I add extra chocolate chips to the dough when I am making cookies.
Remember the Chips Ahoy! commercial when we were kids? The one where a group of 4 or 5 kids would try to find a spot to bite the cookie without a chocolate chip in it. It never made sense to me; still doesn’t. If I am eating a chocolate chip cookie, it’s because I like chocolate chips. Why would I want a barren spot of butter and flour? Horrors!
Anyway, to ensure that every bite contains chocolate, I add extra chips.
I think this idea is important in business. It only takes a little bit extra effort to ensure your clients are truly satisfied with your work.
1. Zero Defects Methodology
Zero Defects Methodology was created by Microsoft so they could finally just ship. The basic idea is to fix bugs before creating new code. The focus is on testing at each step of code completion, so that you have no defects. That extra effort in very tiny up front but pays huge dividends in time saved and quality increases at the end of a project.
Meeting expectations isn’t enough anymore. Try to put yourself in your clients shoes, and then proceed: Would I do create this project like this if it were mine? Would I spend this money if it were mine? I think that if you treat your clients projects as your own, you will be a better steward of the resources and products that have been entrusted to you.
3. QA, QA, QA
We have an independent quality assurance department who conducts formalized QA of our development. At Zimmdot, we hired QA right after developers. Many times, QA doesn’t seem as important; it doesn’t seem like it’s hard or worthwhile. But we believe it’s both. The extra effort to send every new code through independent QA assures our clients and our teams that we value top quality work.
Here’s the secret. To add those extra chocolate chips is just an extra minute or so to a prep/bake time of an hour. To use 0-defects, QA, and to over deliver, is a small portion of your time. But the effects are huge! Your clients will love you. Your peers will recognize top quality work. Your team will be proud of the products you put forth.
Are you adding extra chocolate chips to your work?
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Bootstrapping: "To promote and develop by use of one's own initiative and work without reliance on outside help" (from Dictionary.com)