Category: Business, Leadership and coaching
Publication date: January 19, 2021
Extent: 256 pages

Active Operations Management

The playbook for service operations in the agile age

Neil Bentley
Richard Jeffery


If you’re at the sharp end of management, juggling conflicting demands to keep your organization’s promises to customers, with ever-reducing resources whilst implementing the latest digital change programme and keeping your team happy – this is the book for you.

Active Operations Management gives you the framework and tools to help you take control and make the most of the evolving world of service operations. The challenges of robotics, remote working and lean operations demand a new approach to give people and organizations the confidence they need to thrive and deliver in the agile age.

This ground-breaking playbook specifically addresses the practical needs of operations managers. Discover:

  • The four critical activities for effective control, and the daily and weekly rhythms which make them effective and sustainable.
  • Practical measures of work and performance which enable like-for-like comparisons and resource balancing across diverse teams.
  • Real-world examples showing you how to raise productivity, improve staff engagement and wellbeing.
  • Online resources which support your control of the truly agile operation.

Neil Bentley and Richard Jeffery have spent over 30 years working with operations managers to simplify and bring structure to the challenges of managing in complex organizations. Today their Active Operations Management methodology is used by thousands of managers, raising performance and ensuring the wellbeing of those involved.


I enjoyed this book and learning more about active operations management. It gave me some key tips and advice that I am excited to apply throughout the workplace.



Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Section 1: The importance of having a method 6

Chapter One: Why this and why now? 6

Chapter 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Service Operations 10

Chapter 3: How AOM Helps to Achieve Balance 16

Chapter 4: Why Bother? 25

Section 2: What is AOM and how does it work? 32

Chapter 5: We are all out of Magic Bullets 32

Chapter 6: The Four Perspectives 37

Chapter 7: Behaviours and Skills 41

Chapter 8: The AOM Method and Tools 49

Chapter 9: So how do you rate yourself? 56

Chapter 10: Overview of the AOM Method 60

Chapter 11: Back to Basics 67

Chapter 12: Your first plan 72

Chapter 13: Planning Work 79

Chapter 14: Balancing a Plan 87

Chapter 15: Controlling to Plan 94

Chapter 16: Reviewing and Learning 99

Section 4: AOM and The Bigger Picture 109

Chapter 17: Where next? 109

Chapter 18: AOM in a world of change 112

Chapter 19: AOM and the future of operations 119

Chapter 20: Goodbye and Goodluck 126



Paperback / 9781788602310 / January 19, 2021 / £15.99

Ebook / 9781788602303 / January 18, 2021 / £7.99

Paperback and eBook Bundle / £17.99


Neil Bentley

Neil Bentley has been helping organizations to improve their front-line operating performance since the late 1980s. Originally qualified in Psychology, he started work at Lucas Industries in the 1980s, gaining experience in manufacturing production management and learning about Systems Engineering and the Toyota Production System. Neil went on to work at PA Consulting Group focusing on culture and organizational change in financial services and the public sector.

Richard Jeffery

Richard Jeffery qualified in Systems and Management at City University London, researching and applying technology support for decision-making processes based around John Warfield and Peter Checkland’s system-thinking theories. Working at PA Consulting Group and Coopers and Lybrand, he specialized in organizational change management and operational effectiveness in financial services.