Damian Bivona
December 13, 2018

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Sustaining an Operational Excellence Program

Damian Bivona has written an article on his interpretation of the Global State of Operational Excellence Survey Report - Critical Challenges & Future Trends - 2018/2019.  Click here to download the full Survey Report 2018/19.  

The Most Comprehensive Study of Critical Challenges and Future Trends within Operational Excellence

With nearly 1000 respondents, 37 insightful questions, detailed analysis & insights from 40 industry thought leaders, and the BTOES Insights executive team, this 130 page report is recognised as the most comprehensive study of critical challenges and future trends within Operational Excellence, and is considered a key resource for the industry. Areas covered include:

  • The Critical Operational Excellence Challenges faced by executives.

  • The Current Scope of Operational Excellence.

  • How is Operational Excellence success measured?

  • Key Findings & Roadblocks.

  • What are executives focusing on over the next 12-18 months?

  • What have been the greatest developments?

  • What are the key drivers pushing change in Operational Excellence?

  • Industry Perspectives.

  • Small, Medium & Large Corporation Perspectives.

  • Detail Analysis & Insights from BTOES Insights Executive Team.

  • Detailed Analysis & Insights from 40 Industry Thought Leaders.

  • Analysis of key themes, including Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding.


Research report front cover


Complete form to access Report now



The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Sustaining an Operational Excellence Program

So you finally finished that big project, the one that simplified and improved a core process for your customers. Time to call it a day and move on, right? Nope not even close. Now the fun begins – you designed and implemented a better way to service your customers but how do you sustain that improved change over time and who is responsible for ensuring it continues to act the way the team intended. Never forget your customers will drive the demand for delivering faster, cheaper and with  quality. So even though the project has successfully completed there will always be more to do. Let's take a closer look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of sustaining an Operational Excellence Program. Click here to read the full Survey Report 2018/19.    


First let's discuss how to sustain the improvement to a core process you just implemented. Since you were successful we can assume you had the right champion, you affected the culture in the right way, the design team is basically still in place and you can measure how the process acts – great job! Don't  walk away just yet. Who is responsible for ensuring things will continue the way you left them? What happens if resources change, or the metrics don't continue to show the positive results first achieved or customers start to complain? This is where Operational Excellence puts on a second hat to maintain and enforce the good work of the project team. Click here to read more Articles on The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends - Research Report 2018/19.




The "Ugly"

It can get pretty “Ugly” down in the trenches when customers don't receive the output expected. Complaints come in, products are returned, procedures may slow down producing inventory or backlogs – all because the process once thought enhanced is not working as designed. You have just experienced a common occurrence of all processes. Since you did not set yourself up to sustain the success of the enhanced process implementation, you're lost on what to do or even worse reverting back to old ways.


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Sustaining an Operational Excellence Program




The "Bad"

On the flip side maybe things are “Bad” but not catastrophic, after-all you do have measures to identify a leading problems, your resource are in place to identify the root cause of the issue and the Operational Excellence team is still around. So worse case you present the data and facts to the OpEx team and say we need your help to get us back on track. Of course the OpEx team has quiet a bit of free time to help – right?




The "Good"

So let's talk about the “Good” - the implementation has taken place but at the same time the project was executing part of the plan is dedicated to sustaining the improvement. I call this step E.L.F. as an easy way to remember the key activities to maintain the good work that was executed. Education, Leadership & Followup. Pretty simple to learn but harder to do. A lot happens behind the E.L.F. Principles that can ensure less headaches then needed. Let's break it down further.





The process workers are educated in the new procedures so it's time to cross train the team and managers, knowledge is needed on how to identify and handle good vs bad variation, education also comes in the form of training for new people. Part of education is also for the rest of the organization to hear the success and gain awareness of how changes might affect their operations.





You had a sponsor and a project leader but chances of them being their after the project are low. Now you need an embedded leader in some cases called a process owner who is responsible to ensure the new changes continue, understand what to do if issues occur, together with the team be able to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable variations, handle and / or escalate customer complaints and overall own the continued success of the process. The buck stops here! They are accountable for both the good and bad of the processing. The ownership is now part of their performance goals.





Metrics, who is producing them and analyzing the results? Introduce a customer feedback loop that helps the team determine if additional changes are needed? Setup periodic reviews with the Operation Excellence team to determine if a new project should be established based on results from the measurement system or feedback from customer or internal stakeholders.




If you can do the upfront work to put this in place, you have now come full circle on the continuous improvement life cycle. This becomes another leg that sustains the OpEx project portfolio and ensures a continued healthy relationship with the process teams. Following these steps provides the organization with a continual stream of projects to maintain in addition to new projects identified that need help. The portfolio will be remain active, relevant and can be aligned to the corporate strategy over time. 

Want to learn more? Download the full Report.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Sustaining an Operational Excellence Program


About the Author

Damian Bivona: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Sustaining an Operational Excellence ProgramDamian Bivona
AVP - Lean, Six Sigma and Transformation Executive for Global Operations, AIG

Damian has extensive experience in strategic planning, Operations, project management and process improvement. Utilized background across numerous industries - Publishing, Re-insurance & Insurance, Finance, and Energy. 
Objective is to leverage work experience toward the Executive role of Operations Officer or strategic planner within business areas such as IT, Operations and cutomer service.

Specialties: Proficient in Six Sigma methodology. PMO methods for project portfolio governance, Use of Minitab as data analytical tool. Service Center (call center) experience. Development of new / improved operating models. Check out his LinkedIn profile.


The issues in this article are just one of topic areas that are going to be discussed at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry (BTOES19). March 18-22, 2019, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®

BTOES is the industry’s biggest and best, senior-level, cross-industry gathering of Business Transformation & Operational Excellence industry leaders and senior executives.

It also hosts the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards, which showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs.

The summits hosts a number of private forums for C-Level & Global corporate-level leaders as well as business unit heads.

With over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, 5 co-located events, the Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.


Quick Links



BTOES19 Awards


There is a strong focus on Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding. We dedicated two tracks to advanced technologies, such as AI, Machine Learning, RPA, Predictive Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud infrastructure etc.


The agenda is designed to encourage active meaningful conversations though all day enhanced networking and interaction opportunities, including

  • All-day Refreshment & Themed Breaks

  • 1¼ Hour Hot Breakfast Networking Sessions

  • 1½ Hour Hot Plated Networking Lunches with Topic & Industry Sector focussed tables

  • 1½ Hour Roundtable Sessions by Topic & Industry Sector.

  • Keynote & Themes Panel Sessions

  • Hosted Welcome Receptions from 5.30pm

  • Expanded more lavish Awards Program

  • Newly launched Night Summit for attendees to meet after dinner

For more information or to discuss the summit in more detail please schedule a call below,

Click here to schedule a call.  

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards

The Largest Leadership-Level Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Event



Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Download the most comprehensive OpEx Resport in the Industry

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards Video Presentation

Proqis Events Schedule

Proqis Digital

Welcome to BTOES Insights, the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news.



Full-length speaking sessions from the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit, accompanied by featured articles from the Speakers themselves.



Submit an Article

Become a Regular Contributor

Access all 75 Award Finalist Entires
Subscribe to Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Insights Now
ATTENDEE - Proqis Digital Event Graphics-2
ATTENDEE - Proqis Digital Event Graphics (2)-1
ATTENDEE - Proqis Digital Event Graphics (1)-1

Featured Content

  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Technology & Communications: IBM
  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities: Black & Veatch
  • Best Achievement in Cultural Transformation to deliver a high performing Operational Excellence culture: NextEra Energy
Operational Excellence Frameworks and Learning Resources, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation and more introductions
  • Intelligent BPM Systems: Impact & Opportunity
  • Surviving_the_IT_Talent_deficit.png
  • Six Sigma's Best Kept Secret: Motorola & The Malcolm Baldrige Awards
  • The Value-Switch for Digitalization Initiatives: Business Process Management
  • Process of Process Management: Strategy Execution in a Digital World

Popular Tags

Speaker Presentation Operational Excellence Business Transformation Business Improvement Process Management Business Excellence Continuous Improvement process excellence Process Optimization Process Improvement Award Finalist Case Study Digital Transformation Leadership Enterprise Excellence Change Management Lean Premium Organizational Excellence Lean Enterprise Lean Six Sigma Insights Article Execution Excellence Capability Excellence New Technologies Changing & Improving Company Culture Enterprise Architecture Agile end-to-end Business Transformation Execution & Sustaining OpEx Projects Leadership Understanding & Buy-In Lack of/Need for Resources Culture Transformation Adapting to Business Trends Changing Customer Demands Failure to Innovate Integrating CI Methodologies Lack of/Need for Skilled Workers Lack of/Need for Support from Employees Maintaining key Priorities Relationships Between Departments BTOES18 RPA & Intelligent Automation Live BTOES From Home Financial Services Process Mining Customer Experience Excellence Technology Healthcare iBPM Healthcare and Medical Devices Process Automation Cultural Transformation Webinar Culture Customer Experience Innovation BTOES Video Presentations Exclusive BTOES HEALTH Strategy Execution Business Challenges Digital Process Automation Report Industry Digital Workplace Transformation Manufacturing Supply Chain Planning Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Automation IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies BPM Artificial Intelligence innovation execution AI Lean Manufacturing Oil & Gas Robotic Process Automation IT value creation Agility Business Speaker Article Systems Engineering RPAs Insurance Process Design Digital Speaker's Interview data management Business Process Management Intelligent Automation digital operations Awards thought leaders BTOES Presentation Slides Transformation Cloud Machine Learning Data Analytics Digital Transformation Workplace Banking and Capital Markets Data Finance Professional Services Education IT Infrastructure IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Live Blockchain Interview Solving Cash Flow with AI BTOES White Paper investment banking Analytics Insight BTOES19 Consumer Products & Retail Enterprise Agile Planning Government Operational Excellence Model Project Management Algorithm Automotive and Transportation Banking Business Environment Digital Bank Enterprise architecture as an enabler Hybrid Work Model Primary Measure of succes Relationship Management Sales business expansion revenue growth Adobe Sign Agile Transformation CoE Delivery solution E-Signatures Electricity Global Technology HealthcareTechnologies Innovation in Healthcare Transportation Accounts Receivable (AR) Big Data Technology CORE Cloud Technology Cognitive learning Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) Logistics Services Operational Excellence Example Reduce your RPA TCO Risk Management Six Sigma business process automation transformation journey Covid-19 Data Entry Digital Experience Digital Network Digital Network Assistant (DNA) Digitization Drinks HR Internet Media NPS Net Promoter Score Program Management Portal (PgMP) Sustainability TechXLive The Document is Dead The New Era of Automation Automated Money Movement Banking & Financial Services Biopharmaceutical Blue Room Effect Building Your Future Workforce in Insurance Business Process Governance Capital Market Creative Passion Digital Transformation Workplace Live Digital Workforce Digitalization ERP Transformation Effective Change Leaders Finance Global Operations (FGO) Financial Services Software Frameworks Hoshin Planning Human Capital Lean Culture Natural Gas Infrastructure Natural Language Processing Organizational Change Pharmaceutical Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Project manager Supply Chain Management Sustainable Growth The Fully Automated Contact Center Transformation Initiatives Workplace Analytics eForms eSignatures 3D Thinking BEAM BFARM BTOES17 Big Data Processing Business Analytics Business Growth Centralized Performance Monitoring System Communication Creativity Digital Technologies Digital Technology Educational Psychologist Energy Management Health Insurance Health Maintenance Organizations Hospitality & Construction Human Centered Design Integrated Decision Approach Integrated Decision Making Intelligent Document Processing Kaizen Medicare Moodset for Excellence Natural Language Processing (NLP) Offering Managers Oil and Gas Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Photographing Price and Routing Tracking (PART) Process Design Document (PDD) Product Identifier Descriptions (PIDs) Python Quote to Cash (Q2C) Resilience SAP Sales Quota Team Work Telecommunications Text Mining Visually Displayed Work Culture master text analytics virtual resource management