Quality – From an employee’s perspective

To our BOM, quality is a keyword that plays the significance of every work they do. “Quality” means the world to them and they devote their lives to make it better. 

When I first joined PowerGate, despite hearing all the time that quality is one of our core values, I didn’t give it much thought. At that time, being just another ordinary employee, to me quality was nothing more than a beautiful girl – good to have but not necessary. I knew very well that quality was the guidelines for everything we do, but there are times where this word started to become a burden. Just like when our Admin kept pushing me to write this essay. “Urgh! I know! Stop urging me!” – I would reply every time.

Sadly, “knowing” and “doing” are two completely different things. On the cognitive ladder, “knowing” curls up in the first steps, way before “understanding” and then “applying”. It was only until recently did I realize I only “know”, yet hardly “understand” the term quality all this time! All I “know” was to make quality products, but I didn’t even bother to “understand” what quality actually is, and how I can apply it to my work. Realizing how hazy my understanding of quality was, I am determined to find out the answer for myself.

So what is quality?

Let’s set aside all the abstract terminologies on Google. Those are more than enough for a coder like me. I want something simple, easy to understand and easy to apply. So I started rummaging through my mind for things counted as quality. There you go! I have been to a very “quality” pho restaurant in Saigon, where I was taken from surprise to surprise. The noodle couldn’t be more delicately cooked, and the whole flavor was a wonderful treat to my tastebuds. It was such an unforgettable experience.

That to me is the definition of “quality” in the cuisine world, so what about at Powergate? What is our special “quality” that could wow everyone? The more I think, the more I start to see “quality” as a qualitative concept, which is difficult to define solely by words. It is true, as all the wordy definitions I came across were too general and cliché, they are not leading me to any conclusion.

When “qualitative” goes with “quantitative”, it became much easier for me to grasp the whole idea of it. Despite failing Philosophy twice during my college days, I still manage to recall this infamous saying by Engels Friedrich: “A change in Quantity also entails a change in Quality”.

Simply put, once we have an “enough” quantity, we get quality. If so, shouldn’t I just dump the vague concept of “quality” and instead, put more effort into achieving “quantity?”

This thinking led me to a new question: What exactly is Quantity?

Quantity is the amount of time you invest in your work. I strongly believe there is no shortcut to good quality works. Instead, they are the result of spending enough time on learning, finding out the optimal solution, implementing, experimenting and perfecting our work, etc. Doing things hastily to save time is the biggest enemy of quality.

Quantity is collaboration. “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to succeed, go together”. No one ever succeeds alone, even the best. Working here at Powergate, I see strong collaboration in everything we do. Different Divisions always work together smoothly, from idea creation, planning, development, maintenance to testing, all based on a very clear and coherent process. Every team member from the project leader, delivery manager, developers to quality assurance plays an indispensable role. Because of that, product quality is ensured, and success comes to all of us.

Quantity is sharing. All the books I have read on happiness talked about how people feel happier when being connected with others. Did our PowerGate leaders read the same books? Because they are always so warm and friendly, just like our second family. I will always appreciate all the funs that we had together – gathering up, practicing plays or joining team building sessions. Those were the moments I remember the most, also the moments that gave birth to many innovative and creative ideas.

Quality is customer satisfaction. The stability on which the system is running, the rate of on-time delivery or the company revenue – those numbers speak louder than anything. They are the result of tremendous effort made by the board of directors, of all the night we spent working overtime, of everyone’s expectations and determination. More than good performance, customer feedback is always the best indicator of quality for us to look back, learn, and further refine our future works to make even higher quality products.

Last but not least, quantity is having a good work ethic. This is important in whichever industry you are in. As long as we put your whole heart and mind into our work, we would never allow ourselves to do wrong things. That work ethic would never let us present defective products or half-hearted work to our customers. That work ethic would never let us ignore the quality just to get jobs done on time. That work ethic would never let us affect others’ work because of ours. That work ethic, that unswayed consistency will spread and turn a company into one full of dedicated and responsible employees. At this point, success is just a matter of time.

Quality and Quantity always go hand in hand,I believe. If you consider a business a living body, then “quality” is the bloodstream that flows through the whole body. Without that bloodstream, the business would fall apart. As a member of PowerGate, I always strive for Quality in my works. As long as I keep that in mind, I believe no difficulties can hinder me and my team.

Yes, Quality is Vitalness.

PowerGate Software
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