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Municipal Operations Management: Process or Project?

The Right OMS Technology is Critical, Part 1

OMS technology works brilliantly...that is, when it’s properly implemented. And in order to implement it successfully, you first need to understand that your evolution to Operations Management is a business process, NOT a project.

Managing day-to-day operations holistically is a new way of doing business for the remainder of your organization’s life. It’s not a project, or part of a project. It’s an ongoing, proactive interaction between people and technology that affords you the opportunity to create and manage projects in real time, assign work crews, maintain tight inventory controls, and much, much more.

Simply put, OMS technology is a direct route to saving money, increasing efficiency, and streamlining work flow.

Think of it this way; when you book a flight, you have a destination in mind. In order to reach that destination, you will be involved in the process of flight. The most obvious process of flight is to first get the plane off the ground. This is a project.

The procedures used to get the plane off the ground and in the air (project) are different that the procedures used to maintain air speed, flight path, cruising altitude, etc. (process). This simple illustration shows us that getting the OMS started within your organization is a project, but in order to really make it “fly”, you need to transition to the business process once it is implemented. Besides, who wants to take a flight where the captain believes his only responsibility is to get the plane off the ground?

Can you imagine the look on everyone’s faces when the plane surges down the runway, rapidly accelerates, begins to get airborne…then, all of a sudden, the engines stop and the plane thuds to the ground, the pilot announcing, “Well folks, our flight is over. We got it off the ground.”? Think of all you would miss!!! Not to mention the fact that you would be no nearer to your destination than when you began.

That is precisely what happens when you view your implementation of OMS technology as a project, rather than a business process. By treating your operations as operations, you will change the way your organization does its business, transforming it into an entity that realizes and maintains efficiency, transparency, and accountability — but only if you treat it as a business process.

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