In this BLOG post I will showcase my view on what “professional IT business” is and what it isn’t.
Let’s first depict the 3 words from the header:
- IT – Information Technology
Let’s start with the word “professional” and quote Wikipedia on that.
“A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform their specific role within that profession”
[Part 1] So, we can depict one specific part here: “…any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity.”
You ask yourself now, is everybody professional who earns money by doing what they can do best? In my opinion – No! Only if she/he delivers quality standard consistent value. (more later in this article)
[Part 2] Let’s depict another part highlighting, why I said No: “…describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform their specific role within that profession”
This means essentially, from a generic point of view, that everybody can try to do something by doing it to a specific level of “standard”.
Without going too much into detail here, what a “standard” is, you can imagine if you want to compete with the Olympic champions in any discipline you want to level yourself up to their “standards” before challenging them, right?
Now the Olympics might be a bit high in terms of “standards” but imagine all the levels below. You got championships on a country, region or city level. All bring different standards.
Looping back to “professional” in regards to IT. First of all in order to deliver a “professional” service in IT you need to be able to deliver a product that brings value to the customer (no worries we come back to value later in this post). The customer is the one that defines the “amount” of value and to what extend he is willing to pay for that.
“A product that brings value to the customer.”
Value derives from a key factor: “Quality”. If you deliver something in high quality standards that “just works” (sort of out-of-the-box) you most probably will have a happy customer. You will have less support effort and you probably provide more value and gain returning customers.
“…something in high quality standards that “just works””
In addition to quality “repeatability” is another major driver to provide value. Imagine you are a cook in a restaurant in your town. Now, on your first opening day you prepare meals like a 3 star cook. Question: Can you keep up that standard of “quality” to provide repeatable value?
Repeatability of a given delivery in the same quality over and over again equals to consistent value, which equals to a “professional” delivery.
“Repeatability of a given delivery in the same quality over and over again equals to consistent value…”
To summarize the aspect of “professional” I’d say it is a combination of a certain “quality” (depending on the area you work at) and the “repeatability“. Both skills will bring confidence to your customer and to your employer that you are a real professional, who is able to deliver consistent value.
to be continued…