Creative Gift Ideas for the Operations Professional Operations professionals do a bit of everything. They wear multiple hats and are expected to be generalists rather than specialists. They are individuals who see the big picture, are highly analytical, detail oriented, able to work with a variety of people, and do things right the first time. In some cases, they are even expected to provide 24/7 operation for the services and products delivered by a company.  So what could a person with so many responsibilities and challenges need for Christmas, besides more time in the day?

Creative Gift Ideas & Solutions for That Dear Operations Professional in Your Life

For the IT-centric Operations individual . . .

who utilizes systems management tools to provide monitoring and management of all technological infrastructure, a metric-monitoring application is a critical component to the daily function of a company’s technical systems. Check out the following application performance management (APM) tools, which provide monitoring, analysis, and real-time reporting services for software systems of all types.

For those who encourage ideas and innovation . . .

from all staff, quickly identifying promising ideas and incorporating them into the strategic vision, may I recommend an internal feedback system which serves a dual purpose- to innovate and engage employees.  According to a Gallop article, data shows that managers who focus on the strengths of their employees create the strongest levels of engagement, which means a win-win for the organization: managers gain ideas while employees feel valued and engaged.  Out of the many feedback applications available, these two customizable survey and analytics applications stuck out to me:

For those working with product management  . . .

on cost modeling for new services and expansion of existing services, why not try a SmartDraw trick- A/B testing. In A/B testing, you compare two things (e.g. call to action) for a set amount of time (e.g. two weeks) to determine which performs better amongst your audience. After conducting a few A/B tests and analyzing the findings, you will have narrowed down a preferred option that works for your product or service. 


For those who design . . .

departmental operational skill-based curriculum for both internal members and customer groups, a resource and learning tool will come in handy. Chances are, your company’s members may not all be under one roof, and likely, your customers are spread over multiple regions, so the tools used for resources and learning should be somewhat mobile. Here are a few to consider:

  • Blissbook or WISP: Cloud applications used for creating an employee handbook and other HR-related documents
  • Lessonly: A cloud on-boarding, training, and learning software
  • Help Scout or Zendesk: Cloud applications that provide customer service tools such as hosted knowledge bases for your clients the Operations Professional who visits . . .

the departments under his/her leadership on a daily basis to ensure smooth operations absolutely needs a Segway. This high quality piece of machinery is built for speed and comfort, allowing for prompt arrivals to and from various destinations. Okay, so perhaps a Segway isn’t necessary for visiting departments. Surely, a more common form of transportation could be utilized, such as walking or driving. But how fun is that, really?

There is no limit to how many responsibilities must be carried out by the Operations professional to ensure a healthy, thriving organization. While I list only 6 duties above, the reality is that there are many more. Fortunately, the tools and solutions available are just as numerous, and are wildly effective in business operations.

Source: The job responsibilities listed in italicized text were based on various Operations-related job roles posted on Monster, CareerBuilder, and Indeed.