A Guide to the Theory and Practice of Implementation
THE CASE FOR IMPLEMENTATION: WHY IMPLEMENTATION IS AN APPROPRIATE FOCUS FOR THE OPERATIONS MANAGER The introduction touched upon a number of approaches to implementing an operations strategy once formulated and one in particular cannot be thought of as a tool specifically for strategy implementation. Although GE used the Six Sigma approach effectively to achieve its strategy and significantly reduce its operating costs, the main reason was likely to be the fit that was present with the strategy, the approach and what the market required of GE. If GE’s aim had not been to reduce total operating costs through improved process control, it is unlikely Six Sigma would have been as able to assist in pursuing its strategy. It would have also been a considerably less successful exercise if, once achieved, the improvements were not appreciated by the market to justify the investment required in the development and maintenance of the system. Although within the GE example, particular focus was given to the statistical professionals or ‘belts’, the position of these professionals was likely to be very similar to that of an operations manager. Operations managers are located in a position within an organisation that is similar to a capability, where they may straddle a number of functional elements to coordinate particular developments. As stated in Chapter 1, the importance of these capabilities for an organisation working on the implementation of an operations strategy is significant. Without capabilities that are able to provide value that is of importance to the end...
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