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A chief operating officer or chief operations officer (COO) is a corporate officer responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the corporation and for operations management (OM). The COO is one of the highest-ranking members of an organization's senior management, monitoring the daily operations of the company and reporting to the board of directors and the top executive officer, usually the chief executive officer (CEO). The COO is usually an executive or senior officer.

The focus of the COO is on operations management, which means he or she is responsible for the development, design, operation, and improvement of the systems that create and deliver the firm's products/services. The duties of the COO may reside in certain organizations with a vice president of operations. The COO is responsible for ensuring that business operations are efficient and effective and that proper management of resources, distribution of goods and services to customers, and analysis of queue systems is done.

COOs ideally need to have domain knowledge of the business & industry, understand modern management theories (Total Quality Management, Kaizen), employ process/quality improvement techniques (business process reengineering, Six Sigma) and sometimes quality process standards if required by customers or desired by the company (ISO 9001).

Functions of a C.O.O.:

  1. Marshal limited resources as set out by the chief executive officer and the board of directors to the most productive uses with the aim of creating maximum value for the company's stakeholders.
  2. Lead by developing and cascading the organizations strategy/mission statement to the lower ranking staff, and implementing appropriate rewards/recognition and coaching/corrective practices to align personnel with company goals.
  3. Plan by prioritizing customer, employee and organizational requirements
  4. Maintaining and monitoring staffing, levels, Knowledge-Skills-Attributes (KSA), expectations and motivation to fulfill organizational requirements
  5. Drive performance measures for the measurement of an operation's performance and consideration of efficiency versus effectiveness, often in the form of dashboards convenient for review of high level key indicators.
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