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Definition

operational excellence

Operational excellence is a methodology of striving for efficacy throughout an organization’s processes. Operational excellence is part of organizational leadership and organizational intelligence.

The end goal of operational excellence is to ensure customer expectations are met on an ongoing basis by continuously improving the processes by which a business operates. Concepts behind continuous improvement in operational excellence are derived from many other management philosophies with that focus, such as Six Sigma, Lean Thinking, OKAPI and Scientific Management.

Operational excellence pushes to improve measurements in key performance metrics. These metrics may be gathered by algorithms, machine learning or other applications of artificial intelligence (AI). Rather than just trying to boost momentary statistics, operational excellence attempts to make sustainable improvements.

Those looking to succeed in operational excellence might look to the Shingo Prize, which recognizes efficacy in operational excellence. The organization has recognized a number of qualities in past winners:

  1. Respect every individual
  2. Lead with humility
  3. Seek perfection
  4. Assure quality at the source
  5. Flow and pull value
  6. Embrace scientific thinking
  7. Focus on process
  8. Think systemically
  9. Create constancy of purpose
  10. Create value for the customer
This was last updated in November 2017

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