Driving Operational Excellence in a Scaleup

Inheriting an operational team developing and implementing a shared IT strategy can be daunting, remembering that the current team have habits which will have been developed from their previous Leader. Adjusting those habits is challenging, times consuming and expensive if not managed correctly.

Following many years of Inheriting operational teams and driving continuous service improvement projects, here are the high-level steps to follow which enables a smoother transition;

Story Time: – Share with the team your story, advise them of your career history and show them why you have the experience to hold the role. Explain why you are excited to be apart of the team and welcome them to share their stories too.  Do Not try to make friends, show frustration with quality or try to force trust to quickly.

Team Defining: – Discuss the external environment, what works well, what works badly, what opportunities there are and what challenges are they currently facing. Understand from this discussion what collaboration is needed to achieve the operational and interpersonal outcomes and create the meetings to track progress.

Ground Rules: – Once that connection has been made it is important to set the ground rules on how you wish the team to operate it is important from the team defining that you understand the tensions internally an operational leader needs to push for stability and consistency, therefore create the rules for dealing with these tensions.

Strategy: – A strong IT Strategy provide the blueprint on how technology, people and processes shape the organisation in it own overall business strategy.  The first step to creating this IT Strategy is to review the business objectives and understand how the company is currently meeting the established objectives and KPI’s.

It is important to undertake research on market trends and review research reports within the industry so that GAPs in the current systems, process and people can be identified and plugged as part of the plan.

Implementation: – Now you have your strategy it is time to create the plan, implementing your strategic plan is just as important and the strategy itself. Gather the key stakeholders and set focus groups up, it is critical that the meeting governance for the implementation is defined in advance as whilst everyone knows how important the strategy is it is usually the first this that is forgotten when everyone busy day jobs get in the way.

The definition of Ownership, KPI’s, targets and reporting methodology is critical this is what keeps the information honest and provides the visibility across the business.

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