Operations management is a complex field that requires a great deal of knowledge and experience to master. Even experienced operations managers can make mistakes, and understanding the most common errors can help you avoid them. From not documenting existing processes to focusing on the wrong objectives, here are some of the most important mistakes to be aware of when managing operations. One of the most common mistakes made by operations managers is not documenting their existing processes. This is essential for any process improvement project, as it allows you to identify problem points and measure progress.
Without this initial documentation, it's impossible to know where you began or if any improvements have been made. This mistake is often related to not asking the right questions or involving the right people. Another common issue in established processes is that steps and activities are added, often as an alternative solution to an interrupted operation, and those steps become a permanent part of the process, increasing complexity. Great operations managers are always on the lookout for new innovations and technologies that can help improve productivity while maintaining or reducing operating budgets. It's also important to understand how individual objectives fit into the company's overall objectives. This will help to bring everyone together towards a common goal.
Lisa, for example, held several staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process over a 10-year period before becoming an operations manager in a construction and forestry equipment installation. People often assume that the bottleneck is the most expensive or largest equipment in the system and mistakenly add capacity to it. To avoid this mistake, plan out your current operations situation and create a roadmap with instructions on how to improve existing processes. By recognizing these common errors in operations management, both OMs and companies can avoid disaster and achieve success. Complex and overly thought-out processes and procedures can lead to faults and errors.
To ensure customer satisfaction, there needs to be a close link between operations and other departments such as product development and marketing. Managers also need to be aware of their delegation habits; either delegating too much or not enough. The ultimate goal of process improvement is to improve business operations and contribute to positive business and personal results. Unfortunately, there aren't many courses available that teach you how to avoid real-world mistakes, especially for future operations managers who rely heavily on practical experience. It's important to focus on using obstacles, but for other steps in a process, you need to focus on eliminating waste and improving quality in order to improve overall operations.