Operations strategy

In this essay, you are asked to reflect on a specific project (real or proposed) in the context of your employing organization in Qatar For example
(Qatar Airways, Widam Food, Baladna, Qatar national Bank, Qatar gas, Al Meera)

Seven questions to consider:

Q1 :Does operations have a strategy?

  • Operations strategy should take into significant stakeholders into account (Table 2.1).
  • CSR
  • Operations strategy should articulate a ‘vision’ for the operations function contribution to the overall strategy (see Hayes and Wheelwright Four-stage Model)
    — Progression of the operations function from what is largely a negative role (Stage 1) to becoming the central element of competitive strategy in excellent (Stage 4) operations.

Q2: Are the four perspectives of operations strategy reconciled?
• The four perspectives on operations strategy:
 Operations strategy should reflect what the business wants to do in a ‘top down’ manner.
 Operations strategy should translate the enterprises intended market position so as to provide the required objectives for operations decisions (outside in perspective)
 Operations strategy should learn from day-to-day activities so as to cumulatively build strategic capabilities in a ‘bottom up’ manner.
 Operations strategy should develop its resources and processes so that their capabilities can be exploited in their chosen markets (inside out perspective).
Q3: Does operations strategy set an improvement path?

  • In the short-term, operations cannot achieve outstanding performance in all of its operations objectives simultaneously.
  • In the long-term, a key objective of operations strategy is to improve all aspects of operations performance.
    Q4: Does operations strategy reflect the business strategy (top down)?
    Operations strategies should reflect top-down corporate and business objectives.
    Three related levels of strategy: corporate, business and functional.

Q5: Does operations strategy align with market requirement (outside-in)? Does operations strategy develop the capability of its resource and process (inside out)?

  • Any operations strategy should reflect the intended market position of the business.
  • Operations performance objectives can be grouped together as quality, speed, dependability, flexibility and cost.
  • The relative importance of each objective depends on how the business competes in the market.
  • See Innovation at Micraytech (Part 2, outside-in).
    Q6 Does operations strategy learn from operational experience (bottom up)?
  • Operations strategy should reflect bottom-up experience of operational reality.
  • Trends may become evident at operational day-to-day level.
  • The bottom-up element is more ‘plugged in’ to everyday experience.
  • See Innovation at Micraytech (Part 3, bottom up).

Q5 . Does operations strategy develop the capability of its resource and process (inside out)?

  • The objective of operation strategy is to build ‘operations-based capabilities’.
  • Few business have the resources to pursue every single action that might improve their operations performance.
  • An operations strategy should indicate broadly how the operation might best achieve its performance objectives.
  • This is closely linked to the RBV of the firm.
  • Most common way of applying the RBV has become known as the VRIO framework.
    The four features of Barney’s VRIO framework

Essay Structure

Introduction (10% = 150 words).

This is what I am going to tell you.

Asked to…
Purpose is to…
Context – organization/sector/products/service

Body: (80% = 1200 words).

Your paragraphs should answering the 7 questions essay style not answer and questions

Conclusion (10% = 150).

Clear summary and ‘take home’ message

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