Everybody wants to do more with less. It’s one of those things that’s easy to say, not so easy to do. In normal times, we prefer to think in terms of doing more with more. Consider your personal life. It’s easier to think about getting a big raise than it is to think about cutting your monthly expenses. But that’s not how 2020 has been rolling so far. 2020 has been all about doing more with less, and doing things radically different from the norm, so let’s take a look at what that really means.
The first step to doing more with less is to recognize that there are things you simply have no control over. We all get 24 hours of time each day. If your customers are on lockdown and can’t make money, your cash flow is going to take a hit. Yes, you can increase your marketing and sales efforts, but let’s assume you have no control and have to live in a world with a fixed amount of time and fixed or decreasing revenue.
#1 – Increase Efficiency
The number one way to increase productivity is to work more efficiently. Schools of thought like lean, or programs like Six Sigma, focus on extracting incremental improvements through rigorous examination of key repeated processes, the goal being to eliminate any inefficiency in the system.
A good way to conceptualize this is to think about the actual work you need to do – the stuff you get paid for. Everything else is what is known as the space between. That’s looking up passwords, asking teammates how to do something, or searching for information. That space in between is a source of inefficiency, and if you can reduce the space between, you’ll see your efficiency increase. Ultimately, the more closely your tools work together, the less space between you’ll have. The more you’ve got documented – and the ease with which you can find that documentation – plays a huge role in improving efficiency.
We’ve built our entire business on this – both in our product and in how we operate. When we say we cut your wasted time – that space between – by 50% or more, we mean it. And the best part is that we’re working hard to reduce the space between other key tools in your stack.
#2 – Look for Modern Solutions
One of the biggest challenges that we have is our collective hesitation to change our technology, even after it becomes dated. There’s a certain logic to it, because we like what’s comfortable, and new systems always come with learning curves. But sooner or later, your older, dated tech will be supplanted in the marketplace. But when it does come time to change your key tools, make that change strategic in nature, not reactionary.
That means understanding what you need from a given tool, and what each tool in that category can give you. For example, depending on how you use your PSA, you might not need the world’s most sophisticated one. To use documentation as another example, consider whether you’re buying it to “have documentation” or buying it to overhaul your operational efficiency. Knowing what you are trying to achieve makes all the different in the world when evaluating solutions.
Getting the right stack, with a special focused on removing friction and chokepoints, is an important part of doing more with less.
#3 – Build Momentum
One of the things about the above two points is that you’re sending a signal to your staff that you aren’t just going to ask them to work harder, or work longer hours, but that you’re going to support them in becoming more efficient. In the short run, you can always ask people to work harder. But in the long run, they’ll burn out and there will be turnover. It’s not sustainable. In the long run, you want your team to be more efficient and to get more done, but to achieve those goals without any increase in stress or anxiety.
Build momentum by way of improving processes and reducing wasted time, and your team should appreciate being able to get more done while simultaneously reducing stress. Once that happens, there will be more belief, and better buy-in for your efforts to improve. Don’t expect your team to believe it’s possible to do more with less until they see it with their own yes.
One of the things we’re doing at IT Glue to help you do more with less is continuing to build deeper workflow integrations to help you remove the spaces between that eat up your time and effort. We’ve improved our ConnectWise integration, and done some amazing things to bring about deep workflow integrations with Kaseya VSA and BMS. The Kaseya folks call it profit fuel, we just call it doing more with less. But whatever tool you use, take a look at our demo to get a feel for how IT Glue has helped over 8,500 partners do more with less these past six years.