Managers & supervisors are generally the first ones to get the ax when it comes time to trim budgets as it’s considered that they do not directly produce any specific goods or services. Their responsibility is to manage those who actually “do the work”. However, if you look at operational effectiveness it’s very much the manager’s job to look at the best and most effective way to optimize and complete a task. The phrase that most aptly applies here is that you can –
“have it cheap, have it quick or have it good … pick two”.
Managers are the “choosers” where they can work to build products and services faster using fewer resources or they can strive for an improvement in quality. They generally are not able to accomplish all three goals unless a radical shift in technology completely moves the overall paradigm.
When it comes to Operational Effectiveness, you can look at three primary areas where Managers work:
The focus here is the efficient use of resources and tools using technology to best achieve the goals of the organization.
The focus is on the resources (people) doing the actual work. How are they best used and utilized? Another aspect of this is the care and wellbeing of those resources.
The third leg of the triangle is the development of new processes, systems, and methods of operation. This can be through the utilization of technology or otherwise.
As managers progress up the “ladder” the amount of work they do at each level changes. Junior managers, for example, spend a lot more time with the technical and resource areas while more senior leaders are focused more on the process side.
Regardless of the level that you are at, you should always expect your role to have some component of one of the three areas.