How Does Context Switching Decreases Productivity

Multitasking is a well-known term that we've all heard before. It’s an ability to manage numerous tasks at the same time. However, most people are unaware of the negative effects of multitasking, which include brain damage and a reduction in productivity over time.

Assume you are a manager with a busy schedule and are responsible for various activities such as emailing clients, responding to staff messages, allocating assignments, following up on tasks from various projects, attending lots of meetings, etc., It feels like all messed up and ended with doing nothing.

According to Gerald Weinberg (computer scientist and psychologist), If you are working on multiple tasks by switching one over the other continuously, it can reduce your productivity up to 80%.

This is known as context switching. Let's understand in depth what is context switching.

How context switching kills development team’s productivity

Every human brain has a limited amount of capacity to handle many agile tasks at once. Because the human brain also needs some time to absorb new tasks. Constantly shifting from one task to another is tough.

In the software industry, the development team is required to switch tasks frequently in order to meet project requirements, which reduces productivity, energy, and creativity, as well as lowers work quality.

According to Chris Parnin, an associate professor in North Carolina State University's Department of Computer Science, On average developer takes 10 -15min to start editing code after interruption from the previous task. A task that is interrupted is predicted to take twice as long and contain twice as many errors as one that is uninterrupted.

Context switching should be reduced to enable the development team to focus on their most important tasks, avoid mental tiredness, and burnout.

Let’s talk about context switching among software teams while they are developing high-end products, as they typically work in a noisy open office atmosphere, constantly switching between different teams like QAs, Customers, Project Managers, etc., using different platforms like emails, scrums, chat, & other tools to collect customer feedback and issues, which diverts the development team's attention away from the current task and reducing productivity.

Sometimes the development team has a tight schedule as they have to attend too many meetings with clients to understand the feedback and requirements in order to improve the quality. It disrupts the software development team's workflow, preventing them from focusing on the most important tasks.

Do you want to reduce the costs of context switching? Let's see how Redpen can help you to decrease context switching and boost your productivity 2X faster than before

Reduce context switching with Redpen

Redpen is a customer support request and bug capture platform that enable your customer and development teams to capture feedback and file an actionable bug in 60 seconds respectively.

Redpen can actually reduce the cost of context switching by providing a platform that makes development tasks easy and work effortlessly. How?

To collect consumer feedback and bug requests, the development team does not need to check emails, slack, and other various tools too often as it increases context switching and disturbing development. You can collect unlimited customer feedback in one place directly into a bug tracking tool with Redpen. It saves time collecting feedback/bug details and allows them to debug more quickly.

Redpen provides diagnostic information to the dev team so they don’t need to do switch over emails and other tools to understand ambiguous feedback/bugs. Collect every bug ticket with auto-attached metadata that helps the dev team to debug and solve quickly. Redpen makes the bug fixing process fast.

Once, Paul Graham, an American computer scientist said The meeting is the biggest source of interruption for the development team. "By splitting a single meeting into two sections, each too little to do anything hard in, a single meeting can blow an entire afternoon." You must also remember to attend the meeting. Meetings are like throwing an exception for someone on the maker's schedule. It doesn't only cause you to switch from one activity to another; it shifts your working mode."

Why do development teams need to meet with clients so frequently? One of the reasons is that customer bug tickets can be confusing, and the development team may not be able to identify the specific issues. Redpen eliminate all ambiguous feedback possibilities by providing smart features like the screenshot, screen recording with voice comments, and an annotation tool to highlight issue visually.

Redpen also saves time for QAs because they don't have to manually file bugs or go to multiple places to collect them. Redpen Widget easily helps them to find all bugs in one place. With the Redpen auto-template, testers can easily file as many bugs as they want to speed up the bug filing process.

Customers also don’t need to send their feedback over chat, emails, meeting, slack, survey forms, etc. Redpen offers a direct solution to them by allowing them to submit feedback directly from Redpen Widget.

Not only the dev team and customer but other departments like sales, marketing, accounting, HR, etc, can be benefited from Redpen to submit feedback with minimizing context switching.