Go out and see for yourself

I’m in Singapore to do assessments . Going out there and seeing for our selves (me and a representative from the customer) makes a big difference in how the assessment works. We could have sent the teams here our ‘standard’ questionnaire, and possibly follow up with conference calls. Seeing the work environment, and meeting face to face allows us to hear the things that are not being said.

singapore skyline seen from Marina Promenade by Calvin Lee

Being face to face, sharing meals helps us to establish a working relationship, and get a better understanding of what they are trying to achieve.
If we wouldn’t have gone out to see for ourselves, we would have missed important information, as well as be more susceptible to rumours. “Going out”, the questionnaire still is a useful tool, and the visit delivers richer information. Visiting also disambiguates the questions.

'Just street photography'  by saipal
* – the title of this post refers to one of the Toyota Way principles, aka Genchi Genbutsu

** – I went out to see Singapore for myself. Apparently, my self alone, as I left my camera at home.

2 Responses to “Go out and see for yourself”

  1. Phil Stubbington Says:

    I found your observations very interesting – having had to manage remote teams on and off for the last decade I’ve always found it useful to have face-to-face meetings at the start of the relationship and then plan to repeat the exercise periodically (usually planned quarterly, but achieved half yearly!). It also helps you appreciate the cultural differences – especially in Asia which has a number of important differences to what Europeans or Americans may expect. “Show AndTell” is a useful practice in my experience – is there a similar idea in the Toyota Way or in Agile? This of course also assumes you’re attempting Quality Software Management in the meantime.

  2. me.andering » Blog Archive » Landed, sort of Says:

    [...] I’m back home, sort of, at least for this week. I’ve spent last month going to Singapore again, a short holiday (has been a while…) and an exhilarating trip to agile2006. More about that later (four sessions are waiting for a writeup, and afterr the election last week, I’m an agile alliance board member). [...]