This doesn’t have to be the case if the right energy, culture, and focus is established within the business’ hierarchy, processes, and systems. Connectivity within a company is crucial. After all, as the saying goes, “the whole outperforms the sum of its parts”.
Hence, this article explores productivity and how to measure it. We’ll also list the factors that impact productivity and how to improve in a modern world.
What is productivity?
To improve something, it is always sensible to define, measure, and understand it first. In this respect, there are four hierarchical perspectives to productivity. Figure 1 shows that across these four perspectives 15 factors interlink. Each one of them reacts either positively or negatively to change.
In engineered project delivery, this is often measured using tangible targets, outcomes, or impacts. This is achieved 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 being sought. Most notably, these improvements include the introduction of innovative tools and equipment, especially through digital modernisation initiatives. Therefore, it is vital to understand the impact that introducing new digital technologies has on other elements of business. It can influence accountability, follow-up, managing workforce, connectivity, and effective communications.
In measuring productivity, it is important to consider both the intangibles (client satisfaction, safety, motivation, welfare, etc.) and the tangibles (deliverables, handovers, hours achieved or used, etc.). Productivity also needs to embrace the strategic as well as the tactical. What’s more, it needs to be aligned with the overall success values and outcomes of your project stakeholders.
Productivity must be measured across all project phases. This way, you will ensure stakeholders are both aware and accountable for “down the line” impacts of their delivery performance on others. In this sense, it is also important to understand the pitfalls of incentivising productivity. One of them, for instance, could be the lack of sustainability.
In engineered project delivery, productivity is best measured as part of a business life-cycle process, collating historical productivity data for all projects. This approach requires data to be sufficiently coded to create and maintain productivity “NORMS”. These are used to price and plan accurately for future projects.
Once productivity processes, systems, and tools are embedded within a business, accurate success measures are attained. Not only that, but identifying opportunities to improve can also enhance productivity. With this in mind, the business is finally in a position to embrace innovation with confidence.
To be able to continuously improve a business’ productivity, it is crucial to have the ability to innovate, assess, and make decisions on what attainable success looks like. Moreover, it is important that businesses adapt at pace and can be objective on the results. Specifically, this means building a culture, the processes, and the associated systems to:
Embracing digital modernisation
Digitalisation isn’t simply the replacement of typewriters with PCs; paper with PDFs; and faxes with emails. In engineered project delivery, digitalisation is the effective bettering of the documented asset (drawings, documents, files, and dossiers) with its digital twin (meta-data, digital workflows, and artificial intelligence).
Let’s use the pre-commissioning, commissioning, start-up, and handover to operations phases of a project as an example. Lack of transparency on effective productivity early in a project can have an adverse impact at the end of the project. This is especially the case on the subjective productivity performance of the stakeholders responsible for delivering these later phases. Using a modern, digital management system can prevent these unsatisfactory outcomes. How? Here are a few attributes it should possess:
Ultimately, this collection of systems allows suppliers to work collaboratively. But how does this aid productivity? Here are some of the benefits:
To conclude, connectivity and productivity represent two essential assets to a business. By showing how to measure and improve, we hope this article gives you an insight into how to boost productivity within your company.