We don’t know how to measure knowledge worker productivity

We can’t measure number of widgets produced in Knowledge work. We can measure trailing-indicator outcomes like OKRs instead, but that’s separate from the work itself.


Drucker, P. F. (1999). Knowledge-Worker Productivity: The Biggest Challenge. California Management Review, 41(2), 17.

Work on the productivity of the knowledge worker has barely begun. In terms of actual work on knowledge-worker productivity, we will be in the year 2000 roughly where we were in the year 1900 in terms of the productivity of the manual worker.

Matuschak, A. (2019, December). Taking knowledge work seriously. Presented at the Stripe Convergence, San Francisco.