Operation Management – We found 8 stages but are the anymore you can think of ?

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Every business needs to have an evolving solution for its operation management. The way you operate you business when you start to today can change with local, national and world influences. Political, Economical, Environmental, Social parameters are just a short list of what potentially could be never ending.

The eight stages we have used to manage our operation managment effectively.

Managing our operations is important to ensure that we are carrying out the right activities, with sufficient resources and at the right time to achieve our objectives. Operations management focuses on how we combine resources and activities to produce outputs and outcomes ( to the business , our suppliers and customers ), which we can then monitor and evaluate by comparing them with our KPI’s. Through making these comparisons we can see which aspects of our operations work well and which need to change. We listen to customer about services, suppliers about the lines and future lines and also listen to how we can improve the internal business processes.

The eight stages to managing operations are shown below. It can also be useful to view operations management as an input/output diagram.

1. Develop clear objectives and measures of performance; Setting objectives is a prerequisite of managing operations. As you develop the organisation’s objectives, consider how you will measure your success and develop appropriate performance indicators.
2. Map the activities necessary to achieve objectives; Having set your direction, map the activities which you need to undertake to achieve your objectives. If you need to undertake a range of activities, check that they are all contributing to your objectives. If not, consider changes or stopping them altogether.
3. Identify the resources required; With a clear picture of what the organisation should be doing, you can identify the resources (time, money and skills) required. For each activity, list the resources needed, including things such as finance, venues, equipment, skills and time (see the financial management and you and your team sections for more information).
4. Define responsibility for each activity; Whilst managing the operations of your organisation requires one person to be responsible for monitoring and coordinating the entire process, you also need to have named individuals responsible for each activity. These individuals will ensure that their activity is completed on time and to the agreed standard.
5. Sequence the activities’ Think about the order in which activities need to happen:
are there some activities which can be happening at the same time?
Having taken an overall view of the sequence of activities, you can plan how you will manage busy or quiet times. We use Microsoft Projects which produce Gantt charts, which are a useful tool for sequencing activities
6. Implement and manage the overall operation; Operations management requires one person to hold overall responsibility for the entire process, ensuring that activities are implemented and keeping to deadlines and that there is communication and co-ordination across them all.
7. Evaluate progress against the objectives ; At different stages in the process and at the end you will want to check if you have achieved your objectives. Find out more about monitoring and evaluation.
8. Learning from evaluation; It is likely that your evaluation will highlight areas where improvements could be made and changes need to be implemented. Use this information to adjust your work and develop a cycle of learning. Providing evidence of your achievements show the benefits have gained. Throughout all the stages of managing and evaluating operations, we keep records of meetings, plans and reports. All document are version and dated and measure against performance indicators, monitoring information, and evaluations as well as changes you have made as a result of evaluations for the date in question. This will help everyone look back and understand what decisions were made and why.

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Do you control the operations of your organisation? Do you have experience in managing both small and large scale operations? Or are you just starting out?

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