006: Do More with More • NOT Do More with Less

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Do More with More - NOT Do More with Less

Doing more with less is not always the answer!  Sometimes it is necessary to justify resources.  We will help you find out when and how to do more with less, do more with more, or do less!

Has you or your department been asked to Do More with Less?  Maybe you weren't actually asked -- it was just assumed.   I know this can lead to a feeling of overwhelm.

Last week I gave a presentation at a national healthcare conference that I titled:


"Doing More with Less is Not Always the Answer:  Justify Needed Resources" - Tweet This  


I hear from many of my clients that this term makes employees uncomfortable and even upset.  It can send a message that management is not planning or providing necessary resources.


When is doing more with less the answer? 

  1. For short bursts of time - "all hands on deck" situation
  2. When you can enhance efficiency and productivity
    • Prioritize Initiatives
    • Remove Barriers
    • Effective Meetings/Projects
    • Reduce Complexity  (Frugal Innovation)  
    • Standardize (LEAN - 5S)
    • Eliminate Waste 
    • Tools & technology

Now, because I care about you having excellence in all areas of your life, many topics I cover can be applied to your career and personal life.  This topic is no different. 


But… there can be a Downside of Doing More with Less - it is LESS

Do MORE with Less  > Overwork > Damage morale > ↓ Engagement  > ↓ productivity > ↓ Retention > ↓ Quality >  LESS

I remember when I was interviewing for a position one time and the HR manager said people typically work long hours 11 + and it is expected.  I had to ask why - if there was that much of a need, why did they not justify more resources?  This company definitely had a reputation for burning employees out and having a high turnover.  Needless to say, I did not want to work there.


Decision - Do Less or Do More with More


So, after you have optimized Doing More with Less with your existing resources, you then have two decisions - Do Less or Do More with More


Do Less:   This requires limiting the # projects or initiatives to the top priorities and needle movers. One of my role models, Marie Forleo calls this pruning. You have to cut back so other initiatives can flourish.


Do More with More:  Sometimes it is worthwhile to justify the resources.

This is not just for the sake of it.

But you have to step back and analyze where can you accomplish more with more resources.   It is a trade-off and money ends up being the main driver. But make sure your planning is not short sighted.  Sometimes investing in resources today will lead to bounty in the future.


Case Example

I want to share with you a bold example of justifying resources and doing More with More. 

   In my health system where I work as a director for clinical pharmacy services, we were historically doing more with less.   I led an initiative to justify resources - both people and technology.  We did this through a compilation of business plans and internal FTE (full-time equivalent) analysis. 


Before adding on new initiatives though, I wanted to ensure we had the right baseline so that people did not have to work overtime.


Through the business plans, I knew we could add resources in pharmacists, technicians, and residents that would enhance patient safety, patient outcomes, and improve the patient experience. All of these positive benefits would ultimately result in reduced healthcare costs.


Though many of you may not work in healthcare, I will just share that these resources made the pharmacists and technicians more available on the patient care units in the hospital to collaborate with the doctors and nurses to focus on the medication needs for patients in the hospital and as they transitioned home.


The final package added 50 MORE positions to our department. The full implementation is ongoing, but initial results are positive for our department, hospital, and most importantly the patients.


Where in your work or home life can you do more with more?


 Work Life

Assess your current and future workload and then consider your options

Hire  justify and add new FTEs through analysis and business plans


Contract with Experts (outsource)  do you have people trying to figure out technology and spinning their wheels when you could just get an expert


Obtain Resources & Tools  a common question on employee engagement surveys is:  do you have the resources and tools you need to do your job.  Obtain tools & technology for you and your employees to be effective.


Home Life

Hire or Outsource   Consider when you might want to justify hiring or "outsourcing" work.

Do you need more support with childcare, or cleaning, or yard work.  Sometimes this investment in hiring someone can be worth it when it frees you up to do more productive and meaningful activities for your balanced life.


Obtain Resources and Tools

Think about what can make your life easier - Invest in a good computer, get automated lights or even automated blinds.  Basically, make your home smarter.


Give Yourself Permission to Do Less

A big mistake I see with most people at home (women especially) is: Do not seek perfection!  I have gotten away without having cleaning support because I know that I do not have to dust the dining room or molding every week. 

So basically - give yourself permission to do less at home!


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Now it's your turn....

Identify an area at home or work where you can do more with more.  Share the action you will take to get more in the comments section below. 


In this week's blog post you will also be able to access the Bonus Blog Download - When to Do More with Less or More: A tool to help you identify where to make improvements and justify resources. 



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