Calibration is a Challenging Process

Bigstockphoto_listen_in_105794 It was an interesting webinar last Thursday with our friends from Avtex. We tried something new. We took seven willing participants from different companies and held a mock, role-play calibration during the webinar. The participants were all from different companies. They listened to a mock call, scored it using the same criteria, and then we got together to role-play an actual calibration call during the webinar.

If people were hoping to hear the ideal, sanitized, perfect calibration – they were sorely disappointed. What took place was the very picture of a real calibration call complete with people having technical difficulties and arriving late, the calibration going much longer than expected, people having to bow out to get to other meetings.

What I hope people did take away is that there are some key principles that help make calibrations more effective:

  • QA and Calibration is a marathon journey, not the finish line of a sprint. You don’t have to solve all your QA problems in one session – just make sure you’re moving forward. Slow and steady wins the race.
  • Someone needs to closely manage the process to keep things on track, make needed decisions, and make sure that there is follow up.
  • When disagreements arise, you should consider the business mission, customer expectation and CSR realities.
  • Always think about what decisions you can make right now and what issues require more discussion and calibration. Don’t be afraid to make the call when it needs to be made and table discussions that will required more time/consideration.

Thanks to those who participated and joined in! If you were there, I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts and observations!

  2 comments for “Calibration is a Challenging Process

  1. June 23, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Hi Tom,
    I agree with the points you raised regarding calibration. It really takes a lot of calibration sessions before we can improve in it. That is why it is important that you mentioned about not rushing into resolving everything in one session.
    Another is that, no matter how well you organized every calibration session, there will always be a different thing that’s going to happen, not enough participants to join or those who will excuse themselves every now and then to attend to an urgent matter in operations, etc. That us why it is important to always confirm the availability of everyone especially the key people to help in the decision making.
    Forming calibration norms can help too. So everyone will be aware of the things they should observe in every calibration session.
    Lastly, we can always rely on well documented ‘calibration minutes’ as we’re planning on improving those calibration sessions. Again, it will take a number of sessions before we can see remarkable improvement but this will always be possible if parties involve in this process will take time to sit down and discuss these concerns beforehand.
    That was a very thought provoking post Tom! =) Good thing I stumbled on your blog. I will definitely come back for more helpful readings.

  2. June 24, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks CCG! Great comments. I am in total agreement. Documentation is such a key to making sure that calibration has lasting value!

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