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Since 2005, we have handled over 1500 offshore projects for clients from US, UK, Australia and  Europe and have built a good reputation for doing solid, disciplined software outsourcing  work that is delivered within schedule and budget.

How to continuously improve and provide better services.

source from: internalpublish date: 2024年3月13日

To achieve continuous improvement, it is important to identify areas that need improvement. In order to identify these areas, the company has designed certain processes, such as weekly reports and iterative review meetings. These mandatory activities are intended to help colleagues who are not accustomed to summarizing regularly to establish a fixed time for reflection and self-assessment. These activities, in general, have generated some value (as mentioned in the case study I shared earlier), but I believe there is room for improvement.

Firstly, people may not fully appreciate the significance of self-reflection. Howard Gardner, one of the most influential educators in the world, believes that human intelligence consists of seven (later expanded to 8.5) basic intelligences, including linguistic, logical, and kinesthetic intelligences. This is known as the famous "multiple intelligences" theory. The ability for introspection (self-reflection) is one of the fundamental intelligences. Here is the explanation from Baidu Encyclopedia:

This intelligence mainly refers to recognizing one's own abilities, understanding one's strengths and weaknesses, being aware of one's emotions, intentions, motivations, and desires, planning one's life, having self-esteem and self-discipline, and absorbing the strengths of others. It involves understanding one's own strengths and weaknesses through various feedback channels, regularly reflecting to plan one's life goals, enjoying solitude, and engaging in deep self-reflection. It involves a preference for independent work and having the freedom to make choices. People with this intelligence excel in fields such as politics, philosophy, psychology, and teaching.

Self-reflection intelligence can be divided into two levels: the event level and the value level. Event-level self-reflection focuses on summarizing the success or failure of events. Value-level self-reflection connects the success or failure of events with one's values for self-evaluation.

Secondly, self-reflection can be improved through certain methods.

Never be satisfied and always ask: Can we do it faster? Can we do it better? Can we increase the success rate?

Reflection should not remain superficial but should delve deeper and strive to touch upon the essence of the problem. For example, some project managers summarize the poor quality of developers by vaguely attributing it to inadequate self-testing. Is it because the self-testing is not thorough, or is it because insufficient time is allocated for self-testing, or is it a lack of understanding of how to perform self-testing? If the answer is unknown because it hasn't been analyzed thoroughly, it would be beneficial to adopt the "5 Whys" method, which is widely advocated in the lean approach.
Reflection should not be limited to the current problem but should seek to abstract more general rules. If a sales success was achieved by understanding the roles and permissions of several key contacts, this can be generalized to the principle of knowing one's customers and, in turn, prompt the need to gather more information about the customer's decision-making process. If a customer requests consistent button sizes today and unified reminder messages tomorrow, it suggests the need to establish UI standards, which may further lead to the inclusion of button colors in the standards. If a project requires prototyping before development today, and tomorrow, it demands a review of test cases, it indicates the necessity of establishing project standards, including incorporating Git commits into the standards.

Improvement measures should be clear, actionable, and avoid being overly ambitious or vague. When improvements lead to positive outcomes, it generates more interest and motivation for future reflections, creating a virtuous cycle. For example, if there are consistently missed requirements during the quoting process, resulting in losses, suggesting improved communication is a step in the right direction. However, it is important to define what "improved communication" means. Can we use Balsamiq Mockups for every page? Should we create business process diagrams?


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