Effectiveness vs. Efficiency

The difference between efficient and effective is that efficiency refers to how well you do something, whereas effectiveness refers to how useful it is.

For example, if a company is not doing well and they decide to train their workforce on a new technology. The training goes really well - they train all their employees in record time and tests show they have absorbed the training well. But overall productivity doesn't improve. In this case the company's strategy was efficient but not effective.

In other words, effectiveness is about doing the right things — things that yield positive results — and efficiency is simply about doing things right i.e. completing a task cheaper or faster.

In the following video, William McDonough, co-author of The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability--Designing for Abundance speaks about efficiency vs. effectiveness:

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Meaning Effectiveness is about doing the right task, completing activities and achieving goals. Efficiency is about doing things in an optimal way, for example doing it the fastest or in the least expensive way. It could be the wrong thing, but it was done optimally.
Effort oriented No Yes
Process Oriented No Yes
Goal oriented Yes Yes
Time oriented No Yes

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Comments: Effectiveness vs Efficiency

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Anonymous comments (4)

August 4, 2013, 8:51pm

Let we understand it in cricket term
> Batsman played inside edge and got 4 runs ... Not efficient( no placing) but effective (4runs)
> Batsman played a shot with placement but catch out....Its efficient but not effective

— 110.✗.✗.78

January 7, 2014, 10:42am

effectiveness refers to how useful it is while efficiency refers to how well you do something

— 37.✗.✗.138

August 20, 2007, 10:12pm

Or, as they say: Effectiveness is doing the right things. Efficiency is doing things right.

— 69.✗.✗.72

July 12, 2013, 1:22am

For example, if you are driving from A to B you might have 3 route options; achieving your goal, to get to B, regardless the route you are being effective however the shortest route will meet the efficient concept as you are using less effort/resources to get to B.
I hope it helped.

— 203.✗.✗.178


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