Pursuit of Operational Excellence: A systemic approach

Christine Welch, Tammi Sinha, Nigel Ward

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Operational Excellence (OE) is achieved when high performance teams are seeking for continuous improvement in well-designed processes, using appropriate tools and technologies. Excellence is underpinned by a philosophy in which problem-solving, team-working and effective leadership combine to focus upon customer needs, and all employees are empowered to act to maintain optimal flows of value. OE is clearly a desirable quality of organizations seeking both effectiveness and efficiency in their production of goods and services for customers. OE is underpinned by concepts such as team-working, effective leadership and change management, and depends upon effective flows of value. Systems Thinking (ST) is consequently at the heart of genuine excellence. This paper was conceived in the context of a Community of Practice of business improvement professionals, who took Operational Excellence as their agenda for inquiry during sessions in 2015. Reflection upon practice discussed at these meetings, together with the literature of change management and continuous improvement, have led to development of a systemic ‘landscape' model for pursuit of Operational Excellence. The elements of this model are set out, showing how they can contribute to OE.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-34
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Systems and Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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