How to Automate Feedback and Learn Each Step of the Way
Do we give feedback enough credit? Often, we don’t take the time to analyze feedback and assess the impact of changes on IT systems.
It’s no secret that feedback is an essential part of life. Throughout our lives, we get feedback from our parents, teachers, colleagues, and so on.
We also get feedback from things we do, albeit in a different form, for example, when we play games or work on a project. We don’t typically see it as feedback, but there is in activities for sure.
Feedback is everywhere
In fact, in everything we do in life, we get feedback and learn from it. If you’re trying to fit a square in a triangle, it’s your brain telling you, “That doesn’t work, try something else.” If you fall down the stairs, your brain says, “hold on next time!”.
The importance of feedback
Feedback is important because it improves our confidence, motivation, and attainment of whatever we are doing or trying to achieve.
Feedback is what a lot of people seek from their peers and managers. 65% of people say they want more input in their job. That is because we intuitively know feedback is good for us, and it’s something we need to improve our performance.
Feedback comes in many shapes and forms, and it’s delivered at many different times. You can provide feedback episodically, in isolated instances, or on an ongoing basis. You can do it at the end of a project or on a question-by-question basis.
The optimal feedback
What is the optimal way for people to receive feedback, you might wonder?
The definition of feedback is as follows; “Feedback is information provided regarding aspects of a performance or understanding.” It aims to engage, inform, and increase knowledge by reducing “discrepancies between current understandings, performance, and goals.” In short, It’s a reaction to an action.
That last part is important because with feedback, the shorter the time between the action and reaction, the easier it is to understand. We call that “Instant Feedback.”
Instant feedback is when information is provided contextually and “on-demand” in immediate response to a person’s actions. After they have given input, instant feedback reinforces the knowledge by correcting mistakes, affirming competence, or debunking misconceptions on a topic.
Our brain works in the same way. It gives instant feedback when something happens.
The more frequent and consistently you get instant feedback, the better. If feedback is presented at a timely and relevant moment, people can absorb or act on it more quickly because it’s contextually relevant and top of mind. When you follow up actions with immediate feedback, people can pause, engage, and modify behavior.
Imagine working on a project; then, after months of concluding that the design was flawed, you need to change things around. You probably forgot about some project details and will have to “get into it,” which takes time. We all know that. But now, people are working with your solution already, and things have just become more complex and more costly to fix.
The unsung hero of IT
That’s why the timing of feedback is crucial.
In my experience, feedback is the unsung hero of IT. We don’t give it enough credit. Often, we don’t get or take the time to listen to analyze the feedback and assess the impact of changes to IT systems.
The rate of change in IT is very high and keeps increasing. Some changes are even out of our control, and we still must deal with them. So, most of the time, we estimate based on the experience instead of fact-checking because we can’t keep up.
But what if you could get feedback automatically? How do you know which feedback to focus on?
What if questions
The “what if” questions you think of while working on something are the best guidance for that.
We all know the feeling of… “ooooeeeeh what does this button do…
From trying, we learn, and the “what if” questions will lead us to the boundaries of what’s possible. The boundaries are where the magic happens. Boundaries tell us what our playing field is, and from that, we can map business needs to technology much better.
Whether you are building something completely new, updating a business application, or just changing the configuration, you will always have an opportunity to learn by giving in to your curiosity, and you only need time. Especially when you think outside the box and are not just executing what you are tasked with, you can find better ways to do things.
Answering all questions that pop into our minds is a lot of work, of course. We don’t have that much time. And who are we going to ask for feedback? End-users are the consumers of IT, so they are the absolute best people for the job but imagine having to bother them for feedback which each change that happens.
Anchor point and User Experience
With all the complex changes in IT, we need two things to help us keep control.
First, we need an anchor point or something consistent that we can measure, rely on, and is universal across every IT system out there. User Experience is just that. User Experience or User interaction with IT systems hasn’t changed in years. We are still looking at a screen 8 hours or more a day and judge if something is fast, slow, or functional from what we see on screen.
Secondly, we need instant feedback to help us make the right choices when we make changes that could influence User Experience.
With these two things, we can ensure our IT is heading in the right direction no matter where we currently are. We can see the impact of each action and can steer when needed.
The anchor point and feedback become even more important when working in a team. It works much more manageable if everyone receives information from the same source and sees how their actions impact the common goal.
Integrating feedback to support decisions
When you integrate the feedback through automated testing, you will see that people are more aligned, projects finish more quickly, and you can be more confident about the outcomes of your undertakings. When feedback enables us to make the right choice at the right time, we can truly become proactive.
By integrating feedback into your decision-making and change management, you can achieve a continuous improvement flow. Make sure to request a trial and see how it is for yourself.