If you are analytical, organized, and enjoy managing a lot of different things at once, a career in operations performance management might just be for you.
Operations performance managers can wear a variety of hats on the job, but in every case, it includes management of either a product or service, or something along the way to its development or distribution.
That sound like a lot, doesn't it? But it's really quite simple. What you're really doing is directing the flow of various aspects of a product or service development or distribution.
With operations management specifically, you are focusing on the operations itself rather than the specific product or service.
One of the things an operations manager does is to make sure that processes flow smoothly and efficiently. Often, this means that operations managers measure and analyze the processes that take place so as to make and keep them at their most effective. How this is done really depends upon the nature of the organization itself and the nature of the products or services it produces. For example, operations management will be somewhat different within an organization that focuses on retail versus one that focuses on manufacturing.
However, with operations performance management, how people, too, are ''managed'' can work into the equation of what an operations performance manager does. This is because employees, too, are one cog in the wheel of a company's efficiency. In some cases, this is handled as part of human resources, but in other cases it is worked into the entire equation of operations performance management for the company.
Working in Operations Performance Management
Because your task as an operations performance manager is to analyze and make the operations of a particular company more efficient within the production of its products or services, this means that you can wear several hats, or you may focus on just one area. For example, you may focus on making the production of a particular item its most efficient, thus driving down costs and increasing profit. Your basic focus in all cases is to make performance within a company's various areas their most efficient so as to drive down costs and boost profit.
One concept you may hear of in regard to operations performance management is the phrase ''just in time.'' When something is instituted ''just in time,'' it is given at the precise moment it is needed and not before. For example, often when employees need to be trained in a particular skill, this is done ''just-in-time'' and not before. One reason this is cost-effective is because it means the training is the most up-to-date possible when it is given, so that it can be utilized instantly after training is done when information is both fresh and timely. In many cases, operations performance management gets in on the process of managing employees so that particular talent is hired ''just-in-time'' to manage specific job requirements; by the same token, employees may be managed such that only those with the exact skills required are hired, while others are hired on a temporary or interim basis to fulfill a specific skill requirement, rather than on a permanent basis.
Operations management, too, can institute this ''just-in-time'' concept for product introductions, equipment upgrades, and just about anything pertaining to an organization's optimal functioning.
If you are interested in a career in operations performance management, one good way to do this is to start at a company with your eye on a managerial position. In some cases, you may of course start at a lower level upon entry and work your way up. During your time there, speaking with those who work in operations performance management will give you a good idea of job duties. Remember that those who look for operations performance managers look for those with a keen eye to detail, good management skills, good organizational skills, and the ability to handle all the details of a particular process at each stage of the game.
Duties will vary in operations performance management, but if you have a particular interest in products or services, for example, you will want to focus on that area of expertise. Some companies, as mentioned previously, will also have a broader focus in operations performance management to include employee functions as well as product or service development and distribution efficiencies.
Operations performance management is a broad-based umbrella term that can include management of any of the facets of product or service development and distribution. In some cases, it may even include personnel management insofar as it relates to company efficiency. Operations performance measures are necessary to make sure companies continue to run smoothly, as they oversee processes and seek to make things run as efficiently as possible.