Chair’s Message | Peggy Milz 1502

Chair’s Message | Peggy Milz

I woke up on October 1st and went on my usual morning walk. I try to use that time to clear my head, plan my day, think about things coming up that need my attention. Only a few minutes into my walk, I had a startling revelation—“It is Q4!” My mind started racing. Where has 2020 gone? How can I only have three months left to complete my goals for the year? How can we accomplish everything we planned for 2020 that hasn’t been completed in just three months? The last seven months have felt like a black hole to me, and I feel like I have been living the movie Groundhog Day. The last quarter of the year has always been crunch time for me. My teams and I have always pushed hard to ensure our goals for the year are complete and that we are set up for success in the upcoming year. Additionally, Q4 is the busiest time of the year personally for most of the team, and everyone takes at least some paid time off in addition to the holiday time they receive. Therefore, the team actually works fewer hours in Q4 than in the other three quarters.

When my mind started racing, it didn’t just take stock of my work goals, it also assessed my personal goals, my kids’ goals, and of course our ASQ Quality Management Division goals. With everything that has happened this year, some of our 2020 plans have had to be adjusted or modified. The pandemic has impacted everyone’s plans and prevented us from being able to accomplish some of our goals this year. Many people had plans to travel—to training classes, to attend conferences, to meet with customers—that had to be canceled, rescheduled, or done online. My kids had goals they could not accomplish due to swim meets, dance competitions, and karate competitions being canceled. The biggest impact for QMD was not being able to attend WCQI in person and network with our fellow QMD members. While we all know and understand why that happened, it does not change the disappointment the QMD Council feels. Of course we have connected virtually with many of you during Webinars and training classes, and through discussions on myASQ, but it is not the same. We all know and have had to accept the changes to our “best laid plans” for 2020. So now what? For me, as I head into Q4, my focus is on goals (work, personal and ASQ) that can still be accomplished in 2020 and thinking ahead to how that will impact our 2021 goals.

Each year in late summer, the QMD Council members get together for a strategic planning session. We typically hold this meeting in Milwaukee at ASQ Headquarters. Traditionally, the morning of day one is spent hearing from ASQ personnel regarding the state of the society and the society’s strategies, goals, and objectives. We spent the next day-and-a-half taking stock of where we are and where we need to be and developing our strategic plan and budget for the upcoming year. Since we were not permitted to meet in person for our 2021 strategic planning meeting this year, the QMD Council conducted our strategic planning virtually. We kicked things off on August 28th with an afternoon of presentations from ASQ leaders from headquarters (HQ). This got us off to a good start and helped us understand the direction from ASQ HQ so that the QMD can align our 2021 goals and objectives with those of the society. We recorded the session, so that QMD Council members who were not able to attend could watch and listen to the session before we reconvened for our subsequent sessions in September.

The QMD Council started part two of our strategic planning on September 18th. Our VC Member Leaders, Katie Labedz, engaged the entire team in a virtual QMD roles and responsibilities affinity diagram. After everyone created their sticky notes, two brave volunteers (Susan Gorveatte and Grace Duffy) virtually organized the notes as we all watched and chimed in. With our roles and responsibilities defined, our next activity was to do a SWOT analysis for QMD. I really like this activity because it gets the group thinking about our strengths and weaknesses as well as identifying our opportunities and threats. This allows us to build on our strengths, address our weaknesses, capitalize on our opportunities, and mitigate our threats. With those two activities complete and the knowledge gained at the forefront of our minds, the QMD Council was ready to start brainstorming our 2021 objectives. We developed nine objectives to support two of the ASQ Strategies: 1) Drive Thought Leadership in Excellence Through Quality, and 2) Improve the Individual Member Experience. The objectives are to:
  1. Share technical content
  2. Provide educational events
  3. Develop Quality Management BoK content on myASQ
  4. Support establishing the ASQ Provider Network
  5. Collaborate with other Technical Communities/ Divisions/ Geographical Communities
  6. Understand the QMD VoC
  7. Provide member engagement & outreach
  8. Enhance member leader expertise, engagement, & communication
  9. Enhance governance structure

The next step was to identify the goals needed to support our objectives. We documented each of these using a SMART goal approach and identified the budget requirements for each of them. The final step before submitting our 2021 Business Plan and Budget to the Technical Communities Council (TCC) was to prioritize our goals. The QMD Council did a wonderful job with the difficult task of prioritizing these important goals. We still plan to offer in 2021 many of the member value activities to which you have become accustomed—e.g., QMD Forums, webinars, eBlasts, Quality Management BoK content on myASQ, and training sessions. As we adjust to the new virtual world, we are also planning to offer our first-ever virtual QMD conference and have a virtual presence at WCQI 2021. In the spirit of continuous improvement, Sandy Furterer, VC Publications, presented the results of the VoC survey on publications and led the team in a 2021 publications brainstorming session to help identify improvements for our Quality Management Forum.

I sincerely appreciate the hard work and dedication of the QMD Council members. Each of them gives time away from their jobs and families to serve the members of the Quality Management Division. I always enjoy the comradery of the group when we are together in person. Since this year’s meeting was virtual, we missed out on that time together over meals, during breaks, and in the hotel lobby in the evenings. So as an alternative, we did an MS Teams “hangout” one night after our strategic planning meeting. Several of the QMD Council members grabbed not only their favorite snack and beverage but also changed venues for the “hangout”—moving from their office to a more comfortable location in their home or back yard. We even played a game of “Two Truths and a Lie” to get to know each other better. It was great to get to see everyone and to catch up!

So now what? The QMD Council is working hard to finish up our 2020 objectives while we patiently await the TCC’s review and approval of our 2021 Business Plan and Budget. Once we receive approval, we will begin working on our 2021 objectives as well. I am extremely excited about all that the council is doing for the members of the Quality Management Division and the plans we have for 2021!

Best Regards,

Peggy Milz
ASQ Quality Management Division
News Quality Management Division 11/27/2020 2:10pm CST