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Ops Leadership Team Route to Alignment - Phase 1

In November 2021 we started working with the Operations Leadership Team (Ops LT) and the desired outcomes were:

DESIRED OUTCOMES

What success looks like:

  • The Ops LT have created a clear road map for operations that deliver its purpose.

  • All projects/workstreams have a well defined problem they are addressing and have a clear vision, impact, people and challenges. All stakeholders are engaged. Interdependencies are understood and delivery teams are collaborating to ensure all desired outcomes are met. Key milestones are identified and actions are being progressed. The top 10 Priority Actions for the forthcoming month are known and tracked.

  • The Ops LT own the roadmap and are working as a high performance team to deliver it effectively.

  • Operations and business performance are aligned, clearly identified and being actioned. The top 4/5 strategic priorities for 2022 are agreed.

  • The Ops LT are visibly working in a way that sets the behaviours and standards desired from the rest of AWE Operations

We have delivered these outcomes and built the foundations of a high performing team.

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Next phase - Teaming 'Beyond Operations'

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The new Operating model removes some of the organisational silos that exist. Delivering improvement in delivery performance need high quality co-ordination and collaboration across all delivery functions.

Ops leaders will need to get comfortable in leading and influencing across organisational interfaces. 

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Adopting these HRO principles across the delivery space calls high levels of integrated teaming at every level within the organisation. 

Next phase - Teaming 'Beyond Operations'

Jack work on HCDA (2).png

The new Operating model removes some of the organisational silos that exist. Delivering improvement in delivery performance need high quality co-ordination and collaboration across all delivery functions.

Ops leaders will need to get comfortable in leading and influencing across organisational interfaces. 

Jack work on HCDA (3).png

AWE is a High-Reliability Organisation (HRO). Anything less would be fatal. To understand why things are as they are, before we make changes, we must consider the principles of HROs

Principles of High-Reliability Organisations (HROs)

HROs cannot ignore failures because they can snowball into tragedy. It's more important to address any level of technical, human, or process failure. 

This means employees at every level in a high-reliability organisation are tasked with thinking of ways their work processes might break down.

Preoccupation with failure

HROs are complex by definition thus they should embrace complex solutions for complex problems.

Leaders should be open to challenging long-held beliefs and continuously look at data, benchmarks, and performance metrics to prevent simplification.

Reluctance to Simplify

HROs understand that getting a good understanding of the current situation involves working with frontline employees becuase they are closer to the work.

HRO leaders will actively communicate with employees of all levels and show respect for individuals by taking their concerns seriously and listening to their feedback

Sensitivity to Operations

Leaders must know who in the organisation possesses specialised knowledge. They must also encourage people to become experts and also help employees keep their skills sharp.

HROs value expertise over authority. In high-risk conditions, it's important to adapt to circumstances that rapidly change which requires expertise to understand and respond to.

Deference to Expertise

HROs are resilient because they can anticipate trouble and improvise when something unexpected occurs. This also allows them to quickly recover from bad situations.

HROs emphasise the importance of working in teams and they focus on removing barriers that inhibit functional collaboration

Commitment to Resilience

Adopting these HRO principles across the delivery space calls for high levels of integrated teaming at every level within the organisation. 

The Operations Transformation is taking a systematic approach to improving performance. The Ops System rich picture below shows how the elements interact.

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The 'central question' for the Exec ODT is:

What do we need to do now and in the next 6 months to accelerate Ops Transformation and establish more reliable and productive delivery?

The Exec ODT spent time on the 26 August discussing and aligning around this question.

To supplement this question, the following questions/issues came from 1:1 discussions with each ODT member:


 

How the Operating Model works

 

The new Ops Model has flagged up several areas where the Exec ODT need to align:

  • What are Ops accountable for? Several Ops projects that don't have clear ownership - particularly around Ops transitions ie moving people and kit from one location to another.

  • PMO/OMC interface – are we clear how this will work? 

  • IBP submissions. Should IBP submission come from TC for the wider delivery need?

  • Engineering. Drawings based to parts based. Ideal for RW, but needs retrofit on Trident. Pragmatic ‘we will retrofit to the point we need to, but no further.

  • Supply Chain. Will demand plans in RMS capture the full BOM and if so, can they flow directly into our supplier demand plans?

  • How do we empower the teams close to the work to make faster and better decisions?

How we work as a team

We are a newly formed team with diverse perspectives on the delivery challenges. We need to find our way of working together:

 

  • How do we share info and insights?

  • How do we understand the differing perspectives and impacts of those who are close to the problems/challenges? 

  • How do we make decisions?

  • TCs spend up to 170 hours each per month creating reports. What information do we (as an Exec ODT) need, and why? What info do our function need, and why?

 

  • How will we give and receive timely and high quality feedback and resolve conflict amongst ourselves?

  • How do we communicate decisions from this team across the delivery teams and ensure that the message is clear, consistent and timely?

  • How should things get escalated to this team in the right way?

  • How does each functional Exec understand the delivery issues and find/create solutions? Do we have a method of doing this and responding with the speed needed?

  • Do we understand the strategic resources our delivery functions need in the TCs?

Notes from the Exec ODT workshop on 26 August
 

  • Bit of a therapy session at times - sharing frustrations with the current system

  • Improved understanding of Ops System. Rich picture videos stimulated discussion.

  • Some surprise at how far we have to go.

  • Overwhelming support for getting the Ops System deployed as soon as possible.

  • Recognition that weekly 'Mission Delivery' meeting is where status shared and progress is discussed. Needs the right people there and the setting for open, candid exchanges.

  • Are we throwing enough at this - recognition its a big change programme.

  • Willingness to remove blockers where they exist - need Ops to identify them.

  • Wide acknowledgement that cross-discipline teaming is central, and that workforce agility and flexibility is needed. Are current HR practices enabling this? Meg to be involved in future discussions.

  • Support for 'involve to solve' commitment, the Ops Leaders Conference in October, and their personal involvement in TC floor walks.

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