How to Do Less with More

How to Do Less with More

We’ve all heard the expression “do more with less.” The idea is to get the greatest output for the minimal input, or to use the least amount of resources to produce the best possible outcome. From a project management perspective, this is often the goal of a project leader or manager. But what if there was another way to look at productivity, which involved doing less with more?

In this article, I’ll cover the concept of doing less with more, beginning with a breakdown of what this means and concluding with an example of how you can implement it in your workflow. It might sound like an odd concept at first, but I assure you, it can help you overcome some of the sticking points in your project management process, both at the office and in your personal life.

So, what exactly does it mean to “do less with more?” Think of it as figuring out how to maximize not only your personal productivity, but the productivity of your team, by only working on the tasks and projects that you’re actually really good at, and then outsourcing the rest.

Yes, that’s right, I said “outsourcing.” In some circles, the idea of outsourcing anything at all is frowned upon. The term has acquired a bad reputation over time, no doubt because of the ease with which one can become an “outsourced” worker. That’s not exactly what I’m talking about here. In this case, I want to focus on strategic outsourcing.

The idea of strategic outsourcing is defined as, “The organizing arrangement that emerges when firms rely on intermediate markets to provide specialized capabilities that supplement existing capabilities deployed along a firm’s value chain.” The emphasis is placed on specialized capabilities.

To put it differently, the phase “do less with more” simply means to work on what you’re best at, and then outsource the rest in a very strategic way. If you do this, then you’re essentially going to do less work in the long run, because the tasks and projects you’ll work on will be the things you’re best at.

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It’s about maximizing the outcome of each task or project rather than maximizing the efficiency of how that task is completed.

Still confused? Here’s a quick example of “doing less with more” in action: Let’s say you’re trying to build a company blog from scratch. Someone told you that WordPress is the best blogging platform to use, so you know you want to go with that, but you don’t know much else about it. Sure, you could spend hours trying to learn WordPress, and then work through the steps to install and customize your blog, but is that really the most efficient use of your time?

In this case, perhaps you’re better off spending your time writing articles for the blog, instead of figuring out how to set it up. So you have a few different options for how to proceed at this point. You could outsource the entire project to someone else, or you could break the project up into smaller tasks and find the best person to complete each job, based on his or her area of expertise.

If you happen to do the latter, and use resources that are outside of your organization, you’re actually using strategic outsourcing. This is a very cost-effective way to get things done, as long as you find the right person for each job.

In the mean time, you can be busy at work writing articles for your new company blog, while it gets built. You’ll still be working towards completing the project, but in a way that maximizes the outcome of each task, because each one is being completed by the ideal person for that particular job.

That’s how you do less with more, thanks to the power of strategic outsourcing. Give it a shot with your next project, and let me know how it goes!

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Discover exactly which steps we take with each new project, and how you can systematize your marketing efforts.