15 Sep 2016 18:48 IST

Be the operations superhero!

As a responsible professional, one needs to engage employees to solve problems together | ESB Professional/ Shutterstock

An expert operations manager solves problems seamlessly and enables people and organisations to grow

Operations management is an ever-changing, satisfying career for many. But it requires a broad skill set and it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. With the number of problems people face at work, it seems as if there is never enough time to solve each one without dealing with some adversity along the way!

However, problem-solving is the essence of a real professional’s existence. The motive is to minimise the occurrence of problems, which means managers must be courageous enough to tackle them head-on before circumstances are forced upon them. They must create and sustain momentum for the organisation and people.

So here’s an overview of the most important qualities people need to be a successful operations manager.

Transparency in communication

Transparent communication enables a boundary-less organisation, whose culture is focused on the betterment of the whole. It welcomes efficient cross-functional collaboration and problem-solving attitude in the entire team.

As an operations manager, one must embrace an entrepreneurial spirit where employees can freely navigate and collaborate. In the absence of this, problem-solving becomes more difficult because he/she will have to deal with individual contributors rather than team players.

This is when problem-solving becomes a discouraging task. As a responsible professional, one needs to engage employees to solve problems together. The aim should be to find resolutions and make the organisation stronger.

Strong initiative and leadership

In addition to being a good communicator, an operations manager must also be a self-starter. Proposing changes to how an organisation works, no matter how small or big, requires a lot of initiative, and one has to be able to justify the recommendations.

Like any manager, those in operations must be able to lead and motivate employees. They should be comfortable in dealing with employee issues, in working with teams, and in delegating work.

Analytical skills

The primary role of such a manager is to direct and improve the workflow for services and employees, and ensure that the organisation runs as efficiently as possible. An ideal candidate is someone who can look at existing processes, examine them, and come up with necessary solutions.

Since operations management involves a lot of creativity, one needs to be innovative enough to come up with ideas that ensure seamless execution of processes, which in turn, lead to results.

Strategising skills

A solid strategy must be implemented to solve any problem. Many professionals attempt to dissect a problem rather than identify the strategy for change that lies within the problem itself. The ones comfortable with problem-solving always know how to gather the right people, resources and knowledge.

Good operations professionals should connect the dots and map out a realistic plan of action in advance. They should have a strategy that serves as the foundation for how the problem will be approached and managed; they should anticipate the unexpected and utilise the strengths of their people to ensure that the strategy leads to a sustainable solution.

You can identify an expert operations manager in your organisation when problem-solving becomes a seamless process that enables the organisation and its people to grow and work better. Problem-solving is the greatest propeller towards growth and opportunity. Be the professional who shows maturity, acts courageously, and focuses on accountability.