Important Indicator #1: BS-to-Productivity Ratio

We’ve all come across it… BS… you’re frantically working a project deadline, and suddenly a wrench is thrown in…  Someone’s interpersonal issues with another person, unnecessary red-tape or bureaucracy, inadequate equipment for the job.  Basically BS…

Description of the Indicator:
The BS-to-Productivity indicator is a measure of the degree to which a project has gone off course.  While some BS is completely unavoidable, BS’s lasting and debilitating effect on a project can rapidly deteriorate the life of the project and very quickly turn a simple project into an everlasting nightmare with no end in sight!
How to read it:
There are three segments of the ratio (see chart 1).
  • Segment 1: Little BS.  With a little BS, a project can continue without losing any productivity.

    ImportantIndicators_2011001_A - Chart 1
    Chart 1 – The Ratio
  • Segment 2: At a certain amount of BS, a project goes through the “Point of Early Despair”.  This is a point where you can still avoid a total loss on the project by implementing certain techniques (each situation is unique).  However, increased amounts of BS will accelerate the loss of productivity.
  • Segment 3: Finally, a project that is not able to avoid the increased BS through segment 2, will soon cross the “Point of Total Despair”.  This really is a point of no return, where there is no hope to ever achieve productivity on this particular project.  Few projects are able to ever recover from crossing the “Point of Total Despair”.
Chart 2 - Relationship over time
Chart 2 – Relationship over time

Special attention needs to be given to the BS/Productivity’s ratio impact over time.  A project with a small BS/Productivity ratio can recover from the amount of BS.  A project with moderate BS will take longer to complete and the effects are never quite shaken.  Finally, a project with a large amount of BS/Productivity ratio ends up getting derailed and is virtually irrecoverable (see chart 2)

BS-to-Productivity is rapidly approaching infinity