Operational excellence is easier said than done.
All startups implement a business strategy to expand and quickly impact their industry. But no big players learn the easy way. Decision-makers should know that unique and innovative strategies are just a blank paper if they cannot perfect their operational execution. And without this, a startup is bound to fail.
About 90% of startups fail, with 10% failing within the first year of operation. These numbers suggest that most small businesses couldn’t make their products and services profitable, no matter how promising their strategy. They might have poor operational execution, too, as they didn’t think of possible crises and roadblocks along their way.
A business article said that entrepreneurs often have an unrealistic perception of startup life, as some online resources are “over-glamorizing the journey.” One entrepreneur even noted that most articles highlight the money, social networking, and the fun of scaling businesses without mentioning how successful startups need team members willing to drive the execution and operations.
So, this article will focus on how proper operational execution, no matter how challenging it could be, would be a vital ingredient to business success. After all, it enables organizations to maintain quality control, establish employee standards, and save resources.
Execution and Operations
Execution is implementing the business goal while an operation develops an efficient system to align with the organization’s strategic objectives. When combined, operational excellence results in a clear structure, quality process, and standardized policies. It also helps businesses operate efficiently. Moreover, it lets leaders implement business plans, core business functions, and operational systems to manage multiple projects and goals easily.
In addition, operational executions highly affect business’s sales, financials, marketing, business development, product development, and human resource management. In short, operational executions work as the company’s backbone, ensuring that the organization moves closer to its goal daily.
The importance of operational planning for your business
Proper planning for operational execution is crucial for business because it determines whether a company can achieve short-term targets and objectives. It is also essential in effective workforce management, as it comprehensively covers:
- The things staff should do to achieve short-term goals
- The sustainability of projects
- Timeline of the project or campaign
- Who will work to achieve the goal, what are the expectations for individual members, and what are their personal targets
- The risks of not meeting the goals
- How can staff avoid risks
- The resources involved in meeting the goals
With this, operational planning is crucial as it doubles as a business playbook—showing the performance of key staff members through quality management and how the overall team can work together to meet the business goals.
It also ensures that decision-makers see the areas that are not generating results, the areas that are causing losses, and what areas need to be changed and improved. Operational planning also brings accountability—expecting each member to execute the right strategy and deliver sales, more leads, or other outputs.
Operational Planning Examples
Two of the most common ways of planning a proper operational execution are Planning for Processes and Practices and Planning as a Strategy Component.
Planning for Processes and Practices works best for organizations wanting to execute operations for specific processes and practices, ensuring they meet targets. These include efficiency, turnaround time, productivity, cost reduction, waste reduction, sustainability, quality, and customer satisfaction.
Meanwhile, Planning as a Strategy Component focuses on how execution can help scale their business. For example, a company wants to expand its customers by 50% in Q4. Then, their operational execution will focus on critical components, such as marketing, sales, and operation.
Most effective organization traits to ensure operational excellence
Harvard Business School conducted survey research from more than 26,000 people in 31 companies, finding out the most fundamental traits that affect operational execution. And the institution found out that 71% of individuals have a good idea of the decisions and actions for which they are responsible. This suggests that proper operational execution will be attainable if team members understand their responsibilities and are willing to deliver their personal goals.
Meanwhile, the second trait is how quickly information about the competitive environment gets to them. Meaning, most businesses that are aware of the competition could have a much more effective operational execution than those that are only dependent on their strategy.
Here are the organizational traits that are crucial for operational execution, according to Harvard:
In addition, organizations can also ensure operational excellence through an effective framework, including Strategic Planning, Operations Design, Initiative Execution, and Business Intelligence. Although these four have different functions and goals, they work together as one framework to ensure businesses enjoy a proper operational execution to achieve goals.
Want to ensure that your team follows the right system in ensuring operational excellence?
The Sales Machine is an all-in-one business success platform that helps decision-makers execute plans and strategies. It aligns the sales, marketing, customer management, and other team members—ensuring they all work toward one goal.
It also bridges the gap between teams, allowing the organization to enjoy smooth-sailing operations throughout its journey.
Want to learn more about The Sales Machine? Visit us at www.thesalesmachine.com to schedule a FREE demo.