A lot happens before ideas become solutions.

At ElixWare we want to bring you more than just great, affordable software. We want to let you know how and why we do what we do.

Our Ruminations blog will bring you insights into how we got here and some of the things we consider when trying to help you run your business. We hope it gives you a better understanding of how we strive to better serve your needs.

Rolling Boil

Does the difference between simmering and poaching really matter?

Menu Du Jour

According to Fine Cooking Magazine, the difference between boiling, simmering, and poaching is just a matter of degrees. The Fine Cooking website is gone, but you can read the original article at or see the relevant snippet here.

I know what you're thinking. "Is James starting a cooking blog?" Fortunately for everybody (especially Aimée), the answer is no. Then why bring up cooking? Is this really about heating something up? Am I going to delve into thermodynamics with this post? Will I finally fess up to what happened to my grill last summer?

Those are all good questions, but the answers are the same as the cooking blog question. Today's post is about degrees. Degrees of differences, degrees of commitment, and degrees of effort.

Turn Up The Heat

The preparation and training you put into your customer service team is reflected by their performance.

"The preparation and training you put into your customer service team is reflected by their performance."

The degrees of effort put into customer service can make the difference between an unsatisfied customer and a repeat customer. The degrees of effort put into training can make the difference between bad, good, and great customer service. The degrees of effort put into product information and documentation can make the difference between ineffective training and successful training, not to mention reduce the burden on your Customer Service team. And it all starts with the effort you put into producing content.

The same goes for sales and marketing, manufacturing and production, quality control, operations, and even project management. Striving for adequacy should never be your objective. Because good enough is never really good enough.

You can read more about my opinion of Good Enough in this post, this one and one more.

Content Is King

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Content is king. It's really that simple: good content is good for your small business, and bad content is bad. And AI content is ... well ... the jury is still out on that one. Content is king whether it’s your advertising, promotional materials, website content, product information, training materials or internal help system.

Outdated, incorrect or incomplete information simply works against you. It’s just bad for business. When it comes to your customers, you don’t want to set false expectations about your products or services or sell yourself short. When it comes to your staff, you don't want to leave them empty-handed or ill-informed.

Maintenance, when it comes to content or code, is often an afterthought. Something to keep in mind is that no one is looking at your code, but a lot of people are looking at your content. So, your commitment to keeping it current is really important.

Ever printed too many pieces of marketing materials just to get a better deal? Did this delay you from updating, replacing, or redesigning these items because you still had copies on hand?

Your Effort Matters

Content may be king, but effort is the bedrock of just about everything your company does. We often look at effort as degrees of commitment. It is not uncommon for the degrees of commitment to vary during different stages of a project, product rollout, or even something as basic as updating content for your marketing materials or website.

Enthusiasm and effort are often highest at the beginning of a project. They can start waning when the project runs into delays or other difficulties (such as scope creep). As the end product nears completion it can take a push from management to get it over the line. Not unlike remodeling projects, the finishing work can take longer, and more effort, than other parts of the project. This becomes more evident at a time when your staff has already grown bored with the project, and they really just want to move on to something else.

This is one reason that deliverables and milestones are so important within a project. Your staff will already have measured completion and success before the end of the project. In many cases the novelty of a new project wears off quickly, so strike while the iron is hot. Get momentum early and keep things moving.

There are degrees of effort, such as "doing the bare minimum", "doing your job", and "doing your best". What you get from your employees will reflect the effort they see you make. And what we're talking about here is more than just you making an effort, but producing quality while leading by example. Your efforts will generally be the greatest efforts, so set that bar high and give your staff something they can strive for.

Your degree of commitment to each stage of each project will determine the commitment and effort your staff makes. Your commitment to the final product, whatever it might be, defines the best it's going to be. So don't expect things to turn out better than you yourself are willing to make them.

Dinner Is Served

Effort and commitment aren't limited to what you or your company produces. They're also important when it comes to your company's work environment. The effort you put in to helping your employees be successful is reflected in your employees' productivity, your customers' satisfaction, and ultimately in your bottom line.

So, does the difference between boiling, simmering and poaching really matter? It all depends on what you're planning to serve. Strong leadership? Good examples? Full commitment? Then yes, the degrees of effort really do matter.

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We are a small team with a lot of experience, specializing in software development, design, and workflow, process & project management. We are fiercely dedicated to helping you do what you do best — run your business — without getting bogged down in the mountains of paper and hours of screen time required to do it. We are equally dedicated to protecting your privacy and your data. Learn more about our privacy policy.