No matter what the project is, it seems as though everyone is asking to do more with less. There seems to be increasing pressures on scarce resources and demands on time. Team members are becoming exhausted and overworked and morale and motivation of the team are going down. Is it even possible to do more with less without impacting quality?
When it comes to doing more with less, it really comes down to being efficient and productive and paying attention to the smaller details. How do we do that? We do this by examining the processes, the resources, the demands, the risks, and the timelines. No one wants to sacrifice the quality of their work as it impacts the reputation of being known for delivering the end results. If you manage a project, you know that you need to really streamline your deliverables and processes all while continuing to motivate your team and keep your stakeholders informed. You must be focused to ensure that none of the deliverables that you are juggling fall out of place.
There are several things that you can do to become more productive and do more with less:
- Take on fewer projects on or prioritize deliverables. It is important to identify what is critical to a project to get the outcome desired. It is about keeping things simple in a complex system. Using smart goals to map out the plan.
- Communicate with your team and your stakeholders on a regular basis. It is important to clarify responsibilities, processes, expectations, and the delivery of feedback. Everyone needs to be kept in the loop. It is also important to communicate what roles and responsibilities need to be delegated to ensure the team is focused on their strengths and what they’re going to be delivering.
- Eliminate any waste by using lean thinking. Clear off your plate of any unfinished projects and determine if they’re still important. Delegate them if you need to. Eliminate any distractions so that you are completely focused on the work at hand. It is recommended that you keep a time log or journal of the time spent on deliverables. You will be surprised at where some of the time wasted actually goes. Remember to ensure that people are given the appropriate role and responsibility to carry out what needs to be done.
- Brainstorm your options with your team and stakeholders. When times need to be tighter because everyone has a certain amount of money and resources to work with, you will need to get creative and innovative with your solutions. Draw on the experience and expertise of your people. They are your secret weapon.
- Make effective decisions. Gather your facts, statistics, and information. Learn what your team members think and feel about the options available and gain an understanding of the emotions involved in the decision. Ask yourself if you are bottlenecking the process because you have the need to approve every detail. Can you offload some of the responsibility to your team members?
- Measure and manage your deliverables and outcomes. What you measure can be managed. Keep track of time, money, and the efforts of your people. Readjust your course accordingly as you evaluate at certain milestones along the way.
- Keep your team motivated. Celebrate the launch of your projects. Take time to acknowledge and praise your team members and your team’s accomplishments. You need to create a compelling vision that your team will be inspired by. They need to feel a part of the vision and that their role is meaningful and important in getting to the end result.
As you are working with your teams and stakeholders, you will be able to develop creative and innovative solutions in learning how to do more with less. In times of change, you may feel that is all you are doing. There may be times that you will be surprised by how much you can get done and have a team that is truly satisfied with the quality of their work and the efforts they put in. How are you going to do more with less on your next project?
DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com