Maintaining productivity and connectivity in challenging market environments has always been key for modern businesses to stay competitive and relevant. However, in recent times, boosting productivity and connectivity is often considered a lower priority.
The right energy, culture, and focus can make productivity and connectivity a top priority for businesses. Connectivity is essential for businesses to stay competitive in today’s market. As the saying goes, “the whole outperforms the sum of its parts.” Productivity is also essential, as it helps businesses produce higher quality output at a more affordable cost. This can lead to higher profits and increased success, especially as energy bills soar and materials become more expensive.
This article will explore productivity, how to measure it, and the factors that impact it. We will also discuss how to improve productivity in a modern world.
What is productivity and how to measure it?
To improve something, it is always helpful to define, measure, and understand it first. In the context of productivity, there are four hierarchical perspectives that can be used to understand it. These four perspectives are:
- Technical perspective: This perspective focuses on the efficiency of the tools and equipment such as commissioning software that can be utilised to upscale production.
- Workplace perspective: This perspective focuses on the physical and social environment in which work is done.
- Organizational perspective: This perspective focuses on the structure and processes of the organization.
- Human perspective: This perspective focuses on the skills, knowledge, and motivation of the employees.
Figure 1 shows how these four perspectives are interrelated. Each perspective can have a positive or negative impact on productivity, depending on the specific circumstances.
In engineered project delivery, tangible targets, outcomes, or impacts are often used to measure performance. This is done by using historical performance data to define a planned outcome. The achieved performance is then measured using the same tangibles.
In modern business, productivity improvements are a top priority. One way to achieve this is by introducing innovative tools and equipment, especially through digital modernization initiatives. However, it is important to understand the impact that these new technologies have on other aspects of the business. For example, they can affect accountability, follow-up, workforce management, connectivity, and communication.
How to measure productivity
When measuring productivity, it is important to consider both the intangible and tangible factors that contribute to it. Intangible factors include things like client satisfaction, safety, motivation, and welfare. Tangible factors include things like deliverables, handovers, hours achieved or used, etc. Productivity should also be measured at both the strategic and tactical levels. This means considering how productivity impacts the overall success of the project, as well as how it impacts individual tasks and activities. Finally, productivity measures should be aligned with the overall success values and outcomes of the project stakeholders.
Productivity should be measured across all project phases to ensure that stakeholders are aware of the downstream impacts of their performance on others. This will also help to ensure that they are held accountable for their actions. It is important to understand the pitfalls of incentivising productivity, such as the lack of sustainability. For example, if employees are only incentivized for short-term gains, they may not be motivated to make long-term investments in productivity.