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What Is Operational Excellence?

By Melissa Wickes
May 19, 2022
3 min

We started our dimensions of youth sports management (which spell out COACH) series with C for Culture. You can read more about the role culture plays in a youth sports organization here. Next up is O for Operational Excellence. 

A lot can be said about operational excellence and its role in youth sports management—but what exactly is it? Sure, you want your organization to run efficiently and effectively, but operational excellence is much more than that. It is achieved when every member of an organization can see how everything they do affects the end customer—in your case, the parents and players. 

When an organization achieves operational excellence, every member of your organization can see the flow to the parents and players…and also see the gaps. This allows you to fix them before they break down. This will save you time and money to focus on what matters most: creating the best sports experiences for your players, parents, and coaches.

Let’s say you see a shortage of referees being a problem in your next season. In that case, operational excellence means everyone on your team is helping to solve that problem before parents and players even know it’s an issue—and before they hit the field. 

But it isn’t just about seeing problems and fixing them before they become a crisis. It’s about securing the best technology to help you run more efficiently. It’s about finding the right partners to help you run programs more effectively. And it’s about financial management and planning. It also includes:

  • Tech procurement 
  • Data and analytics 
  • Partnership development 
  • Growth and innovation

 Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if your organization has achieved operational excellence or if you have some more work to do:

  • Is my organization working with the end goal in mind?
  • Are my teams diverse?
  • Are repetitive tasks automated?
  • Am I managing my team’s time efficiently?
  • Do I have crystal clear communication in place?
  • Am I using my resources effectively?

Having excellent youth sports technology can help your team reach many of the goals above. Learn more about how LeagueApps can save your organization time, improve your communication processes, and automate mundane administrative tasks to help you achieve operational excellence.

How Does an Organization Improve Operational Excellence?

No matter where your organization falls on the spectrum of operational excellence, there are always ways to improve and make your employees more focused on your organization’s end goal. Follow these tips from Wrike you can follow to improve your operational excellence:

  • Simplify everything. Making everything simpler for your team, especially when in a transition period, will make it easier for everyone in your organization to make important decisions.
  • Adopt the right tools and technology. Having tools that increase efficiency and save time at your disposal will make everything easier for your employees. Technology is changing the youth sports world and making the lives of youth sports leaders easier—so it’s crucial to evaluate what youth sports management system would be best for your organization.
  • Embrace failure. Everyone is not going to get everything right all the time, but a fear of failure can hold employees back from thinking outside of the box and making audacious choices. Acknowledging creativity and allowing your team to learn from failures will encourage operational excellence.
  • Include other voices. By involving your entire team—including coaches, parents and players—when making key decisions, you’ll be able to make the best decisions for your organization that are mission-aligned.

Operational Excellence and Youth Sports

Next up in our dimensions of youth sports management series (COACH) is Advertising & Marketing.

To stay updated on this series, keep up with our blog—where you’ll access everything you need to stay in the know about youth sports today.