How do we get to Excellence from Efficiency and Effectiveness?

In business, efficiency is the easiest journey, the journey to effectiveness is more difficult.Triple_E

Achieving excellence requires all-hands-on-deck, in my view, and is therefore more difficult to achieve.

One thing I recall from days at GE was my boss encouraging all design engineers to do daily walkabouts, to see firsthand, the impact of their designs on production-line work/workers.

Walkabouts are helpful for discovering reasons for inconsistencies in finished products and, in a few cases, to discover and explain consistencies.

In the plant where I worked, one of the products was watt-hour meters and these, at the time, required magnets.

For years HQ could not understand why the quality of the magnets was so high, relative to other watt-hour production plants.

A walkabout reveled that the blacksmith (yes, they had a blacksmith in those days), whose shift was 8 to 4, same as everyone else’s, actually came in at 6 AM to start up his hearth and stayed on the job until 6 PM to clean up.

The effect was a steady state by 8 AM and readiness to start the next day by 6 PM.

I have been a fan of walkabouts (along production facilities and in the office) since that time.


Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, major crimes case management, healthcare services delivery, and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2021 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions Number of accessing countries 2010-2020 : 168
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1 Response to How do we get to Excellence from Efficiency and Effectiveness?

  1. Business Dictionary does not agree on “effectiveness” –

    The degree to which objectives are achieved and the extent to which targeted problems are solved. In contrast to efficiency, effectiveness is determined without reference to costs and, whereas efficiency means “doing the thing right,” effectiveness means “doing the right thing.”

    I need to do more research on “efficiency’ as well.


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