Chapter 20

Ten Mistakes That New Operations Managers Make

In This Chapter

arrow Starting a project without planning it

arrow Failing to simplify and standardize your process

arrow Forgetting to focus on the customer

Everyone makes mistakes, especially when just starting out in a new job or activity. In this chapter we highlight the top ten mistakes that rookie operations managers tend to make. Don’t feel too bad if you’ve made all of them; even experienced operations managers sometimes make them, too. But if you haven’t yet slipped up on these missteps, just knowing about them increases your chances of avoiding them.

Beginning an Improvement Journey without a Map

Perhaps the most frequent mistake that even experienced operations managers make is not documenting their existing processes. In any process-improvement project, knowing where you start from is essential. How do you know whether you made any improvement if you don’t know where you started? Although this initial documentation is often considered a waste of time because you end up changing it anyway, documenting the current process uncovers where in the process trouble spots exist — believe us when we say that what’s wrong isn’t always obvious ...

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