Return to Productivity & Waste

Productivity measures

  • In practice, productivity measurement is not straightforward

  • How would you measure the productivity of a hospital, fund manager, police force, government department, bank or PR firm?

  • At organisational level, there’s no one meaningful total productivity measure available because of the complicated mix of processes and tasks, or outputs and inputs involved

  • Most organisations also offer more than one product or service – and each one may employ a very different mix of resources and methods for using them

  • However, at process or task level, there are many partial productivity measures possible and useful

  • Some focus on just one output from just one input to a whole process or task – for example:

                   Mortgages approved in a week     or      Tins produced in a shift  
                      Staff employed in a branch                               Canning line

  • They measure what’s got out of an input resource already paid for and highlight whether trends are moving in the right direction or not

  • They also let you compare actual with past performance levels in-house or best practices outside – and they raise alarms if and when things start to go wrong

  • Each individual manager should have at least one partial productivity measure which focuses his team on their most important outputs and costly inputs

  • However, thousands of partial productivity ratios are possible

  • Perm any one output with any one input in any organisation and one can soon see the blizzards that could arise

  • Most of them would be irrelevant to most managers

  • Hence the need to focus only on important outputs and inputs for each team

  • Overall, these few should cover some 90% of their teams’ productivity picture



  1. Hi there, You have done an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this web site.

  2. Good day! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects? Thank you!|

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.