Chair’s Message | Peggy Milz

Peggy Milz
ASQ Quality Management Division
In my message for the spring edition of the Quality Management Forum, I talked about reviewing our Quality Management Division 2020 Business Plan to see if there were any areas that were at risk of being affected by unexpected events or circumstances and working on mitigating those risks. When I go back and read the message now, it almost sounds like foreshadowing. However, at the time, I had no idea what “unexpected events or circumstances” lay in wait for all of us. My message included a paragraph about all of the exciting activities the QMD had planned for the World Conference on Quality and Improvement (WCQI) in Columbus, Ohio, and how excited I was to network with you at the conference. That paragraph never made it into the Forum, because between the time I wrote the message and the time the spring issue was published, we all experienced a very unexpected event/circumstance— COVID-19.

As I look back now, I cannot believe how much has changed in a few short months. One thing I noticed as my family and I tried to adapt to our “new normal” was how much the day-to-day operations of our lives paralleled the requirements of IS0 9001:2015. This didn’t completely surprise me because as a quality professional, I have always applied things such as quality planning and the quality management principles to my home life. Like most people, our lives have always been somewhat compartmentalized. My husband and I each have our work and volunteer compartments, and both of our kids have their school compartments plus a compartment for each of their activities (karate, academic team, swim team, dance team, soccer). Prior to the middle of March, all of those activities peacefully coexisted and were performed at numerous venues—offices, schools, studios, and fields. It took a lot of quality planning and a continuous Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle to bring all of those activities and their associated processes together under one roof. Our home became an office, a school, a band room, a dance studio, a karate dojo, a soccer field, and a church. Quality planning was paramount to the success of this transition. One of the most significant parts of that quality planning was resource management. Of course, some of the resources didn’t change (teachers, coaches, employees), but what support they were able to provide and how they were able to provide it definitely did change. It wasn’t just people resources that changed—it was also infrastructure, work environment, training, and more. For example, we all needed our own computer and work space; we used applications such as Zoom, Instagram, Microsoft Teams, and Webex; kids (and parents) needed training on all of the new educational applications and processes; furniture needed to be rearranged for dance and karate Zoom classes; and my husband and I had to figure out how we could both be on conference calls at the same time while sharing an “office.”

As you can imagine, during this time of transition we had to apply the same concepts—quality planning, resource management, the quality management principles, and the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle to the Quality Management Division Council as well.

I have been working with the QMD Council to review our 2020 Business Plan and to assess the impacts of these unexpected events. Obviously, all of the plans we had for WCQI (e.g., QMD member breakfast, NextGen event, and exhibit hall booth) that Ellen Quinn, Bill Hackett, Michael Hirt, and Stephanie Thompson worked on so diligently, were unfortunately cancelled. However, the QMD Council is hard at work completing our other objectives for 2020. In the first half of the year, our Education and Webinars team, led by Doug Wood, has completed 10 webinars with over 2000 attendees. That is amazing! Our Publications team, which is led by Sandy Furterer, has successfully transitioned from a printed Quality Management Forum to an electronic one, which has resulted in a huge cost savings for ASQ. By the time you read this, Sandy’s team will have published two editions of the Quality Management Forum for the year. Our webinars and Forum would not have been possible without the contributions of our talented Content Management Committees (CMC) and Technical Committee, which are led by Dawn Ringrose, Jd Markevko, Luigi Sille, Eileen Serrano, Jeff Israel, Heather McCain, Susan Gorveatte, and Grace Duffy. The CMC Leaders were scheduled to meet before WCQI, but since that was not possible, our Chair Elect, Denis Devos, reacted quickly and, with the help of Jerry Rice, our Past Chair and interim eBased Initiatives Vice Chair, had a two-part virtual meeting with the CMC Leaders at the end of April. The CMCs are not only producing content that you see in Webinars, Forums, and at conferences, but they also have posted content on MyASQ. Go check it out today!

Many thanks to Grace Duffy and Sandy Furterer for completing the Fourth Edition of the CQIA Handbook, which was printed ahead of schedule and is on shelves for order through Quality Press and Amazon. But wait—there’s more! In addition to more webinars, Forums, eBlasts, and content on myASQ, you can expect to see even more from the Quality Management Division before the year is out: video vignettes, a series of training webinars on “How to Improve your Member Experience Using myASQ,” and a training presentation titled “Improving your ASQ Membership Experience through Technical Communities” that you can request.

All of this would not be possible without the amazing team of member leaders who make up the QMD Council. Several of those member leaders work behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. One of those is our Vice Chair. Finance, Karen Ambrosic-Tolf, who has been assessing the impact of all of these changes on our 2020 budget and financial performance. Additionally, the division is lucky to have two new QMD Council members who have jumped in with both feet. Our new Vice Chair, Member Leaders, Katie Labedz, has been providing support to the team and leading our transition to a new, user-friendlier SharePoint site. Our new Vice Chair, Governance and Excellence, Dan Zrymiak, has been working to identify improvement opportunities with our processes and to develop a records retention process.

As we traverse the second half of 2020, the QMD Council will also develop our 2021 Business Plan and Budget. Planning and resource management will be keys to our success for the remainder of 2020 as well as in 2021. We are always looking for more volunteers to join our team, so if you are interested, please contact Katie Labedz at I look forward to sharing more of QMD’s successes and our 2021 plans in the next Forum.

Best Regards,

Peggy Milz,
Chair, ASQ Quality Management Division
News Quality Management Division 08/26/2020 4:59pm CDT