Does your company view Operations as a strategic or solely tactical function?

  • 30 June 2020
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 1

Hello AdaptivOps Community! 

I am new to this community and forum – and am looking forward to listening to my first live webinar this Wednesday.  As I was musing the topic of building an Operations team, I’m reminded of a regular conversation among my team about the view of Operations as a strategic function versus a tactical one.  Naturally, this view can impact how a team is recruited for, built and managed.

Operations is a critical function, no doubt; and recognized by many companies as such.  Companies that view it as a strategic function, however, I view as the most progressive.  Operations leaders of those organizations can likely speak to enterprise goals and objectives being met or exceeded on a more consistent basis than those who view their Ops teams and leaders as solely tactical contributors.

When carrying out some restructuring in my department this last year, I shared a couple thought pieces with our team (links below).  Continuing to advocate for a strategic position seems in line with what this Community seems to promote and strive for as well.

Thank you for the opportunity to join the Community and I look forward to this week’s conversation.

5 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Check this out:

@Joanna Medin 


@Brandon Blahnik 


@Simon Cundall 

Tagged a few members I thought would find this interesting- thank you for sharing @AMurphy

Great question. We’re a little bootstrapped org and often find that operations had to evolve on its own without much planning or strategy, more as a reactive response. I’ve been fighting the good fight about solving some more of our upstream problems, and starting to see real progress - but convincing the people who hold the keys to the coffers has been a different story. 


Making a $$ case for optimizing processes and improving both team and client experience has proven a real challenge, one that we’re still facing (open to ideas!).

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

Great post, @AMurphy! I’ve personally experienced the type of bootstrapped focus that leads to a reactive approach to operations, as described by @Simon Cundall. In my opinion, good ops folks need to have strong tactical skills. Great ops folks have those skills and can think about the organization and its needs today, as well as how those needs will evolve 1,3,5 years down the road.

Thanks for sharing!

Userlevel 2
Badge +2

What a great topic! I have sometimes heard that such company is too small or too young for operations, even that companies did not need operations because things were happening. But as you are pointing out, it might just be that the group is tactical about it, and is able to make decisions without formalizing the strategy behind it.

Where the articles sufficient to make your case or did you have to use other strategies to transform your team the way you needed to?

Userlevel 1

Great question @Melanie Rohat-Meheust .  It helped me create the case to reorg the department, but the view of Ops by leadership throughout the company continues to be a work in progress.  I pulled out the four stages at the end of the first article and continue to have our Ops team evaluate where we are on the continuum - and how our actions can continue to move us along it.  I’ve found we have to be intentional to keep one another motivated and with each new undertaking, evaluate how we are leaving our ‘fingerprints’ on the business, so to speak.  Transformation is ongoing for us for sure.


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