Friday, May 30, 2014

Agility and Quality

Today, agility is perceived as an important quality attribute by the customer community.  Due to this, companies strive to demonstrate their agility through various ways.

Let us look at some industry segments and their focus on agility:

  • Provide real-time bill (online) to its customer
  • Healthcare via smartphone (Mobile Health) - Patient-Payer-Payee-Pharmacy-Provider sync-up
  • Variety of Services over a cloud
  • Real-time offers and discounts
  • Quicker product delivery options - 24 hour delivery
  • Omni-channel customer experience
  • Real-time Pay-per-view shows in HD format via variety of devices
  • Streaming of a new movie releases, NFL matches live through mobile devices

  • Mobile banking and up-to-date account management
  • Quicker financial transactions - application, sanctions via smartphone and other mobile devices

Agility is thus very important today as it is looked by customers as a very important quality attribute, than ever before.

Improve Quality through use of Gamification

Gamification is the concept of applying game concepts and game elements (Points, Leaderboards, Badges etc) to non-game scenarios. Now a days, gamification is used as a tool to improve quality. Let us look at an example here. is a website that simply deals with questions and answers.  It is a good site meant for collaboration.  Users of this website ask questions on a range of topics and other users come and provide answers to these questions.  It is as simple as this.

But has effectively used gamification as a tool to improve the quality of questions, answers posted, participation, collaboration etc.  Let us look at some features of this site that use gamification to improve quality:

1. Post a question - A user posts a new question.  Another user come and edits the question to improve the quality of the question posted by the other user. has provided a feature to "Improve the question" posted by other users.  This is a great feature that improves the quality of a question posted.  This is a very unique and powerful feature.

2. Post an answer - Another user (very often an expert) can answer to a question.  Many other users can either post a "new answer" or "improve an existing answer (posted by another user)".  This is another practical scenario of a collaboration process that focuses on continuous improvement of quality of question and answers posted.

3.  Users are seen passionate with their participation and they earn "reputation points" and a variety of "badges" based on their effective participation.  Reputation points and the type of badges they have earned convey the quality of users of this site.    

4. Each question and answer gets a vote based on the usefulness perceived by each user.  Each vote carry 1 point.  The more the number of votes, the more valuable the question and answers are.

5. Questions can be marked as "favorite" question.  A little star icon displays "the total number of users" that have favorited the question.

We have to admit that has brilliantly used gamification to track and improve the quality of collaboration and learning.  It has used the right mix of qualitative and quantitative measures to "continuously" improve quality.

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