4 Keys to Measuring Productivity
What are the 4 keys to measuring productivity? Whether you’re working for a large enterprise or a small startup, successfully reaching your goals is an integral part of growth. Regardless of the vertical, working towards the tasks, activities and projects that will help your company to truly move the needle are imperative to success.
But only focusing on the tasks that will have the biggest impact can sometimes be a challenge. Especially when to-do lists are overwhelming, it’s not rare for employees to become buried in a sea of projects and due dates. However, the execution of tasks to meet these deadlines are often done without asking the most important question of all— is the time and effort I’m spending right now directly impacting my end goal?
What’s more, actually measuring out whether or not the tasks departments are focusing on are truly productive— impacting desired outcomes— can be an entirely different challenge. After all, reporting is one thing, but figuring out how to focus one’s energy on the things that will make a big difference on overall company goals can often get somewhat clouded during the day-to-day.
With the goal typically being to hit and surpass revenue projections, time is not only a finite resource— it’s money. So, as a business focused on growth, what things should you keep in mind to help you efficiently measure productivity and focus on the tasks that really matter?
— Productivity is not simply a time-based metric
While time can be an indicator of a number of things, it doesn’t always directly correspond with true productivity. Of course you should have project timelines and deadlines. But when you’re measuring productivity, look at whether or not your tasks and the time spent are actually moving you closer to achieving your goals. Time spent on activities that don’t truly get you closer to the outcomes that will help the company grow equates to wasted effort and money. When breaking down the exact tasks/time spent throughout your day-to-day, you’d be surprised how many of these don’t directly impact your biggest goals.
— Strong processes can mean better outcomes
Of course reaching your business goals is the main objective. However, ensuring that you reach them within deadline, within budget and utilizing a reasonable amount of human capital is heavily dependent on having strong processes. After all, you can focus on the end goal all you want— but if you’re ignoring the mechanics of how to get there, you could be overlooking important factors like time management, reporting, effective tasking, and more, the ability to easily duplicate similar success in the future.
— Spend time on the “10%”
You’ve probably heard it before– about 10% of what you do impacts 90% of your outcomes. This is incredibly important to understand when measuring your productivity. The effort that you put towards important, needle-moving tasks are imperative. But if you can’t break down what these tasks are, it can make surpassing expectations and optimizing processes difficult. In the end, what’s important is that you can identify the tasks that truly impact your end goals and revenue numbers.
— Track, track, track
You could be doing all the right things and reaching the objectives that you need to hit in the time you’re expecting. But if you have no record, data or stats of this, it makes it that much more difficult to replicate and gauge improvements in efficiencies over time. When you can easily see how long it took you to finish a project, where your efforts were directed to get there, who was involved, etc., you have an on-demand “post mortem” record of each major undertaking that you embark on— making it easy to communicate results, wins and opportunities for improvement.
Measuring productivity can quickly become an undertaking with a number of nuances and layers. But by ensuring you’re focused on the metrics and tasks that will truly have an impact on your company’s goals, you’ll not only be able to define what actually makes your processes tick, you’ll be able to understand exactly what goes into each win— wins that can take your organization to the next level.
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