Though there is no "official definition" of Operational Research ("Operations Research" in the US), it can be described as a scientific approach to the solution of problems in the management of complex systems. In a rapidly changing environment an understanding is sought which will facilitate the choice and the implementation of more effective solutions which, typically, may involve complex interactions among the elements of the system, for instance, people, materials and money.
Operational Research has been used intensively in business, industry and government. Organisations may seek a very wide range of operational improvements - for example, greater efficiency, better customer service, higher quality or lower cost. Whatever the business engineering aim, OR can offer the flexibility and adaptability to provide objective help.
The objective of Operational Researchers is to work with clients to find practical and pragmatic solutions to operational or strategic problems, often working within tight timing constraints. Once a good or better way of proceeding has been identified, Operational Researchers can also be central to the management of implementing the proposed changes.