Using Custom Web Applications to Eliminate Stress

Using Custom Web Applications to Eliminate Stress

Using Custom Web Applications to Eliminate Stress

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Using Custom Web Applications to Eliminate Stress

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Posted: Oct 12, 2007 |Comments: 0




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Using Custom Web Applications to Eliminate Stress

By: Cecilia Satovich

About the Author

Heather Jewell is the Manager of Planning and Administration of NuRelm. NuRelm is a Web software and services firm that focuses on helping non-technical professionals utilize on the Web to build business. For more information, please visit

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Article Source: Custom Web Applications to Eliminate Stress

Do you find yourself spending extra hours at the office trying to complete repetitive, tedious tasks? Do your projects take too long to complete because of an inefficient system? Do internal and external stakeholders often complain that they do not have access to the information that they need about projects that you’re working on?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, an inexpensive custom Web-based system may be the answer to your problems.

Most businesses rely on antiquated manual processes for the completion of certain tasks that do not fully take advantage of today’s technology. These inefficient exercises not only affect the bottom line through longer completion times and higher error rates, but also lead to employee stress and burnout.

If there are regular processes in your company that involve collaboration without any automation, they’re likely costing you more than you think in terms of lost productivity. Take the following simple example:

1. Among many other duties, Jane is in charge of writing and finalizing proposals for her company. She takes input from three other individuals, Tim, Allison, and Rick.

2. Currently, Jane writes a draft of the proposal and then sends it via email to her team. Tim typically makes a lot of changes and makes them within an hour. Allison works in a field office and often makes several changes, but not for two or three days. Rick generally makes few changes within a few hours, depending on the time of day.

3. Jane takes the feedback from Tim, Allison, and Rick and realizes that the changes made conflict with each other. She now engages in the process of making revisions and repeating step 2, with the same feedback response times. This repetitive step takes several hours.

4. Jane has come up with a final copy and is awaiting final feedback, for which she has to send out several reminders.

5. Jane converts the document into a printer-friendly format and sends it to the printers.

The problems with this approach are:

* The team relies on one person to keep the project running. If Jane is sick or otherwise unavailable, the delicate project process comes to a standstill.

* More than one copy of the document exists and updates are being made to different versions.

* Jane has to spend unnecessary time converting the document to a printer-friendly format.

* The entire team is spending too much time making multiple revisions instead of “getting it right the first time” because there is no central hub of information. The result is that fewer proposals get done because they take so much time.

* Jane has to remind her team about deadlines.

The Web presents the opportunity to eliminate the inefficiencies of this process, allowing Jane, Tim, Allison, and Rick to do more in less time, without continual “rework”. A simple solution to this approach might be to create a custom Web application that creates a central hub for information that’s available 24/7, allows an easy data export to a printer friendly format, and sends automated emails to the team about deadlines and project status.

Myths about custom development

The cost is very high. The price of custom-developed Web applications has plummeted as new tools and methodologies have become available that make the creation of a custom solution less time consuming for developers. Custom applications can be as complicated or as simple as you’d like them to be, meaning that only necessary features will be included and you won’t pay for anything that’s not needed. Also, a one-time investment in the right custom application will more than pay for itself with significantly increased productivity.

Custom application development is too complicated. Most firms that offer custom Web applications have experts on staff who can analyze your cumbersome manual processes and come up with a plan for automation.

Most of my time at work is spent performing this task. Won’t I be risking job security with a custom application? The simple answer is “no”. If you’re spending most of your time performing tedious, repetitive tasks, you’re likely not doing the job that you were hired to do. In today’s day and age, very few people are underutilized. Freeing up more time to do your job better will significantly increase your job security.

Off-the-shelf software is a

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