One of the topics discussed in this module is “Productivity Gain.” An organization makes some sort of change, sometimes at great expense, but then guess what? Nobody ever sits down and figures out whether the change accomplished what it was supposed to. A prime example is management consulting. A group of experts from McKelvey, or wherever, parachute in, give some seminars, present their bill, and then disappear. A year later, the managers who paid for that particular invasion (…er, intervention) have no idea what, if anything, it accomplished.
Of course, we can all come up with more prosaic examples. Husband to wife: “If we had a new SUV, the family could take more road trips.” The wife agrees. There’s a new SUV in the garage, but did the trips ever materialize? Another example: Wife to husband: “If I had a new stove, I’d cook sooooo many more meals at home. It would pay for itself in a year.” The husband agrees. There’s a new stove in the kitchen, but did the meal savings ever materialize?
Here’s the point. Every one of the management tools discussed in this course require some sort of management decision right up front—which is, the decision to actually use it. In the case of productivity and productivity gain, that decision involves collecting before/after data, and then determining whether there actually was a gain.
- Discuss some major initiative, or change, or new equipment acquisition, or whatever, that was intended to increase productivity, where “productivity” is broadly defined. Was the productivity gain ever determined? Did anybody even tryto determine it? If they did, what did they find? If they didn’t, then why didn’t they?
General Note: To earn maximum credit, you should post to the module discussion board in the first week of each module. There’s no reason not to, because the discussions are non-technical. Each topic is intended to get us thinking about the type of management problem discussed in each module. The topics don’t require any research, or any prior knowledge of management; they’re based upon our own, mundane experiences.button,