In this series of articles we are clarifying the differences between terms that are taken as same by many people. Today we will talk about effective vs efficient (or efficiency vs effectiveness). Both these terms indicate the characteristics of output of a process. A process can be effective or efficient or, ideally, both! Let’s see what it all means!
Efficiency refers to how well a task has been performed. Efficiency basically aims to utilize minimum resources to produce maximum output. So, an engine with mileage of 20 miles per liter will be more efficient than the one that gives only 17 miles per liter.
Effectiveness is a measure of quality. Being effective is achievement of a desired goal. For example, if an engine is able to pull the vehicle up a very steep hill — we will say it is effective. In this case will not consider its efficiency. It may burn a lot of fuel while going uphill (meaning it’s less efficient) but the measure of its effectiveness is whether it can take us on top of the hill or not!
In the real world, we strive to achieve both efficiency as well as effectiveness.
Differences between Efficiency vs Effectiveness
|Efficiency is about doing things right.
|Effectiveness is about doing the right things.
|Its aim is to maximize output while using minimum input.
|Objective of effectiveness is to achieve the desired goal.
|Focuses on the process.
|Focuses on the end result.
|It is yield oriented approach.
|It is goal oriented approach.
|Efficiency is concerned with input / output ratio.
|Effectiveness is not concerned with input / output ratio.
|Being efficient may not necessarily mean being on the right track with respect to the goal.
|Being effective means being on the right track with respect to the goal.
|Efficiency has economic sense.
|Effectiveness may not have economic sense.
|High economical result is desired via efficiency.
|High quality result is desired via effectiveness.
Quotations on Efficient and Effective
The idea flow from the human spirit is absolutely unlimited. All you have to do is tap into that well. I don’t like to use the word efficiency. It’s creativity. It’s a belief that every person counts.
The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency.
The marketplace judges technologies by their practical effectiveness, by whether they succeed or fail to do the job they are designed to do.
Never underestimate the effectiveness of a straight cash bribe.
Effective action is always unjust.
You don’t have to be noisy to be effective.
Flying cars are not a very efficient way to move things from one point to another.
I’ll take fifty percent efficiency to get one hundred percent loyalty.
I wish we could be private with Tesla. It actually makes us less efficient to be a public company.
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