A Theory of Productivity

May 9, 2019

A Theory of Productivity

I’ve worked in a few different office environments in my career. I like to think I have a good work ethic and also try to find smarter ways to get things done but I had a thought toward the end of the most recent tax season.

Call it a theory of productivity, I suppose.

The thought was this: Unless you are the sole means of production (such as a one-person shop) productivity falls to the level of the least organized, productive member of the team. This is also known as a bottleneck.

I’ve seen it in each office I’ve been a part of. There is always a choke point in the workflow that inevitably slows the process down, frustrating other team members and clients.

I suppose this follows suit with the production of physical goods as well. If you have a factory that can produce 1,000 component A but only 750 component B and you need both components to complete your widget, you are not going to be able to produce more than 750 widgets at a time.