Improving Every Day – a Journey

Apr 28th, 2015 | by ViaDataWebAdmin |

Last year we took some time off to do some navel gazing in order to understand what and who we are as a company and as individuals who make up the company. The results were quite interesting…

Why work?

When asked the question – ’What makes you come to work every day?’ we had a fair amount of debate but actually everyone said fundamentally the same thing:

We like solving problems, and we like doing it in a manner that makes us improve what we had before.”

Adapt, Improve, Innovate

We adopted the building of Catalyst, our flagship product, into the way we have always thought internally, which was that with each release we should strive to make it better technically and more user friendly. We have been through more than 800 releases of Catalyst, with each one improving on the previous version.

Sometimes new features, sometimes bug fixes, sometimes improving performance and sometimes design and presentation changes, but every time the new version was better than the last.

Personally speaking…

We then realised that we apply this same philosophy to many aspects of our work and personal lives, for example:

  • We follow an Agile methodology with the systems we build, giving the customers something of value and usable very quickly – and then improving it every day – little by little.
  • We continually tweak and enhance our own internal management and development procedures.
  • When a person solves a problem in a new way – we share the lessons and try to understand where else they can be applied.
  • We read and review work done by others – to see what lessons we can extract and how we can apply this.

A Common Goal

Once we realised that we had a common reason for improving our lives, we felt we needed a catalyst to put down our thoughts and ideas so that we could improve as a community and draw upon each others energy and inspiration to actually drive improvement by thinking about it and encouraging ourselves to write about it frequently.We would have a common point for the collection of ideas, thoughts and epiphanies that would draw us together as a team and help to draw us to even greater heights. An improvement incubator if you will.

Not only that, we wanted a common information resource that would draw us at least once every few days to have a look to see if something new had been discovered so that we could add the inspiration to our own quiver of tools and mindsets and discuss them around the lunch table or at coffee breaks. A trigger that would spark off new ideas, dialogue and inspiration.

Improvement

The common driver was improving. For ourselves as people and as career professionals who wish to add value to everything we touch, every day. We want to look back at the end of each day and say that we have improved in some aspect of our lives and work, be it better coding, communication, service or family time. The key here is that improvement by itself is a nebulous entity, and so it has to be measured over specific time periods and in various key areas of responsibility, including an “out-of-the box” area as well.

Every Day

We chose every day as we have a daily commitment to our families, ourselves and our work. This measurement time-frame would also ensure an alertness in our improvement strategy as there would be no way to take time off and pretend to be adhering to the common thread of improving every day. Peer review would ensure that everyone was keeping pace with improving every day.

So often corporates come up with great strategies to inspire staff, but they fall flat because there is a lack of consistent, constant checking to see that the corporate’s core values are being adhered to. There also needs to be time-framed indaba’s to collate and review the relevant progress to date as a community. Often these just don’t happen. We didn’t want that to happen to us.

The Birthing of a Blog

With the inspiration of improving every day came the question of how do we combine our ideas and thoughts so that we can all look at them and be transparent to our clients about where our thinking was taking us. We decided to use our blog service as a point of commonality as it was readily available to all, but re-branded as “Improving Every Day” as this was now (and is) our core value and motto.

All blogs will now revolve around an aspect of improving every day to encourage and motivate us to engage with you, our client, with betterment in mind, and for you to read about our journey in improving every day.

ViaData – Improving Every Day

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