What is Productivity?
Productivity is a measure of the proportion of the effort toward a directed goal or mission to the whole level of effort. If we have 10 hours a week (of 40) toward our goal or mission we could say we are 25% productive. 20 hours would be 50% and so on.
In different fields the productive time is discussed with different names but similar underlying definitions. For example in the maintenance and repair of machines measures of productivity are called wrench time. Wrench time is the amount of time the repair person spends working directly on a machine, directly trouble shooting or (by convention) making the equipment safe to work on.
In maintenance and repair getting parts, tools and instructions is non-productive. Waiting for anything (cranes, helpers, or operators) is non-productive. Time spent texting, talking, smoking, excessively going to the rest room is also considered non-productive.
Interestingly, the goal is not 100% wrench time. We expect the repair person to clean the area, fill out work orders, service their own tools, do planning, do teaching and training and even source parts or materials. These are essential activities but not the mission which is fixing or performing preventive maintenance directly on machines (wrench time).
Companies are constantly looking for ways to improve productivity, especially if they are confronted with severe economic conditions. Work sampling offers valuable information regarding the areas with low productivity levels that need to be leveraged through corrective actions. Using work sampling data, managers will be able to make accurate decisions to control the factors that positively and adversely affect job productivity.
The results of the analysis offer information in the following areas: