7 Effective Techniques to Measure Productivity in Your Projects
When it comes to calculating productivity in your projects, it’s important to use the right techniques. When you use the right method or combination of methods to track productivity, you will get insightful measurements that you can use to improve productivity on your teams. Whether you manage projects in a straightforward manufacturing company, or a more complex service-based company, here are some different methods you can start using right away to measure productivity.
7 Ways You Can Measure and Calculate Productivity
1. Calculate Productivity with an Easy Productivity Output Formula
A productivity output formula is the most basic measure of productivity and the easiest way to measure productivity in your projects by numbers. The formula works best in projects where the outputs are all equal, such as in a factory-type setting, and does not work as well in complex projects where the outputs are more complicated to measure.
In order to measure productivity with a productivity output formula, you must first choose the output you will measure. For example, this can be units of a product made, or certain types of jobs completed. After you have chosen the output to measure, then you must divide the output number by the number of hours put into production to determine your productivity.
You should always measure outputs in dollars in non-manufacturing settings where units do not make sense. For example, if your company produced $50,000 worth of goods or services with 1000 hours of labor, then divide $50,000 by 1000 to calculate that your labor productivity output was $50 an hour worth of goods.
As mentioned before, this technique of measuring productivity works best in projects where the outputs are easily quantifiable. It’s always a good idea to use more than one measure of productivity in all your projects to get the best results and insights.
2. Calculate Productivity Based on Profit
This is another simple way to track productivity in your projects. In business, profit is almost always the final goal, so measuring your productivity by profit is a no-brainer. This method also works very well to measure productivity in more complex or abstract service-based projects.
For example, this is a good technique to use at an advertising agency where some of the employees’ time is naturally spent on creative tasks, as opposed to actual producing “products” that you can quantify. At the end of the day, productivity is determined by the amount of revenue generated for the company. This can be summed up as: Profit=Productivity.
3. Track Productivity with Project Management Software
Project management software is an extremely useful tool for calculating productivity, especially when you use features like a time tracker. Project management software with a time tracking tool allows you to see exactly how much time employees and teams are spending on each task and project.
It’s important to note that although you can precisely measure the number of hours put into a project with this method, it does not take into account other factors for complex projects. This technique is a good way to ensure that your employees are contributing, but should be used in conjunction with other metrics of productivity to get more detailed insights into the productivity of your projects.
4. Measure Productivity by How Many Tasks Get Done
This is another way to track productivity instead of measuring the specific amount of time put into tasks and projects. Rather than looking at time spent, focus on what tasks, and how many of them, are completed to measure productivity. You can even do this with project management software, like Workep, by looking at the completed tasks of your team.
In order to use this method to calculate your team’s productivity, you need to break each project down into smaller tasks and assign those tasks to individuals. Then, make sure each individual has personal key performance indicators and goals for how many of those tasks they should complete within a certain timeframe.
5. Measure the Productivity of Employees by Feedback
You can use peer feedback to evaluate the productivity of team members on your project teams. With this technique, you would have each team member evaluate all of their coworkers’ performance on a project.
Note that this method only works if everyone on the team understands the specific responsibilities of others on the team in order to effectively comment on their performance. You also need to make sure that each individual understands the proper format for providing feedback, so it’s a good idea to implement some brief training, and even use templates that employees can fill out with their evaluations of others.
6. Track Productivity with Daily Update Meetings
This method works well when you are less concerned with numbers, and more focused on keeping your team and projects on track. Hold a daily check-in meeting in person, via conference call, or even in chat channel in an app such as Slack.
During the meeting, have each team provide a brief update on what they have recently completed and what they have in progress. You could even incorporate a Kanban board into your meetings where each team can visually show the tasks they have to-do, in progress, and completed.
Tip: Be careful not to let a daily update meeting turn into micromanaging. Let team leads and individuals retain ownership of tasks and deadlines.
7. Calculate Productivity in Customer Service Based on Customer Satisfaction
In a customer service project, it is more difficult to measure productivity. You should track productivity both by the number of customers served (e.g. support tickets handled), as well as the customers’ satisfaction with the service. Provide customers with some sort of brief survey that they can fill out to qualify the customer service they received so you can use this to help measure the productivity of individuals.
Depending on the type of customer service project, you may choose to measure productivity by quality over quantity, or try to balance them both. Either way, it’s important to set some standards that all of your team members can follow to track their productivity performance. This will allow everyone to understand where their strengths and weaknesses are in order to improve.