low-hanging fruit
n. The easiest task or the most readily achievable goal.

Example Citation:
The decline can be attributed in part to a deliberate change of approach. "We're trying to de-emphasize summonses that do not have a direct impact on traffic flow and quality of life," Mr. Riccio said. "Not cutting your wheels to the curb is a classic example of a summons that doesn't greatly contribute to the traffic mission of the department."

Other examples of "low-hanging fruit" that agents are encouraged to ignore, according to a department memo explaining the decline in tickets, are illegally parked cars in residential areas during early-morning hours on Sundays, expired inspection stickers, cars faced the wrong way on dead-end streets and wheels aligned more than 12 inches from the curb.
—Lisa W. Foderaro, "Fewer Tickets As Goal Shifts From Revenue," The New York Times, September 12, 1993

Earliest Citation:
The ability to store background material electronically helps make the department's releases easier to prepare and more timely, and it reduces the need for filing space and paper. And Herbert's secretary recently sent him a three page memo listing her ideas for spending the time the processor saves her. Herbert expects corporate communications will be able to harvest even more benefits in the future. "So far," he says, "we're only grabbing the low-hanging fruit."
—David Kull, "Knowing when to shout 'Eureka!'," Computer Decisions, June 15, 1984

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