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How can you draw productivity out of fewer resources?  A potential answer to this would be by “doing more with less”. One way through which organizations have been able to manage their operations and improve efficiency has been by doing more with less – but can we really achieve more by doing less? Is this principle applicable across all sectors? This article seeks to answer some of these questions. This article has been influenced by the Operations Management Course by Dr Jillian MacBryde & Dr Robert van der Meer.

To reduce poverty around the globe, the World Bank did an innovative reform by creating a multimedia toolkit, using audio-visual materials to illustrate knowledge and techniques on the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). With mounting pressures put on resources, and continuing threats to food security; this toolkit is used to disseminate SRI knowledge to a broader audience – thus using information power to enable so much more people with less resources being deployed to designated countries. Ephemeralization – an interesting phrase coined by Buckminster ‘Buck’ Fuller is used to describe this act of using technological advancements to “progressively accomplish more with less”.

And while most organizations can find justifiable ways of becoming more efficient by doing more with less; the question to ask is: are the results sustainable? When we arrive at this question we realize that perhaps – doing more with less has more to it than meets the eye. The SRI system – though notably successful in its execution; yet raises issues like the lack of details to ensure proper implementation and guidance on how to implement SRI with varying geographical soil conditions. In reality, an organization that continually strains and imposes on its operations and system will only succeed in experiencing process meltdowns which would result in huge losses for the organization. To avoid such pitfalls and losses, the approach to take is to constantly re-evaluate and rethink existing processes; to stop working as archetypal managers/executives and understand that, “doing more with less” won’t always mean cutting costs or driving operational staff to higher levels of motivation, but rather ensuring that the full potential of organizational operations are realized by removing all constraints and barriers to them.

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