Operational Approach

What Is An Operational Approach?

An operational approach is an approach that is essentially borrowed from Bridgeman’s work and attempts to combine the knowledge of management that’s related to functions of management. The operational approach blends principles, management concepts, and techniques in a management practice that seeks to oversee all aspects of oversight.


The operational approach concerns the description of the broad actions that businesses must take to transform current actions and processes into the desired end state.

What Is An Operational Approach To Management?

Operations management is the management of processes that transform and adapt inputs into goods and services that add exceptional customer care and value. The end goal of operations management is to maximize efficiency whilst producing goods and services that fulfill the needs of customers.


Operations decisions have to be made that have both long and short-term impacts on a business’s capacity to produce goods and services that provide a customer-centric approach. When businesses make solid operating decisions when it comes to designing and enforcing their transformation system to meet customer needs, their chances for long-term survival increase exponentially.

Operational Approach Examples

Every business has an end goal of reducing costs and improving sales. Businesses’ operations are made up of multiple processes that include material acquisition, product delivery, and manufacturing costs. Business strategies that are based on operations include the location and size of facilities, product diversification, and expansion.

The following are examples of operational approach strategies in action:

Market Penetration Strategy 

Market penetration is characterized by capturing a larger piece of a target market or demographic. Developing an operational approach strategy to market generation has several key focus areas.

For example, businesses need to decide how they want to attract customers away from competitors. Market generation strategies could focus on distinctive geographic locations centered around a target demographic.

Product Development Strategy

In terms of operational strategies, product development is more than just the initial rollout of a new product.

An example could be a software company that is releasing a new piece of software that offers free patches and low-cost upgrades for existing products and those in development.

Improved Supply Chain & Logistics 

The supply chain is a process of creating and building a product via its delivery. Businesses can incorporate operations strategies that seek to improve costs associated with the development of a product or the efficient delivery of goods.

Examples of improved creation include reducing the costs of materials for bulk purchases or automating sections of the production line.

How To Plan, Develop & Manage Operational Approaches?


Each part of the formal planning process (strategic, action, and operational) should build off each other as a base. Operational planning should be carried out with formulated objects to reduce the risk of suboptimal structures.


After the planning stage, systems need to be developed, tested, and phased out into a phased release before full-scale production takes place. The development process focuses on planning from the transitional phase to normal operational use. The end goal of the development phase is to hand over to maintenance teams that manage operational effectiveness.


An operational approach to management is the group of practices that businesses use to increase production efficiency. Operations management oversees the production process and business operations using the most efficient models possible. In order to operate efficiently, businesses should use the least amount of resources possible whilst striving to meet customer demands and setting the highest possible standards.

What Is The System Approach To Operations Management?

Businesses are dependent on their external environments to grow and prosper. Modern businesses operate as part of a coherent system,  industry, economic system, or society to which it belongs. This means that organizations receive input, transforming them and carefully exporting outputs to the environment.


The systems approach to operations management needs to be developed in a way that indicates how the different inputs are transformed through managerial functions and practices which include, planning, staffing, organizing, leading, and controlling. The systems approach shifts businesses towards open model systems that incorporate interaction between enterprise and the external environment.

What Is The Connection Between The Operational Approach & Digital Transformation?

The digital age is heralding a period of reinvention and transformation at a pace that hasn’t been seen before. Innovation is the key to digital transformation and operational maturity is at the heart of the roadmap. Robotic process automation, big data, and advanced descriptive analytics all come in the wake of industry 4.0 and are changing the face of the manufacturing industry as we know it.


Businesses are looking to operational approaches that take a mature view of the functionality and operational excellence to successfully cross the threshold into a fully digital future. Each year more and more businesses join the rat race and test their speed, agility, and adaptability which are all interrelated aspects of operational management. Organizations that make the switch to digital using an operational approach have a unique comparative advantage and are chiefly placed to offer the ultimate customer-centric experience.


Operations management concerns the tools and techniques that a production facility manipulates to ensure efficient, optimized, and autonomous streamlined production. An effective operational approach to management enables businesses to identify improvements in areas such as profitability tracking, manufacturing expertise, and regulatory compliance.


Operational approaches to management are interconnected and concern all of the major functions of an organization.


The key benefits to operational management are as follows:


  • Profitability Management
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Manufacturing Edge

Updated: November 09, 2022

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