Creating a successful culture of Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence

    Navigating Continuous Improvement (CI) and Operational Excellence (OpEx) in today’s complex business world is no easy feat.

    You may be faced with budget constraints, hybrid working complexities or a lack of internal capability.

    But while you navigate these rapidly evolving business demands, you also need to design and deploy an effective operations strategy – and continuously upskill staff to ensure you deliver the synergy and buy-in required to guarantee transformation success. 

    Finding the right approach for your organisation – one that delivers a sustainable movement towards true operational excellence, rather than a one-time stop-gap intervention – can be a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be.

    In this blog, I share tips on how to help you achieve greater operational efficiency, obstacles to overcome and lessons learnt during years of experience in the field. 

    • The five major obstacles we’ve encountered and how to overcome them
    • The five objectives to achieve sustainable success
    • How to leverage CI and OpEx experts to deliver maximum impact



    Strategic Choices in Operational Excellence

    Five obstacles and how to overcome them

    1. Failing to adapt to evolving workplace culture
    The workplace looks very different today compared to just 10 years ago. Teams are often not co-located, so staff need clear direction on critical tasks, standards and quality – and leadership must consistently drive performance guided by the right measures to achieve results.

    2. Struggling to obtain sufficient buy-in
    Without organisation-wide and top-to-bottom engagement, old practices will begin to creep in. Leaders need to promote new methods, challenge performance and drive the desired behaviours. Only then will you achieve the widespread buy-in required for cultural change.

    3. Lacking internal CI and OpEx capabilities
    All staff need to be engaged for deployment to succeed – but a lack of capability goes hand-in-hand with lack of engagement. You need to give your teams the time and tools to continuously improve. Only then will they have the capability to sustain change. You’ll also need different capabilities for different groups in your organisational hierarchy, so think this through carefully.

    4. Operating within a remote, hybrid or siloed culture
    Disparate teams lead to disparate communication and data/information flow, making it difficult to optimise ways of working. Your OpEx strategy should include a specific process that gathers feedback routinely from different teams, ensuring you have consolidated data to drive improvement and maintain colleague engagement even with hybrid working.

    5. Lacking the quality data for effective decision-making
    Many ops leaders are data rich, but analytics poor. You simply don’t have the insights visualised in a way to drive performance. You need access to accurate, real-time insights, displayed on data-visualisation dashboards, so you can make rapid decisions that support your operational strategy.


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    Five objectives to achieve sustainable operational success

    1. Host regular sessions to obtain workforce buy-in

    During these sessions, be transparent, clearly define your strategy, explain why it’s important, and outline how it’ll benefit each level of the business. This systematic approach will help you achieve early buy-in and continued engagement. 


    2. Clearly define your deployment methodology

    Develop a clearly defined framework that includes the implementation and training process, so staff feel involved and engaged in your OpEx journey. Implement it slowly and systematically across all levels.

    3. Set realistic metrics and measure tangible benefit

    Envision your ‘ideal future state’ and create a set of achievable, measurable metrics to help you realise it. Establish your baseline before deployment, and review progress at regular intervals to track your progression. 

    4. Nominate CI and OpEx champions to provide ongoing support

    Having leaders and employees to champion new ways of working will help to create a sense of ownership and drive sustainability across the organisation. As internal capability and capacity increases, teams become set up to effectively engage in change, and your culture will begin to transform for the long term.

    5. Leverage the expertise of CI and OpEx experts

    Engaging the power of operations experts is the only way to deliver successful, sustainable change at pace. They’ll guide you through design, development and deployment, taking a hands-on approach so you maintain the capacity to deliver business-as-usual.

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    Achieving £26 million savings for Vodafone

    Vodafone knew they had to streamline end-to-end processes, improve the efficiency of teams, and deliver significant operational savings on a global scale. But they needed expert support to realise their goals.

    Reinvigoration successfully coached 2,500 people, across 20 countries, in Operational Excellence. We set up new, global end-to-end processes to provide better quality outcomes, faster, at a lower cost – delivering over £26 million in financial savings.

    Blog_Image_3_Five-Essential-Components-of-Continuous-ImprovementAre you looking for more tips and advice on deploying CI and OpEx initiatives?

    Our white paper, Developing a Self-Sustaining Culture of Continuous Improvement and Effective Operational Management, provides potential strategies and tactics on driving operational excellence as you work towards implementing a sustainable culture of continuous improvement. 

    Download the whitepaper

    Picture of Chris Dando

    Chris Dando

    Chris is one of the co-founders of Reinvigoration and currently heads up the business in his role of Managing Director. Chris has over 20 years experience working with organisations across the world to transform their operations.


    Ready to deliver excellence with certainty for your organisation?