Effectiveness And Efficiency Can Be Measured By

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Effectiveness And Efficiency Can Be Measured By – You may have heard the phrase “what gets measured gets managed.” So when we want something done, we hit a benchmark on it and hit that benchmark. Seems reasonable enough right? However, it is not. This may actually be one of the worst strategies ever. Let me illustrate this with a story a colleague shared with me.

A manager at a software company is angry because development is several weeks behind schedule. So he did what any ungrateful person would do: he instituted a mandatory Sabbath.

Effectiveness And Efficiency Can Be Measured By

He drove to the office on Saturday to check the parking lot and, seeing his developer’s car there, drove off contentedly. Naturally, his team became a little angry. So instead of actually coming to work on Saturdays, they started picking up friends from the office on Friday afternoons and taking taxis on Mondays.

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Lesson: if there is a car in the parking lot that the big boss cares about, then he will take the car in the parking lot!

We face the same measurement/management problem when we use productivity as a measure of team and individual performance. You see, productivity is just a mathematical equation: output divided by time. This has two consequences:

The problem is that more production does not necessarily mean better results. As best-selling author Dan Pink told me recently, he can write two mediocre books in the same time it takes to write one really good one. Two books is double the output! Double productivity! Alleluia! But his publisher will have some good choice words for him, because mediocre books don’t sell. So even if he was twice as productive, the results would be crap.

However, as a society of knowledge workers, we are obsessed with productivity. We’ll click on any article with that word in the title. We agree and accept reports that productivity increases during the pandemic when everyone works from home (which I dispute, no-no-more on that later).

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So how did it happen? Did he tell us any danger? (Spoiler alert: yes.) And if we’re doing ourselves a disservice by killing productivity as a measure of performance,

The way we think about productivity is based on a 250-year-old construct. It was good in its day, especially in the context of farming or manufacturing. Technological advances such as threshing machines and looms have increased the daily output of our farms and factories by orders of magnitude. And because we don’t limit the number of working hours, productivity increases.

As the industrial revolution progressed, productivity became increasingly entrenched as a metric of obsession. Further advances in agricultural equipment meant that less human labor was needed to feed us all, freeing up more people to work in factories that took away human toil to make things like clothing and furniture. Mining and logging began to work hard and produce raw materials to supplement it all. Daily output continues to be an important performance measure for most economies.

(That’s okay – no one does.) This is Fred Taylor, an American mechanical engineer focused on making factories more efficient. He lives and breathes productivity.

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At a time when agriculture and industry have become so mechanized that people are turning to knowledge work—office-based work, education, health care—an obsession with productivity has become so tightly woven into the fabric of society that measuring efficiency in other ways seems like cheating We love science! Why advance! Mathematically calculated measures of productivity give us hard data and the data looks like certainty. The rest is just smoke and mirrors.

Fast forward to the present, and widget building is almost exclusively the domain of machines and robots. But the production

It is purely human. Knowledge workers are encouraged to use their heads and hearts as well as their hands. Tools like email, chat, word processors and printers make it faster to communicate and implement our ideas – and productivity can measure that impact. But tools have little effect on the quality of our ideas—which means productivity can’t measure our creativity.

Productivity also cannot measure whether the work we do there is the right work. (Remember Mr. Pink and the problem of writing two mediocre books?) A developer might fix 10 bugs today, but if those bugs are minor bugs or bugs that customers rarely encounter, their work has no meaningful impact on the product or the business .

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However, most likely these development teams are judged by the time it takes to ship things, be it features or fixes. This leads to perverse incentives. If teams are rewarded for shipping quickly, they have an incentive to ship a bunch of lightweight features that may not significantly improve the user experience and therefore do nothing to make the product more attractive. They can also be rewarded for finding defects early, as addressing them later delays new development. But it has similar unintended consequences. This means they are encouraged to take on ambitious projects that require deeper, more structured (and riskier) work.

And then there are the effects on work-life balance. Unless you’re giving people new tools, pushing them to be more productive means pushing them to work longer and/or rush through their work, which increases stress levels. As leaders, we strive to measure employee productivity this way because our team members cannot think creatively or bring their full potential to a problem if their brains are too busy to feel stressed and exhausted.

Productivity is always a good way to measure the impact of machines and capital. It’s never a good way to measure impact

. So what metrics should we use? How do we reframe how our contributions are valued? How do teams and companies evolve their culture to measure more meaningful things? How do we move from a focus on efficiency to a focus on effectiveness?

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From efforts. Instead of telling IT managers to build 10 new load balancers this quarter, we should be telling them to improve site performance by 10 points. Instead of telling marketers to publish five blog posts, tell them to increase web traffic by five percent.

One beauty of shifting to a results mindset is that it not only allows us to focus on results, but also frees us to innovate in pursuit of those results. There are many ways to improve system performance or increase traffic to a website. But as soon as we say “write five blogs”, we have limited the opportunity for creativity. So it’s important to frame goals as outcomes we’re looking for, not to-do lists, and then let the people doing the work determine how best to do it.

For a structured approach to emphasizing outcomes over results, try an Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework the next time you set quarterly goals.

Another benefit is that a revenue mindset encourages an ownership mindset. When we focus on productivity, we face deadlines. Once a task is handed in, we dust off our hands, congratulate ourselves for getting it done so quickly, hope it achieves the result we were looking for, and then think about it no more. Instead, results-based management directs us to deliver work, collect feedback on it and repeat as much as necessary until the result is actually, verifiably, achieved. As executives at both Hubspot and Twilio point out, it encourages every employee to think like an entrepreneur.

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Our team is defined by three things: the customers they serve, the mission in which they serve those customers, and the metrics that tell us if we’re doing a good job.– Jeff Lawson, CEO, Twilio

There is an exercise called Goals, Signals and Steps that I have run with dozens of teams. For any goal (result), you determine the signals that will show that you are on the right track and what steps will confirm that the goal has been achieved. We need a similar method to measure team effectiveness because results are a lagging indicator. we need some early cues to listen. Here are some ideas:

If leaders took it upon themselves to stop production-based success metrics and instead focus on results, what would this list of success measures look like? It does not mean that we should get rid of quantitative measures. We just need something more meaningful.

The best time to kill the productivity cult was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. Let’s follow it.el Change language close menu English (selected) Español Português Deutsch Français Русский Italiano Română Indonesian Learn more Loading Loading Loading Loading… Close menu User Settings Welcome to ! Get language privileges (EN) Read free FAQs and support Register

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