Operations Management and the 6 Nations

Operations Management and the 6 Nations

Being a rugby fan, I love this time of year when we can all enjoy the 6 Nations ……….  A truly great competition.

Whilst it is highly, emotionally charged – particularly being Welsh – as a Lean advocate, I am also interested in the process of the game and how it is played!  (I really do need to get out more!)

So watching Wales in this 6 Nations tournament, I started to think about how you could apply the 5 performance objectives of operations management (Slack et al) or the 8 wastes (Womack & Jones) to rugby!

graphic showing operational management 5 effects
The Slack et al model talks about the internal and external effects of cost, quality, speed, dependability and flexibility.  When I am watching a rugby match, I am always concerned about the speed at which the Scrum Half rescues the ball from the ruck and passes it – with accuracy – to a team mate.  Speed, Quality and Dependability come to mind.  When we are following a strategy and things are not working as we would like – maybe the opposition is causing some frustration – how flexible are we to look at what is in front of us and change our game plan – how Flexible are we?

Are we getting ‘bang for buck’, return on the investment or total cost value from the system that supports a top class winning team?