Q x A = E

Fools collaborating Quality x Acceptance = Excellence

This simple formula is a reminder to socialize your ideas before you complete them.

Most of us focus on quality and will work heads-down without any input whatsoever.  It feels good to create a quality product; it also feels good to know that you have figured it out by yourself.  Yet, we are left scratching our heads when our high-quality work doesn’t get the traction that we want, or what we feel that work deserves.  Frequently this is because we have spent too much time on the Q and not enough on the A.

Acceptance and buy-in are crucial to success.  Let’s take the formula at face value and add some numbers to it.  Let’s assume that each hour of time is equal to one unit of Quality or Acceptance.  So if you spend an hour working, you can put that hour into either by getting the project perfect or by gaining buy-in.  If you have 10 hours to spend on the project, let’s look at how you would maximize the project.

Scenario 1 – Put all of your time into creating an excellent project.  Perfect it, and then perfect it again.
Q=10 and A=0; so here is our formula: 10 x 0 = 0.  Wow!   Such high quality and such a miserable failure.  I don’t get it?

Scenario 2 – Put most of your time into quality but leave an hour to socialize the idea.
Q=9 and A=1; so our formula is: 9 x 1 = 9.  Much better!  The output isn’t quite as perfect on quality, but it can move forward because it has advocates.

Scenario 3 – Split your time equally.
Q=5 and A=5; so our formula is 5×5=25.  WHAT?  I spent half the time on the quality of the project, and 5 hours wagging my jaw, but got 25x the results.  How can that be?

I see several of you dismissing this formula already…..


I encourage you to try it!

Well, what are you waiting for?

The next time you are frustrated because you have a project that is stalled, and you are tempted to work from home to “fix it”, instead set up 3 different discussions with key stakeholders and socialize it before you “fix it.”  Post your results here.  I’m telling you, you’ll be surprised.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.