Playbook

Streamline Operational Excellence With Efficient Resource Management

Use this framework to cultivate a culture of change and reach operational excellence without double-dipping into available resources.

Read time: 8 min

Who this is for and why it matters

The most successful operational leaders are focused on the one real constant of the job: change.

Pressure to grow, scale, streamline, and cut resources spur changes that must be overcome without sacrificing efficiency or resources. These efficiency challenges feed off the weaknesses of every process, causing miscommunication, siloed knowledge, and goal misalignment.

It's clear that mastering change is key to efficiency, yet organizations still struggle to do it. You've seen the stats—70% of change initiatives are unsuccessful, companies lose 20-30% of revenue on process inefficiencies, and those with effective change management practices outperform competitors.

These statistics are widespread, overused, and dated at best. That's the problem.

Repurposing 25-year-old statistics, practices, and philosophies won't cut it anymore. You might feel like you're following all the right rules—but if you're not consistently preparing for change, you risk falling behind. PMOs experienced this firsthand during Covid, then again with the "return to work" movement, and now in the push to adopt AI.

How can PMOs drive operational excellence through challenges they can't see coming?


Cultivate a culture of change with innovative technology

As PMOs and Ops leaders, you must be proactive—not reactive—by making "change" second nature across your teams. This means creating a well-documented system for adapting fast.

These two strategies go hand in hand when executed with the right tools to connect and streamline the key pillars of your business: your people, processes, and goals. When your team can't pivot, you lose valuable time and resources.

Driving operational excellence requires the entire org to step outside traditional mindsets to adopt a flexible and innovative framework for adapting to change.

Streamline Operational Excellence TL;DR Diagram

Establish clear 'floating' milestones to improve speed to market

Focus on your milestones—not the smaller tasks in between—to calibrate the team's efforts on work that directly impacts your top project objectives and KPIs. Change is significantly easier to manage with a baseline framework of milestones to keep your progress moving at a steady pace.

Plus, your milestones aren't fixed. If priorities shift, adjust your milestones first, and their dependency tasks will follow suit. To do this effectively, frame every project update in the context of progress toward the next milestone.

This focuses your team on the action items feeding directly into the long-term vision, so time isn't spent discussing smaller tasks unlreated to big outcomes. Get teams in the habit of measuring progress in relation to hitting the next milestone. Prepare teams to quickly adapt and take ownership of any changes—without getting stuck on the minutia in between.

As Webstacks' CEO Nikan Shahidi shared in a recent LinkedIn post, this approach gives teams a competitive edge when launching a new initiative.

Webstack CEO Nikan Shahidi LI post

Framing updates around your milestones tackles blockers before they become irreversible. It also paves the way for expediting the smaller tasks to reach your long-term goals at scale (without the threat of change to slow you down).

Scale impactful work by delegating all repetitive work to AI

Manual processes create a tidal wave of redundant tasks that block as much as 60% of team members' days, leaving limited time to focus on milestone action items tied directly to project outcomes.

They're also expensive. A Formstack survey found inefficient tasks can cost organizations more than $1.3 million per year. Eliminating redundant tasks shortens the chain of events, delaying your current processes. Success through change is possible by simply reducing the number of steps.

Automating tasks should already be a priority—but a few automations here and there aren't enough. To scale your teams' productivity in a big way, expedite the time between each milestone with a combination of workflow automation and AI to tackle tasks that don't require technical skills or creativity.

Experts like Brendan Hufford, Founder of Growth Sprints, acknowledged in a recent Integrate to Elevate webinar series that AI isn't powerful enough to complete every task in your timeline yet, but it's an excellent assistant to reach the next step faster. This eliminates the mundane items disrupting your team's deep work and re-focuses them on impactful work.

Cut overhead costs by consolidating and centralizing resources

Even after setting clear milestones and streamlining the tasks between, your efforts will go to waste without full visibility into the changes you've been preparing for in steps one and two.

You know the phrase "single source of truth," but how far have you taken it? Just like you must be heavy-handed with your use of AI to see big results, you need to lean heavily into your single source of truth mindset.

Miscommunication is one of the most common killers in reaching operational excellence. It is often caused by a disconnect in your knowledge-sharing efforts. Centralized work systems remedy this issue by granting full visibility into updates across the organization by aligning your people, processes, and goals.

People, Goals, Process Venn Diagram Final

Consolidating any number of tools down to one "hub" immediately cuts costs, eliminates redundant tools, and drives efficiency by reducing the number of places team members must search to access crucial information.

The Earth modeling software, Seequent, adopted a single source of truth mindset across their marketing team to break down knowledge-sharing barriers and scale campaigns.

By granting every team member access to all updates, process documentation, and communication, Seequent no longer relied on the multiple tools needed to collaborate on projects.

Seequent Breakdown With Quote and Stats graphic

The results speak for themselves—with one source of truth for every initiative, the geo solutions company doubled its resource management efficiency.

Optimize decision-making by minimizing operational complexity

We love a customized workflow as much as the next PMO. But your custom processes are likely too complex to change at a moment's notice. And when the need for change arises, it comes as a shock to the team and snowballs into an impossible obstacle.

Making decisions quickly is a must, so how do you get buy-in across the board? Data. To optimize your decision-making process, however, minimize the amount of data you need to justify pivoting your strategy.

You may be limited with data—especially if dealing with unforeseen change. Hone in on your true key signals of success with metrics that speak directly to your company's long-term vision.

Don't stray from this. Using less data to confirm your decisions is more efficient and gives you the clear information you need to support important choices. Organizations like Finastra, a financial software company, saw a domino effect of benefits after adopting a similar data analysis strategy.

Its marketing team tailored performance Dashboards to focus only on mission-critical metrics to spot impactful data changes the moment they occurred. This not only boosted operational efficiency but also improved collaboration efforts and GTM efficiency.

Finastra Quote and Statistics graphic

Pre-built templates are life savers in tackling the challenges that come with implementing new decisions and change. These resources provide a skeleton baseline for PMOs to customize and duplicate to align with their operational strategies.

In our Change Management Template, you'll find many of the exact systems mentioned in this playbook to drive efficiency results including Kanban boards, collaborative SOP Docs, and communication features to ease the lift of establishing one fully accessible and well-rounded source of truth for your teams.

ClickUp Change Management Template

Get comfortable with change to reach operational excellence

Outdated stats, practices, and mindsets won't cut it in today's turbulent business landscape. To keep their footing and weather any storm, PMOs must embrace the economic ebb and flow without additional resources to cushion the blow. And the only way to do that is by cultivating a culture of change.

Establishing and sharing a new way of thinking across an entire org isn't easy, but it's necessary in order to achieve operational excellence. This four-part framework provides the stepping stones to shift business operations in the right direction, but that's not the only resource available to help the cause.

Our team of experts has seen it all and is ready to help bulletproof your efficiency efforts regardless of the changes thrown your way.

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