Introduction of Operations Strategy
The term strategy, given in the Collins English Dictionary is, 'the art or science of the planning and conduct of a war; generalship; a long term plan for success, especially in business and politics'. Therefore strategy is all about the decisions and actions necessary to obtain long term success. Although by success we generally mean competitiveness or survival. Andrews (1971) refers to strategy as, 'rivalry among peers, for prizes in a defined and shared game'. An apocryphal story tells of a body of soldiers, completely surrounded by the enemy, and far from its base. The Brigadier sits at the entrance to his tent for some considerable time, staring into the blue sky. Eventually, he summons the Colonel and orders him to get all of the troops safely back to base. 'Can you suggest how I might do that, sir?' the Colonel pleads, to which the Brigadier replies 'That's your responsibility. I decide strategy - you implement it'.
Operations strategy is therefore the process of decision making which establishes the role, objectives and activities of operations in order to continually support the organisation's strategic direction by creating a suitable infrastructure and set of distinctive capabilities.