What is “project efficiency” for an IT professional

This small study focuses on how people understand the word “effectiveness” in IT projects. At the end of this note, you will find 4 simple conclusions from this study.

Many managers, programmers, and testers talk about "efficiency" but not everyone understands this word the same way. Efficiency is not oranges or apples. You cannot put efficiency in a bag, weigh it on a scale in a store and give it to a person: say, now you have a kilogram of efficiency. Eat for health.

Efficiency is intangible. For this reason, misunderstandings often arise even within the same project and one team.

The purpose of this review is to cover the following question: how do the various IT specialists understand the phrase “project efficiency”. We sincerely hope that this small study will help to find a common language in understanding the term "efficiency", which will be the first step to achieving high efficiency in your project.


The data for this review was taken from the online school of effectiveness in IT , which took place in the summer of 2013 (this is not an advertisement for the school, because the school has long ended). This project involved IT specialists of various specialties, including developers, testers, business analysts, project managers, etc.

The project consisted of several modules. After the module, each participant in the school completed their homework and filled out a report form on the completion of the assignment. The school was aimed at improving the effectiveness of its participants (including the project), so it was important that each of them understand what efficiency is within the framework of his project. One of the questions in the form of feedback was: "How are you going to measure project / managerial effectiveness in your project." The answers to this question were taken for this study.

Data analysis

We analyzed the responses of participants to the question of effectiveness and identified the main common components of determining effectiveness. One answer could contain several components at once. The chart below shows the most common answers:
Design efficiency

List of the main topics (percentages in parentheses are a fraction of the total number of answers):
  • Deadline (35%)
  • Team Satisfaction (17%)
  • Good communication (11%)
  • Product Quality (9%)
  • High team responsibility (7%)
  • High efficiency (efforts spent / result) (7%)
  • Attracting new people to the project (4%)
  • Customer Satisfaction (4%)
  • Clear plan (4%)

Here is a list of definitions that were less common: Openness of the situation on the project, Speed ​​of solving problems, Money on the project (budget, s.p.), Engineering flexibility, Lack of overtime, Implementation in the budget (in budget), Increasing the number of customers, Competent resource management, Good risk management, Multiplication of knowledge on the project, There was no experience working in a team (eg student) .


1. Different people may mean very different things by project effectiveness (for some, a project will be effective if releases happen on time, and for another, project effectiveness is measured by the level of salary on the project). 2. When you are discussing the issue of efficiency with others, make sure that you speak the same language (be sure to specify what the interlocutor means). 3. Even if you and the interlocutor understand that such efficiency is the same, then find out in what units of measurement and how

you will measure effectiveness (for example, if efficiency is customer satisfaction for you, then how it will be measured and how technically you will measure it. For example, a weekly feedback form from a customer contains an upper or top-2 assessment of the quality of work on a project) . In addition, if you have defined units of measurement, then you can easily build a performance graph.

4. If you measure effectiveness, then make the performance measurements on your project open and visual.(for example, build a graph of performance changes every week and hang it in a prominent place). From the experience of advising various IT companies, we can say that if people see their success, then this will be a great occasion to rejoice. It can also inspire and motivate them to do an excellent job. If the project team sees a decline in the efficiency curve, then team members themselves can develop an action plan to improve the current situation, most often even without a kick from the manager (of course, subject to a high culture of acceptance of responsibility in the team). A self-organizing and self-improving team is the dream of any manager and customer.

PS If your understanding of design efficiency is fundamentally different from the above, please write it in the comments below. It will be very interesting to know other opinions.

PPS If you are interested in the topic of efficiency and would like to read about it in our future publications, then mark this article somehow (comment, like). We will understand that the article was useful to you and will write articles on this subject in the future. The following topics that we would like to raise in the following articles: personal effectiveness, workplace efficiency, team effectiveness, effective communication, etc.

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