What does it take to deliver, Quality?

We have heard this before. Yes, Quality takes time. It also takes talent and tested techniques to deliver high quality output. I think, above all, ATTITUDE of the people involved is what makes the magic. Why?

Team is the most important piece of any project puzzle. Time, Talent and Technique can be negotiated in any project. One can use very experienced people who inherently know all the techniques, have access to great tools of trade and talent to handle them and get the job done.

One can also negotiate the time required to deliver a project’s outcomes. You can even add resources to increase delivery capacity. You can use time and price to negotiate the minimum value product you deliver to your customer.

You can do all this to achieve output that is acceptable by your various stakeholders.

BUT, none of this will help you achieve superior quality outcomes if you have people with the wrong attitude in your delivery teams.

As a project leader, You need your people to come on the same journey with you. You need your team to work alongside and not against you.

People are the most important and most difficult piece of any project. Finding the right mix of people to build the relevant culture for your project is the most important task of any project leader.

Buy-in from the team members, each and every one of them is important. One way to achieve this is to cull the bad apples from the basket. To be efficient in maintaining a consistent level of quality output you must embrace a team culture that suited to the project.

Every individual is different. But a team moulds them to a team person. Most people have good and bad behaviours that works for or against any given project.

Humans are social animals and most of us have a team and an individual personality. By understanding the way we behave in work situations and what motivates us to deliver quality a leader can unlock our potential.

By understanding ourselves we can find and contribute to the right projects.

I believe in assembling a team of mixed skills and behaviours and motivating the team to achieve the common project goals. Every project need a mix of 3 types of team members. We call them Soldiers, Sergeants and Scouts.

Soldiers are the task focused people. They need to get things done. They will need guidance and unblocking of hurdles. Typically these are your junior to mid-level staff. They do the 9 to 5 and overtime and the occasional weekend work and pull all nighters to resolve issues. Without these people there is no real output. These guys need motivation to deliver quality as their focus on delivery may not mean the same thing in quality expectations. So watch them carefully and verify their work.

Sergeants are the big picture people. They are usually ex-soldiers who got promoted from within. They have the overall view of the project and even the program of works. These folk will manage your soldiers. These guys take responsibility for the overall outcomes and run the meetings and manage stakeholder expectations. They rely on accurate estimates from the soldiers but can smell a fish miles away.

Scouts are your creatives. These are your problem solvers and innovators. They look at reusability. They look at product ideas. They get excited about best practice. These are your tool creators. These guys need assistance with balancing the long term good health of the team with immediate issue resolution priorities of projects. These folk can be spin masters. So you need to ensure as a leader you manage them carefully to see through the real value of the output they manifest for your project.

Ultimately these 3 types of workers are needed for your projects. Their attitude towards the work at hand is critical. Commitment to delivery, commitment to quality, commitment to customer and the team are critical.

It will be very rare for You to find all these 3 types in one person. Consistent delivery of quality is important to every brand. That requires a team culture which is absolutely committed to quality.

Becoming efficient is key to success and working smart is the way to get there. The best tools and great techniques will help a talented team. But as with real life there will always be a spanner thrown in the works and the best attitude of your team is what going to save the day.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s