Boost business efficiency with operational projects
Blog: Monday Project Management Blog
With each new project, a challenge presents itself to the manager and his team: how to ensure that every step and operation is carried out smoothly and efficiently. Big or small, every company needs to have well-defined strategies to ensure the success of a new project.
Below, we’ll explain the importance of operational improvements in business, and how to masterfully execute projects designed to improve processes. While we’re at it, we’ll show you how a Work OS like monday.com can supercharge your operational endeavors. But first, let’s establish a simple definition.
What are operational projects?
Broadly, operational projects are initiatives designed to improve or modify a company’s existing operations. These projects are typically focused on making specific changes or improvements within an organization, such as implementing new technology or processes, streamlining a department’s workflow, or updating a company’s product and service offerings.
Operational projects are opportunities to implement process improvements, develop new solutions, or implement changes to how a business operates.
A good way to get a grasp on operational projects is by contrasting them with similar objectives.
Operational projects vs. compliance and strategic projects
At first glance, the concept of operational projects looks a lot like compliance and strategic projects. And while each one can potentially impact business operations and overlap in execution, they’re three distinct initiatives with different goals and outcomes.
Operational projects are focused on improving a business’s day-to-day operations, where the objective is modifying a process in a way that directly supports business goals. Any projects that aim to increase efficiency, decrease costs, or improve productivity in the short term are considered operational projects.
Strategic projects share the same objectives as operational projects in that they’re aimed at better business outcomes, but the precise focus is quite different. These projects are more focused on supporting the direction and long-term goals of the organization, and they’re often designed to help the business adapt to changing market conditions or address strategic challenges.
Lastly, compliance projects are all about making sure a company adheres to relevant laws, regulations, and standards. Regulatory agencies and government organizations often require these kinds of projects, especially for larger companies.
For a business that executes these three kinds of projects, each one is crucial to the success of a company. But while some businesses are less or more concerned with strategy and compliance, every company should focus on improving its day-to-day operations — regardless of industry.
Importance of operational projects in all industries
Improving processes and maximizing efficiency, even in small ways, can have an outsized impact in the long run. Some of the benefits of improving operations are:
- More efficiency: With the objective of streamlining systems and processes, operational projects help companies reduce waste and inefficiencies.
- Increased productivity: Fine-tuning an internal work process can help businesses identify and eliminate bottlenecks and other obstacles that hinder productivity.
- Enhanced competitiveness: Better operations can open the doors to opportunities that were previously unavailable, such as new products and services.
- Better decision-making: Tweaking operations in a way that enhances data collection and analysis provides insight and clarity that’s essential for larger, more strategic initiatives.
There are several kinds of projects you’ll see under the operational umbrella that can provide these benefits.
Types of operational projects
Operational projects are all about identifying areas for process improvement and then executing on those opportunities. This might include implementing new technologies or developing new procedures to improve efficiency and productivity. But it can just as well involve change management or organizational structure.
The most common types of operational projects are:
- Restructuring: Organizational restructuring in the service of better outcomes is an operational project. These projects might include changes to the wider organizational structure, the allocation of resources, or the management of teams and departments.
- Technology implementation: If you’ve ever taken part in the deployment of new software, you’ve participated in an operational project. This can also include upgrading systems and infrastructure or integrating entirely new technologies.
- Change management: Usually considered far-reaching, change management is an operational project that facilitates significant organizational changes that can impact numerous processes and structures.
- Training and development: These projects help provide team members with the skills and knowledge they need to grow professionally.
In practice, any measure or effort that changes a process, be it minor or far-reaching, is an operational project. In the middle of this range lies one of the best examples of an operational project.
A real-world example of an operational project: CRMs
Customer relationship management systems, otherwise called CRMs, are extremely valuable tools that can have significant impacts on customer and client relationships and business success. In fact, CRM integrations might be one of the most common operational projects in the modern business world.
The objective of this operational project would be to improve the organization’s ability to manage customer interactions and relationships and to better understand and respond to customer needs. A good CRM can lead to better sales and revenue and greater competitiveness, not to mention higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
A successful CRM project entails a detailed integration plan with project timelines and budgets, and a means of monitoring and tracking progress to ensure the project is delivered on time and within budget. It also requires close collaboration with key stakeholders from various departments, among other best practices.
Best practices for building an operational project
Several practices help ensure success when managing an operational project. First, it’s important to clearly define the project’s goals and objectives, and the responsibilities of everyone involved. Creating a detailed project plan that outlines the steps necessary to complete the project as well as the criteria for success is one of the best ways to do this.
Another best practice is to regularly communicate with all stakeholders. This will help everyone stay informed about the project’s development and make sure that any issues or concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
Finally, it’s important to monitor and track the project’s progress and to adjust the plan as needed based on any problems that pop up. One of the easiest and most effective ways to track an operational project — as well as manage the other best practices — is by implementing a robust Work OS.
Operational project pros use monday.com
When it comes to managing all the intricate details of an operational project, you’ll need powerful tools that help you reign in planning, task tracking, and multi-departmental communication. With monday.com, you can turn operational complexity into a done deal.
Our intuitive task boards make planning and tracking every task down to the finest detail easy. The same boards provide integrated data, so zooming out to see the big picture is equally effortless. And with collaboration built in, all of your project’s key users are always on the same page.
Taking your operational projects further, monday.com can help businesses manage every aspect of their operations, from project management to development, with additional features for a robust CRM. And with a long list of integrations, our platform happily makes room for existing operations.
Frequently asked questions
If you want to keep learning about operational projects, the answers to the questions below shed a little more light on the subject.
What is an example of an operational project?
One example of an operational project could be a company’s effort to implement a new customer relationship management system. This sort of project involves considerable changes in processes with the ultimate goal of improving service and increasing customer loyalty.
What does an operational project do?
Depending on the needs and goals of the company, operational projects entail a number of different tasks and outcomes. Some common operational project goals are:
- Streamlining and improving existing processes and systems
- Providing employees with the skills and knowledge they need to perform their jobs effectively
- Reorganizing the structure and relationships within the organization
- Introducing new products or services to the market
- Merging multiple departments into a single team
Fine-tune business processes with operational projects
Operational projects are essential to a successful business. A mindset of growth and adaptability in processes and technology is a valuable asset to any company. But if your business is young, just make sure your first operational project is implementing a flexible, easy-to-use Work OS.
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