By: John Galligan
Work Resources. What is the first thing you think of when someone asks “Do you have the resources you need for this project?” Many of us think of the basics like our computer and databases. Some think, do I have the contacts I need in order to complete this, like a designer or printer? Obviously there are many factors in completing a project but one thing we often overlook is our coworkers.
No, not just the ones who might be working on the project but everyone in the office is a resource. When a project is underway and you are having trouble with an idea, a solution or any variable, take a step back and look at the problem. You might have a quick fix just by going over some things. You might have to make a change on who works on what. You might just be stuck, so take a look around and see what and who else is there.
Your workplace is made of up of very talented individuals and they have a lot to offer. There a few ways you can take advantage of this.
- Ask them for their help. This one is tough because everyone is busy with their own agendas but if time allows, adding their expertise will enable you to move forward on where you may be stuck. Maybe the person you ask has a graphic design background and can eliminate a 3rd party and extra expense if it is something small. Maybe you need a few new queries in your database and someone there better knows the ins and outs. Use people’s talents in the office to your advantage.
- Let’s say people aren’t available to physically help you with your project. It makes sense since everyone is always busy and they weren’t on it to begin with, how do they help then? Look at your database and calendars from similar successful projects. Get ideas from past projects that have been completed. What vendors did they use? What did their project calendar look like? Are there already mailing lists created or queries that can be updated? This is one of the easiest steps since it eliminates much of the time consuming work of creating a whole new plan if it is applicable. Just be sure to not save over someone else’s work!
- Do you have something that you are working on that is mailing? See if your printer can handle the mailing as well and bill for postage. Do you need invoices printed for your membership? How many do you have? It may be cheaper to have them printed and delivered than to do them all in-house. Same with packets for meetings and other events. Are the hours it takes in the office to collate and alphabetize worth more than what it costs to have a copy/print shop handle it? Get a quote and see!
Now just because you might hit a wall here; it doesn’t mean you should turn to everyone else for a solution. See what you can do and if you feel it can be improved by having another person look at it then by all means go for it. Just keep in mind their time is valuable too.
Planning ahead will help alleviate stress, work and costs to you and your members. See how others have been successful and implement what worked and add to it. Each time a similar project comes along see if you can streamline the process to improve it for everyone. Your organization succeeds by working towards a common goal.