Difference between effective and efficient

Mar 3, 2011 by

What are the differences between effective and efficient?

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  1. lindai

    Being efficient means concentrating on doing things in such a way that maximum output is achieved using the lowest possible amount of resources. The focus is on the present and the way means are employed to achieve a goal. Thoughts about future developments or changes in resources are avoided as they may disturb the current level of efficiency. Maintaining efficiency requires discipline and rigorous application of established patterns through documentation and continuous repetition of proven steps, while avoiding errors and mistakes. However, this can stagnate a system by making it inflexible and also discourages innovation.

    In contrast, being effective is about finding the right means to employ in order to achieve the given goal. Actual output is constantly measured against the required output and the focus remains on the end goal. Future variables, such as changing resources or a changing environment, are taken into consideration and long term strategy is kept in mind. Effectiveness is concered with achieving success and will encourage innovation, as it constantly requires finding new and better ways in order to meet the goal desired.

    For mass production, efficiency is the main factor of indication for performance. However, constant demand for more and better choices by consumers requires a company to be effective. To ensure success, efficiency and effectiveness must be balanced. Only then can demands be met without costs running away. The difference between efficient and effective are thus: a) being effective means finding the right things to do, while being efficient means doing things the right way and b) being effective means thinking long term and focussing on the goal, whereas being efficient is concerned only with the present and the means employed to achieve a goal. In order to achieve and maintain success, a company must constantly seek to be both efficient and effective.

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