At Knowillence we had a deep discussion last week to set the working culture for the company. We are moving up in the value chain by working with established companies. Earlier our customers are individuals who were running a business and they wanted to try out some ideas. We developed solutions for them and supported them. Now we are moving up in the value chain and starting to work with established companies who have more complex projects for us.

We sat down to discuss about what it takes to be a professional in the eye of the following people.

  • Customer
  • Manager/Mentor
  • Team

We discussed with our past customers and existing customers on what their expectations are about the team member allocated to their project. Most of them listed the following as the common objective.

  • Can he/she deliver things on time?
  • Can he/she deliver things on highest quality?
  • Can he/she deliver things within the budget?

This was fairly simple enough and we sat down on how to break it down and come up with metrics for all the three things. The goal was to be as objective as we can be in measuring the three things listed above by the customers.

Can he/she deliver things on time?

Planning the tasks being worked on by the professional and making that plan holistic is a significant step in measuring this. The plan will be tracked against the actual execution and any deviation is documented and analyzed to learn how to become better at planning and how to minimize the deviation from the plan, mitigate the risks and increase predictability in the execution.

Can he/she deliver things on highest quality?

One the biggest learning about quality for me came from tenure in Infosys. It is a wonderful company and the way they have weaved quality into their culture by processes astonishes me. The simplest way to measure quality is to classify the effort into two categories i.e. work and rework. The ratio between work to rework must be minimized consistently. The next things to measure are quality metrics for each type of tasks being worked on the person. We will come up with a framework of tasks that clearly define the objective, outcome, quality and productivity for those tasks.

Can he/she deliver things within the budget?

To measure this we rely on the effort logged by the resource on the task and also any financial loss or gain that is generated out of it. Some clients also suggested to hold the resource accountable to some extent to help the client get their return on investment on the projects as quickly as possible.

I know in today’s world being agile is the focus but we think we need to pause and reflect and come up with strategy that takes us to next level. We don’t want to lose forest for trees. We are in the process of transforming the way we work and the values we add both internally and externally. You can post your comments on what you expect from a professional when you are a customer.

In the next post Jayadileepan will cover what Manager/Mentor expects from the professional. Stay tuned to learn from our journey.

H.Thirukkumaran is the Founder and CEO of Knowillence Pvt Ltd. He is an expert in emerging technologies like cloud, big data and analytics, blockchain and artificial intelligence. He is the author of the book Learning Google BigQuery.