A friend of mine, a business lawyer, recently asked me what kinds of things she should look for as 'clues' that her clients may need some operational help - here are a few examples:
* Missing deadlines for deliverables and projects
* Spending is consistently over budget
* Not meeting strategic objectives
* Trouble hiring new staff
* Not meeting revenue targets
* Increase in internal costs with no associated revenue growth
* Not getting repeat business
* Unhappy employees
* Issues with project execution
* Sudden/unexpected changes in senior leadership
These could be signs of existing underlying operational problems or signs that operational problems are on the horizon. Depending on the depth of the issue and the company, they may need a full-time operational leader or someone to come in for some one-time adjustments.
What other issues have you seen as indications of operational issues? Leave a comment and share your experience.
Debbie Millin is President/CEO of UpperLevel Solutions - a Boston-based firm offering part-time and interim COO services, operational assessments and executive project leadership.