When quality is not measured by how long but how well

Small talk with Toan Nguyen, Quality Assurance of the Year

Operating in Vietnam for over 20 years, NashTech has always been a people-centric workplace where our Nashers are valued and appreciated. As such, the annual ‘Employee of the Year’ award is organized to recognize and show gratitude towards outstanding employees.

To continue the series, let’s find out about the 2020 ‘Quality Assurance of the Year’: Mr. Toan Nguyen who shows that quality is not something that is measured by how long but how well you spend your time.

A year and a half: brief but quality time

Toan has been with NashTech for for one and a half years now. Looking back, he said that when he was still a student, NashTech (known as Harvey Nash back then) came to his university for a job fair. This was how Toan came to know about NashTech and its professional, but friendly, environment. Later on, listening to a recommendation from a friend who also works in Quality Assurance, Toan decided to apply to for a role.

Although it’s over one year now I’m still very excited. The emotion is just as high as it was in the first few days when I joined the company. I’m really proud to be a Nasher

Toan feels that he is really fortunate to be able to work with such excellent teammates and wonderful manager like Quality Assurance team.

All these talented people who have extensive knowledge of not just quality assurance but also many other fields, I’m grateful to work with them.

Toan also showed his admiration towards his manager, Ms. Ly Vo. He shared that she always starts meetings energetically, shares the dedication, enthusiasm and positive vibes the team, as a whole, feel.

“I have admired her since the day I joined the company. I take her as my role model to keep improving myself day by day, to keep striving to be the best!”

Sharing about his career path plan, Toan is keen on having more opportunities to challenge himself with projects in new markets, attain more knowledge, hone his professional and personal skills as well as get to know more talented colleagues that he can learn from.

All the good memories

During his time at NashTech, Toan has had many opportunities to develop himself during various projects which give him so many precious memories that would take pages to list out. One of the highlights, which Toan is really proud of, is the CMMI DEV V2.0 project.

I’m really proud to be a part of the project for getting NashTech to be the first company in Vietnam to be appraised at CMMI DEV V2.0 Maturity Level 5. This is such the fruits of our hard work.  

Sharing about being a part of this important project, Toan said that this new CMMI DEV version 2.0 marks a difference that extends beyond its previous version. As such, it brought more challenges to the team.

Countless days and nights of working, back to back meetings and debates, sweat and tears. I see relentless effort from my colleague despite of the stress and heavy workloads, I see the determination as well as the great leadership of my project manager. All of that is what got us to where we are.

Sharing about his emotion of being awarded as Quality Assurance of the Year, Toan shared that it was his honor to receive this award and receive such a strong faith from his manager in him. He also showed humility and said that: “There are many other talented and enthusiastic members in QA team and I’m just a fortunate person to represent the whole team to receive this award.”

A golden compass

Sharing some of his own mottos, Toan said that no matter where you are or what you do, put 100% of your effort and be dedicated in everything you do. Never stop striving, never stop learning. Improve and nurture yourself every day because that knowledge not only benefits you, but also the community.

Recognizing himself as an energetic and cheerful guy, Toan said that having these characteristics is also a nice-to-have factor for, not just your career, but your life as well. People are usually more open and prefer to work or hang out with those who brings positive vibes, enthusiasm and energy in to their work and personal life.

What is your career path as a Business Analyst at NashTech?

In the digital age, businesses are in high demand for organizational changes fueled by innovative, disruptive information technologies. 

At NashTech, with expertise in both IT and business domains, our team of Business Analysts (BA) specialize in understanding client’s needs in the ever-changing digital landscape and helping developers transform those demands into viable technology solutions.

Feeling curious about this job role? In this article, let’s take a look at what you need to know about the career of a Business Analyst at NashTech.

Business Analyst at NashTech

To bridge the gap between IT and the clients, our Business Analysts are responsible for ensuring client requirements can be fully interpreted by our development team. At NashTech, to get from the client’s demand to a functional, valuable software implementation, the role of a Business Analyst requires involvement in various phases of the project. 

Firstly, Business Analysts engage with business leaders to recognize how technological changes to process, products and services can improve efficiency and create future value. Then, they are responsible for creating the Business Requirement Specifications (BRS) and translating the analysis for changes into a succinct requirement that will serve as the input to the development team.

With an aim of transferring their knowledge to the offshore team, Business Analysts will work closely with Project Managers to define the project scope, estimation and planning. While the solution is being worked on, Business Analysts will act as the communication bridge between clients and the offshore team, ensuring the software development is updated with client’s requirements. To verify that all requirements of the system are fulfilled, Business Analysts will assist Quality Control Engineers in testing the implementation.

The career pathway of Business Analyst

Different from our other job positions, the career of a Business Analyst starts from Associate Business Analyst, which requires you to have some background experience in IT and business analysis. The higher levels of Business Analyst require deep understanding of multiple, wider business domains and proficiency in dealing with more sophisticated problems.

NashTech-BA-careerpath-graph

Different levels of Business Analyst expect you to handle projects at different scales. However, there are some shared key skills and qualifications for a Business Analyst that you need to acquire:

  • Bachelor degree preferably in Computer Science or Business Information System
  • Obtaining IT knowledge-base
  • Fluent English to be able to communicate directly with customers
  • At least three years of working experience of which two years in analyzing requirements
  • Basic experience in programming languages
  • Basic knowledge on databases such as database schema and simple SQL query
  • Knowledge of testing approaches and techniques
  • General understanding and experience of business processes as well as an interest to understand a broad range of business models and needs
  • Excellent communication skill and interpersonal skill
  • Have a proactive, can do attitude

You can learn more about our Business Analyst role here

Sharing from our expert

To provide better insight in to this position at NashTech, we had a conversation with Duong Truong, our Business Analyst Manager. Duong shared that Business Analysts must have a great listening ability and be able to understand the clients specific needs, as their insights will provide the inputs for all proceeding processes.

When we asked about the skills that a good Business Analyst should master, Mr. Duong Truong shared that both hard and soft skills matter equally for this position. Hard skills an excellent Business Analyst must master include knowing how to gather and filter information from the clients and the solution they are using, then figure out the potential improvements to the system. Softer skills include the role of communicator which involves interacting with both clients and the development team, being able to speak the language of both client and developer, work in a team and have strong presentation skills.

To excel as a Business Analyst, you must understand people and inspire them

Mr. Duong shared with us that a key to success of a Business Analyst is having a proactive spirit. This means that you must exude a positive attitude so that clients can feel inspired and trusted by you.

An obstacle is often a stepping stone – heartfelt sharing from our two “unsung heroes of the year”

The one value that we have consistently upheld and reinforced here at NashTech, since day one, is the culture of employee recognition. NashTech believes that without the dedication of our incredible colleagues, we would not have attained such extent of growth and success.

We strive to honor our employee’s ongoing achievement and contribution, both informally and formally through the annual “employee of the year” awards – our biggest employee appreciation event.

In today’s article, we would like to introduce you to Mr. Tung Tran and Ms. Han Thai, who have both made their name in the “Unsung Hero of the year” category this year.

Mr. Tung Tran – Behind every success is a great team

Tung Tran is a returning Nasher who took a short break and rejoined NashTech in 2018 as a Talent Acquisition Executive at HR Department. Tung is currently in charge of talent acquisition, specifically, his primary domain is assisting talent acquisition process with the purpose of finding suitable candidates for certain projects. Tung shared with us that working at NashTech has been a rewarding and delightful experience for him which enables him to elevate his performance, this could be attributed to the supportive and encouraging work environment created by his colleagues at HR department and the Talent Acquisition team in particular.

We were moved to know that Tung also takes pride in being a Nasher and sees his workplace as his second home. Tung is also impressed with NashTech’s well-established career path and benefits package for their employees.

When Tung was asked about his most unforgettable memory at NashTech, he recalled going through an appendectomy earlier this year, and was asked by the doctor to take a hiatus from work while recovering. A couple of days after the surgery, he was so happy when his colleagues came to visit. On Tung’s return to work, his fellow colleagues in the HR department also threw a surprise party to welcome him back, this was such a heartwarming and touching experience for Tung since his colleagues have never failed to make him feel like a part of a close-knit community and he was beyond grateful for the support and sentiment from his team.

According to Tung, his ‘unsung hero’ award is not just for him. It is because of the team’s selfless efforts and contribution over the past year, that he has achieved this award. Tung would also want to extend his deepest gratitude to everyone at NashTech, especially, the HR and Talent Acquisition team. He also sees this award as a milestone that will encourage him to make greater contribution to the company in the upcoming period.

Ms. Han Thai – Keep striving so you can look back and be proud

Ms Han is the Senior Purchasing Executive at NashTech and came across as a lovely and friendly colleague who, in her free time, is fond of multiple activities such as reading, travelling and watching stage play.
Her main responsibility at NashTech is purchasing miscellaneous products for the company, including collaborating with other departments to organize evens for Software Development (SD) and Business Process Solutions (BPS) in both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Han finds this job particularly fascinating and refreshing owing to the fact that she gets to meet and interact with a lot of people at the company.

Plus, she also shared that there is a certain sense of achievement in her daily task since everyone in the company has to go through her team first in order to purchase any item. However, “with great power comes great responsibility”, when peak periods hit, Han’s team tended to get overloaded with requests flooding in from all of the departments, this period could be incredibly hectic and exhausting.

Recalling the reason why she chose NashTech, it came to Han inadvertently through the introduction of a friend, she discovered that NashTech owns a professional work environment with plenty of room for their employees to learn and grow, that’s when she decided to become a Nasher.

Han could not contain her excitement when she was asked about her feelings on the day she knew that she would become a Nasher. Han shared that she was genuinely elated and honored to earn an opportunity to work in an active professional, and amiable environment. Han was also well pleased to be able to work in a renowned company that is always listed as one of the companies with the best working environment in Vietnam.

2020 marks Han’s six-year journey at NashTech, but her most unforgettable memory is during the year of 2015, which also marked NashTech 15th anniversary. She was able to participate in different events to celebrate such milestone. After being given the chance to join the organization team of such events, Han has learned a lot from the experience and it was awe-inspiring for her as she was thoroughly impressed by the scope of the events and the magnitude of business at NashTech

As someone who has witnessed the establishment and execution of the “unsung hero of the year” award, Han reckons that this is an incredibly meaningful award that was designed to recognize and honor the contribution of the individuals within the “support team”

Han’s motto is:

Keep trying your best, even though your efforts might not come to fruition in the end, you will not regret anything, since you’ve already put in everything you’ve got 

The power of asking questions

Nowadays, most of our daily tasks are executed based on asking. We ask for information, exchange ideas, request for status updates and seek support. Yet, unlike other professionals who are already trained how to be a good questioner as an essential part of their career such as journalists or investigators, in this business world, especially in IT industry, questioning is one of the soft skills that need to be honed.

Asking questions – why should we master this art?

Questioning is a unique and powerful tool used to unlock hidden values in any organization. It stimulates learning and idea exchange, fuels innovation and accelerates performance improvement. In simple words, questions spark curiosity, curiosity helps generate good ideas and good ideas fuel innovation and creativity.

Moreover, asking questions also helps build rapport and trust among team members. Also, by questioning, we can uncover any unforeseen pitfalls so that business risks can be mitigated.

But, since good questions lead to good responses that are worth listening to and answers that contains valuable information, how the questions should be delivered, perfectly and ideally?

Tips to become a good questioner

For some people, questioning comes easily. Natural inquisitiveness, high EQ, and ability of reading minds, all these factors place the ideal question on the tip of people’s tongue. But often we lack the habit of asking questions, nor do we position them properly.

So, how to overcome this situation? Following and practicing these tips, you can turn yourself into good questioners:

Know what to ask: People usually face difficulty in fully conveying their idea into questions. Listing out all the information that you are seeking in case you miss out any points and arranging them logically is a useful tip to overcome this barrier. Also, knowing what to ask and what should be kept as private is key.

Use the right tone in the right context: Questioners should be aware of when and where to ask the right questions and what tone of voice should be used. In some cases, people are more forthcoming when being asked casually instead of a buttoned-up and official tone.

Keep it balanced: We should carefully determine the amount of questions that should be asked. A lack of questions might lead to a dead-end conversation. On the other hand, asking too much can be intimidating and the audience might feel like they are participating in an interrogation. Thus, we need to keep the number of questions balanced.

Be a good listener before you become a questioner: Asking follow-up questions is a powerful way to trigger interaction and build trust between a questioner and a responder, which leads to a productive conversation.

Follow-up questions signal to the conversation partner that you are actually listening, showing care and an interest in wanting to know more. This makes the responder feel that they are being heard and respected as well as open to discuss more.

Know when to keep questions open-ended: While the feeling of being interrogated is favored by no one, some questions can lead the conversation into that awkward yes-or-no situation. Thus, in these circumstances, open-ended questions can counteract that. They also play a vital role in uncovering hidden information or discovering something new that no one has thought of before.

For example, if you want to ask for someone to give feedbacks on your work, instead of luring them to dead end by asking “Is my piece of work good or not?”, you can warmly ask “What do you think about it? What are the things that I can do to improve this?”. By giving the answerer an open-ended question, you are giving them the freedom to express their ideas openly and honestly.

However, open-ended questions are not always the perfect cure as it’s not a good method to gather quantitative information and consume more time to answer compared to close-ended questions.

Overall, questioning is communication skill that everyone must hone. At NashTech, we encourage our Nashers to step out of their comfort zone and dare to ask questions. Because there is nothing wrong with questioning. By mastering the art of asking the questions, ideas are exchanged efficiently, performance is improved, innovation is fueled and success will definitely be achieved.

A sharp mind behind a soft appearance – Portraying the determined journey of Quyen Nguyen, Finance Director of NashTech

Are you wondering how someone with minimal experience in IT turned out to be the perfect fit and became one of the most “powerful” women in NashTech? Curious about her determination, the sharp mind behind the soft appearance? Let’s go beyond the numbers to explore the inspiring story, and determined spirit, of Ms. Quyen Nguyen, Finance Director of NashTech.

The journey from an Auditor to Finance Director

Quyen has a strong background in finance and auditing. Before joining NashTech, she started her career as an Auditor in one of the big 4 auditing companies. Later, Quyen moved to an FMCG company and worked there for 14 years. During this period, she experienced various roles in the finance department and ended as the APAC Business Controller. In 2018, Quyen found her new pathway, a new environment that was challenging and sparked her inner flame – NashTech, a leading company in technology.

Sharing her first impression of NashTech, she was touched by the devotion of Nashers when they shared their stories of their own journey at NashTech, some of which can be traced back to the very beginning of Harvey Nash Group opening in Vietnam 20 years ago. . To Quyen, this is solid proof that NashTech is a place where people settle down and align their career path together with the company. 

Walking down memory lane, Quyen also recalled that one of her first experiences at the company was a Trade Mission at NashTech’s Hanoi office, where the global senior team gathered together. Regardless of hierarchy and the difference in level, they freely discussed issues and outlined solutions. They only focused on outcomes and goals, which impressed and motivated Quyen to continue developing her career at NashTech.

Quyen believes that meeting the global team was one of the most memorable reasons for choosing NashTech. Because the focus, core vision of NashTech and, in fact, everything that makes NashTech what it is comes down to one key factor: People.  

People: the key inspiration

The company focus is different from her past experience where organizations mainly focus on developing the product. At NashTech, what Quyen feels passionate about is the people-oriented vision with three elements:

  • Investment in freshers
  • Nurturing growth across all levels
  • Leadership development for middle and senior management

Talking about one of the most impressive factors that she has experienced at NashTech, Quyen revealed that it was her team.

They are some of the longest standing members of the NashTech family.  Among them are people that have been walking side by side with Harvey Nash Group since it was established in Vietnam in 2000, and I’m proud that my team has one of the lowest turnover rates in the company.

Determination: the journey to today

Quyen remembered when she worked as an Auditor at the start of her career, she was trying to take the US CPA certificate. In order to obtain this, she had to complete four courses with at least a 75% score for each course to pass – all within 18 months. If there was a course that didn’t meet this criteria, Quyen would have to take the classes all over again. Looking back, if Quyen could give her then self some advice she would say;

Set your plan and strictly follow it

One of the most important lessons that Quyen has learned is to set a clear plan from the beginning and follow it thoroughly.

Key to this is reviewing your plan every six months. Whilst your career and plan might have been stable and steady, the market and technology changes rapidly so be prepared to review and adapt frequently to keep pace. 

Find a mentor that inspires you

It could be someone who is your role model, someone that you put faith in and feel that you can share with them your wishes and career plan. They will be the one who will follow up with your plan, adjust it if needed and motivate you to conquer it.  

Take your chance to learn, both technical skills and soft skills

NashTech offers a lot of training classes and sharing sessions, as well as guidance from seniors, mentors and managers for you to expand your horizon. Take advantage of this and make the best out of it to grow, to become a better version of yourself personally and professionally.

We hope that you enjoyed this heartfelt insight from Ms. Quyen Nguyen and take it as an inspiration. With determination and passion, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals and dreams.

Improving organizational capability and performance through CMMI – NashTech’s sharing at VNITO

In July 2020, NashTech was delighted to be the first company in Vietnam to be appraised with the newest, and highest, level of CMMI – CMMI Development V2.0 Level 5. At NashTech, this model has been our essential framework to make innovative improvements and assess performance across the company.

Understanding the effectiveness of CMMI in business advancement, on August 27th 2020, in partnership with VNITO, NashTech shared our experience on enhancing organizational capabilities applying the CMMI model.

We were honored to have Ms. Ly Vo, our Quality Assurance Director, to be the main speaker providing the latest insights into CMMI development. In this article, let’s recap some key highlights of the webinar.

What is CMMI Development V2.0?

Starting her talk, Ms. Ly Vo briefly mentioned the development history of CMMI, a process by which businesses can measure their capabilities and identify which steps will lead to higher performance.

he extension of V2.0 comes from its emphasis on being a collection of best practices, or ‘practice areas’, instead of being a set of processes to be implemented. Each practice area provides a clear improvement path where practices at one level build on the practices at the previous levels. A more reliable appraisal method compared to . Instead of randomly selecting projects within the appraisal scope, V2.0 entails a substantially reduced scope to check on process sustainment, making sure that maturity is maintained over time. 

Preparing for CMMI at every level

CMMI represents a company’s effort to streamline process improvement and encourage a productive, efficient culture. Meeting CMMI appraisal requirement demands clear and accurate determination of the purpose, how to do it, what processes to be improved and who to be involved at every level.

NashTech-CMMI-maturitylevel

Actions to be taken at each level of CMMI

Optimizing processes for level 2 and 3 focuses on the identification of areas that can be improved and areas that pose a risk to business objectives. Following that, level 4 and 5 demand the use of statistical and quantitative analysis to predict and increase the likelihood of the proposed plan contributing significantly to business improvement.

Each maturity level of CMMI represents different evolutionary steps for creating a culture of improvement, and commitment of the organization plays a key role in that process. A shared objective across all levels of management results in natural and enduring implementation of requirements, as those who carry out the activities can always acquire the necessary resources.

Preparing for CMMI Development V2.0 Level 5

Optimizing processes for CMMI Development V2.0 Level 5 requires intensive consideration of performance analysis, including statistic techniques and prediction model. By understanding problems your business faces, you can develop an action plan to make performance improvements to areas that are inhibiting productivity.

CMMI Development V2.0 Level 5is a valuable certificate for any technology companies. Step-by-step preparation for the highest level of CMMI will create a boost in your business value, as it has enabled NashTech to be more capable and effective at everything we do, with a more efficient, streamlined, and rigorous processes.

Concluding the webinar, there were many questions from the participants regarding further clarification on the topic.

What was the main factor that helped NashTech be successful in achieving Level 5 of CMMI Development V2.0?

  • The commitment from senior managers enabled every department to have the required support and resources to make the necessary changes.

What are the resource requirements and degree of capability to pursue CMMI?

  • It depends on your organization. The key factor is the determination for change and improvement.

Should an organization deploy the program by itself or seek consultancy?

  • Make sure that your organization is proactive no matter which method you choose. If you seek the help of consultants, you should work closely with them to ensure that they understand your business culture.

What is the main difficulty for achieving CMMI Level 5?

  • The highest level of CMMI requires your organization to have the high-quality, accurate data, which asks for involvement of multiple departments.

About NashTech

At NashTech, with the mission of ‘delivering technology excellence’ to our clients, we excel at providing innovative business and digital transformation through IT services. To keep our processes updated with emerging technological trends, NashTech endeavors to stay ahead of the ever-changing IT environment and consistently strive for highest international standards.

About VNITO

VNITO Alliance is a non-profit organization founded in 2016 with the mission of promoting and developing Vietnam ITO/BPO sector. Joining VNITO, NashTech aims at creating an effective bridge between Vietnam and international IT communities.

We would like to express our gratitude to organization leaders attending the webinar. Thank you VNITO for inviting us to attend and share our practical experience on the CMMI topic.