Elevating Business Operations: True problem recognition and the comprehensive solution

Tim Robinson’s organisation was dealing with several challenges within his business area, such as:

  • Reactive resourcing.
  • A cumbersome change management process for customers.
  • Neglect of operational data review.
  • Absence of a continuous improvement strategic plan.
  • Operating in DevOps phase 1.

Tim and his team were aware of the issues but didn’t fully recognise their extent until he joined the Core Operational Excellence (COE) program with QBS. Initially introduced to the program as one of the pioneers from his business area, the team hoped to tackle their challenges more comprehensively.  They wanted to move away from simply reacting to problems as they arose, knowing they wouldn’t lead to sustainable solutions.

A different lens

Participating in COE compelled Tim to step back and view his business through a different lens. It forced him to question how he allocated his time. He identified several key issues and devised solutions, such as avoiding non-value-added meetings, planning further ahead, addressing important but non-urgent matters, and documenting and sharing his knowledge.

By addressing these challenges, Tim created space to work on the business itself. This involved strategic planning, future resource planning, eliminating single points of failure, and nurturing junior team members. This allowed him to invest more time back into the business and enhance continuous improvement efforts. 

Focussing on the vision

By focussing on a vision extending beyond the current year Tim significantly reduced the time spent on immediate concerns. His COE journey had other valuable lessons too:

  • Balancing immediate concerns with future planning is crucial.
  • Empowering and upskilling teams reduces dependencies on individuals.
  • Meaningful change requires proactive action.
  • Supportive and engaged leadership is vital.
  • Peer support and collaboration are invaluable.

Proactive Results 

Under Tim’s leadership, the team underwent a profound transformation. They transitioned to a more proactive approach to resourcing, allowing for better alignment with organisational needs. Multiple initiatives were launched to streamline change management processes, resulting in substantial time savings. Enhanced data analysis capabilities significantly improved the team’s performance. On top of that, under Tim’s guidance, the chapter successfully established a strategic improvement plan for the fiscal year. Progress was made, advancing the team to DevOps phase 2. Valuable insights gleaned from these improvements led to the conversion of contract roles into permanent positions, generating annual savings of $150,000. Perhaps most notably, team engagement surged, and a culture of continuous improvement took root, fostering a dynamic and forward-thinking environment.

“Through my COE journey, I’ve learned to strike a balance between focusing on the present and preparing for the future. It’s crucial to empower my teams, reducing dependency on me and embracing change. A supportive leader plays a pivotal role, and having colleagues on the same journey for support was invaluable.” Tim Robinson

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