Eliminating Hidden Coordination Inefficiencies

As frequent readers of our blog will know, the Council has focused a lot of attention recently on the topic of finding hidden inefficiencies within Operations. These are costs that often go untracked but present significant opportunities for sustainable cost reduction. Our recent studies have featured solutions for Operations to root out inefficiency through achieving […]

Why Perfect Processes Are Not Enough

There is no denying that processes are the building blocks of Operations, and ensuring strong process mechanics is an integral part of Operations management. Sometimes though, Operations executives are so focused on perfecting individual process steps that they lose sight of the bigger picture: the end-to-end process value chain. Managing processes end-to-end has a number […]

Performance Measurement at Its Worst

The topic of metrics has always been popular with our members, but demand for information regarding Operations dashboards and indicators has significantly increased over the past few months, and I have found myself having many conversations with members lately about our Innovative Metric Blueprint piece. That’s why when I read this article on the Seven […]

Getting Your Customers to Complain

It’s unlikely that you will find an Operations executive not concerned with capturing the Voice of the Customer (VOC). VOC has been a highly useful strategy in helping Operations functions align themselves better with what the customer wants and needs. However, VOC strategies rest on a big assumption: that you are capturing a representative sample […]

The Productivity-Quality Balancing Act

For the third year in a row, Operations executives responding to our Executive Outlook Survey said that improving process efficiency is their top priority. While this is certainly important news, I am more interested in the changes in focus and performance the survey revealed. After improving process efficiency, 20% of executives said their biggest priority […]

Getting Your Employees to Think

One of the biggest shifts in the nature of Operations employees’ roles is the amount of thinking they should be doing—and are increasingly expected to do. Operations work is increasingly becoming more exceptions-driven, with an environment where clear guidelines on how to execute tasks are less useful. As the scope of Operations grows, staff are […]

New Realities for Operations Talent

I came across an article this morning that caught my attention. It was written by a Corporate Executive Board colleague for the Washington Post regarding current overall levels of employee engagement in the United States. This is a phenomenon that we’ve observed particularly acutely in the financial services industry, and one that we’ve been writing […]

Programming Continuous Improvement

We recently presented a webinar on a topic that’s of great interest to me and most of our members: continuous improvement. One question that members asked consistently through our research interviews is whether continuous improvement needs to emerge spontaneously or as part of a formal “program”. While 65% of members polled in a recent survey […]

The Performance Balancing Act

Operations employee performance is usually broken into two dimensions: productivity and quality. Productivity reflects an employee’s output per unit time, while quality captures the incidence of error in employee work. Intuitively, it may sound like there is a tradeoff between these two dimensions of performance—when employees do work more quickly, their productivity levels rise, but […]

Surprising Lessons from the Mortgage Industry

Over the past few years, every aspect of the mortgage industry has been examined with a fine toothed comb by the media, regulators, consumers, and lenders alike. Well, it seems like they missed a spot. With new regulations coming into effect and changing consumer needs, the industry will be forced to focus on the efficiency […]