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How to Do More with Less using ManagePro

April 22, 2009
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We talk to lots of our customers, every day.  As we do, there is a repeated theme of having to do more with less, of having less people resources at work to get things done.   Everyone seems to be experiencing it.

Although the challenge of “Doing more with Less” gets framed in different ways,  there’s actually one commonality that might help each of us in finding the solutions we need.  That’s what I would like to talk about in this blog.  Hopefully you’ll come away feeling less trapped by the work demands and challenges, and the fear of not having enough.

The one common aspect about having to do More with Less

Across all the people I encounter, and stories I hear or read about, the one common theme is that we all bring ourselves to the challenge.  We all occupy a certain role in relationship to the problem.  We often take one or more of the following roles as an example:

1. Pressing harder, working fast and furious,
2. Being depressed and feeling victimized,
3. Being stoic and persevering
4. Holding on and white-knuckling it

In response to the “Do More” challenge, we take on a role, with beliefs, assumptions and a predictable action plan.   The role you and I pick up might be defined as, or begs the question, “Who are you in relationship to the problem?”

The role we assume frames where we look for a solution… and what  a solution looks like

We all look for solutions in the “Do More with Less” adventure or journey or crisis, depending on how you frame it. Interestingly, the first place we tend to look is outside of ourselves.  Additionally the role we adopt, e.g. how we define ourself in relationship to the “Do More” challenge limits where we look for a solution.

If you get beyond the urge to go faster, or duck, or yell, “Help, I need to be rescued!” You’ll find that one of the best solution sources is yourself and what you do in context with the situation.  Let me give you some hints on how you can modify your relationship with the “Do More” challenge and in the process use ManagePro to help.

In the “Do More with Less” scenario, the following are often true:

1. There is less time to get things done, because there’s more things to do,
2. There are less people to gather, research and organize information, contacts, leads.

So here’s one way to approach the issue.  Imagine that you are going to modify your relationship, your role, your action plan in dealing with the problem, and you only have time to MODIFY how you handle three things:

1. Priority
2. Time and
3. Information

Actually for most of us, that’s all we need to modify to change the trajectory.  Here are some examples of how I modify each using ManagePro:

1. I combine the first two and compress Time by Focusing Relentlessly on Priority
There’s not enough time to get everything done, but there’s enough time to get the most important thing done.  What is it?  I get what’s most important on my calendar in ManagePro, first thing in the morning.  I want it in front of my face… before I get swamped with other stuff.

Carefully guard the amount of time requested for any non-#1 items.  Request and set expectations for time on every assignment, every meeting request.  “How long is that going to take?” and “When do you expect to have it to me?” should be part of every conversation in your head and with others.  Then I track those most important issues in ManagePro via a series of tasks or todos.

I also continue to prompt the same for everyone who works for me.  “What’s number 1?  What’s the outcome?  What’s the game plan for getting there?  When do you expect to arrive?”  I look for it to be in ManagePro, then I know others are practicing the “Time compression through Priority setting” that will help us all better cope with the “Do More with Less” challenge.

2. I Document to save Time and I expect, require, that everyone else do so as well

Documenting to save time is a huge coping mechanism, especially when completed in a central application that leverages information across the entire team or organization.  ManagePro is the information management backbone for this huge coping mechanism.  I expect to see anything we need to coordinate or collaborate on documented in ManagePro.  I only want one place to look.   You should too.  But you or others may be saying, “Hey it takes time to document, it slows me down…”  It’s only true for the moment.

If you looked at the cost for the time spent searching for information, or the cost of making decisions without having current information, or the cost spent rehashing work commitments, expectations, etc, because it is not written down… you would quickly recognize that the short term time savings of not documenting actually creates a mountain of cost going forward.

Bottom Line:

How to Do More with Less depends on the role you assume in relationship to that challenge.  Be careful to look at what you can modify about your approach, it is a commonly overlooked and very powerful coping mechanism.  Be sure to look at the role of managing time, priority and information, and how a tool like ManagePro can help you optimize all three.

Links:

Documenting, the missing 4th Step after Ready, Aim, Fire
Working Strategically: Outcome, Time & Value


1 Comment. Leave new

3 of 3 Work Smarter Google Processes You May Want to Implement
August 12, 2009 8:18 am

[…] How to do more with less using ManagePro […]

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