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Assessing Operations Optimization

Assessing Operations Optimization:

            For any organization that needs to develop and be effective in accomplishing its objectives, project management is such an important tool that enhances the effectiveness of operational optimization efforts. This is because project management helps an organization to implement its strategies into actions as well as actualize its objectives. Project management increases teamwork, control, implementation discipline, approachability and grouping of organizational elements (Manu 2007). Among other benefits, project management comes with procedural features which help the leadership of an organization to pass quicker innovation, growth and respond to external changes.

A project management approach is very essential in the effectiveness of operational optimization efforts because of the diverse ways in which it contributes to the success of an organization’s operations.  There are two major ways within which a program management approach enhances the effectiveness of operational optimization efforts. These are

Timely Achievement of Organizational Goals:

One of the major ways through which a program management approach may enhance the effectiveness of these operational efforts is the achievement of an organization’s goals within a specified time frame. The project management approach also enables the leadership of an organization to reach easier understanding based on the organization’s decision-making processes. There is also an enriched competitiveness based on workforce that is energized by a culture of implementation and teamwork which in turn guarantees customer satisfaction due to the accurate results that can be relied on.

Individual Tangible Benefits:

            This is the other way in which a project management approach enhances the effectiveness of the operational optimization efforts. While enabling the executive to obtain exact and appropriate information for sound business decisions and maintenance of a competitive edge, project management approach also guarantees some tangible personal benefits in various ways. For instance, this approach enables people with various roles and responsibilities in an organization to understand the importance of their contribution to the entire organization or business. This approach also provides individual tangible benefits by the reduction of misunderstandings and confusion through effective communication which in turn increases the productivity and enthusiasm of the organization’s workforce. Thus, project management can be said to be a tool that promotes management discipline, individual competency and organizational culture which in turn handles most of the economic activities of an organization.

Implementation of Operational Optimization Strategies:

            For an organization’s leadership to realize the effectiveness of operational optimization efforts, the executive must quantitatively and qualitatively assess the implementation of operational optimization strategies. While the quantitative research method involves statistical indicators, qualitative research method involves the use of symbols of texts and conversations. To quantitatively and qualitatively measure the implementation of operational optimization strategies, an organization must employ both the qualitative and quantitative study tools. Both of these study tools are used in understanding and unfolding human experiences as well as testing theories and generalizations.

An organization must use questionnaires to quantitatively assess the implementation of these strategies because quantitative assessments results are expressed in statistical terminologies (Bashir, Afzal & Azeem n.d.). The emphasis of this quantitative measure is on facts with the information being summarized in the form of numbers that are used to analyze numeric data. On the other hand, an organization must use interviews to qualitatively assess the implementation of these strategies because this assessment method involves the use and collection of various empirical materials. Interviews and other empirical materials in qualitative assessment describe routine and problematic experiences of the workers in an organization.

Key Operational Measures in an Organization:

In the evaluation of changes in operational effectiveness, program evaluation is a key operating measure which must be included by the organization’s leadership among other measures. This program evaluation measure helps in the collection of information relating to a particular program for the purpose of sound decision making about the particular program. Program evaluation also involves some key measures which an organization must include in the evaluation of changes in operational effectiveness. These measures include

Goals-Based Evaluation:

            An organization usually designs its programs and strategies in order to accomplish one or more specific goals. In evaluation of changes in operational effectiveness, goal-based evaluation is a key operating measure because it determines the extent to which the organizations programs are accomplishing predetermined goals or objectives. This evaluation measure helps the leadership of the organization to determine the status of the program’s progress toward accomplishing certain objectives, whether the personnel have enough resources to achieve their intended goals, the priorities to be changed, whether goals or time frame should be changed and the establishment of goals in the future (McNamara n.d.).

Process-Based Evaluation:

            This key operating measure helps in determining the effectiveness of particular programs or operational strategies. While evaluating changes, an organization identifies the results produced by the operational optimization strategies through process-based evaluation. These evaluation measures are useful in cases where programs are long-standing, inefficiencies in delivering program services and the accurate display of the program’s operations.

Outcome-Based Evaluation:

            This key operating measure determines whether the organization’s operational strategies are geared toward producing the outcomes desired by the customers. The effectiveness of operational strategies is dependent on customer satisfaction and this measure enables an organization’s leadership to know whether the changes guarantee customer satisfaction.

Information Technology and Decision Support Systems:

Decision support system can be described as the use of computer in an organization to facilitate managers in making choices, supporting them in making managerial judgment and improving the efficacy of decision-making processes. Decision Support Systems (DSS) not only provide the above mentioned information but also provides answers to the managers concerning any related field. Decision Support System also provides the user with specific decision relating to a specific problem. For instance, a decision support system identifies a key question the manager may be facing and goes ahead to give the decision it supports for the raised question.

Depending on the nature of the situation at hand, the decision support system may provide repetitive or a single answer. One of the advantages of a decision support system is that it does not trivialize any question it has been asked by the manager and makes sure that the question at the moment is not computerized.

Information technology and decision support systems may help in the assessment of operations within organization because in addition to helping the leadership in making timely and accurate decisions, these tools also enables an organization to be up to date with the constantly changing global economy. Decision support system may support the assessment of operations in an organization because it is the use of computers to assist managers with their decision making processes within structured levels (Hayen, Holmes & Scott 2004). Given the fact that decision making is such an important factor in the assessment of operations, decision support systems may support this assessment of operations.

The advancements and impact of computer technology necessitates the importance and ability of information technology to support the assessment of operations within an organization. Currently, there is a need for organizations and businesses to keep up with the evolving changes in the economic sector due to technological advancements. Information technology and decision support systems can support assessment of operations because they improve the effectiveness of decision making within an organization. While decision support systems support managerial judgment rather than replacing it, information technology helps an organization to assimilate its efficiency with the emerging global trends.

Organization Accountability:

            In the implementation of strategic plans within an organization, accountability is such an important factor. For the leadership of the organization, the organization’s plans are as important as accountability of the personnel.  In addition to increasing the effectiveness of an organization, accountability enables the executive team to assess the efficiency of operational strategies and develop key operational optimization efforts. It is therefore necessary for the leadership to define the parameters, levels of accountability and validation for each level of the organization. One of the major ways for the leadership to define the parameters, levels of accountability and validation for each level of the organization is through

Development of Strategic Plans:

            In defining parameters, levels of accountability and validation for each organizational level, the senior team should develop key strategic plans for each level of the organization as well as the entire organization. An organization’s leadership needs to review, discuss and set up the strategic direction and key components of the strategic plan (Ott, KZatz & Thomas n.d.). These strategic plans enable the personnel at each level to challenge themselves to be clear in their purpose and intent as well as advocating dependable operational definitions that each member of the team agrees to. Consequently, this prevents conflicting perceptions or turf-driven viewpoints later on within each level of the organization. Most importantly, it is important for the leadership to ensure that these plans are implemented at each level. The implementation of strategic plans is where most failures occur and strategic measurement is a helpful factor.

Conclusion:

            Given the changes in the global economy, the results of the assessment of operations affect an organization’s plan to support modifying the strategy to address these changes. Through the assessment of these operations, the senior team identifies whether the functional strategies add up to the overall strategies of an organization. If the functional strategies do not add up to the overall strategies of an organization, the plan to support modifying the strategy to address changes the global economy is necessary. On the other hand, if the functional strategies add up to the overall strategy, the organization can plan to address changes in the global economy.

Summary:

            The ability of leadership to effectively monitor and assess the efficacy of operational optimization initiatives requires applying research methods in a purposeful manner. Without a specific intended purpose, it would be challenging for the leadership to effectively monitor and assess the efficacy of operational optimization strategies. However, this assessment can be done through various approaches with each approach giving specific results. As mentioned earlier, project management approach is one of the ways to enhance the effectiveness of operational optimization efforts. Notably, this approach also contributes to the success and effectiveness of an organization’s operations through the timely achievement of an organization’s goals and individual benefits to the personnel.

Moreover, project management approach enhances discipline and improves collaboration among the organization’s personnel and helps in streamlining of the personnel’s skills toward achieving the set objectives of the organization. This approach not only helps in identifying the goals of an organization but it also helps in the accomplishment of these objectives with the desired results. Most importantly, the proficiency of project management approach in enhancing the effectiveness of operational optimization efforts can be used by leaders in handling complicated situations while delivering high success rates as well as lowering uncertainties and costs.

The project management approach also goes a step further in identifying the need of the specific individual and makes sure that it gathers all the needed information from confidential sources and makes it more reliable for the users. The inclusion of the DSS has increased the efficiency of organizations globally by reducing managerial duties through dispersing work loads to the clerks and linking of information which is shared within the organization.

References:

Bashir M., Afzal M T. & Azeem M. (n.d.). Reliability and Validity of Qualitative and

Operational Research Paradigm. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from http://pjsor.web.officelive.com/Documents/5%284%291.pdf

Hayen R L., Holmes M C. & Scott J P. (2004). Decision Support Systems in Information

Technology Assimilation. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from http://www.iacis.org/iis/2004_iis/PDFfiles/HayenHolmesScott.pdf

Manu K. (2007, October 29). The Importance of Project Management in Organizations.

Retrieved May 22, 2010, from http://www.articlesbase.com/leadership-articles/the-importance-of-project-management-in-organizations-246928.html

McNamara C. (n.d.). Basic Guide to Program Evaluation. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from

http://managementhelp.org/evaluatn/fnl_eval.htm

Ott C., KZatz D A. & Thomas J G. (n.d.). Strategy Implementation. Retrieved May 22, 2010,

from http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Sc-Str/Strategy-Implementation.html

 

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