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The Challenge of Doing More with Less

Governments are under public scrutiny and fiscal pressure to deliver better outcomes more efficiently. Achieving this will require courage.

The public sector has always been a demanding environment. However, the impact of today’s rapidly changing economic and technological landscape—together with the longer-term policy implications arising from an aging population, climate change, and globalization—has made the government’s task of delivering public service more complex than ever before, while also opening up endless opportunities to do well for citizens.

Doing more with less is not just about slashing budgets or reactively transferring funds from one activity to another. Rather, governments can learn to take private-sector lessons and apply them in a way that is adaptive to a public-sector environment. That means reviewing and cutting programs that no longer deliver value, using new incentive structures and outcomes to drive change and results, and leveraging technology and policy advances to transform operations and organizational efficiency.

Government Service Is Customer Service

Governments deliver essential services that enable and better the lives of citizens. So they can learn a great deal from the private sector about better servicing customers—specifically the imperative to innovate to gain efficiencies and effectiveness, explains BCG’s Vincent Chin, the global leader of BCG’s Public Sector Practice.

Public Sector

Larry Kamener on How Governments Can Overcome the Challenge of Providing More For Less

Governments must meet new citizen demands for better services—but with fewer resources. In this video, the BCG senior partner and managing director discusses how agencies can successfully meet the challenge of doing more with less. But he cautions that doing so will “require a lot of courage.”

Governments will need to start to measure outcomes—whether it’s in health expenditure or education expenditure or social programs—and use those outcomes measurement to help choose which programs are really making a difference.

Larry Kamener
Senior Partner & Managing Director
Public Sector