About This Blog
A QualitEvolution is intended to capture positions and experiences as a participant in the evolution of the Quality profession into the 21st century. From its origins as the brainchild of Corporate Industrial Statisticians, our profession has transformed and evolved to incorporate and adapt to the demands and expectations of our modern existence.
The scope of the subject matter within A QualitEvolution extends to the furthest ranges of quality, business transformation, management science, and quality issues especially pertinent to the members of ASQ in Canada.
Saturday, October 24, 2015
In this context, we all have an opportunity to function as Ambassadors of Quality. Using a sports analogy, this is similar to the effective and successful engagement of sports teams to make their fans feel that they are part of the team's success. In this context
WE ARE ALL QUALITY AMBASSADORS!!!
This is a tremendous privilege, but also bears responsibility. In an effort to effectively harness the enthusiasm and channel all efforts to realize the best outcomes, without disrupting or undermining the progress made to date, I am proposing a simple guideline of DO's and DON'Ts for this type of initiative. As a consequence of World Quality Month, we all want our ASQ to be stronger, more robust, more diverse, and more sustainable in order to enable those who follow us to have the same opportunities that we have.
DO: Do advocate quality and ASQ when interacting within your employers, customers, acquaintances, and communities. Conduct and project yourself in a way that represents your profession and affiliation in a positive and inspiring manner.
DON'T: Don't purport to speak on behalf of an official ASQ Body (i.e. ASQ Board of Directors) or Member Unit (i.e. Section, Division) without first securing permission from the current presiding officers of that group. Doing so will create confusion and be detrimental when that legitimate ASQ body or group communicates their own message. For clarification, please refer to the official ASQ Leadership roster at this location.
DO: Do demonstrate the honor and stature that comes from being a respected professional. Display with pride your hard-earned and well-deserved legitimate credentials, ASQ certifications, and recognitions.
DON'T: Don't create misleading impressions by unilaterally enhancing your credentials with extended descriptions (i.e. referring to yourself as a Master Black Belt when you only have a Six Sigma Green Belt) fabricated titles or appointments. Instead, be authentic and aspire to gain your stature through legitimate means and actions.
DO: Do engage and interact with other professional societies and organizations. I especially encourage interaction with your alumni association from your university or college.
DON'T: Don't mislead or falsify your level of authority within ASQ to attempt to further your own personal interests or acquire gifts or free admission to events. This might create the expectation of reciprocation by ASQ. If there are any commercial interactions, the best approach is to clarify the relationship or arrangements with a official Memorandum of Understanding between ASQ and the external organization.
DO: Do express personal opinions and positions which advocate for the good of quality and society at large. We all support quality and social responsibility, and the world will be a better place for having more voices support altruistic endeavors.
DON'T: Don't invoke the brand equity and reputation of ASQ to purport endorsement of a particular political figure or movement. In one case, I had to intervene when a random individual took it upon himself to express the "wholehearted support" by ASQ of a Conservative political figure during a federal election year.
DO: Do follow ASQ's bylaws, policies, and guidelines for publicity and social media. If you are not familiar with these, I suggest you consult ASQ directly at 1-800-248-1946 to speak to a knowledgeable ASQ resource first-hand.
DON'T: Don't mock up or fraudulently make unauthorized revisions to ASQ templates (i.e. by inserting your personal home address as the official press contact - yes that really happened!). Again it is misleading and confusing when the public at large is provided with multiple points of contact (both legitimate and illegitimate).
DO: Do interact respectfully and politely with ASQ Staff and Member-leaders. ASQ is here to assist and support the quality profession, and wants all members to effectively success individually and promote quality globally.
DON'T: Don't interpret your role as an ASQ member and patron of ASQ's products and services as a license to berate and abuse employees and member-leaders. No ASQ Staff member should have to endure antagonistic and emotional ramblings or overt threats made by a disgruntled character who in their confused state takes on a most indefensible opinion or position, particularly if it is easily refuted with verifiable facts and actual events.
The opportunity to create and sustain the Magic of Quality throughout our organizations and communities is a privilege which demands from all of us the correct and appropriate approach. I hope by communicating this, I will have provided some necessary guidance to get the most from this opportunity, with the fewest problems.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Unfortunately our data-driven management systems reward companies that pass the tests illegitimately, until they are finally caught. Like performance-enhanced athletes, the companies who skirt regulatory scrutiny can prosper and dominate.
Where does the ethic start? Who among us can cast the first stone, so to speak?
Having been involved in software quality, I know that there are conditions upon which the same product can be shown to pass, or to fail the test. The scope and breadth of the test is as important as the result, along with the conditions and potential interactions. Seasoned testers can break a system with very little effort, often by incorporating a few known failure modes into the equation. For example, adding a name with accents, hyphens, and apostrophes to a database operating concurrently with anti-virus software could cause a performance issue leading to data corruption.
I also know that having set up multiple product demonstrations for sales presentations, the end-to-end display of the features is not always reflective of actual operating conditions. User choices and options are often reduced to show only those working features, and results pages are often hard-coded to show the expected outcome, rather than take the chance of an error message or interrupted function appearing. This is best demonstrated in the movie Tucker, where the prototype automobile was being fixed on the stage immediately prior to its display.
Here is an administrative example related to the new ASQ budgeting format. The revenues and costs are structured to distinguish between General and Administrative (G&A) and Member Value (MV), with the target that ASQ Member Units should have 70% of their budget emphasizing Member Value items (known as the PAR Ration - Performance Awards and Recognition).