Like most families, on Easter Sunday we had an Easter egg hunt. My Father-in-Law spent time placing the plastic colored eggs in locations that were hidden, but also not too hard to find. Excitedly the kids ran into the yard with their Easter baskets and then stopped in their tracks. Their blank expressions were a clear indicator that they didn’t even know where to begin. We held their hands and slowly walked them around the yard nodding in the direction where the eggs could be found. After a rather arduous round one, they were ready to play again. My Father-in-Law hid the eggs again and this time the kids knew where to begin. The challenge was that the eggs weren’t necessarily in the same place as before. With a little assistance we completed round two. Then round 3 of the never-ending Easter egg hunt began. I was becoming a bit bored with the constant hiding and finding but began to notice what an excellent exercise this was in memorization, observation, and checking your work.
Oftentimes in our work we become a bit complacent. We think “I’ve done this before” and we skip over steps essential to quality management. I’ve heard engineering managers discuss their struggle with quality assurance because those tasked with testing the product are often the very engineers that developed the product. A writer should not edit and then publish their own work. I’m certain that this very post has a number of errors. Most of us know you need a second set of eyes, but in a business environment where resources are lean and time is limited we often forsake quality for speed.
It’s important to remember the lesson of the Easter egg hunt. Although the process may be daunting, only through repetition and review can we enhance our power of observation and attention to detail. And it is those skills that eventually lead to a quality Easter egg hunt.
What quality assurance steps do you have in place?