Is measuring productivity same as measuring efficiency? No, not really.
First of all let us differentiate being productive and being efficient: Being productive means you are successfully producing or achieving a desired result. Being efficient, on the other hand, means you are working in a well-organized and competent way, simultaneously using minimal time and resources. In team oriented environment, every member should be able to complete his or hers tasks before deadline, be aware of time and resource limitations, and strive towards the most efficient way to get things done.
Methods used to measure team’s efficiency
- Quantitative measurement – You can always measure effectiveness by using a simple math calculations which take into consideration contribution per employee, sales per employee and profit per employee in given time frame. Even though this approach is much more suited for straightforward, non-creative businesses, it can point out potential problems in your digital agency and allow you to tackle them before they become serious issues. However, these are not adequate measures to singlehandedly rely on and should be considered in combination with other methods while you are managing web projects.
- How many hours per product – digital projects can be observed as complex products which require tens, even hundreds of hours to be completed. If your former experience has taught you that certain project takes 100 working hours to complete, red flag should be raised if your team spends 120 or even more hours on it. Keep in mind, however, that not all projects are the same and that extra 20 hours spent might bring something new to the table. Debrief your team about the project and determine team’s efficiency based on result and gathered information.
- Productive hours ratio – This is tricky one as well. Since your Digital agency handles creative projects, measuring how many hours one employee spends at his or her’s workstation is not necessarily real representation of productivity and efficiency. Some designers take their sweet time to complete an assignment while others are blessed with the inspiration and can finish their tasks in a matter of few hours. This method, on the other hand, gives you a clear insight if any of your team members has hardships with a certain task, which will allow you to optimize your team by reassigning him or providing adequate training.
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- Achieving sprint goals – This can also be used as a method of measuring efficiency. Teams that regularly miss their sprint goals are condemned to be thought of as those that can’t plan their work, are not aware of their own capacity, have bad estimation of tasks and not enough competence to fulfill their commitments. If team is reaching its sprint goals regularly without any hiccups, it is usually sign of high commitment, good planning and excellent efficiency.
- Tracking workload and time spent by using project management software for designers – when handling large number of different projects, developed by large number of individuals, mishaps are bound to happen and it becomes very difficult to track progress, performance and effectiveness. That is when project management tools for designers come in handy. They allow you to be in the loop and keep tabs on every aspect of the project, including time management issues.
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- Use client feedback – Efficiency and quality of product are connected. If product is made in optimum time, using optimum resources but it’s quality isn’t satisfactory, then your team isn’t efficient because it did a sloppy job. By dedicating time to your customers after final product has been shipped, not only do you maintain good client relation but you can also keep tabs on it’s performance. The formula is simple: low amount of or no customer complaints means the product is good, and since it was done in optimum conditions – your team is efficient.
In the end, let us state the obvious: To make sure that team members are working efficiently, pay close attention to missed deadlines and employee attendance. If there is a lot of overtime to their name, there could be time management issues and that is something you should be addressing.