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The verb definition of hopscotch is to “skip from place to place; move erratically.” Most organizations use multiple software applications. This means users have to switch between applications frequently during the day. This takes time and switches focus. Let’s use a simple example:
I use my primary software application to perform most of my daily duties. However a dozen times a day, I need to attach relevant documents from my email to records in my primary software or Document Management System. The steps may be as follows:
- Search for the email containing the document
- Open the email and save the document on my PC/laptop
- Go back to my primary application
- Search for the record
- Use the upload function in the application to upload the document
Even if we estimate that each step took 10 seconds to perform, that is still a total of almost a minute to attach a document to a record. If I do this a dozen times a day and my three colleagues do as well, it adds up to 3 hours and 20 minutes a week! We also haven’t accounted for loss of focus, and if I am interrupted during the process I may end up having to start all over again!
You can now understand how this application hopscotch can be a major cause of lost productivity. CityView, a best of breed Community Development and Land Management suite, understands that during the day, other applications need to be used beyond CityView – Microsoft tools as the prime example. Emails need to be sent; letters written. One of the tools CityView uses to increase productivity across multiple applications is the CityView Microsoft Outlook Add-In . This application plugs into Outlook, making it easy for users to attach emails (with documents and images) to CityView records right from within Outlook.
Let’s now review the amount of steps to attach a received email to a record in CityView using the CityView Microsoft Outlook Add-In:
- In Outlook, click the Add to CityView icon
- Find the record with CityView Intelligent Search + Add
Using the method we performed earlier, this is a time savings of 30 seconds per instance. Again, doesn’t sound like a lot, until you calculate a dozen times a day for me and each of my three colleagues. This adds up to a time savings of 2 hours a week - for just one activity type !
In summary, when searching for a healthy, enduring software vendor, be sure to ask about which tools they can offer that would help increase productivity by reducing application hopscotch.
In addition to our MS Outlook Add-In, we also offer a MS Exchange Extension for inspection scheduling, and a MS Word Add-In that allows the creation of letter templates that leverage data from CityView, eliminating manual letter creation in MS Word.