IT Employment



What is the difference between Productivity and Efficiency?

By caof2005 ·
What is the difference between Productivity and Efficiency?

The domain that I'm considering is software development / consulting, specifically I'm not sure what can be the difference between the productivity vs the efficiency that software engineer may exhibit during a software development project.

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Really Simplistic Answer

by daniellgtr In reply to What is the difference be ...

As I generally understand it productivity is a measure of time and size... for example's sake it takes 1 hour to code 10LOC.

Efficiency while similar also takes into account wastage and effectiveness. Such as your productivity might be high but your efficiency might be low. In this case it would be because you could code much quicker than anyone else but most of what you produced was crap. And might in fact take much longer to fix, or in order to perform that quickly you used a very large amount resources.

Thats my understanding anyway.

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More simplistic

by ozi Eagle In reply to Really Simplistic Answer


The definitions I heard long ago

efficiency: How well you are doing what you are doing.

Productivity (effectiveness): how well you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.


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maybe but

by midniteone In reply to More simplistic

try this instead

effectiveness is an assessment of bringing about something worthwhile or saleable or noticeable, a real change in the world, anyway somewhere further on than you were before. hence you can be effective and hit someone with a big stick but it might be more efficient in terms of your use of energy compared to requisite impact to use a smaller one (overkill).

you can buy the latest pencil sharpener and be efficient in sharpening your pencils for an hour but in terms of producing something actually on the paper (other than shavings!) you're not getting very far so your effectiveness is low (no product).

earlier answer was right in that productivity is an essentially abstract concept eg you can clean 300m2 of floor in a given time but this makes no necessary reference to the actual quality of the product ie the standard of the cleaning achieved. or, more specifically, in terms of how much comeback or 'doing twice' your programming requires. these issues require reference to a third party or other piece of documentation eg work specification or outcome of inspection.

all as clear as mud? good...

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Productivity vs Efficiency

by 1bn0 In reply to What is the difference be ...

Productivity = Output
Efficeincy = input

Output = how muchand how often
input = amount of effort

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