Operational Governance Can Elevate Your Operations
Solve Business Decision Making Challenges
In every business there are differences of opinion. That is all well and good, even healthy, until those differences interfere with decision making. In the absence of defined operational decision making, there tends to be significant conflict. Consequently, the working environment can become quite political – even Machiavellian. Negative influence prevails, the loudest voice wins, meetings result in arguments, secret factions vie for control, and back stabbing is common. This is when Operational Governance is needed.
In the absence of operational governance, typical arguments include:
- Disagreement over operational direction
- Fragmented control over money, resources, and priorities
- Battles over what to fund – and what not to fund
- Confusion around acceptance of deliverables and work products
Benefits of Operational Governance
Whether the problem is at the highest level of the company (e.g., operational direction and major funding decisions) or within the lowest levels of a business process (e.g., work product review and acceptance authority), defining the rules around decision making in advance can dramatically improve operational performance and avoid wasteful conflict.
“When it is clear in advance how decisions will be made, and by whom, there is a level of congruence that brings efficiency – and even peace – to the decision making.”
All of the energy that would have been wasted in conflict can now be used to accomplish the work of the enterprise. Add that up across all of the decision points in the enterprise and you’ve unleashed a tremendous amount of positive and productive energy!
There are many types of operational decisions. The mechanisms for each should be designed individually to ensure an optimum outcome. However, we also employ some general strategies in our operational governance consulting:
- Identify Areas for Improvement: Working with our clients, we target areas where defined operational decision making is needed. These are often areas of conflict in the business.
- Analyze Responsibilities: Many decisions are appropriately made by individuals rather than groups. In general, people who are responsible for a work element, small or large, should have commensurate control over it. This includes decision-making control.
- Identify Where Group Decisions are Needed: For big decision types where multiple people (e.g., executives) have a stake in what is decided, representative decision making is usually best.
- Allow Input: For group decisions, agree on who should be involved and how each representative will have a voice.
- Employ Criteria: For any decision, identify the decision making criteria. This will remove subjectivity and personal bias, and provide appropriate parameters for decision making.
It is helpful, especially in highly emotional areas of conflict, to employ the use of an experienced outside consultant. To that end, we can facilitate discussions and agreement on how decisions will be made, and by whom.
Tell us how we can help you improve operational governance in your business.