Changing organisation systems

Alan Jacobs on changing organisation systems:

Think hard about your needs, pick a system, and then do not under any circumstances change it until at least one full year has passed.

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Ha ha. Good one.

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I once spent months selecting a manufacturing system, then worked with consultants and users for a few years as we rolled it out to additional locations. However I rarely had the patience, or time, to spend a year on any piece of software for work or personal use.

That changed as I got older. I lost interest in constantly trying the latest shiny thing and went back to programs I had been using on and off for many years. Today I don’t change my basic system but I am open to software/services that may work with it.

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Life is too short for such absolutes. If I know in a month that something isn’t for me, I’m not going to waste eleven more. I’m going to change then and there.

I get the point, give things a fair chance and try to work through any issues. But no need to torture one’s self if you know the final outcome.


The article addresses that exact scenario:

When you discover that your chosen system has some flaw — which you will — you’ll be tempted to change to a different system that doesn’t have that particular flaw. But: the new system will have other flaws, because no system is perfect, and those may be worse than the one you’re dealing with now. And you can lose vast tracts of time trying to find the (inevitably nonexistent) perfect system, which will make it harder, not easier, for you to get things done.

Thoroughly learning a tool up front takes a lot of risk out of these decisions. Once you know how long it takes you to learn, you know how long you should do your trial before you lock yourself in for a year (or whatever.) That’s incompatible with depending on the initial momentum of the decision to keep yourself going, though, which is something I think the main audience of this article must do. I like the article.

I read the article. That is not the scenario I was describing.