Defining Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence is not just about efficiency gains and cost savings. It has a much wider significance in improving overall organizational performance while ensuring a responsible focus on society and the environment.

Often, Operational Excellence is viewed as limited to manufacturing or running business-as-usual activities – be it delivering business services, managing supply chain, or maintaining IT infrastructure. Ideally, we should apply Operational Excellence focus to all the activities that an organization does for running its business. Operational Excellence helps organizations deliver value to everyone connected – directly or indirectly – in a better way. Be it investors, customers, employees, and more importantly the local communities or the society as a whole. It should enable organizations to run its business responsibly keeping in view the long-term impact.

We tend to separate Operations from Strategy and other functions like Innovation, Design, Engineering etc. In my view, all of these functions are closely related. We should see all these under one umbrella to build a truly agile, responsible, and humanistic organization. And we should apply Operational Excellence focus to all of them.

Operational Excellence is not just about efficiency and productivity gains, cost optimization, and customer satisfaction. It has a much wider scope. It is all about having a positive and lasting impact on – Society, Employees, Customers, and Business.

Here are some quick items that one should focus on:


  • Judicious use of natural resources
  • Care for environment
  • Healthy society with strong social fabric
  • Prioritize long-term impact over short-term gains


  • Productive engagement of employees
  • Enrich work and work environment
  • Employee health and well-being
  • Employability focus


  • End-to-end customer journey
  • Full lifecycle view
  • Customer experience
  • Customer value


  • Realistic growth and profitability goals
  • Impact on bottomline
  • Contributions to top line
  • Innovation
  • Future-readiness

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