Egypt: Efficiency

Efficiency is not just a scientific term used by Mechanical Engineers. The Egyptian blogger Ahmed Tharwat (Ya Marakby) decided to apply it on society as well.

Tharwat argues that government employees are inefficient and writes:

بيقولوا إن لو عندك إتنين موظفين شغالين في مكتب في مصلحة حكومية وكل واحد منهم بيشتغل بكفاءة 90% (الشر برة وبعيد) يبقى الكفاءة العامة للمكتب كله تتحسب إزاي؟ الكفاءة العامة هي حاصل ضرب كفاءة الإتنين الموظفين
يعني “%90 × %90 = %81″ .. مفاجأة مش كدة؟

طيب لو عندنا 3 موظفين في المكتب إياه .. وكل واحد كفاءته هي %90 برضه .. يبقى الكفاءة العامة للمكتب ده كام؟ هي حاصل ضرب كفاءة التلاتة موظفين
يعني “%90 × %90 × %90 = %73″ .. شوفتوا الرقم صغر إزاي؟

It's said that if we have two employees working in a governmental agency, and the efficiency of each of them is 90% (we must be dreaming for sure), then their net efficiency will be the product of the efficiencies of each of them. Ie. “90% x 90% = 81%”.

Now let's say that we have three employees instead of two,then their net efficiency will be “90% x 90% x 90% = 73%”, see how the number is getting smaller and smaller.

وعلشان ما أطولش عليكم .. لو عندنا في مصر 70 مليون مواطن .. وخير اللهم إجعله خير كان كل واحد فيها بيشتغل بكفاءة 90% برضه .. ممكن حد يحسب ويقولي الكفاءة العامة لمصر تبقى كام؟ إضربوا كده “%90″ في “%90″ سبعين مليون مرة وشوفوا هتطلع كام .. حسبتوها؟ مصدومين مش كده؟ أيوة .. الإجابة تقريبا صفر .. أيوة صفر

And to cut it short, the Egyptian population is about 70 million. And if each of them works with 90% efficiency, can you calculate the net efficiency of the Egyptian workers? Multiply “90% x 90%” 70 million times. You are astonished now, right? Yeah, it's result is almost zero. Zerooo!!

اللي أنا عايز أقوله إننا لازم نشتغل بكفاءة أقرب ما تكون لل 100% علشان الكفاءة العامة ما تقلش قوي كده لحد ما تبقى صفر

So, what I want to say here, is that we are supposed to work with almost 100% efficiency so that the result isn't as bankrupt and we don't remain zero.


  • sam

    I love when people apply hard science to soft science. It’s like applying mechanical engineering formula of fluid dynamics to Quantum reactions… you don’t do it.

    The efficiency of people is usually less than 90% in fact far less but aggregately they usually accomplish a lot because the formula of human efficiency is a lot more complicated than their product. But good point nevertheless just a bit marred by bad support.

  • Ibrahim

    I am a close friend to Ahmed, so I might be biased to all what he writes, and I really admire his devotion to writing, provided all the work load he has….

    But just one comment, as we are discussing here some engineering principles, and as an Engineer, I would like to contribute….at the beginning for any unclear ideas I may propose….

    First, Their is just one concern about using multiplication as a way to sum up efficiencies…using just multiplication is based on an implied assumption that all system components (or people) are doing the same job or doing he same thing as we are calculating one number (the overall efficiency) to express how fast (or let us say Efficient) the system is…
    I do not believe this might be a valid assumption taking into consideration different systems configurations such as serial and parallel connections, multi-objective system approach which can not add up different quantities of different types….

    To be clearer about this matter is that when we have a system that serves different goals, economic, social…etc…we are talking about different and sometimes conflicting objectives…
    Different in the sense that we have quantitative objectives (things can have a value, number…etc) and things that are qualitative (things that can not have a value, just a quality…good bad…) so it means if we add 3 oranges to 4 apples we end up “3 oranges to 4 apples” not 7 things….
    Conflicting in the sense that some of theses goals need to be achieved with the highest values, or to the maximum extent, and the others need to me minimized…so the question is not to maximize or minimize anymore…the question is to “compromise”…because you have also constraints to achievements.

    Second, a simple application of the multiplication principle to the USA, Canada, or any other developed country (taking into consideration that an efficiency of 100% is merely a theoretical idea and can not be achieved) the efficiency can be as high as 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999%…Multiplication of any number that is less than 100% few times ends at the same place…(ZERO)……

    Third, Taking system configuration there are ways to deal with overall efficiency (for parallel or serially connected systems) which means we might use the MIN operator than the “PRODUCT” operator…or any other operator that reflects the real behavior of the system.

    In Conclusion, I believe that the problem is not on the individual efficiency (only) but it is, also, in the system configuration that puts similar components into conflicting manner, using low quality components in Critical Points…so on…..



  • Zahran

    Ahmed, you need to re-check the way of applying this formula, the multiplication is hardly the way to calculate the efficiency of a nation, the algebric average can give a better result maybe here, the multiplication is to be applied when activities are like in a series of reactions , or like in the losses calculated in water like in irrigation, since Ibrahim is participating in this,if you have an irrigation system with 70% efficiency that delivers water to another system with a 70% efficiency, this would give us a 49% efficiency after both systems and 51% of the water will be lost, but if those two systems are not like in series , then our average final efficiency will be 70% in here, anyway its nice to find out you are still alive, not to mention that you are still writing, take care

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