Creation of Invisible Values in Enterprises

The Motivation: factor 9 in EBIT

We all know how different the productivity of teams can be. Tom DeMarco analyzed software development teams and identified teams who are a factor 3 more productive than average and teams who are a factor 3 less productive than average. In other words, he observed a span of a factor 9 (!) for different productivity.

This fact is not only observed in the field of software engineering but almost everywhere where knowledge workers are working. The more geographically distributed the teams are the more significant are the differences in their productivity.

Translated into money this means that even if you pay the same hourly rate for two different teams, one of them might be worth only 22€/h/person while the other one is worth 200€/h/person. Up to now I have not met any CEO or CFO who do not care, if their EBIT is a factor 9 less than possible.

The Invisible Value

A lot of research is done to analyze the reasons for different productivity and how to create values that improve the productivity. Most of those values are visible values like the implementation of processes and tools. On the other hand it is well-known that invisible values like trust relationships between (geographically distributed) teams members increase significantly the productivity.

The Research Questions

  • Categorize invisible values in a company (e.g. trust culture, cross-divisional cooperation culture, culture of mutual respect, openness…).
  • How to strategically evaluate which invisible values are most important for the company in the current situation?
  • Strategies for establishing or leveraging those desired invisible values in a company.
  • Invisible values are usually difficult to measure. However, what are the possible metrics – or at least measurable indicators – which help to demonstrate the progress?

See also: “Carrier Process for Cultural Change Management”
and “Due Diligence of Enterprise Culture”

Please, let me know if you are working in this field or if you plan to work in this field or if you know about already existing research in this field.


About heisss
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2 Responses to Creation of Invisible Values in Enterprises

  1. bmloidl says:

    Intersting – i always was interested how sucessfull team in projects works. also interested how sucessfull countries are working …

    Yes, but I think productivity its not only a question of payment, there is a lot of softfacts eg – just from the scratch now i will mention the following points:
    – you need a size below 6 for the kernal team and a size below 50 for the whole team – so you know who is doing what
    – you need the right mixture between genius people, leader and people willling to follow advices
    – you need to create right spirit and motivation – and no stupid disturbances
    – you need create success feeling to make the team strong and they should also be supported by their partners in private life
    – their must be good social life in the group, less buerocracy
    – good financial controlling in the background without disturbing
    – there need be developed smart business and work rules in the team
    – good communication and fun for work
    – the leader must have the idea and roadmap and he need some genius to fill the pieces with live and some workers to produce it

    if you are interested we can meet for a coffee about that sometimes

  2. heisss says:

    Thanks for your valuable comment! I agree in all points.

    You focus in your reply on projects and what a good project manager will do for optimizing the productivity of his team.

    My research question focusses for measures on a company level. What measures should the CEO of a company drive in order to optimize the productivity of his/her company? Or more concrete: what are the invisible values he/she should develop in the company.

    Some of those invisible values could be (as you also mentioned):
    – innovative spirit
    – high motivation level
    are the classically desired invisible values. I like also your
    – support by partners in their private life.
    One of my favorits are
    – mutual respect and trust culture
    – a culture of supporting colleagues

    The question is, what can a company do to establish/develop/strengthen those invisible values?
    Take for example the Siemens knowledge networking platform TechnoWeb. How did TechnoWeb establish/develop/strengthen those invisible values? Or take the example of the Fit4Future initiative or the current work/life-balance initiative, or initiatives like the Software Engineering Forum, the annual Technology Day: all this initiatives generate parts of those invisible values.

    Regarding payment it seems to be a missunderstanding: I was not talking about payment in my blog, I just translated the soft facts into Euro: regardless what you pay, you get a different value from different teams: the same task can be done by a top-productive team in one day while a team with low productivity needs one week for the same task.

    fyi: I am planning an IEEE Technology Management Council event regarding this topic. I will let you know about the date and time as soon as we know it.

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