Productivity Knowledge Base: Productivity Metrics
|How do you measure
productivity? If you are the U.S. Government, you measure output per
worker. As in many other things, the U.S. Government's methods and
common sense do not converge. Their method is flawed, because it does
not factor in the hours worked.
Productivity is output per labor hour. It is not output per worker.
Be careful to use the right metrics, or you'll really have no clue if your productivity enhancement measures are working or not. Now you know the right way to define productivity, but what does this mean in real terms? How do you know if Person A on a crew is being productive at Task X? From a manager's point of view, aggregate productivity is meaningless.
Suppose you have a crew of six people. One of them is a poor worker, one is a star, and the rest are about average. Looking at their total output, it would appear there is no problem--they are working as productively as can be expected.
Note: "Average" is not diminutive. Most people like to think of themselves as "above average," but in reality the average person is, well, average. And that's not necessarily a bad thing to be.
If you were to watch how this team works, you'd see that if one member came up to expectations, the whole team would have a higher output.
Suppose this team does very well at running conduit. You watch them and then walk off, confident they are very productive. They are running 20% more conduit per hour than any other crew in your company. But the next day, you notice they pull wire at 50% below where your job guide says they should be.
This kind of up and down continues throughout the project. At the end of the project, you measure productivity and find out that the crew exceeds productivity expectations by just a little. Is this a highly productive crew?
This scenario illustrates what's wrong with measuring productivity at the end of a project. That measurement tells you next to nothing. It doesn't show you strengths or weaknesses. What you need to know is where your team has room for improvement. If they are weak in wire-pulling, perhaps they need better tools or some training. The only way you are going to know is to measure their wire-pulling productivity.
Don't oversimplify productivity metrics the way the U.S. Government does. Instead, focus in on skill areas and identify those that need improvement through such things as:
If you use your productivity metrics as troubleshooting aids, you will be making good use of those metrics. Otherwise, you will be using them to generate numbers that mean as much as "the check is in the mail."
More thoughts on time managementThe phrase "time management" is an unfortunate language quirk. You can't really manage time. It just is. You can't gain time, create time, or even lose time. Time is what it is, regardless of what we do. And, paradoxically, many common "time management" techniques and practices are timewasters because they divert limited resources (such as time) to the wrong things.
It would be better to say "time allocation" or "activity management" "time usage" or some other phraseology to indicate that it's not time itself you're managing but how you use the time that exists. But we'll use the common terminology here to avoid confusion.
Some things time management is not:
Some things good time management involves:
We've highlighted only some of the factors involved in good time management. We actually teach extreme time management, which is a methodology that allows you to make effective use of your time almost second nature. You don't need a complicated system. Our system puts many of the variables on autopilot, so you have more time to do what you need to do. Our system goes way beyond most other systems in results, yet is far simpler.
Contact us for a presentation to your organization:
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