LET'S TALK STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION: +45 78 75 65 50 LET'S TALK: +45 78 75 65 50
Skip to content

How to do 15% more with the same people

How to do more with the same people

I recently met with a small-business owner who’s had a particularly troublesome year. An important project was running significantly behind schedule and considerably over budget. His team was tapped out, grumpy and tired, openly complaining about the extra hours they were logging. With no budget to hire, he was overwhelmed and unsure of how to get things back on track.

It’s a problem I’ve seen far too often. It seems there’s always too much work to be done, and not enough resources. The stress that can result from this mismatch often hits hardest when the extra work is strategically critical.

However, such problems can be easily fixed. Just as the average human uses only 10% of their available brain capacity, the average team uses 85% of its people capacity. That leaves 15% just waiting to be discovered and deployed. In fact, when our team has applied this thinking to our many client projects, we’ve almost always found even more in reserve.

The secret lies in getting everyone aligned to the most important initiatives. While this sounds simple, you’d be amazed at how often misalignment occurs. Overlaps (two people doing the same work) are common, as are underlaps—important work doesn’t get done. By finding and eliminating redundant work, resources are freed to tackle underlaps, and the project moves forward exponentially.

Here’s how to find that extra 15% capacity for your project.

Align with senior project leaders

Engage them in a frank, team-based conversation, facilitated by a professional. Review the project strategies to date, agree to move forward only on the activities that matter most to the project’s success, and discard any failed strategies. Ensure the retained strategies are still relevant in today’s business environment.

Align with the project team

Engage the larger team in a series of open, transparent discussions, both strategic and tactical. Ensure that everyone understands what matters most, and why they’re critical to the project’s success. Most importantly, ensure that each individual is crystal-clear on the specific activities he or she needs to do to support the project.

Redeploy resources

If you’ve done your job and eliminated redundant activities, you will most certainly find new capacity for your team. Redeploy these resources to support the activities that matter most.

I’ve seen this capacity-finding approach work time and again. And, as I explained to my weary business-owner friend, the results always far exceed the alignment effort itself.

One of my clients, a manufacturer of floor-care products, found that extra 15% capacity when he applied this approach to his front-office staff (Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Operations Management). He then redirected these newly liberated human resources to kick-start a major product innovation, resulting in an 8% gain in market share within a year.

Align your team 1

Looking for new people capacity to get that special project done?

Try aligning your teams to the initiatives that really matter. You may soon find yourself announcing to everyone that work ends at noon on Friday of the next long weekend. If you’d like help getting started, our strategy experts can help you.

Let's have a talk

You might also like

What are KPIs and Should You Use Them?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

As a leader, most likely you have come across the term Key Performance Indicator, or KPI. However, it might not be clear what a KPI really is, why it is important and how it could be crafted to provide the right...

Strategy Trends for 2023

Major trends are emerging in the way strategy is formulated, executed, and governed. In 2023 and beyond, traditional ways of working with strategy will give way to a totally different set of processes, measurements, reporting, and governance. The...

The Organizational Disease You Should be Fighting

An interesting phenomenon occurs when organizations fail to align strategic priorities across business units. Each department becomes so hyperfocused on its own objectives that it resists sharing information with anyone else. This silo mentality can...

Fred Pidsadny

Fred Pidsadny is a Strategy Execution Specialist and has a vast experience in helping companies in different industries, succeeding with strategies.