10 Ways to ensure high quality work
It’s the start of a new year with yet another chance to chart your career and ensure that top quality work is produced in your organisation.
They say talent breeds innovation and innovation creates success. But when it’s time to deliver that project to the board, what can be done as an employer to ensure your talent maximises their contribution?
It’s all well and good for individuals to devise ingenious strategies for growth, but if these strategies are not executed with a degree of precision, is your company producing the standard of work it requires?
Here are 10 ways for creating a disciplined, cohesive approach to high quality work.
1. Planting the seed for success
Every project must start with a concise objective and a clear vision for progression. What is it that you are trying to achieve? Who is your target audience? What message do you want to convey and how are you going to communicate that message?
These questions provide the necessary structure for developing your project brief and help establish the steps needed to reach your goal.
2. Why, Why, Why?
An understanding of why you are creating this piece of work is essential in controlling the direction of the project. A project that loses sight of the original purpose will not achieve the required result. It will also affect the consistency of the messages being conveyed.
Developing your own motivations is also critical to the outcome of the project. Are you in it for the money? Do you want to further your career ambitions? Or do you want the company to succeed? This will ultimately affect your drive and quality of work.
3. Be a know-it-all
The best way to streamline your key messaging is through qualitative and quantitative research. A thorough understanding of the topic at hand and the audience you are targeting is crucial.
You need to be able to pre-empt how people think and how they will react to your work. Monitoring behaviours, quirks and numerical targets will help you self-regulate the project.
4. Back yourself all the way
Now that your blueprint for success is complete, you need to have the confidence to support your actions. Have faith in the project you have devised. There’s a reason why you spent all that time researching and devising a strategy.
Have faith in your own talent and the talent of your team. If you starting losing confidence in your own ability, you’ll start doubting your actions and decisions.
Accountability is key, so never back down or pass the blame to someone else. The buck stops at you.
5. You’re not alone
Large projects can often be overwhelming and as such being able to delegate tasks and work closely with colleagues is essential. Creating unnecessary stress by burdening yourself with most of the work is counterproductive.
Utilise the resources at your disposal and seek guidance from superiors and different departments. This will not only increase quality control but will maintain the talent’s passion and motivation for the project.
6. Manage your workload
Be smart with your time and estimate how long it will take to complete each assignment. Work late if you must, but also consider working in advance so as to avoid deadlines.
Quality is everything, so don’t be afraid to stimulate yourself with extrinsic motivation. Have a coffee, take a break, and change your work hours.
Being patient is key. If you force yourself you are likely to make a mistake. The “one-percenters” can make or break the project, so stay fresh and pay attention to detail.
7. The age of technology
Embrace change and learn how to maximise your output by becoming familiar with new technology and its many influences.
Effective use of e-resources, hardware and social media can allow for greater efficiency. Devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets are multi-functional and can reduce costs and response time.
8. ‘Is this what I want?’
As you near the end of the project, consider implementing editorial strategies to analyse and regulate your work. Ask yourself: Have I answered the question? Does the work make sense? Can I make improvements?
Feedback from superiors is also important. Confer with a colleague and ask them for their opinion. Get them to approve the tone and language of the work. Two pair of eyes are better than one.
9. Does it look a million dollars?
Presentation is everything. An audience needs to be able to view the piece of work and process its message within seconds. The three-second glance rule has changed how we present information.
If your project is not engaging then the importance of the content will be lost. The secret is to keep things simple.
Is the colour consistent? Is the format consistent? Is the font readable? Cutting costs on presentation will detract from the original purpose of the project.
10. Dot you ‘I’s’ and cross your ‘T’s’
It’s true, the small things in life matter. Personal touches and simple grammar can make or break a project.
Proofreading is everything. Is your spelling and punctuation correct? Have you used the correct words? Do you know the difference between “there”, “their” and “they’re”? It’s really that bad!
And it gets even worse. Have you saved your changes and updated the relevant sections on the website? Have you copied in the appropriate people on an email? Have you spelt their name correctly?
Whatever your project may be, accuracy is essential. Any hint of unprofessionalism will undermine all efforts to breed innovation. Success truly lies in hard work, dedication and a will to be perfect.