Quality and Truth

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McDanielCA
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Quality and Truth

Postby McDanielCA » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:00 pm

Quality and Truth was originally posted on the main page of LDSTech. It was written by Jeff Crow.
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The job of a quality assurance engineer is to constantly be looking for ways to improve quality, including setting targets for metrics or setting criteria that must be met before we consider it a quality product.

At a recent gathering of Church quality assurance employees we discussed the idea of how truth affects the quality of our work processes and lives.

We may be really good at setting goals and envisioning the future. However, our ability to achieve those goals depends on having a true understanding of our current state of being — how we’re doing right now. This is the point: often we are not truthful with ourselves about the reality of what our current state actually is. We think (or believe) we know where we are, but in reality we may be far off.

Why is being truthful about our current state so important? An example that was shared by a former mission president was eye-opening. While serving as a mission president, he would regularly look at how the mission could improve in different aspects of missionary work. One area was the knowledge the missionaries had of the discussions and basic gospel doctrines. While he felt that the missionaries were doing well, he believed that there was always room for improvement. He devised a quiz that tested knowledge of basic doctrines, the commitment pattern, and other basic missionary information. It was a simple quiz and he believed that the average scores would be in the 80s and 90s. When the results were tallied, the average score was approximately 30 percent!

If the mission had made a goal or improvement plan based on the assumption that the knowledge level was 80–90 percent, they would have most likely skipped teaching the basic knowledge that missionaries were lacking. Instead, knowing the truth of where they actually were, they could formulate an appropriate plan.

When I heard this, I had an “ah ha” moment. Not because this was a new or unique concept—it’s really quite simple and obvious—but because of how often this is overlooked. In my professional work as a QA engineer, I’ve often been asked to set goals for projects where the current state was assumed rather than known. Goals were set based on this assumption. After the project started, the goals had to be modified because we weren’t actually at the state we believed we were. Amazingly, this process would be repeated because we couldn’t admit that our basic assumptions were wrong.

If we don’t know or take the time to discover the truth about our current state, then the goals that we set may be unrealistic, unattainable, or may be focused on the wrong targets. It may take some time and effort to really verify what our current state is, but I believe it is well worth the cost.

rpoulin-p40
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My Truth and "Ah Ha" Moment

Postby rpoulin-p40 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:25 am

Your article caught my attention first, because quality assurance is part of my job as well and second, because I like to transfer ideas to other areas of life for self improvement and to help others.
My truth and "ah ha" moment I needed was in financial management, because it brought me great stress in life not knowing how to budget as a new young adult. I married a great guy with great skills in budgeting and with him sharing his methods I could easily live it. He taught me to look ahead to know if we could afford the purchase now based on its affect on future finances (this was the current truth for us) and created a program that allowed both of us to easily work together on that.
It made me feel very relieved to be able to confidently make financial decisions with my eyes wide open. The time I used stressing and performing my weak attempts to track what money I had was freed up and I can now use that time on my passion to learn and share other life improvement truths.

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aebrown
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Moved nFS posts

Postby aebrown » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:20 am

Moderator's note: I moved the posts related to New FamilySearch to a more appropriate forum at Nfs - q&a.


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