done. Hardesty Hackett’s methodology focuses on the identification of gaps and non-value adding activities in the current ways of working, prioritizing the issues and carrying out root cause analyses to determine the causes and develop the solutions.

Structures: the organizational structure, roles and responsibilities and spans of control of the organization. The right structures are required to support the right, streamlined processes and controls.

People: the capabilities, attitudes, supervision, skills and training of the individuals in the organization. Hardesty Hackett works with staff at all levels to insure that the correct skills and behaviors are in place.

Systems: the systems to forecast, plan, control and report, as well as the feedback mechanisms and organizational learnings. Hardesty Hackett believes in the development of a strong management control system (MCS) that aligns all levels of the organization in pursuit of strategic objectives and towards continuous improvement.

Many organizations fail in their efforts to improve their performance by not addressing all four areas, or by not structuring the right balance. This is one reason why an all-out focus on a new ERP system often fails to deliver the anticipated results. We have seen, from experience with hundreds of projects, that to achieve sustainable change in an organization’s performance, each area needs to be addressed, in parallel, and with the right balance.