Minimize Switching Costs Between Systems

The presentation from Google’s team on interface, flow and usability in their G Suite products has a helpful comment, “A company is the sum of its processes.”

The 12 minute mark of the presentation is helpful to understand the cost of context switching. This happens each time we have to move from one software, app or service to another.

I see a dozen browser tabs open all the time on people’s computers and when you are switching from one tool to another, you have to contextualize the task you are seeking to get accomplished along with the larger goal you have to work towards.

We have to switch often when we have information in one system dependent on another. Tools like Zapier have made it easier to push information around, however, we still have to work with many systems because each tool has a different specialty.

Your CRM is great for accounting, but not marketing. Your QuickBooks Online is not necessarily your customer service tool.

And you are in email all day, where you react to other people’s requests.

The way you work and the way information flows in your business to get results will either differentiate you with your customers and market or stifle your growth. If you are fighting how you work all day, it can get exhausting and demoralizing. Your workers may live with the inefficiency, although normalizing bad workflow can numb people out.

How you and your team work matter to business growth. And if you don’t intentionally design the way you collaborate or manage your tools, you can’t get as clear. You’re fighting yourself and your own brain tracking stuff that should be in fluid systems rather than what you bump up against each time when you switch and have to refocus.

There are core systems and secondary systems in your business. And if you can minimize switching for your team’s daily work, you allow your information factory to flow. There’s fewer mistakes and higher productivity. It is possible. You just have to care and see the value.

How can you streamline the number of systems you have along with the need to switch?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I am a management consultant to business owners, executives and entrepreneurs. I write and speak on systems, strategy and leadership on my blog and help empower business clients to achieve their goals for revenue and efficiency. I live a life of adventure and work with business clients all over the world from remote locations to help them start and grow their businesses.

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