Efficiency is the ability to accomplish a task, process or action with little waste. It is often expressed in terms of how much time or energy is expended to accomplish a task. It is a quantitative measure where we evaluate the magnitude of something and ask questions about how much or how fast. In contrast, effectiveness is a qualitative measure of performance that evaluates degrees of good or bad.

In an operational context, efficiency is a measure of productivity: “As the process became more efficient, production increased dramatically.” Lean and Six Sigma methods attack waste and variation and therefore make processes more efficient and effective.

Process Efficiency and Effective Methods Chart

Peter Drucker, the famed management thinker said: Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”


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