Happy in the Quality field – A reality check…

Happiness is a state of mind, and the human state of mind is never constant. Paul Borawski’s post asking whether Quality professionals are happy on the job is a partial reverberation of the preceding post by Paul and the subsequent responses by fellow Influential Voices. How well each one of every quality professional across the world is able to Raise the Voice of Quality is a direct indicator of how happy and content he/she is. However, it is never constant.

If Forbes named software quality professionals as the happiest on the job, I see that quality professionals in general are not far behind on the happiness quotient. There are many inherent reasons behind this – Paul used some parameters (Interesting, Frustating, Rewarding, Challenging) to present job happiness based on which I would like to rate mine on 10, where 10 being the highest/best:

I’d give ‘Interesting’ an 8.0/10.0 – This is the best part about a Quality professional’s role. Our jobs demand quite a lot of variation, from interacting with literally all departments, divisions, projects sites across the company including interaction with suppliers and subcontractors- to role change from ensuring basic document control, developing critical procedures, conducting a quality audit, detecting a product defect at the right time, applying simple yet effective quality tools, preparing and analyzing quality reports, taking process improvement initiatives, solving a customer complaint, measuring customer satisfaction or just ensuring business processes are running efficiently. There’s so much to do yet it’s never enough. Another important aspect which makes this job all the more interesting is, we as quality professionals, need to be constant creative thinkers in order to ensure that continual improvement is really continuous.

For me, Frustrating’ would take a 6.0/10.0 although it varies from time to time, depending on the nature of the problem and the willingness of the management to involve themselves in finding a real quality solution. Quite often, there’s disappointment, but then haven’t we all learnt to bite the dust….?

‘Rewarding’ is an 8.0/10.0 – There’s nothing more rewarding than receiving a pat on the back from your superior for an improvement well executed. The sense of achievement is tremendous when fellow colleagues, managers and superiors look up to you for a sensible discussion to find a healthy solution to a particular quality problem at hand. Like I’ve always said to all newbies and professionals alike, money comes for those to work hard, smart and with sincerity, so I will not delve into it here.

A true quality professional would be one who stood ground on his beliefs in the most hostile situations. Whether he overcomes it or ‘bites the dust’ is secondary. Hence, Paul’s last parameter ‘Challenging’ goes for a 9.0/10.0. I take every quality problem as a challenge that needs to be overcome – this is in principle.

Realistically speaking, although I enjoy my job because I am extremely passionate about it, there are more occasions than one when I go into de-motivation mode. I think it’s the passion for the job that pushes me to take a step further and continue my journey of quality. And then there is Quality itself.

I have colleagues who have told me stories of blunder and the complete and continuous lack of commitment of the management to raise the bar of quality. I have told them one thing – ‘whether we remain or not, either now or 5 years down the road or 10 years down the road – Quality is Inevitable’. That’s my belief and that’s what makes me happy. The happiness of seeing the future around the world – A Quality world.

Ciao.

Advertisements