Friday 02 Jun 2023 Article

The TakeawayThe Key Elements of Effective Operational Management

How to Overcome the Trials and Tribulations of First-time Management

Part 9

#GoalSetting #ManagementTrainingForNewManagers #TimeManagement #ConstructiveFeedback #LeadershipAndManagementCourses

The Key Elements of Effective Operational Management

Effective operational management is vital for organisations to achieve their goals and maximise productivity. Managing operations involves various critical aspects, including focusing on key areas, cascading organisational objectives, setting SMART objectives, prioritising and allocating workloads, organising time efficiently, and providing effective feedback. In this article, we will delve into these topics, exploring the key elements of managing operations for optimal outcomes.

Areas of Focus

Daily work activities are the tasks and actions that we do on a day to day basis. As a manager, understanding your legal and organisational responsibilities and where your focus should be will help drive these activities. To begin to understand this in more detail, a good place to start is finding out what activities you actually are doing.  

Some tasks are routine and some appear out of the blue. Should you be doing them, or should you be delegating them? Some are driven by Health and Safety, some by legal requirements and some by the business needs. Have you booked contingency time in for the urgent fire fighting actions that always crop up?

Think about what tasks your week typically entails and which of these tasks are routine and non-routine.


Cascading Organisational Objectives

To achieve alignment and ensure everyone is working towards a common goal, it is crucial to cascade organisational objectives throughout the entire workforce. This involves translating high-level strategic objectives into actionable goals and targets at different levels of the organisation. By clearly communicating these objectives and their relevance to individual roles, managers can create a sense of purpose and direction, fostering employee engagement and driving organisational success.

Setting SMART Objectives

Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) objectives is essential for effective operational management. SMART objectives provide clarity and structure, enabling individuals and teams to focus their efforts on meaningful and measurable outcomes. By setting objectives that are specific, quantifiable, realistic, and time-bound, managers can ensure that employees have clear targets and can track progress towards them effectively.

Providing Effective Feedback

Feedback is a powerful tool for growth and improvement in operational management. Effective feedback involves providing clear, specific, and timely information on performance, highlighting both strengths and areas for development. Feedback should be constructive and delivered in a manner that encourages learning and motivates employees to excel. By providing regular feedback, managers can guide their team members towards achieving their objectives, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and high performance.


Prioritising and Allocating Workload

Managing operations requires the ability to prioritise tasks and allocate work effectively. This involves identifying critical activities, assessing their importance and urgency, and distributing workload accordingly. By prioritising tasks based on their impact on organisational objectives and the available resources, managers can optimise productivity and ensure that the most critical tasks are completed efficiently. Effective workload allocation also involves considering the skills and capabilities of team members, matching tasks to their strengths and providing opportunities for growth.


Operational managers play a crucial role in ensuring smooth operations, optimising productivity, and driving organisational success. By mastering these key elements, managers can create a foundation for excellence and propel their teams towards achieving their goals efficiently and effectively.

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