I work for an operations project where we refine images. I have a team of 50 resource whose target is to refine 60 images per shift per resource (8 hours). (i.e 7.5 images per hour). Unfortunately sometimes we face downtime and work doesn't get saved for few due to tool issues. 

While calculating a resource's weekly production how should I consider that loss of work due to system issues.

Eg: Resource A has produced 255 images in a week of 40 hours with 6 hours of system issues. How should I rate his production when compared to others? ( While other employees have different hours of system issues ) 

Option A: Should I remove number of hours lost from denominator?

Production %: 255/(36*7.5)

Option B: Give the employee targeted images for those 6 hours? 

Production %: (255 + (6*7.5)) / (40*7.5)

maura's picture
Training Badge

I'm assuming your team has no control over the downtime - they don't cause it, and they don't have anything to do with when or how fast the system comes back up.  If that is the case, then the fairest way to approach it is to do the math based on the amount of time they had available to produce:

total images/(total hours worked-downtime)  which in this case would be 255/(40-6), or 7.5:  right on target. 

A couple additional points:

1. If you really have that much downtime, I hope you have a backlog of meaningful tasks they can work on while they can't be refining images, and a way to acknowledge what gets done while offline. 

2. If they do have any control over the downtime, find ways to measure and incentivize behaviors that keep the system up for longer - whether preventing it from going down so easily/often or by helping the system to get back up and running more quickly when it does go down.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I'm not as quick as Maura to believe the systems issues are random.  So, some thoughts:

1.  Make certain the systems issues can't be correlated to individuals.  Sorry, but you have to be certain.  No offense, but if some folks know that lost system hours are going to be subtracted from the denominator (always the place you want subtractions from, it seems), they're going to claim some systems issues, and their numbers are going to be stellar.

2. If the system downs are legit, are you really suggesting adding not-actually-completed work to make something fit a reporting process?  I would be surprised that that would fly with more senior people.

3. If you have to report, then you have to let senior folks know that the systems issues affect the numbers.  (And surely there is some guidance somewhere about what's supposed to be reported??)  If it were me, I'd prep two reports.  Depending upon on what I wanted to occur, I would either highlight the one without any subtractions, meaning the systems issues would become a discussion point, or I would subtract, because the issues are creating larger problems organizationally.


naraa's picture
Training Badge

 I worked in an engineering company and we had efficiency calculated as "hours gained on project deliverables/total available hours in the month", where from the total available hours in the month we subtracted the holidays and vacation time. This is sort of the scheme you are proposing where you subtract the downtime.  

So my boss, the general manager would ask: "you say we are at 100% efficiency but how come we are not billing what we were suppose to be billing at 100% productivity.  So I do agree with Mark, the way you calculate the number depends what it will be used for and who you will report it to.

See the number was good for us in engineering to control efficiency, but it was not good cash flow and profitability projections.

So we started keeping track of both numbers, productivity without the subtraction of downtime and efficiency with the subtraction. 

i would call production % = image produced / (total time * standard images per hour) and

something like resource efficiency % = image produced / ((total time - downtime)*standard image per hour)

And make your people accountable for both numbers.  I don't know what your situation is, but I have heard too many times: "I couldn't finish it because the machine wasn't working or because someone didn't deliver their part to me."  "So did you ask someone to fix the machine or for the repot?" "No."

svibanez's picture

We measure system availability and capacity in my industry, much like Maura, Mark and Naraa described above.  We do subtract some downtime from the period hours, but only the *planned* downtime.  Those numbers still only present an outline of the situation.  We need to look at the reasons for the reduced capacity to find improvement opportunities.

We drill down to the reason for each period of *unplanned* downtime and use that to drive our improvement plans.  Outages can be due to poor design, failed components, lack of resources, operator error (poor procedures and lack of training are a couple of sub-categories there) or acts of nature.

We meet weekly to analyze the cause for each outage and determine whether any action is required to prevent them from re-occurring.  This review normally takes less than 30 minutes per week and has led us to identify some trends that have spurred system improvements, which has led to increased capacity.

I hope you find this helpful to your situation.


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