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Q. What impacts your annual productivity results?

  • 1.  Q. What impacts your annual productivity results?

    Posted 04-05-2021 03:11 PM
      |   view attached
    • A common response to the question posed is "Well, if our people knew more and cared . . ."

      Consider the following alternative thoughts instead.

      What You Expect Your People To Do:

    RTR[1] . . .The first time and every time lead directly to maximizing productivity[2].

    • Effective - Successful in producing a desired or intended result;

    i.e., WHAT you do.

    • Efficient-  Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense;

    i.e., HOW you do it.

     

    • Process Outcomes - Right or Wrong

     

    Possible Outcomes . . . based on the activities of a group of people:

    1. Do the right thing right!

     

    1. Do the right thing wrong.

                                                                                                             

    1. Do the wrong thing right.

     

    1. Do the wrong thing wrong.

     

     Now, please read the attached paper to consider how to move your people's results more frequently to RTR!

    • Title: "Ethics and Workplace Productivity"[3]

    When employees were encouraged to base decision-making on organizational values and standards, favorable ethics outcomes multiplied 11 times. - [...]resources that do not need to be directed toward investigating and punishing unethical behavior or defending non-compliance can, instead, be applied to maximizing productivity.

     Engineering Knowledge is necessary, but not sufficient to achieve project success.™

                                                                                                                                       -W. M. Hayden Jr.

    Q. What impacts your annual productivity results?

    [1] Do the Right Things Right, each and every time.

    [2] Effective X Efficient = Productivity

    [3] Paper attached.



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    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
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    Attachment(s)



  • 2.  RE: Q. What impacts your annual productivity results?

    Posted 04-06-2021 06:53 PM

    The linkage between ethics and compliance and productivity makes good  intuitive sense, besides what the data show. Ethics and compliance is also important for ensuring a 'license to operate'. This was was borne out in the Enron debacle. It's Ironic that Enron had such a well-regarded ethics and compliance policy yet the top leadership threw ethics to the wind. It suggests that leadership actions and behaviors might be most important at the end of day.

    Two additional factors that are at the top of my mind for driving productivity are well developed work processes and a commercial mindset. Work processes can provide a systematic approach to problem solving and mitigate wasted resources and wasted time and a commercial mindset keeps the focus on the end in mind and the bottom line.



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    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
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  • 3.  RE: Q. What impacts your annual productivity results?

    Posted 04-14-2021 04:41 PM

    Thanks for the insights, Mitch. As you might imagine, because I’ve had different experiences I have some different perspectives.

    • 1 of 2: "It suggests that leadership actions and behaviors might be most important at the end of the day."

    Mitch, I would not consider this point in and of itself, by no means a "Might be."  In my opinion, it is the #1 root cause of why annual profits in so very many of our design engineering firms are commonly well below initial budgeted objectives.

    Part of this common result can be linked to the executive's actions and behaviors becoming visible and vocal well after the project's metrics are demonstrably down.

                         "Treating "Common Causes" as "Special Causes" will continue to waste

                                        your time, money,  and frustrate your best  people."

     

    • 2 of 2: "Two additional factors that are at the top of my mind for driving productivity are well-developed work processes and a commercial mindset. Work processes can provide a systematic approach to problem-solving and mitigate wasted resources and wasted time and a commercial mindset keep the focus on the end in mind and the bottom line."

    For clarity, we know that all of the people below the executive level work within the system of management planned, designed, managed, and resourced by the executive level. Everyone else works within that system.

    So, one has to consider why our well-educated, experienced women and men at the level of program and project managers, department heads, and those within such groups appear either unable or unwilling to go directly to their senior and executive managers right after their initial "Project Start-up Session" discussions and tell their leadership. . .out loud and in writing:

                       "We do not have the required money, time, and resources

                                      to deliver what the contract requires!"

    This aberrant common group behavior between the executive and project working level is as common as the poor financial results historically have shown.

     

    "Engineering and technology are important, but not sufficient to deliver successful projects."

                                                                                                                     -W. M. Hayden Jr.

    Stay Healthy!

    Cheers,

    Bill




    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
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  • 4.  RE: Q. What impacts your annual productivity results?

    Posted 04-14-2021 05:54 PM
    For clarity, my observation about the importance of process and focusing on the end in mind - to drive productivity and the topic of the original post  - is based on my direct experience. As I've come to recognize, good processes can play a key role in overcoming cognitive biases that affect human behavior and in turn productivity. For example, it's common for people to want to work on the fun things, the easy things, or what they know best. Good processes can help ensure that the right work is being done on the right things and at the right time. I'm not pushing back in the least about the role management can play on creating a hostile environment that limits productivity. I just want to amplify my original point (Two additional factors...) and what i attribute to the role of human behavior.

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    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
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