Efficiency and Effectiveness

When you think about optimizing your organization, your thoughts may conjure up the need for efficiency or effectiveness. Yet, when you look at the definitions for those terms, it is clear that organizations need to optimize both.

Dictionary.com defines efficiency as “performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort,” while defining effectiveness as “producing the intended or expected result.”

So often, an organization will concentrate on being efficient without realizing that they must first look at what is being done daily and align those activities with the organization’s strategic goals (or “intended or expected result”). Understanding the goals of an organization is the foundation for effectiveness.

No organization has truly optimized their activities (processes) until they align them with the organization’s strategic goals.

The focus for optimizing your operation should be on those processes that are most critical to your organization. Once those critical activities (processes) are identified, then you can turn your attention to ensuring each activity is being performed efficiently (“in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort”).

Only when an organization is maximizing its efficiency and effectiveness can it optimize its results.

So, here is some action to take to better optimize your organization:

1. Define those processes that are most critical to your organization in each of your functional areas. In other words, determine which high-level tasks are most important to your organization’s strategic success.

2. Ensure those critical processes being performed truly align with your organization’s strategic goals and objectives. So often, organizations put lots of energy and resources to activities that do not tie to what an organization ultimately wants to accomplish.

3. Concentrate on ensuring those critical processes are efficient, well defined, well documented, and effectively controlled.

By implementing these three action items, you are well on your way to increasing the value of your organization to its customers, its employees, and its investors.

Don’t know if you want to include this – if not, that’s fine too.

For more on how to increase your organization’s efficiency and effectiveness, contact Charlene Aldridge at CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com or 972.447.9787.