Friday, April 13, 2007

Productivity: MI matrix

Some friends have written about productivity lately. Telémaco showed a radical idea: Heretical Idea 1: Productivity is dangerous, later Julen wrote about Innovation and lifestyle. This encouraged me to type the Towando keys to give my personnel opinion.

Most people who speak about productivity do it from the rearguard. They look at the front line from far away. They never get their hands dirty with the trench mud. They are nearer to metrosexual boss than male boss. The big picture will be OK to see the whole environment but it loses the human relationship details

What is the formula to productivity success? It depends on environment. The Services Sector is different to the Industrial Sector, the Health Sector or the Civil Service. Each sector has its own characteristics. I feel productivity as an IT sector employee. I worked for more than 20 years in the IT trenches until I left voluntarily five years ago. Right now my experience is consolidated and I think I'm in a good position to do a productivity analyses.

I remember the post Bread with butter. It was written by Telemaco more than one year ago and it showed an SGD matrix from the blog “Nodos en la Red”. I have analysed the BCG matrix (Boston Consulting Group) too. These matrixes explain the project conceptual model in a graphic way. I feel a lack in theses matrixes, they don't include the productivity concept. I will try to show it by a relation money-incompetence in IT projects.

This is the visual representation of MI ( Money- Incompetence) matrix.

In this model the x-axis represents incompetence as the integration of the whole incompetence of project members, such as Clients or such as suppliers.

The y-axis is the project budget. This matrix has four possible status project.

Craftsman: There are projects which are done with rigor and without waste of money. They finish with success within the stipulated period. Professional experience takes priority over manpower, like the craftsman process. They exist under conditions of little money and low incompetence. They usually have little overhead, a short duration and they are very varied.

Sisifo's legend: This group of projects never finishes with success. They are structured in phases, all of them failed like Sisifo's legend. This legend tells how Sisifo tried to take up a big stone to the top of a mountain but he never achieves it. The big stone always falls before he gets to the top. Sometimes people who work on these projects aren't incompetent but they are trapped in an environment of incompetence. This project doesn't have enough money to live eternally and they have to finish and to start again without any hope of success.

Diaspora: This class of projects has a big budget and they finish with success. They achieve the money and the time goals. Only few projects can do it because they need to have a low incompetence percentage. This is becoming more and more difficult and is almost impossible now. In these projects the customers know what they want to do and the suppliers know the way to do the work. The overhead is low, each person can do several things in an efficient way. A lot of productivity has negative consequences: When the project concludes, the profits finish too. There isn't continuity in the project and the source of income stops. Then, the project members suffer a diaspora as punishment, in the company or in the worse case out of it.

Total impunity : It's the tastiest part of a pie, it's the object of desire of an experienced project manager who likely has suffered a disapora. This class of project has an ideal situation: a big budget managed by incompetence. The manpower takes priority over professional experience, on the opposite side to Craftsman projects. The human resources are very plentiful and cheap. As a consequence this brings a huge structure plenty of bureaucracy with a large overhead.

A critical point is getting the total impunity point as the next image shows

It's necessary to spend the budget money quickly to achieve a point of no-return. Nobody closes the project without losing his position or his prestige. After this point the incomes are consolidated independently of project results.

The companies tend to locate themselves in the total impunity, far from productivity