Productivity Differences Defined

Improving field productivity starts with clarity on what individual productivity is and is not.

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Productivity differences at the individual or equipment level mean that you have differences in hours, cost, or schedule given the same safety, quality, and conditions.

For example, if driver A averaged five loads per hour last week and driver B averaged four loads per hour then you could say there is a difference in their individual productivity if...

  • Same trucks being used
  • Same haul roads and route
  • Same operating loading them
  • Same unloading
  • Same times of day or night
  • Same safety (no speeding)

This is the first thing - making sure you are not confusing individual productivity differences with other factors that may have a material impact on absolute productivity. This is often difficult because our management systems typically tracking overall productivity, so it requires going out to the field to observe the work and understand what is behind those productivity numbers. 



  1. Productivity is just a number for one particular task at a moment in time.
  2. Productivity IS NOT the measure of a person.
  3. Productivity is only one simple measure of performance. Other dimensions include versatility, reliability, aptitude, and behavior.


Related Training

Lean Principle - 5S Habits for Building a Productive Work Environment
5S is a foundational concept for creating a productive work environment and continuous improvement. The 5S process is to productivity what eating a healthy breakfast and exercising is to your health - daily consistency will change your life.
Time-on-Tools and Minimum Required Installation
Labor productivity IS NOT the biggest problem with field productivity. Under similar conditions the variation in how fast two crafts people actually “turn wrenches” is about 2X but there are far bigger problems to tackle. Focus on these three areas.
Continuous Improvement: Plan, Do, Check, and Act (PDCA)
Improving productivity in construction is exceptionally challenging. It must be embraced as a journey and not a destination. It must be made into a game so that people clearly see what winning looks like and fall in love with the process.