Improving ProductivityDifferent scholars have defined productivity on a project in various ways. Productivity is the overall measurement of the ability to come up with a good or service. Being more specific to a project, productivity can be described as a measure of how resources are managed so as to accomplish objectives and goals as stated in terms of quality and quantity in a given project. Productivity in a project may also be defined as an index used to measure outputs which are goods and services relative to inputs which are materials, labor and energy among others (Vora 1992, pp.
42) Productivity is regarded as an objective concept. This means it can be evaluated or measured against a set universal standard. Project managers can monitor the productivity of a project due to various reasons such as project improvement and planning. On the other hand, productivity is a scientific concept. This means that it can be empirically observed and logically defined. Productivity can be measured in various quantitative terms that are regarded as variables. It can be measured and defined in relative or absolute terms.
The absolute definition of productivity is not essential but, it turns to be useful when dealing with a productivity factor or relative productivity. Productivity turns to be more useful as a relative measure when actual output in a project is compared to the actual input in the same project (Vora 1992, pp. 42). A productivity measure describes how resources in the organization are utilized, either effectively or ineffectively. Productivity should not be confused with efficiency. The challenge of productivity is always seen as a challenge of measurement. It is difficult to measure productivity since it can only be measured indirectly.
Other variables have to be measured then productivity is calculated from them (Bernolak 2009, pp. 5). The difficulty in measuring productivity comes from the fact that outputs and inputs are difficult to quantify and define. Productive measurement system in any project should have an overall index of productivity. A reliable measurement program merges productive measurements into a given overall rating of performance. Such a system is must be flexible so as to accommodate changes in policies and goals in the future.
The system should have the ability and capacity to aggregate various measurement systems of the various units in a project into a single system and, compare the productivity of various units in the project. Experts indicate that there is a need for a measurement program that pays attention to quality apart from productivity alone. When quality is involved in the calculation of the ratios, output is regarded as the number of defect-free units that are in the production (Bernolak 2009, pp. 5). There are two factors that determine when the productivity measures are to be used in performance measures.
One of the factors is the independence of the transformation process in the project. In a project, there may be transformation process from the various processes. This process can be used to determine the productivity measure to be used to performance measure. The second factor is the correspondence between outputs and inputs at the productivity measurement process.