In doing research on the topic of operational excellence and what future trends hold, I couldn’t help but notice what some of the closely related search trends were. Business Process Management or BPM appears to be gaining traction over operational excellence (#opex). I thought I would try business process excellence vs operational excellence.
Fifteen years ago, ISO 9001 was the in thing. ISO 9001 is still very popular and has gained much momentum as it also forms the basis for ISO 14001 Environmental management and more recently ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems. Many of you will attest to this. Six Sigma, though made popular by Motorola in 1986 has also morphed into an important industry, much of which has been further diluted by opportunists boasting their own training curriculums for sale. I do recall ISO 9001 having its own gamut of certification agencies but I cannot remember it having nearly the appeal as Six Sigma. ISO 9001 was boring as compared to Six Sigma, which became something much more glamorous.
Six Sigma was first introduced in manufacturing circles under the DMAIC methodology (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) then one day we woke up and found DFSS (Design for Six Sigma), which opened its doors to the medical, pharmaceutical, financial, and service industries,
Now back to operational excellence and business process management.
The first time I heard the term “operational excellence” was in 2002 when Ed Breen, Tyco’s new CEO began evangelizing it after leaving Motorola. By 2005, when I completed by Six Sigma Green Belt training, it was clear that operational excellence, opex for short (not to be confused with operational expense) was not only about promoting a culture of getting things right the first time, but how management, was to provide the tools and leadership to steer the corporate culture towards this. The Tyco motto was “One Tyco”.
The outcome is a structured, organized approach to getting things done right the first time, at a lower material and labor cost, and with fewer people. I think it worked at Tyco, but not without a lot of pain.
#bpmvsopx, #opex, #bpm