Are you curious where you fall in the operations hierarchy? Do you know what level of service you provide, or are you looking to ascend the operations ladder?
**If you haven’t listened to episode 70 yet, make sure to go back and give it a listen, because this episode is a continuation of the topic discussed in that episode.
Last episode, we talked about the 4 layers in any business: vision, strategy, management and implementation. Which layer do you feel the most empowered in? By figuring this out, it allows you to have a growth path, so you can understand where you will spend your time, money, and energy.
If you are in the implementation and management layers, your next step will be strategy… how are you going to continue to develop your strategic muscle? Look at it as a continuation and development plan for yourself.
“We cannot stop developing ourselves.”
Sometimes we build our service based businesses in a place that confine us. With this framework, you will now be able to see where you fit, give yourself guardrails around what types of work you will and won’t accept, and create a development plan for yourself.
“When you are working within your zone, you are going to be able to do the work that comes the most natural to you, work with clients who fulfill you, earn what you are worth and never have to do the things that feel difficult to you.”
5 Levels of Operations
We are examining the backside of business and figuring out what the career path is for someone who has the passion and skill set in operations. My business works with business owners to help them build out their teams and organizations. We design businesses so they can scale by looking at talent and team placements. I want to help you to understand where you fit and where your growth is. This episode is dedicated to developing the operational side of businesses.
There are 5 different levels of operations:
- Chief Operations Officer (COO)
- Director of Operations (DOO)
- Operations Manager
- Operations Coordinator
- Operations Assistant
If you have that innate operational skill set and are interested in elevating into the strategic component, make sure to apply to the Director of Operations Certification Program, beginning very shortly!
Chief Operations Officer
The COO is the main visionary for the way a company operates. They cast the vision, and often the strategy, and the solutions of how their team is going to execute in an operations space. This role is often misunderstood, and I often see small businesses looking to put in a COO way too early. A COO has a lot of expertise… usually 10+ years of knowledge and experience in the areas of HR and finance.
Director of Operations
Of the layers mentioned in episode 70 (vision, strategy, management and implementation), a DOO is going to oversee and heavily participate in the strategy and management. The DOO role is built on the framework of the Strategic Mapping Model™. This is how you go from management to strategy.
The greatest disciplines that the DOO has is in the people, process and the project space along with financial knowledge. The greatest expertise in this role comes from project management.
Someone in this role has 5-15 years of experience in operations in one of the disciplines previously mentioned. They perform strategy and management, and are not doing the implementation. This is a great fit for small businesses today. A DOO has to have a team underneath them. DOOs have to have someone to manage and implement the strategies that they put in place.
“You should not come in as DOO in a business until you know your client has an implementation team in place.”
Operations Managers are great for small businesses and in the online business space. An Operations Manager is going to focus on management, but also have a hand in implementation. Their zone is in project management as well as in task management, and they have between 3-8 years of experience. They have been task masters and are up-leveling into the leadership role of management.
When I do organizational design, this is the very often the first management layer that I suggest that a business brings on. Operations Managers do implementation but also have the management skill set that will allow them to continuously rise and develop.
This is an implementation-only role; not management but task execution. Someone in this role should have 2-5 years of experience and is familiar with your model, your line of work, or is an expert in getting things done.
This is an entry level, implementation-only role, and could also serve as an intern level role. This is an ideal role to bring someone on who doesn’t yet understand your space or industry. If someone has the zest to do good work or if they are curious, you can bring them on and train them. By the one year mark, they should start owning some of their tasks, and start to ascend into that operations coordinator role.
Different Aspects of Roles
Very few businesses have a need to have more than three levels in their businesses, and most don’t need a COO or an Operations Assistant. For this reason it is most likely the middle three layers will be the roles that you see in job descriptions, although titles may vary.
Within the different levels of operational roles, the amount of innate leadership expands as we get to the top. Also, the commitment to the business will be much higher at the COO level, and smaller at the Operations Assistant level. Additionally the higher the position, the higher the autonomy.
Lots of times we are growing in our careers we will start at the bottom. It’s common to have the CEO of the business serve as the COO and the DOO, and bring in their first or second hire to help in the assistant or coordinator space.
I hope this has given you a good understanding of where you fit, and help you dream about where you want to go!
Don’t forget to apply to our DOO certification program. It is a 6 month experience where you will understand, develop, and train on what it looks like to be a DOO. If you are looking to develop your skill set and step it up from the implementation and management role, make sure to get your application in!
Weekly Ops Activity
Stop by the Ops Insiders Facebook group, and let me know what you use as your title in your business.
Previous Episodes Mentioned
Join the Ops Insiders Facebook Community:
Other Ways to Connect with Me: