The Skills You Need to Succeed in Operations Management

If you are interested in participating in operations management, your primary duty will be to manage a team of people and implement the correct practices and processes across the organization. Operations managers must also improve performance, formulate strategies, and focus on delivering quality products and services.

There are numerous tasks that you will be expected to carry out, so you must have the right skill set and knowledge to help the business grow. To help make your mind up, here are some of the key attributes you need to succeed in operations management.

Operations Management Skills

In the following sections, we define operations manager skills needed to succeed as an operations manager.


Regardless of what task you have been set, an operations manager needs to possess excellent planning skills. Arranging all your skills and projects according to what needs to be finished throughout the day can help you keep on track with your workload and ensure you know what you’re doing from beginning to end. Your duties may include developing procedures and policies, creating budgets, and supporting all functions, which is why planning is a key component of operations management.


Operations managers cannot complete everything alone, so you must master the art of delegation. When working on a project or task, you will need to work with your team and decide who is fit for which role. Numerous benefits delegating can bring, allowing you to focus on higher-level tasks while other members complete their tasks, as well as developing trust among workers. An operations manager will learn the strengths and weaknesses of their workforce, which can help them act accordingly and ensure each member of the team is happy and confident in their role.

Excellent Communication

Whether engaging with their team, managers, or clients, operation managers must know how to communicate effectively. There are many types of people that you will come into contact with on a day-to-day basis, so knowing how to get your message across to others and establishing a strong rapport with each audience can help you perform your job more efficiently and productively. When working on a project or task, things can spiral out of control if communication lines break down, so it’s your job to use an array of communication vehicles like written, verbal, and body language to keep things moving in the right direction.


While knowledge isn’t technically categorized as an operations management skill, it’s a crucial part of success. Operation managers need to learn the daily processes of the company, and any other aspects which can help them communicate effectively and delegate. While you don’t have to understand every detail, you must have the basic knowledge to ensure the project is managed well. Education plays a key part in succeeding in operations management. You can click here to find out more about operations management and automation, as well as providers who offer degrees in the field.

Time Management

For operations managers to thrive in their position, they need to understand the importance of time management. There will be various deadlines that you must adhere to, so reporting to your team of supervisors or managers with realistic time frames is essential. The last thing you want is to miss deadlines, as you may lose custom which can be severely damaging to the future of the business. Operation managers who possess time management skills can deliver work on time, provide a better quality of work, and tend to procrastinate less.


As operation managers are required to work with different teams of people with a variety of specialist knowledge and technical skills, they must know how to lead a group of individuals to success. Operation managers are experts at motivating their team and being on hand to provide support and guidance throughout the project and task. If the quality of work is deteriorating, it’s your job to hold regular meetings to check in on your team and iron out any problems that may hinder the project.

Active Listening

Operation managers who are active listeners can build better connections, identify, and solve problems, as well as help you avoid missing any critical information that could hinder how the outcome of the project. You must take everyone’s thoughts and opinions on board and see the situation from other points of view.

Problem Solving

There will be several challenges and obstacles that you will come up against as an operations manager, so you must know how to problem-solve and see the situation through to the end. A reputable operation manager will be able to identify things that could be improved or changed, as well as diagnose the current situation and establish the forces and factors that influence it. There is always room for growth and improvement in operations management, so overcoming hurdles, and using the correct techniques is key.


When working on a project or task, you may need to come together with your team to get the job done. You should never underestimate the value of teamwork, especially when it comes to driving the business forward, so being able to work with others will share the workload, ease burnout, and help you develop new skills that can propel your career forward. If each member of the team works in sync, it will keep everyone on track and ensure deadlines are met according to plan.

Stress Tolerance

There will be tense environments that you will find yourself in as an operations manager, so knowing how to work well under pressure and keep your cool is critical for success. When things get tough, there are several things you can do to reduce stress levels, such as practicing relaxation techniques.

To flourish in operations management, all the skills listed above are what employers look for in candidates. Whether it’s knowing how to lead a team, or working well under pressure, there are lots of transferable skills that can help you manage your time better and ensure you work to the best of your ability.

Operations manager job description

The Operations Manager is a senior position in most major corporations.

The Operations Manager’s duties are attracting new talent, onboarding new talent, establishing new training programs, Coach and consoling recruits, setting goals, and communicating the objectives to the team.

skills for operations managers could be improved by studying and practicing.       

This article is part of a series of articles we publish about management know-how to broaden the knowledge of managers on project management principles and team development.

Dan Smiljanić

Dan is a practitioner of project management and our resident geek. With a background in computer science, Dan is the lead product tester at Binfire. When Dan not writing code, you will probably find him cycling and hiking with friends.

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