Management Series – Work More with Less

Female Management GuruAfter a long short thought, I’ve decided to blog about the management experiences that I have gone through and provide some insights to the dos, don’ts and how-tos. There will be many who may dispute or agree with my posts but at the end of the day, the advise I gave is what worked for me.

This will be my first posting about “Doing more work with Less People”. How many times are you bogged down with ad hoc instructions from bosses? How often do you face huge work with short deadlines? There was once where I was required to massage an enormous amount of data in order summarise into 2 reports. The data needed to be sifted by humans as the computer system was unable to cater for the requirements. To make matters worse, by boss gave me an 8.5 hours duration.

I started by getting one single person to download all the information into Excel format. While that task was going on, I gather the rest of my team members (10 of them) and gave instructions on what is required and how we’re going to do it. Everyone nodded in agreement and was a sign they understood what was at stake and what need to be done.

1 hour passed and data from Excel was distributed to all the team members to work on. By the time 2 hours passed, a check revealed that every member was doing their own style and method. Knowing that this wasn’t going anywhere, I re-strategised and got only 2 team members to re-do the whole thing. A quick instruction was given, a quick reiteration of what needs to be done and within a total elapsed time of 8 hours, the 2 reports were completed, checked and verified. Phew!

Moral of the story: It’s not necessarily true that adding more people resources into a task will shorten the time to complete it. In reality, this may prove the opposite. Everyone has a different level of comprehension, creativity and initiative. Hence, on important tasks, choose a few effective personnel and let them handle the task.

Oh! Don’t forget to give them that carrot at the end of the stick.

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