Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shared Memory

Shared memory is the concept that in a close group like a marriage or a team at work, different people will remember different things, things that typically come a little easier to each person. As I work during this critical time I notice that our team has already developed shared memory and shared responsibility. Without firm direction we simply broke up the tasks needed to ensure on time parts and a high quality product, and did it. It's really cool. 

I mention this because I have realized that ultimately quality is about people. While one person would really really struggle to maintain high quality and get anything done quickly, a team can each take ownership of a small part and accomplish the goal better than any one person. It is amusing because from the outside looking in it is like M.A.S.H 4077. In one episode a military person comes to learn their secrets of how they are so effective, and all he finds is a group of bumbling misfits with nothing resembling any sort of formal process that can be copied. Certainly, processes can be really good. Yet my point about shared memory is that instead of rigidly defining who does what, it is possible for a team to divide the tasks as they find works beat. I guarantee that most married couples break up the tasks in a way that works for them and finish them despite  not necessarily adhering to gender stereotypes. Sure there can be problems and things can fall through the cracks and some people may do more than others, and inevitably things will turn into a yelling argument about mistakes and inequality. But the ideal of a team having shared memory, and being able to handle more work because of their specializations is a very positive thing. We are better together than we are apart. 

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