The Ops Model is a framework that revolves around system thinking in complex environments. It is centred on the groups or nodes within the system and the relationships or networks between them. The primary focus of the Ops Model is on the actual processes, frameworks, and ways of working within each of these groups, and how they impact the system as a whole.
While understanding what the Ops Model entails, it’s equally important to recognise what it does not. The Ops Model should not impose rigid, inflexible processes on teams. Rather, it should empower function owners with the skills, autonomy, and decision-making authority to determine their own approach to working. The goal of the Ops Model should be to provide appropriate guidelines and rules to enhance and align the overall system, while ensuring that individual teams’ ways of working are compatible with the guardrails and rules in place, enabling the Ops Model to operate effectively within the system.
Two levers sit apart from the others, namely People and Continuous Improvement. Many system frameworks advocate for separating the practice of people from the practice of delivery. The Spotify model and its focus on Chapters is one such breakaway thinking model. The Ops Model always considers both improving people and their part in delivery and execution. Continuous improvement is critical to every other lever as the evolution of one node in the system affects all others. Hence, dedicating time and energy to improving is a significant part of how we deliver value.
The end goal is for all groups/functions to continually improve how they work towards the mission/vision and the Ops Model. The framework emphasises the importance of continuous improvement, and it should be integrated into how we deliver value. By following this approach, we can achieve the desired outcomes and improve our systems over time.