Characteristic # 13—Maximizing Efficiency and Effectiveness

Apart from understanding and responding to the wider milieu, managing operations within the business involves an ongoing commitment to maximizing efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency and effectiveness are both essential, but different, interventions.

Efficiency refers to the capacity to complete operations with minimum effort, resources, and time, without forgoing quality. For example, processing customer orders in a business requires efficiency. Effectiveness involves timing and priority: the right action, at the right time, and in the right way. Effectiveness, for example, would involve me deciding what the best use of my time would be, and how I might go about executing the activity (or inactivity!) chosen for maximum impact. Both are characteristic of the agile enterprise.

Maximizing efficiency and effectiveness in operational matters is only possible when an employee is encouraged and enabled to consider and seek out faster, better ways of doing their work tasks and activities. This attitude must extend to the supply chain too. Although, this line of thinking runs counter to the philosophy and systems of QA; another established people management practice (Chap. 5).

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