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Are your “Q’s” in order?

August 15, 2011

In the IT world you get used to acronyms.  It seems we turn everything into acronyms: ASP, ADO, XML, HTML, LINQ, and SQL just to name a few.  Of course those are not the only acronyms I deal with on a regular basis.  In fact there are three general business acronyms that come up all the time and they all have something in common.  I have decided to call them the three “Q’s”.  They are QoS (Quality of Service), QC (Quality Control), and QA (Quality Assurance).

I am going to assume that I don’t need to talk about the importance of the three “Q’s”.  Instead what I want to talk about today is that I think that there is a fourth “Q” that often gets over looked.  It is, in my opinion, even more important that the three “Q’s” mentioned above.  In fact I would argue that without this fourth “Q” the other three will suffer.  So, what is this fourth “Q”?  Well, it is QoL or to spell it out; Quality of Life!

I don’t know about you but over the years in my provisional career I have a bad habit of focusing too much on my work.  I would get so busy that I didn’t have time for things like breaks, lunches, weekends, or vacations.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that I have always worked 7 days a week or have never taken lunches or vacations.  But rather that I would go through spells ranging from a few days to a few months where it seemed that work quickly went an important focus to my only focus.  If it only lasted for a few days then usually the only result was I got a bit more done.  But I have noticed that if I let it go on to long then not only did my personal life start to suffer but so did my professional one.  Specifically in the area of the three “Q’s”. I found that my vision would narrow and I would no longer be able to see the forest through the trees.  I became so focused on individual tasks that I lost sight of the big picture.

Over the years I have gotten much better at forcing myself to step away from work.  Even if it is just to take a few minutes to get some lunch or talk about the Lakers or video games with someone in the office.

One of the things that I love about SNQ is that everyone here is very focused on quality of life.  We all understand that having a balanced life is crucial to our success as a company.  And as a result we are all able to consistently work at a very high level, which brings with it an equal measure of success.

I challenge you to take a step back the next time things get to busy and remember that QoL is just as important as any of the other three “Q’s”.



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