GovBytes: Surviving austerity – 4 tips to cope with the times

Doing more with less. I’ll bet that’s a phrase you’ve heard before, and have probably become skeptical of. As a matter of fact, in response to a recent GovLoop survey, most of you responded that being asked to do more with less is your biggest challenge. On Government Technology, GovLoop president Steve Ressler gave a few ideas on how to cope with fewer resources.

4 Ideas for Coping with Fewer Resources

  1. Get free outside help. Use volunteers to serve their communities in functions that are appropriate.
  2. Outsource for free. Use “freemium” services where appropriate, such as for mobile applications.
  3. Stop doing things that don’t work. Everyone wants to expand services, but make sure to cut some out as well. Not everything works, pay attention to what doesn’t and cut it.
  4. Make decisions based on present needs. Technology is changing government services — adapt with it. Use technology that allows the public to assist themselves and consider what you’re doing that’s outdated and no longer necessary.

Agencies and their employees often step up for months at a time during austerity, but it’s not a sustainable long-term model. Keep this in mind and adjust accordingly. What tips do you have for trying to maintain a high standard of public service with fewer resources?

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Chris Cairns

I think that #3 is sage advice. My corollary to that is to stop trying to do too much. When I served in government, no one ever said ‘no’ to a new project, which caused all sorts of execution issues.