Operations

Featured Operations Articles

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The End of Focus: A New Wave of Manufacturers Will Choose Scope Over Scale

New digital technologies are changing the rules of competition by expanding the boundaries of what a company can handle and introducing new sources of advantage.

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The Big Squeeze: How Compression Threatens Old Industries

Accelerating compression of both revenues and profits in some businesses can be fatal, and fast.

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It Takes More Than Math to Design a Distribution Network

New research demonstrates how the most efficient network designs also account for changing market conditions.

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Project Management

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Protect Your Project From Escalating Doubts

Projects can lose momentum if stakeholders grow skeptical. Here’s how to avert a ‘cycle of doubt.’

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The Most Underrated Skill in Management

Articulating what problem you’re trying to solve is an important (and underrated) management skill.

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Do You Diagnose What Goes Right?

There’s value in looking at good processes to figure out what works.

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The Pitfalls of Project Status Reporting

Will your next big IT project be on time and deliver what was promised? Maybe — but maybe not.

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Global Operations

Revisiting the Logic of Being Global

For many companies, the headaches of being global are intensifying, The Economist says. In most sectors domestic peer companies are growing faster than multinationals.

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Automating Services

A New Approach to Automating Services

Early adopters of software robots exemplify how companies generate tangible benefits via service innovations in three ways: (1) by developing an approach to service automation supported by top management, (2) by initiating effective processes that deliver value to customers and employees, and (3) by building enterprise-wide skills and capabilities. Managers interested in capturing the benefits of service automation need to pursue all three avenues.

How Customers View Self-Service Technologies

Consumers are not running away from self-service options — just poorly implemented ones. Managers often underestimate customer’s need for employee interaction during a self-service experience, as well as customer desires for convenience and for transaction speed. “These three areas have a tremendous impact on the implementation of a self-service technology,” write the authors, “and might explain why some self-service applications have received a lukewarm reception.”

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Managing Alliances

How to Manage Alliances Strategically

August 23, 2016 | Ha Hoang and Frank T. Rothaermel

Companies that lack the resources and knowledge to undertake key strategic growth initiatives often seek partners who can fill in the gaps. The skills that make such alliances work, however, aren’t well understood; executives often make flawed assumptions that prevent the partnership from achieving its goals. An integrative, holistic framework for alliance management helps executives avoid these pitfalls and create value via strategic alliances.