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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions

Jun 22

More is not Always Better

Posted by: Steve Marr

Tagged in: Untagged 

At times I like to believe that more effort, more resources or more push will obtain faster and better results. Sometimes this is true; other times not so much. For example, I’ve learned that putting a small amount of toothpaste on my toothbrush obtains the same result as spreading toothpaste that lops over the edges. Also, some people use too much soap in the dishwasher. This is actually one reason they break down as extra soap scum gums up the works.


Another example is book editing. If 12 people edit a book and each take one chapter, the final result may not flow as well as if one person edited the complete work. In some instances however, adding more people may be effective.  For example Wow 1 Day Painting will paint nearly any house or business in one day.  The business model would rather have eight people complete painting one building in one day rather than employ one person to work eight days.

At times in my business I want something done quickly, and I look for ways to crash my timeline. Sometimes I see a faster pathway; other times I don't. When I manage projects and experience slippage in the schedule, I focus on what caused the slow down and how the project can be brought back on schedule. If I’m not careful I can over manage the situation by having the person responsible for the work spend more time reporting to me than actually completing the project. I conduct short meetings for updates with a focus of what may be done differently to speed up the work. In one instance the person was taking more time than expected in obtaining detailed bids for work. I offered to take on some of the bid work to free up time to focus on other work. I was able to assist with the contractor bidding part while I would’ve only been in the way with the rest of the project.

Several times I have had a person ask for more people to work on a project. In these situations I’ve carefully reviewed the request to ascertain whether adding more people will make the project go faster and more efficiently. Sometimes it takes more time to orient new people in order to add them to a project which may slow down the work rather than speed it up.

In your business think carefully whether adding more resources will help, hinder or be a waste before changing your plan.

Proverbs provides a good illustration: "First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.” (Proverbs 3:8, NLT) The key principle in our lives or business is to focus on satisfying what is needed but no more.

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