7 Steps to Operational Excellence

Written by Niamh Elisabeth McShane | 2 min read
7 steps to Operational Excellence - Number 7 with path to island


7 Steps to Operational Excellence

Your operations are what bring your company to life. Ensuring that the processes that make up your organization are operating at an optimal level continually is what ensures your organization’s excellent performance. This is the crux of operational excellence, however this in itself is hard to define. At its heart, operational excellence is a discipline which aims to balance the triad of people, process, and technology, generating benefits to both the top and bottom lines for the business, and delightful customer experiences in the process. It is no less essential to the survival and success of organizations than the big ideas of business transformation - both must work in tandem.


The good news for practitioners, is that the process of operational excellence is repeatable, and the tools and techniques to automate and optimize it are mature. The challenge is to ensure the people, process, and technology pieces of the puzzle are assembled in the best way to achieve optimal performance. For organizations to realize these benefits a holistic and transparent approach to the creation of the system is required.


Creating a sustainable system for operational excellence


If you are wondering how you can create a sustainable system for operational excellence then one good option is to follow a set of steps. Whether undertaking your first pass through operational excellence, or you have been through the cycle many times, your starting point should always be with “what-is” rather than “what-we-thought.”  Therefore, this first steps you should take should also start with discovery. In collecting this knowledge you should also be listening to and soliciting ideas for change; it can be amazing how many great ideas already exist in an organization, but are rarely voiced.These ideas will be especially interesting if your operational excellence program is working in harmony with a business transformation initiative. The goals, objectives, and customer perspectives from transformation serve as great inputs to shape discovery and ideation.


If you want an in depth guide on how to carry out Operational excellence, then our 7 Steps to Operational Excellence are a great starting point. This document is intended to provide a 7 Step general roadmap organizations can follow towards the goal of operational excellence, independent of allegiances to any particular methodology, although existing frameworks used within your organization could be used during relevant steps. This document has been structured to provide clear, actionable steps and some tips for process practitioners and leaders to follow, with the key outcomes of each clearly explained, and including issues to be considered at each step for greatest impact. The themes running through the guide include transparency and collaboration – essential elements to build into the optimized operating model.


Get your free copy of the 7 Steps to Operational Excellence guide.

Published on: November 2nd 2017 - Last modified: May 28th, 2021