Inefficient work management indicator #5: Poor productivity management

November 6, 2013 Workfront


An observation of current enterprise teams reveals that managers often don't know if their teams are efficient (measured in speed, quantity, and time) or effective (measured in quality and high-value work). Because of this, many enterprise departments experience an inability to manage and measure team productivity at all. Enter Work Management Inefficiency Indicator #5: Poor Productivity Management.

70% of enterprises report that they lack the visibility they need to be productive.

#5: Poor Productivity Management

Though employees may be "busy," productivity suffers when "busy" means time spent in meetings or on communications rather than producing a tangible work output or innovations. In a survey conducted by Birkman International, only a third of respondents (29%) said they measured employee productivity. This means almost 70% of surveyed enterprises lack the data or visibility needed to identify and improve the inefficient work processes that reduce creativity and productivity.

Business Impact

Poor productivity management creates a situation where projects are delayed or fail completely and budget overruns occur. This scenario is so common that, according to a TATA report, 69% of projects overrun on time and 49% overrun on budget. Managers and team members end up working long hours trying to get caught up. These scenarios lead to poor morale, turnover, discouragement of creative thinking, opposition to risk taking, and, ultimately, the failure of many organizations. Adding resources may be considered, but when one employee can cost more than $78,000 a year on average, the cost of hiring even one more resource is a significant expenditure. Meanwhile, broken processes remain and new workers are less effective and efficient than they could be.

Current Unsuccessful Tactics

Enterprise teams try to treat productivity management problems by implementing new methodologies or tactics every few months. One month it's Agile, the next month they go lean and then try adding resources—all in an attempt to see if any of these methods make a difference to overall productivity and effectiveness. Managers may also turn to experts for advice—blogs, business books, or consultants. While these remedies may help some, they are often costly (the average consultant charges $125 per hour, or $1,000 per day) and do not achieve the expected return on investment. Finding the right expert with the right tools and expertise to solve issues is challenging. Instead, enterprises spend significant dollars and receive only superficial solutions that often fail if careful change-management processes aren't put into place.

What processes or tactics does your team use to manage and measure productivity?

Other posts in this series:

Six Indicators of Inefficient Work Management

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #1: Misaligned Work Prioritization

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #2: Non-strategic Work

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #3: Inability to Justify Resources

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #4: Ineffective Resource Planning

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #5: Poor Productivity Management

Inefficient Work Management Indicator #6: Inability to Collaborate

*This post was derived from the whitepaper, Report: The Unhealthy State of Enterprise Work. Click here to download the complete whitepaper.



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