Principles of Productivity Science

Since productivity science is essentially a change discipline, the philosophy must be concerned with issues such as:

  1. the ethics of productivity practice in the workplace
  2. the derivation of underlying principles from observation of practice
  3. the prediction of the effects of productivity interventions using predictive modelling and the identification of causal relationships
  4. the effects of Productivity practice on on individuals, groups and on wider society.

To take this discussion further, John Heap, President of WCPS, has proposed the following principles should underly and underpin the philosophy and practice of productivity science.

Productivity leaders and practitioners should adopt the following approach to ensure their work is technically and ethically valid.

  • undertake a structured and systematic review of the social, environmental and economic value created by human endeavour;
  • measure, at macro and micro levels, the value created by business activity – and the resources consumed to produce it;
  • design products in ways which facilitate efficient manufacturing, distribution and subsequent disposal;
  • design services that are user-focused and scalable whilst remaining efficient in terms of their requirements for physical infrastructure and administrative support.
  • strive to identify and eliminate or minimize waste across the lifecycle of services and products (including throughout manufacturing and delivery processes);
  • ensure all working environments and working practices are designed to ensure the safety and well-being of the workforce;
  • minimise the consumption of energy and natural resources;
  • minimise harmful effects on the natural environment;
  • establish working systems, processes and methods that reduce inherent variability;
  • treat all members of the workforce with respect and, wherever possible, engage them in decision-making processes that affect their work roles or working conditions;
  • ensure that all staff have the tools, equipment and skills necessary to maximize their performance and contribution to their organization;
  • engage individuals and teams in productivity and performance enhancing reviews and investigations.