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What Does a Director of Operations Do?

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  • Written By: Kesha Ward
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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The Director of Operations (DO) is a member of an upper management team. The person in the role must ensure that his or her company's daily activities run smoothly. It is also the responsibility of the director to set parameters to judge how effectively and efficiently the business or organization is operating. A great deal of a director's time is usually spent evaluating and reviewing business procedures to find the most effective processes. He or she may also be responsible for overseeing and reviewing the work of management executives.

Individuals who work in the capacity as the director of operations may be employed in the private or public sector. They may direct, plan, and coordinate the operations of businesses and organizations of various sizes and in a variety of industries. Responsibilities may also include formulating policies and planning the use of materials and human resources to help a business reach maximum productivity.

The duties of a DO can vary depending upon the industry and business. For example, while some directors oversee manufacturing, sales, and purchasing, others may be responsible for targeting areas where there needs to be improvement in operational efficiency. The director has the charge of monitoring revenues as well as worker productivity. One of the primary goals of the director of operations is to implement new and improved directives for growth. Directors may also be responsible for setting guidelines for recruitment, advancement, and employee evaluations.

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Individuals who aspire to work in this career should first pursue a bachelor's degree in finance, business, or a related field. Classes in accounting, asset allocation, and taxation are also helpful to prepare for the career. Some academic programs require students to take courses in business management, organizational behavior, and microeconomics; all of these courses will help the director accomplish the daily tasks of overseeing business activities.

While some employers may prefer to hire applicants who have a great deal of experience in operations, others may hire candidates who have also earned an advanced degree or have a balance of education and experience. Earning a master's in business administration (MBA) may give an individual the competitive edge needed to get hired to work as the director of operations in a company. It typically takes one to two years to complete an MBA program. While pursuing this degree, students are typically exposed to topics ranging from economics, to finance, accounting, and healthcare administration.

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DO positions carry a great deal of responsibility and can, therefore, be stressful. One of the most important functions of a Director of Operations is to ensure efficiency in business processes. Streamlining job processes, preventing duplication of efforts, and ensuring the organization works smart not hard are some examples of what a DO might be responsible for.

More government agencies should employ Directors of Operations. While the private sector works hard to improve efficiency, public entities do not typically operate like a business.

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