Efficiency vs effectiveness Source: http://www. digital-knowledge. nl/dikn/en/to-develop/to-change/efficiency-versus-effectiveness. html Change is often difficult; sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s just a matter of looking at things differently. In our society efficiency is seen as very important, but should we really make efficiency that important? Perhaps by using slightly different, but very similar measures, the nett result is really different! The terms effectiveness and efficiency are related. Efficiency describes the nett use of resources required to perform a task; effectiveness refers to the degree a goal is reached.
Efficiency is a measure of the way something functions, as seen from the point of view of that thing or process. Efficiency primarily describes whether something is done correctly, in essence ‘economically’. To determine efficiency, it suffices to investigate the way something works (and possibly compare it to something similar). If the business operations are geared towards maximum efficiency, all resources (internal organisation, processes, budgets, utilisation of people and other resources) have optimum fit.
Whether that yields the intended results regarding customer demands is – at least – uncertain. This type of business implementation cannot guarantee the result from that perspective. Many traditional companies base themselves, implicitly or explicitly, on efficiency as the driving parameter for the design of the structure and processes of the organisation. In contrast, effectiveness describes the way something contributes to the effect desired, seen from the result. Effectiveness is about getting the right thing done.
To determine whether something is effective, it is necessary to measure the contribution towards reaching the goal(s). Many knowledge-driven organisations prefer effectiveness over efficiency; however, this does not always express itself in the structure and processes of the organisation. Organisations geared towards effectiveness, usually project their output towards the (varying) demands of their customers. This may result in less optimal, logical or efficient internal structures, but allows them to serve their customers suitably.
Of course, ideally one should be both efficient and effective. However, when having to make a choice between the two, choosing getting the rights things done (effectiveness) over doing things right (efficiency), might yield better results, in the end. Typically, in modern organisations, all sorts of activities must be recorded, as demanded by protocol. Keeping these records serves some purpose. The combination of goal and content of the administration determines whether it is effective, the way this is done determines its efficiency.
The later use of the records determines the ultimate effectiveness of record-keeping. In many cases, record-keeping is done separately from the main process, which makes it inefficient, and in many cases the administration is mainly used to ‘prove’ an activity was performed, without knowing the end-result, which makes it ineffective. Change that tightly couples the (new) design of processes, products and services to the ultimate goal (customer demand) is very well feasible. However, at the design level it requires a focus on the goal and purpose (i. . the effect) instead of the efficiency of the implementation. Effective Vs. Efficient: Do You Know The Difference? by Daniel Scocco source: http://www. dailyblogtips. com/effective-vs-efficient-difference/ Effective and efficient are very common business/marketing terms. However, most of us tend to mix their meanings and usage occasionally (including myself), and that is why I decided to write on the topic. First of all if you look for both terms in most dictionaries you’ll find very similar definitions (which makes the matter even more confusing).
Some dictionaries get it right, however. Here is the definition from Dictionary. com, which I like: Effective (adj. ): Adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result. Efficient (adj. ) Performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort. If you want an easier way to memorize the difference, remember this sentence: “Being effective is about doing the right things, while being efficient is about doing the things in the right manner. ” Let’s use a practical example to illustrate the concepts.
Suppose that two guys, Mark and John, are trying to change a flat tire on their cars (each one has his own car). Mark starts by taking out the jack and placing it under the car. He quite doesn’t know where to position it, so he goes by trial and error and wastes a lot of time doing it. After 20 minutes he finally manages to fix it, so he proceeds to lift the car and change the tire. As you can see Mark was doing the right thing, but he was doing it poorly. We can say that he was being effective, but not efficient.
John, on the other hand, starts by grabbing a towel and cleaning the tire. He wants to make the thing shiny before he changes it. And mind you he is very good and fast at cleaning every little detail of the tire. We can say that John is being efficient, because he is cleaning the tire fast and throughly, but he is not being effective, because cleaning is a step that is not required at all when changing a flat tire. Now if we had a third person, Peter, who could change the flat tire using the right steps and doing it quickly, we could say that he was both effective and efficient.