Edward Baker has written what I consider an excellent article on productivity for CIO Insighthttp://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1540,2085007,00.asp
Best quote: "Parkinson [John Parkinson, former chief technologist for the Americas at Capgemini], puts the problem another way. Raw productivity gains, he says, aren’t sufficient to compete successfully in the 21st century. ’What you want is agile productivity,’ he maintains."
BTW, Infoworld’s Steve Fox wrote a thought-provoking editorial for the 2/5/07 issue (http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/02/05/06OPeditor_1.html) where he lamented the state of IT worker productivity – just as the WSJ and White House were trumpeting astounding US worker productivity gains.
It seems clear to me that anyone who’s interested in sourcing will be interested in productivity, but there are a lot of subtle issues. If you outsource work, liberating your own staff for "more productive" endeavors, how do you track their productivity?
If you’re as interested in productivity as I am, you may want to read some of Paul Strassmann’s articles at http://www.strassmann.com/. Strassmann, along with Charles Handy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Handy) and the late Peter Drucker, are my picks for the best business thinkers around. Each seems to have (or have had) a sort of prescience that I attribute to deep thinking.