Do More with Less

Posted on January 16, 2012 ยท Posted in Managing Performance

Managers are increasingly being asked to do more with less but how do you achieve this? A good place to start is by combining three principles. This will set the context for doing more with less. These principles can be summarised as the Eff words: effective; efficient; and effortless.

1. Effective – Having a definite or desired effect. Doing the right things.

2. Efficient – Productive with minimum waste or effort. Doing things right.

3. Effortless – Seemingly without effort; natural, easy. Doing things easily.

A fundamental principle of doing more with less is to combine each of these words.

Effectiveness is the main aim, doing the right things always takes precedent over doing things well. Only when you’ve done this can you begin to consider efficiency.

Efficiency is about doing the right things but doing them well.


The final aim is to combine effectiveness and efficiency but with a minimum of effort. Ensuring the optimum use of resources required to achieve organisational goals. The key to this is developing simple processes, which are integral to effectiveness and efficiency.

So, in order to find ways to do more with less, practice asking three fundamental questions:

  1. Why are you performing the activity?
  2. How well are you doing it?
  3. How can you simplify what you are doing?

Of course this is just a snapshot, but getting the basics right is almost always the best place to start.