An aircheck is a term used in the radio industry for a performance review.
An announcer will request an air check with their program director wherein they’ll review the last months worth of broadcasts. Their superior will then give them notes on how they could have done each talk break or announcement better, all in real time.
It’s how ambitious broadcasters get better.
Isn’t this just a performance review?
It’s different than a performance review because it’s a detailed review of specific work, not 3 or 12 months worth of work. It’s different from a post-mortem because you’re assessing work which is continuing.
At TweakDorks we’ve co-opted the term for reviewing how we’ve handled customers website tweaks in terms of customer support but also reviewing the work of specific developers.
The air check gives us a structured forum for giving and receiving feedback to get better at delivering great results for our clients.
In fact it’s more than feedback, it’s analyzing specific issues and creating actionable items out of it to improve on the next scenario.
How we use this in our business
Because we do air checks every week we’re also able to track how the performance of each developer and project manager is improving, and reiterate how to solve issues which might re-occur.
We now have over 20 developers working in the TweakDorks marketplace, each of whom receives an air check at least once per month, the more active developers getting an air check once a fortnight.
This might sound like a Herculean task but it’s pretty straight forward, we review all emails sent to us once a fortnight and decide on the action necessary. Actions could include discussing the issue with the developer, add details to our process manual or perhaps contacting the customer directly.
Project managers then arrange to aircheck with the developers. Some are done via email, others over Skype voice or text chat. I personally spend about an hour a week on it, the project managers might spend another two hours each.
The outcome is that we’re always getting better at our jobs. Developers are getting better at making small changes to websites. Customers are getting their projects managed more efficiently.
This is one way that we’re living up to our mission of being the easiest way to customize your website.