The Definition of Productivity

People commonly understand productivity as a variety of things in a variety of fields. In a business that has closest relations to it, productivity is understood in various ways according to which aspect is studied. (According to the newest report, there are about twenty business-related definitions of productivity!)

The Concepts of Productivity

Most of the concepts have a relation to productivity between input and output to the systems studied. Productivity contains variables as well as other inter-relations within the group to which it belong(machinery systems, factory, office etc).

Also it is considered as the stimulus-response model in which inputs cause outputs. Generally, for the purposes of simplicity, we can understand it as the output divided by the input. But there is still something confusing on the point of this view.

In most fields, productivity is understood as “clearly the relationship between the resources which come to an organization system for a specified time period and the outputs which are generated with the resources generated for the same time period”.

The Variables of Productivity

In factories, for instance, productivity measures which are related to input factors (capital, labor, etc) are insufficient and at times could be misleading.

Input factors may not be studied while being isolated by themselves. Generally productivity improvement in a field is at the expense of the others. In addition, labor as a factor of input may be present in all stages. Moreover, management resources (another necessary factor of input) is not considered in these measures.

But the remaining of these concepts consider productivity as the relationship of input and output related to a system of production. This means that there are organizations working as physical systems with many variables as well as other inter-relations within.

The Objectives of Productivity

Experts Vrat and Sardina said that the people who will carry out measurements of productivity must have three objectives.

Firstly, potential improvements should be identified. Secondly, decisions should be made for reallocating resources. And lastly, it must present how the pre-set goals were determined.

Financial and Performance Productivity

There are some differences between two factors. Based the number of outputs produced, we can calculate performance productivity.

For instance: Company A produces 200 product units in a week, and the next week they are able to reach 220 units. That means the performance productivity has increased by 10%.

In comparison to performance productivity, financial productivity can be grouped by the value of output. Suppose Company X produces 200 product units in the one week as well as the next. And the selling price have raised from 1.00 dollar to 1.10 dollars per unit. Financial productivity has increased by 10%, however there is no increase in performance productivity.

This is sometimes misleading, too. In case the company sells products in 220 item at 1.10 dollars each, and the next week the price has fallen by 9.1%, the sale is still 220 dollars.

From a standpoint of finance, there is not any change even if there are some changes of performance point. (They produce extra 20 items)

So What the Definition of Productivity is?

Until now, managers are not able to determine what the measurements, improvements and definition of productivity. They also cannot define the measurement, improvement, concepts of performance as well.

Do’s and Don’t in Product Designing

In the beginning of the project it was good because the design was clear to all. However, the new design was changed twice which confuses the design team and made them weary of continuing the project. The marketing team pre-printed some brochures though they are worried of the outcome. The sales team found out that they lost commissions, they passed the blame to the design team. When the people in management knew this they gnashed their teeth and in anger rained down memorandums in the company for the reason that their budget is running over.

Sounds familiar right? You might think that functionality is the main purpose of a product but the design of the product also plays a vital role. Although the process in design does not always run well and there are major things that needs to be fixed. The things below are the Deadly Sins of Product Design which you must avoid in order to keep your design beautiful and in line with its purpose:

Tunnel-Vision: Keeping up with a need while creating another one

A good concept in design certainly solves a problem and meets a need. It seems so easy to make a design but the important thing is you have to make one which will not create another problem. An example could be a pair of hedge clippers. Putting a safety lock into the cutters will solve any potential problem. However the user of the scissors should avoid the lock to slip into its original position which locks the scissors so he needs to hold it in a certain way which might not be too comfortable for the user. Be watchful on the design since it greatly affects the purpose of the product.

Glitter: Nice design but costly and impossible to make

Any person that loves designing products wants to have that brainstorming environment where spontaneity and art abound. Making new concepts of design is fun and not a boring one. You can have fun in design making but you need to stick with your goal and that is to make a good design. Generally, product companies go to design firms for the design of their products, however these design firms do not have technical expertise. In the end of it you will find that the beautiful designs that you have made are impossible to produce or they are very costly to make. Thus, it is important to know your budget and resources and use them wisely.

Imperceptiveness: The failure to produce a design that meets the user need.

The user should be comfortable of the design of the product. See ergonomics as well as human factors and study on how your product will be used by the users. Learn to know the requirements of the user. Ask the users to know what are their thoughts of the product. You need to study how will the user go with the product and note the efficiency of the product with each use. The method is good specially when you are planning to redesign a product or make a competitive product in the market. Good designs are those that have good aesthetics which users admire but actually they do not know about its efficiency. If the product will be more on design then it will result in the frustration of the user and the product will be short lived. Make your designs simple so that you can make the functionality of your product at its fullest.

Safety: A mixture of ideas for users safety

You will find many kinds of great ideas on the market but if you want to outshine those ideas you have to be unique. Stun the consumers with your great stuff that you made for them. Prior to making a new design for your product, analyze first the competition in the market. Make your research and know the likes and dislikes of the users who use that particular product and find ways on how you can make the product better. Add some features from other industries and create some ideas to make your product more appealing. See what are the trends in the industry right now and know how you can incorporate your ideas to come up with the next-big-thing. Show the consumers on how well your product is over the competition in the market.

Transience: Designing for today and for the future

If you get the current condition then its fine to make a design for the present. But come to think of the products that changed the world since they were not only made for the present but also for the future such as cell phones, coffee makers, computers, etc. If you want to make a good design then you need have to see the future. Do not be contented with your present good, look for ways on how you can improve your user-product interaction. Think 5 years from now and figure out what would it be. What could be the changes in the user requirements during that time? Where else can be your product be used? Can your product be used for a new purpose? Is there new technology available for your new design?

Egomania: Designing only for the sake of the design

The problem with search for ways to make our design good is that we want to make it look cool and fix those points but really not solving the problem. You need to meet the need first before going to the design. You will have the design as you continue to develop your product. You might find great designs as the one that equates to the success of the product but true success of the product means the product meets or exceeds the user requirements.

Distraction: Fixing the wrong problem

Designing a material needs time to come up with a unique art. However, you need to have control from your fluidity. Usually as the design of the product evolves, there are things that are discovered and things are fixed. This is the most useful part in the process of creation-but you have to use this well. You need to focus your attention always to the original design scope. Do not let your design affect the functionality of your product else you will not end with your product. Return to roots of it and ask yourself why the design is needed for the product. Let’s take for example the new air actuated corkscrew. What the designers have discovered was the problem is not the design of the corkscrew but how to get the cork from the bottle. Rather than making a new cork screw the designers just made the air pump corkscrew to solve the issue. By that example, we can learn that the wise thing to do is to be simple in our designs.

Defining Personal Productivity

For me, personal productivity means the ability to deliver results when needed, may it be something to your boss or for yourself. Furthermore, the results should be achieved without too much negative stress. How often have you achieved this? Most of us have been truly productive quite seldom. I think that this is something that can be developed, by learning a specific set of six crucial skills. I’ll run them down for you below.

Learning is important for personal productivity. Just think about all the new stuff and things we need to learn, only to keep functioning. If nothing else, the user interface of Facebook has suddenly changed, and you have to learn that all again. Ways to learn more easily include faster reading, using mind maps, and for the more advanced also mnemonics (the art of memory tricks).

Organization skills are also very important, as we are constantly overflowed with new things, papers, and information. Some things we should keep and store, others we should immediately get rid of, or they will just increase the amount of clutter lying around. Personal organization methods can really come handy at such situations. Just think what it means to your productivity,when you manage to find that receipt from 2 months ago within 30 seconds of the situation when you need them.

I see time management as a sub skill to personal productivity. With time management, we refer to the art of keeping your calendar in order, and managing task and email. Good time management also means minimizing the time used for procrastination.

In order to get results, we also have to keep fit mentally. Stress will wear you down, if you are not careful. Luckily there exists practices like mediation, but doing sports and meting friends will do as well. The point is, however, this: even in the most hectic work situations, keep calm. With a stable mind, everything is easier, which leads to increased productivity.

One interesting area is creativity. Our work today if filled with problems, and basically we all get paid for solving them. Can you imagine that there actually exists dozens of small tools to help you on that area? Having creativity handy when you need it, will help you finish that presentation your boss is waiting for, making you both happy. Your boss gets his fast delivery, and you can go home earlier.

Last but not least we have decision making. We all know people who cannot make even the smallest decision, they simply don’t have the guts to do it. What do I say again? There exists tools to help you.

Putting in some effort and studying even little in the areas above will help your personal productivity.