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Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

How To Get Things Done When You Don’t Have Enough Resources, Budget, or Capacity

How To Get Things Done When You Don’t Have Enough Resources, Budget, or Capacity

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In a world of “do more with less,” don’t be a victim. Be the hero when it comes to driving and dealing with what’s on your plate.

We’re all asked to do more with less, and everything was due yesterday.  We all have more things to do than there is time in the day, and we are overloaded and overwhelmed.

What do you do when you don’t have the resources, budget, or capacity to do what you’re expected to do?

I posed this question to one of my seasoned mentors to get their take on dealing with this common scenario.  Here is what they had to say:

  1. Clearly articulate your needs.  It’s tough to get what you need, if you can’t assert it.
  2. Reprioritize.  Before you do more, make sure you are doing the right things.  When you say “Yes” to something, it means “No” to something else.
  3. Find a more efficient delivery.  Is there a way to innovate or change how the work gets done to achieve better, faster, cheaper?
  4. Lobby to management.  The conversation goes like this, “If you want me to deliver X, I need Y.  Here’s why …”

It’s a simple formula, but it can help you think through how to either get what you need or get things off your plate with skill.  Worst case, you expose the risks, and trade-offs, in a way that’s objective vs. mired in whining or complaining, or playing the victim.

Don’t be a victim.  Be the hero.  Teach others how to treat you.