Efficiency and effectiveness

The terms effectiveness and efficiency , often used interchangeably interchangeably, actually reflect two very different concepts. The effectiveness indicates the ability to achieve the objective set, while the efficiency assesses the ability to do so using the minimum resources needed.

Effectiveness indicates the ability to achieve the stated objective, while efficiency assesses the ability to do so using the minimum resources required.

The effectiveness and efficiency are two concepts that take on considerable importance in the world of the work and, in general, in the planning and control of any activity, so that they are identified as the two main dimensions of the evaluation process. In relation to evaluation, effectiveness is declined as internal and external. The internal effectiveness indicates the relationship between the products (product) and the expected objectives, while the external one indicates the relationship between the products and the results obtained. On the other hand, efficiency in relation to evaluation underlines the relationship between the resources used (inputs) and the products obtained, so its evaluation implies the analysis of the production process and the management of the production factors.

Differences between efficiency and effectiveness

The efficiency is to make both bit, whether or not it reaches a target. It is a cost-benefit discourse. A solution is efficient if it costs less than the benefits it generates. But it may not reach the goal, and therefore not be effective.

  FocusFocuses on goalsFocuses on the process to reach a goal


It can be subjective

It can be quantitative or quantifiable

  MeansUse resources to reach the goalSeeks the best use of available resources
  ResultsMeasure the expected results vs. the results that are obtainedMeasures the results and resources that have been used vs the proposed goals and the expected costs

What is efficacy:

The efficiency indicates the ability to achieve the goal set.

Therefore you must:

  • Expand or improve employability conditions
  • Promote personal and group development
  • Promote job placement together with the improvement of job performance

How to measure effectiveness

Meters are closely related to productivity and job performance. They help to develop plans and strategies in the company. Efficacy can be measured with certain calculations. What is measured in these cases is the achievement of the proposed results where the company measures the percentage and compares whether the percentiles are low or high. Obviously, the closer you get to 100% the better.

Calculation to measure effectiveness

(Achieved Result * 100) / (Expected Result)

What is an effective person or company

An effective person or company is the person who meets the objectives set or proposed by the company in an objective and quantifiable way. Although a person can be effective without being efficient, and vice versa, he can also be efficient and not be effective.

What is efficiency:

The efficiency assesses the ability to achieve the goal set using the minimum resources needed. It is the ability to achieve it with the minimum possible allocation of resources (one of which, fundamental, is time). The best results must be achieved with the minimum resources (expenses).

Therefore it must:

  • Focus market demand or job opportunities.
  • Focus the target population, that is, the potential needs, the profile
  • Adapt to the needs of the population
  • Optimize administrative, administrative and financial management

How to measure efficiency

As we have already said, measurements are very important in companies, organizations or at the personal level. With the data you can evaluate the efficiency of the employees, obtain information on the costs of raw materials, set business objectives and become more competitive.

The efficiency can be measured with certain calculations which resulted check the efficiency of subjective values such as the qualities of a product or utiizados resources (time it takes for an employee, cost, materials, etc.)

Calculation to measure efficiency

The efficiency calculation is as follows: It is developed from a table where the lowest results indicate lower efficiency while the highest results indicate good efficiency. (Result achieved / actual cost) * Time invested

Examples of Efficiency and effectiveness

Effectiveness is the ability to achieve a goal on its own, regardless of cost. A solution is effective if it reaches a certain goal, and it is not effective if it does not reach it. But it could have an abnormal cost, and therefore not be efficient. So we leave examples to understand the differences.

  • For example, dropping an atomic bomb on my house to kill me is effective (it will surely kill me, if I am at home or within a couple of kilometers) but it is not efficient (it causes enormous damage and an incalculable waste of resources. individual would be much less than that). It is effective because it achieves the goal, but it is not efficient because it costs too much.
  • On the other hand, not littering the street is efficient (because it costs nothing or costs very little compared to the contribution that is given to street cleaning), but it is not effective with respect to the objective of keeping the city clean (because not only is it not enough, but in practice, compared to many forms of environmental destruction, it makes an imperceptible difference). It is efficient because it costs nothing, but it is not effective because it does not reach the goal.
  • If two athletes attempt to run the 100 meters in less than 10 seconds and are successful, both are effective; Between the two, the one who has achieved the goal with the least expenditure of resources (time dedicated to training and costs of technical material, coach, nutritionist, integrators, etc.) will be more efficient.
  • Depending on the job, the importance of the two concepts varies, but it is very important to understand the difference. For example, it is essential that a janitor is effective, while efficiency is less critical, since in any case he will have to spend eight hours on the job site (he cannot do his job in less time). For a professional, on the other hand, efficiency becomes essential because being efficient means being able to manage more clients and, therefore, earn more.

The two concepts summarize many other characteristics (for example, to be effective, you must be prepared for the work you do, to be efficient, you must have work strategies that minimize time, etc.) and are independent of the type of work.

From effectiveness to efficiency

Understanding how it can evolve from effectiveness to efficiency is not easy; Of course, resources must be minimized, but doing so may depend on both the job and the strategy chosen by the worker. However, by observing the work approach of most people, it is possible to define a quantity that indicates the propensity of the subject to be efficient.

We will define this magnitude as concretion . It is not difficult to see that many people do not know how to be specific and, focused on the goal to be achieved, do not think in the least about strategies that increase their efficiency.

What happens when they enter the world of work? That the lack of specificity penalizes them to the point that they are enormously slow in relation to colleagues and for many jobs they will be out. Who is inefficient most of the time has a decidedly inadequate clock frequency, is an old generation computer next to many technological monsters.

Concreteness and flexibility

If you configure the work environment, an effective person may not be efficient for various reasons: they are too slow, they are too demanding, they are too indecisive, they do not know how to be completely autonomous, they are not prepared enough to overcome unexpected obstacles, etc. . If we consider the world of work in general, concreteness implies a very positive characteristic of the worker: flexibility. Being flexible is a necessary condition to be efficient when work is dynamic!

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