Do you measure your work?

INTRODUCTION: Rakesh Sonawane – web programmer at digicat, just completed a year at digicat and has written his first blog on “Measure” Rakesh joined us as a fresher and his learning curve has been the most impressive – he came with knowledge of basic java and toady codes in advanced CSS, java, PHP, MySQL and wishes to learn joomla and open-source coding languages. Over to Rakesh’ first blog below: –

IT’S 9 p.m. at the office. I’ve been working all day!

I want to finish all my tasks for the day and go home but the tasks never seem to end. I came in at 9 a.m. and was told that I have been slow in completing my tasks!!

You must have faced this situation at some point in your work life? Or am I the only web programmer who gets the fat end of the stick? So when my superior pulled me up, I told him that I had more tasks than the others, he just explained what others do and it seemed like I was in a well drowning in my own woes L

He then asked me if I was measuring what I was doing? Apparently it turned out that I was not! To me measuring your task meant coming in early and getting out late. At digicat we do not have any set time for working hours, so why was I the only one leaving late?

Is it really that necessary to measure your work; what are we supposed to measure in our work? Why should I measure my work performance? These are the questions I asked whenever I was told to measure my work. Perhaps I was missing something here….

Let us now consider these questions and try and see if measuring my work can really  help me finish my work early.

Why Measure?

As you might guess, we spend a lot of time making sure our work supports reporting on key metrics that affect our KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Why bother measuring and reporting? Well, to simplify the famous quote below, because to improve anything, you first have to measure it.

H. James Harrington” once said – “Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

What to Measure?

More to the point, we get questions often about what to measure. At software engineering studies we normally measure productivity in terms of time to complete a specific task, or lines of code per effort-hour. Anything that drops a few points into our company KPI (Key Performance Indicator).The KPI is itself set, to measure our contribution to the company, so why does the company measure my work; so we can control it and improve it.

One of the biggest issues with measuring something is that as soon as you start measuring it, it just starts improving!

What are the types of measures?

There are two types of measurement, quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative measurement is what we are all accustomed to, line of code written, bugs per module, bugs per line of code, etc. whereas qualitative measurement refers to the efficiency or improvement gaining factor that has to be measured like defect turnaround time, percentage of coverage given to a unit of test code (unit test code coverage percentage).

Measuring your work helps you answer the questions:

  • How confident are you in contributing to the progress of the Organization?
  • Have you made any difference at work in the past month or year?
  • How mush of difference has your existence made to the organization in in the past month or year?
  • Do you feel more satisfied with your job?
  • Can you complete the same quantum of work with better quality in lesser time?
  • What part of the work needs to be improved?

Work is a part of our life and just as we measure other aspects of our life, it’s important that we also measure our work. Basically, work performance measures cover your quality of work, quantity of work, adaptability, job knowledge, initiative and dependability. In other words- goals, processes and the results.

Some concepts or tools developed to measure your work – Pareto principle, JIT, Six Sigma and many more.

At Digicat “We opt for the task / work rather than being assigned a job by my superior”, in other words we have a bottom-up approach! Would love to hear your views on how you measure your work and if there was something new you were able to learn in the process?

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