I joined Titansoft in October 2014 as an Accounts Specialist. After doing accounting tasks for more than a year and familiarising myself with the job scope here, it started to become routine with not much challenge. As is our Titansoft’s motto to “Never Stop Improving”, we are encouraged to keep learning and to improve ourselves, be it on professional or personal level. For my accounting function alone, there were very limited areas that I can learn and improve further.
In today’s competitive and ever-changing world, one has to diversify their skill sets to stay relevant to the labour market. In other words, to be a T-shaped professional which has both the depth and breadth in their skills. The vertical bar of the “T” refers to the depth, which is the expert knowledge and experience in a particular area, whereas the horizontal bar refers to the breadth, which is the ability to understand and apply knowledge across different disciplines. Having had just accounting skills, this made me wonder what I would do if one day my expertise become obsolete.
Early last year I was asked by my manager if I wanted to lead a project to obtain the Singapore Quality Class (SQC) certification. All along I had been doing purely accounting tasks and this was definitely going to be very challenging for me as I have zero knowledge and skills pertaining to project management.
It was then that I remembered one of the quotes from Richard Branson “if somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”. Hence, I decided to take up this challenge as I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to learn something new (probably a good start towards T-shaped professionals?) and to be able to hone my interpersonal skills by working in a larger team, as nowadays organisations are focusing more on soft skills as well.
So what is SQC all about?
SQC is one of the several certifications and awards under Business Excellence (BE) initiative by SPRING Singapore which provides organisations a roadmap for excellence and how to improve its performance. The BE assessment tools serve as a health check to the organisation’s management systems and processes, and being certified means that the organisation has achieved the standard of good performance.
Though there were hiccups here and there throughout the journey, we finally got the certification and I gained valuable lessons.
- Improve my communication skill
For this project, it involved a cross-functional team and it required a lot of collaboration from other departments. As I used to work individually and independently, it didn’t occur to me that effective communication is very important to ensure the success of the team effort. There were instances whereby some team members have different understanding of the project requirement which resulted in the need to redo the work. This was because of the lack of effective communication to sync up and ensure everyone has the common understanding.
- Managing stakeholder expectation
A lesson learnt that it’s important to get early feedback from the stakeholders to ensure we are working in the correct direction and to meet their expectation. Delayed feedback can be costly – as is something that our company has learnt over the years
- Importance of Retrospective meeting
Through the retrospective meeting, we are able to get a better understanding of how was the work processes like (reflect on what went well, what went wrong and how we should improve) and discuss what can be changed to make the next teamwork more productive.
To sum up, do not limit ourselves on what we can do. The world is changing, so we have to constantly learning in order to remain competitive and relevant in the labour market. Be open-minded and do not be afraid to take up new challenges as only by stepping out of our comfort zone can we grow. Never Stop Improving!