Many QA teams go through the process of "simplifying" their QA form by reducing the number of items on the form, generalizing the items, then creating a "definition document" that expands and defines what is meant by each item. I have seen definition documents that have become expansive tomes reminiscent of the U.S. tax code.
Much like the tax code, the simplification process and resulting encyclopedia of definitions started out with the best of intentions. Nevertheless, the following problems often result:
- Using the definition document becomes cumbersome, so analysts or supervisors score calls using their own gut understanding of what each item means rather than consulting the definition document. Elements are thus missed or each scorer analyzes calls a bit differently based on their recollection of the criteria outlined in the definition document. Objectivity is lost.
- The QA team often spends long periods of time in various debates arguing each "jot and tittle" of the definition document. Because the creation of a QA court system to "interpret the law" is generally frowned upon by management, the QA team continues to mire itself in calibration. Productivity and efficiency are lost.
- Scorers who actually use the definition document spend significant amounts of time pouring over the document, checking, double-checking, cross-referencing, and mentally debating their analysis. Productivity and efficiency are lost.
While replacing the U.S. tax code with a simple, flat-tax is an economic pipe-dream – it’s not too late to reconsider your QA options. We’ve witnessed some QA teams who have trashed the confusing definition document and turned to well defined, behavioral elements that are scored using a binary scoring methodology, which can make scoring more simple, efficient and productive for your entire team.