Call it a mutiny, a revolt or maybe even anarchy. But the suppression of operations has gone on for too long. Operations has been pushed around by HR, finance, information technology, marketing, sales and of course . . . management. But nobody puts baby in a corner.
The result of years of abuse by supporting areas has led to increased costs and a lot less sanity. Operations has been budgeted, branded, automated, contracted, down-sized, outsourced, shared, tarred, feathered and quartered. Yet it is still the only area that can create value in the eyes of a customer.
In my bank management consulting I have seen 100s of thousands of dollars spent on technology and support to get rid of two tellers. In government I have seen billion dollar contracts to modernize and automate that have turned to lawsuits against a Fortune 500 technology because of lack of performance. Nothing invested in operations in a complete disrespect of the people in favor of false hope.
How is it the core work of an organization has been relegated to the back of the bus? As a customer, unless technology enhances my experience or makes the job easier for the person I deal with, otherwise, spare me the agony.
With this coming mutiny by operations, the organization will be the recipient of a large bounty. More purposeful, more focused on what matters without all the foolishness attached to the supporting functions answer to creating value.
The US has not become more competitive on the world scale by following the siren song of those that should support, but instead act like prima donnas competing for scarce resources. They have allowed the pie to shrink and the investment to evaporate. Management has spent ungodly sums on a pig in a poke.
Beware the Ides of March are upon us, Caesars prepare.
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Tripp Babbitt is a columist (Quality Digest and IQPC), speaker, and consultant to private and public service industry.Share This:
In the early 1990’s I was involved with an experiment in activity based cost accounting for local government services. One day I was riding the elevator with the department CFO and he asked me what I had learned from the ABC exercise. I told him that I had an accurate cost for the overhead burden that he and his organizaion cost my operation and I really didn’t see any value in return for that cost! I started the mutiny years ago, I just can’t figure out why I’m not winning over friends or influencing enemies…
Tripp, this post (and your one about Deming’s “disservice”) led me to seek out other thinking in this area. I found: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_E._Weick#mindfulness
I’ve put his (Weick’s) book Making Sense of the Organization on my reading list – I wonder if you think this is in line with your thinking…