Productivity

I wondered about calling this x to avoid preconceptions, but decided that would be too cryptic.

What proportion of your working week is spent:

  • a. directly on your projects – analysing coding testing etc
  • b. indirectly on projects discussing issues (talking about work rather than doing it)
  • c. bonding with co-workers (chatting about non work stuff)
  • d. totally tossing it off doing nothing to do with paid work at all (dont feel you have to answer this one!), (include pointless meetings in here)

The reason I ask is we had this discussion a while ago in the office and one of the guys was clearly aiming for 99% in a. To me that is unattainable and actually counter productive.

I’d have thought something like

  • a: 70,
  • b: 10 – 20,
  • c: 10 – 20,
  • d: 0 of course ;-), maybe 5% for resting, as many do at least that in free overtime anyway.

would make for a fairly well balanced workday/worker, what about you?

What do you reckon you do? And what do you think is the ideal? (Is there an ideal? is it a personal thing?, a project by project thing?) Does it depend on job role?

cheers

Simon

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2 Responses to “Productivity”

  1. MikeC Says:

    a: 50%
    b: 20% (mainly when dealing with sorting out other peoples’ work)
    c: 15%
    d: 15% (10% pointless meetings, 5% checking E-Bay, private e-mail etc)

    a-b does swap about a fair amount depending on what I’m working on.

    99% in a would, for me at least, lead to a stress-related breakdown inside a month… I have on occasion maintained it for up to 2 weeks at a time when there’s something major going on (along with increased hours), but certainly no longer than that.

    I would also say that it does seem to depend on job role (increase d for management grades….!), and how an individual operates. My 10% pointless meetings would be 40% if I didn’t quite forcefully deny the majority of meeting requests I get (as they’re nothing to do with me, and only want me to attend so that there’s one more person to share the blame when things inevitably go pear-shaped).

  2. Marcus Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I’m working on three projects at the moment and each is quite different.

    In Project 1 (which I’ve been at for 7 weeks) takes about 80% of my time. The vast majority of my time so far has been more BA work than development. I’m assessing the pain points and documenting a proposal. I’ll get around to cutting some code eventually.

    Project 2 (which I’ve been at since December last year) consumes about 15% of my time. 90% of this is spent directly on the project. Half analysing and half developing – we’re migrating a series of Spreadsheets and Access databases to a ‘production environment’. 8% goes on meetings and a couple for chin-wagging with colleagues.

    In Project 3 (been going for about 7 months), an Excel Add-In, 60% of the time is spent hand-holding the business. The residual is directly project ‘work’.

    I also spend a minimum of 1.5 hours a day coding (on the train) during my commute to the city. It’s the most productive 90 minutes of my day.

    This has changed too – had you asked the same question a few years back the ratios would have been more geared to 80-90% direct project work doing pure RAD work in the front office.

    As an aside, I did some work with some management consultants at the mortgage processing centre of a bank looking at how we could stream line processes and improve productivity. For each worker, in an ‘average’ hour we shaved several percentages – some for the staff members experience (the more experienced the more they did), a couple of percent for toilet/coffee breaks and some for unplanned interruptions (e.g. telephone calls). In a best case scenario, we never expected more than 85% productivity in any hour. from the best of staff.

    Cheers – Marcus

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