The Pursuit of Operational Excellence: People, Automation and Technology
The pursuit of excellence is very likely the goal, or at least one of the top two or three goals of any service organisation. Most businesses, government agencies and service providers wish to be the best that they can be in their chosen field, and want to pursue their efforts in the most efficient and effective ways. In modern parlance, this desire for excellence is referred to as Operational Excellence, or OpEx, which is essentially a quest for continuous improvement across the entire business. It means that all employees are duly invested in the culture of improvement and that everyone feels equally empowered and enabled to find solutions to any problems that may arise.
Continuous improvement and the pursuit of excellence might seem like no-brainers for most organisations, since delivering services or products in the best possible way is the reason why most of them were set up in the first place, but to really achieve OpEx, the organisation needs to have a receptive culture and management, and needs to be willing to be flexible and agile. ‘What’s simple in theory is often more complex in execution. And with the speed at which our world is changing, businesses need to adapt and evolve quickly… Continuous improvement is about taking an iterative approach to improvement that adds more value over time. It’s an all-hands-on-deck philosophy that builds ownership, boosts innovation, and creates incredible customer experiences.’1
With this in mind, the Public Sector Network, together with Appian, held a roadshow in May 2023 that brought together some of the greatest thinkers in this field from across Australia, as well as practitioners from a diverse range of government agencies. The following paper is a summary and highlights report of some of those presentations and findings, and an expose on the relevant issues in OpEx and continuous improvement from across the country.
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