Optimization and continuous improvement are related concepts. Optimization is the practice of improving measurable outcomes (moving the needle in a positive performance direction), while continuous improvement is the methodology used to uncover opportunities for improvement. Both concepts are essential for telecom, mobility, and IT management professionals seeking to reduce technical, financial, and operational risk by eliminating inefficiencies and waste.
Optimization is the continuous improvement execution action taken to improve performance results. Best practice steps for effective optimization are:
- Measure performance (baseline and ongoing).
- Identify optimal performance targets.
- Implement changes to achieve optimal performance.
When thinking about areas of optimization potential, leverage your favorite continuous improvement methodology to examine these ten areas of focus:
- PEOPLE – Examine resource skills required to achieve peak performance and productivity.
- PROCESS – Examine workflow and procedures that drive technical, financial, and operational efficiency.
- TECHNOLOGY – Examine business systems and software used in telecom, mobility, and IT management practices.
- SERVICES – Examine telecom, mobility, and IT service offerings available to internal customers through the service catalog plus vendor offerings that comprise the network.
- ASSETS – Examine equipment and devices available to internal customers through the service catalog plus network infrastructure equipment and endpoints.
- LICENSES – Examine software licenses available to internal customers through the service catalog plus network infrastructure licenses.
- VENDORS – Examine service providers, professional services firms, consultants, carriers, operators, and suppliers of telecom, mobility, and IT goods and services to business customers.
- COSTS – Examine total cost of ownership including asset, license, service, and delivery cost.
- CONTRACTS – Examine agreements, amendments, and change orders guiding commercial business relationships.
- COMPLIANCE – Examine alignment of business rules and policy with business objectives.
Continuous improvement is iterative and opportunities to optimize performance are limitless. As such, it is essential to establish optimization as an ongoing practice with dedicated resources. All too often, lack of resources available to focus on optimization causes technology management practices to underperform. By elevating continuous improvement and optimization execution to a core practice focus, technology management professionals can increase the value of telecom, mobility, and IT management practices by illustrating measured technical, financial, and operational results.