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Operational Efficiency

Operational Efficiency projects typically relate to problems faced by our clients that centre around how to improve or standardise the client’s day to day activities.

The sections below aim to provide you with an overview of common engagements that may fall under the banner of operational efficiency. The individual tabs contain pointers or frameworks for you to consider and tailor to your individual project circumstances.

1) Project Management

Project Management is the principle or function of planning, coordinating, managing a team of people and resources to achieve a collective goal for an organisation.

Rather than being a specific stream that is common within operational efficiency or process improvement engagements, project management tends to be a pervasive element of such engagements.

2) Organisational Design

Organisational Design is centred around how a client’s business is structured, how activities and processes are grouped and allocated.

Engagements in this space tend to focus on whether a business is setup in an efficient manner or whether an alternate structure would be more appropriate to help achieve business goals and objectives.

3) Resource Allocation

Resource Allocation refers to the balancing act of meeting the supply and demand needs of an organisation.

Engagements around resource allocation tend to focus on increasing the utilisation/productivity of existing resources.

4) Supply Chain

Supply chain typically refers to the collective group of companies, processes, suppliers, resources, activities, etc that represent the steps required to produce a product or service for a customer.

Engagements in this space tend to focus on whether there are potential opportunities to re-align the supply chain to reduce the costs, enhance the customer experience, reduce dependency/increase redundancy.

Project Management


Understand the project


Think in the client's shoes: what is the purpose of the project?


During this first step, you will try to clarify exactly what problem the client is looking to solve by running a project. You may be engaged to review projects at different stages of progress, depending on the level of progress different types of project artefacts or documents will be available to assist your review.




Client project methodology


Determine the project methodology or approach in place at the client.


After understanding the purpose and nature of the project, it will be useful to understand the project methodology or approach being adopted by the client. Understanding the methodology is important in evaluating what has been performed and why it has been delivered in a certain way.


An outline of common methodologies is included below as a guide



Understanding the client's project methodology is an important component in understanding whether the project has been setup for success. The type of methodology can impact on both the planning and delivery - e.g. there might be less value in a detailed waterfall or Prince2 planning when it is a short and iterative development of a website page.



Structure the approach


Refine and structure your approach based on the individual project.


After building your understanding you will need to structure your approach to the project.


The following is a high-level issue tree to help guide your structuring in terms of (1) common elements that impact on sucess and (2) common aspects of projects to think about:





Common success factors


Common considerations: success factors to consider


In performing your analysis, whether it is defining benefits and KPIs or evaluating the performance of a project the following image represents common factors to consider:




Organisational Design


Understand the org structure


How is the organisation designed, why?


During this first step, you will try to clarify exactly what problem the client is looking to solve in terms of their organisational design. You will need to establish how the organisation is currently setup in terms of how teams/business units are delineated, how reporting lines are setup and why. Once you have understood how the organisation is setup you will need to understand what their future requirements are, this may include assessing the organisation's strategy, objectives, key priorities, etc.




Structure the approach


Refine and structure your approach based on the individual project.


After building your understanding you will need to structure your approach to the project. The following is a high-level issue tree to help guide your structuring.


The issue tree illustrates the need to determine the current organisational structure of the client to develop a baseline of existing requirements. Once a baseline has been established, you will need to determine the business requirements through workshops with organisation stakeholders to determine future state needs.




Organisational Design Questions


Some example questions to get you started




Resource Allocation


Measure existing capacity


Determine existing requirements and current allocation


Resource Allocation refers to the balancing act of meeting the supply and demand needs of an organisation.



Engagement around resource allocation would require the team to:



  1. Understand the existing demand for resources/staff workload to determine the amount of effort (time required) to complete existing staff

  2. Forming a view of existing headcount (FTE: full-time equivalents) in place

  3. Determine potential options to redistribute workload or quantification of additional resources.



Structure the approach


Refine and structure your approach based on the individual project.


After building your understanding you will need to structure your approach to the project. The following is a high-level issue tree to help guide your structuring, which shows that you will need to understand the client's demands, the resources required and how they allocate personnel.




Workload Allocation Questions


Some example questions to get you started




Supply Chain


Understand the project


Think in the client's shoes: what is the current state.


An initial starting point for any supply chain engagement will be to understand the current supply chain that is in place. Understanding the existing supply chain can be tackled in a number of ways, which may include - evaluation of the supplier management/lifecycle framework in place, interviews/workshops with client personnel, review of supplier arrangements, etc.


The SCOR framework from APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society) can be a useful starting point that a common approach to breakdown the different components/processes within an organisations supply chain: Plan, Source, Make, Deliver, Return, Enable.




Structure the approach


Refine and structure your approach based on the individual project.


After building your understanding you will need to structure your approach to the project. The following is a high-level issue tree to help guide your structuring:




Supply Chain Optimisation


Determine what can be improved.


Depending on the client's problem and the nature of the existing supply chain, you will need to determine what solution needs to be implemented. This could include a range of options:




Supply Chain Questions


Some example questions to get you started



 


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