Are you interested in upleveling your skill to become a Director of Operations (DOO)? Or are you an established business owner who anticipates hiring a DOO in the near future? Perhaps you’re wondering what specific skill sets a DOO needs to be successful.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you choose to make a purchase via one of the links, we will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
In today’s episode, we are going to be talking about the six criteria that a DOO needs to have in their toolbelt. This will help you determine if you should become a DOO or, if you are hiring one, what you should be looking for.
Six Criteria to Becoming a DOO
1. You Have a Project Management Skill Set
You prioritize things in a very strategic way. You are organized, detail oriented and thrive in task management.
Quality control is important to you; you’re always looking to refine and improve the process to make sure the final outcome of a product or service is top notch.
You are also a sequential thinker. You think in steps, and are able to break things down.
One thing you don’t need? A degree in project management. You don’t necessarily even need experience in a corporate environment, so don’t discount yourself because of lack of corporate or professional experience.
“Project management is oftentimes very innate.”
2. You’re Strategic
Businesses are often divided into “front office” and “back office.” The front office is the strategic side and back office is the operational side. Your job is to sit in between the two.
You have to be perceptive, and make decisions based on evidence. You’ll need to be really good at making sound, but blind decisions. Using an intuitive instinct, you will need the ability to move a business forward to align with the vision that has been set. You’ll also need to be courageous and feel very confident in your decisions.
3. You Have Experience
You’ll need to have at least 2 years of experience in operations or strategy. A DOO is an upper level position or executive role; it is not an entry-level position. The types of businesses who need a DOO vary, but 2 years of experience is really the bare minimum.
4. Take the Kolbe A Index
The Kolbe A Index* is a 36 question evaluation that looks at your instincts rather than your personality or learned behaviors. This assessment looks at your conative abilities: what you were born with and the ways you operate. It tells you where you are going to be the most productive, and reveals your natural gifts. This evaluation will help you put yourself in the best possible situations and avoid stressful situations.
There are 4 different modes:
- Fact Finder
- Follow Through
- Quick Start
When I evaluate DOO’s, I look at two scores: the Fact Finder and the Quick Start.
A higher Fact Finder score indicates that you are a seeker of info before you make a decision. You like detail and analyzing data. You are the person who makes sure that things get done in the business. I like to see this score in the 5-9 range.
A lower Quick Start score indicates that you are more risk averse and methodical. Most people who come through the DOO certification fall in the 2-5 range.
5. You’re Less Visionary Than Integrator
An Integrator is someone who brings organizational clarity and operates on logic; you are the filter for the visionary. The integrator is the person who integrates the ideas by leading a team.
“Visionaries create problems and integrators solve them.”
Visionaries create problems to solve. They are the disruptors, the big dreamers, and they have the big ideas.
The problems that the visionaries create need integrators to solve them. Integrators are gifted in bringing these big ideas to life. When integrators pick up where the visionaries leave off, you both feel a massive sense of accomplishment by bringing those thoughts to life and turning them into something tangible.
I like to have everyone that comes through the program take the integrator quiz to see if they will be a good fit for a DOO position. The average score is for an integrator is 87.
6. You’re a Leader and a Communicator
Leadership and communication are skill sets that can’t be taught; you need to bring these to the table. You have to be professional in the way you deliver hard messages, and be able to course correct naturally.
You will be working with CEOs who may want to move quickly and tackle way more than you can actually get done. You’ll need to have the ability to stand up and deliver a difficult message. Innate leadership skills will help you communicate up to the CEO and communicate down to the team in a way that is polished and amicable.
“You need to have a gentle side and strong leadership skills.”
Two Things You Don’t Need To Be
1. An Implementer
You don’t have to be the person who does all-the-things. A DOO fits in between the implementation team and the leadership team. You’re the one who needs to make sure the work gets done, but you don’t need to know every tech tool. Instead, you need to be focused on communicating effectively with your peers and your leadership.
2. An expert in industry you’re serving
As a DOO you need to know the operational foundations of running a business: human resources, data analysis, project management, leadership and communication skills. These skill sets apply whether you are working with a construction company or an online digital marketing business.
“A lot of times the best value will come from someone who doesn’t have direct experience in your industry because they’re going to be able to bring you new and innovative ideas, approaches and processes.”
I hope this episode has been insightful for you! If you think a DOO position is right for you, or if there is someone in your business who is your right hand, encourage them to apply to The Director Of Operations Certification Program.
The program will close on Jan 24, 2020, so get your applications in before then! Apply now by clicking here.
Weekly Ops Activity
Previous Episodes Mentioned
Episode 26: A Week in the Life of a Director of Operations
Episode 25: How to Expand Your Business in 2020
Episode 24: Ten Quick Year-End Tasks with a Long-Lasting Impact
Episode 2: What is a Director of Operations?
Join the Ops Insiders Facebook Community: