Blog: Quality – From an employee’s perspective

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Blog: Quality – From an employee’s perspective

To our BOM, quality is a keyword which plays an indispensable role in every meeting they attended. This word plays significance in every work they do. “Quality” means the world to them and they seem to devote their lives to make it better. 

From the moment I joined PowerGate, I’ve known quality is a core value, but honesty, it meant nothing to me, to be frank. It seemed to me as a run-of-the-mill employee at that time, the quality was actually like a beautiful girl with her great charm and look. Of course, it is nice to have. It was crystal clear to say the quality was the guidelines, the goals we set for ourselves in the first place. However, every once in awhile, it seemed to me it was like our lovely administrator’s feeling back then “The more you talk, the more I’m tired” she wrote.

Sadly, you will never “know” what you can’t achieve, until you can’t achieve.

In terms of the cognitive ladder, “Knowing” was curled up like a child on the last step coming after the “understanding” level and followed by “applicable”. It turned out my understanding of this term was too low. 

All I “know” is to make quality products, but I have no clue what quality actually is? And how can I apply? It’s fair to say that my recollections about them are pretty hazy. At that moment, I am determined to find out the answer for myself.

What quality is?

Let’s block out academic terminology that I have been googled, and a run-of-the-mill coder is unable to absorb simply because they were all Greek to me. I want something simpler, more understandable, and more applicable. I started searching my mind for things counted as quality.

There you go! I used to think of starting a “Pho” restaurant which would be incredibly “special” in the heart of Saigon. Pho out there was cooked to perfection in a sophisticated way to the point that it was capable of touching every aspect of our mouths. The way we savored it was like a journey leading us from one surprise to another. It’s fair to say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

That is the “special” of culinary arts, and what the “special” of our PowerGate which is making us shout out “Wow” actually is? The more I thought, the more quantitative concept it was. It was hard to define by words. All the definitions I have read were a cliché and too general. They are not helpful to lead me to turn into a particular action.

That’s why “qualitative” always goes with “quantitative” which is what I take more care of it. Despite I failed the exam in philosophy twice, but I still remembered the principle that would accompany me for the rest of my life as the words told by Engels Friedrich, “A change in Quantity also entails a change in Quality.” 

Simply, we have “enough” quantities, we will get quality. If I shouldn’t put my effort into a vague qualitative concept of “quality,” shouldn’t I put my effort into “quantity?”

This way of thinking led me to a whole new question: what the quantitative concept is?

Quantitative is the amount of time invested in work. In other words, there is no shortcut way to produce good quality work. Everything related to qualitative and quantitative is originated from investing enough time in studying, reviewing to find out the best way to get to the bottom of problems, time to process, time trial, and time to complete, etc. Careless work to save time is more often than not end up paying the high price and is one of the most dangerous enemies of quality.

Quantitative is collaboration. “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to succeed, go together”. No one ever succeeds alone. Even the number one world champion has some games where he lost. At PowerGate, the collaboration between divisions is in helping each other from ideation, planning, development, maintenance, and testing… based on a very clear, complete, and coherent process.

Every team member from the project leader, delivery manager, developers to quality assurance is playing an indispensable role in projects. Because of that, the quality of products is ensured, and we all contribute to great success.

Next, quantitative is the business of sharing. I have read up on a few books of happiness. And they were all talking about happiness is only real when shared and no one has ever become poor by giving. To fully understand that, the PowerGate leaders are always friendly like one big family. I always remember and appreciate when we shared, played together, joined a play together, let our hair down in a team building. And there were moments I remembered the most as well as giving a boost to creative ideas to be coined.

Next up, quantitative is client satisfaction. The systems are running in a stable, on-time delivery, or the company revenue is rising, etc. They are the actual result of tremendous effort made by the board of directors, the amount of time we spent on working overtime, and our determination to succeed. Although how well we perform, the customer feedback is always the best indicator of quality for us to look back, lessons learned, and fine-tuning products to make them much better together.

Last but not least, Quantitative speaking I really want to emphasize putting your mind to work. In any line of business, putting your mind to work comes first. As long as you put your mind to work, you wouldn’t be able to allow yourself to work in a bad manner. Your mind won’t allow you to deliver defective products or the products are not great to the end-users.

Quality – Quantity – From my point of view  If you consider a business as a living body, then “Quality” is the bloodstream, other body parts cooperate with each other. Quality needs to live in all levels of an organization, which part is not quality, that part cannot survive. Businesses cannot survive without Quality. As members of PowerGate, we always strive for Quality. I believe that there will be no difficulty or no potentially fail for our strong team. Yes, Quality is vital!

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