Message From The ASQ Quality Management Division Chair
The first bump in the road came in the form of ASQ transformation that coincided with my first day as chair in January 2018. While our team was aware there was a need for significant structural changes to ensure ASQ remained relevant to future generations of professionals, we really didn’t know what changes were being proposed and how they would affect the operation of our division.
A considerable amount of our time in early 2018 was spent trying to understand how the transformation of ASQ would affect our members and developing our positions on various aspects of the proposed changes. Our leadership team made a conscious decision to work with the Technical Communities Council (TCC) and the ASQ board of directors to ensure the proposed changes were successful. It turned out much of our 2018 business plan was already aligned with many of the ASQ transformational goals.
Content Management Committees
The QMD Leadership Team came to the realization that we could do a better job scoping and delivering our content offerings. ASQ has put in a considerable amount of effort defining the overall Quality Body of Knowledge (QBoK) and how each ASQ Technical Community (Division) can contribute. We needed to get with the program.
Scoping the Quality Management Division’s contribution to QBoK was relatively easy since we already sponsored the professional designation of Certified Manager of Quality/ Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE). The body of knowledge for this exam is based on an extensive job analysis survey of quality management/ organizational excellence professionals across the United States and Canada. Groups of practicing quality management thought leaders further refine the job analysis survey data in a series of exam development workshops. There have been thousands of quality management professionals contributing to the CMQ/OE body of knowledge since the exam’s inception in 1993.
Using the CMQ/OE body of knowledge as our guide we set out to form Content Management Committees around each of the 7 defined topic areas.
II. Strategic Plan Development and Deployment
III. Management Elements and Methods
IV. Quality Management Tools
V. Customer Focused Organizations
VI. Supply Chain Management
VII. Training and Development
We then recruited teams of volunteer thought leaders around each of the topic areas to collect, solicit, develop, and curate content for distribution to our members. We are still in the early stages with these teams, but we have a good foundation and some exceptional leaders to work with. These committees work closely with our Ebased Initiatives, Publications, Education, and Conference teams to find innovative ways to deliver quality management knowledge to our members.
The QMD leadership team also recognized a need for better communication and coordination of actions to fulfill our business plans. Much of our business was conducted through emails and most of our records and documents resided on member leaders’ personal computer systems. There were times when it was difficult or even impossible to share needed information between our member leaders.
ASQ began offering Microsoft 365 with a new SharePoint platform to all technical communities in mid-2017. The Quality Management Division began building out our SharePoint site in late 2017 and began using it for various governance documents and records in 2018. While there have been a few struggles with access to the site since launch, we now have a central place to store and access our documents and governance data within the ASQ network domain. It has led to a marked improvement in our leadership team’s ability to share information.
One of our most pressing needs going into 2018 was the Quality Management Division web presence. Our website was running on an outdated content management platform, was extremely difficult to maintain, utilized no discernable content management strategy, and was not integrated with other ASQ websites. Our website was on its last leg and we needed a plan.
Sometimes timing is everything. ASQ announced the launch of MyASQ, their new member unit online community platform, in late 2017. QMD asked (demanded) to be one of the first ASQ technical communities to come online. The go live date in May 2018 was just days before the contract with our web service provider expired. The switch was relatively painless, and we now have a stable platform with many features our previous vendor could not provide. We no longer have a need for a traditional “webmaster” to manage content and negotiate contracts. That is taken care of by ASQ staff at headquarters.
Along with the places for news, events, and discussions… the QMD community on MyASQ has a more strategic approach to content management utilizing resources arranged by BoK topic areas and managed by the thought leaders on our content management committees mentioned above. Our members can now take advantage of other ASQ technical comminutes from the same platform. This all makes for a more universal, intuitive, customizable, and interactive user experience for our members.
Web Conferences for Monthly Meetings and Webinars
In addition to the adoption of the SharePoint site for coordinating our leadership team efforts, the Quality Management Division began taking advantage of web conferencing provided by ASQ. Instead of just a monthly conference call, we now hold a monthly WebEx conference where we can and update progress towards our objectives, review finances, and analyze membership trends real-time during the meeting. This has significantly increased the effectiveness of our monthly leadership team meetings.
We also began using the WebEx tool for free educational webinars hosted by our Education Subcommittee. It has been a great relief not having to worry about contracts and the administration tasks associated with a separate webinar platform. We can focus on delivering content to our members.
MyASQ Finance (Bill Highway)
Tracking finances against budget and approving spending have always been time consuming tasks. When we were made aware of the possibility of a web-based tool to help with some of the administrative burden of managing our finances we jumped on it.
QMD launched the MyASQ Finance tool in January of 2019. While there are still some issues to work out, the staff at ASQ headquarters is listening to our concerns and working with us to make improvements. Overall, it is much easier to understand spending trends against budget.
CMQ/OE Handbook (5th Edition)
The Body of Knowledge for the Certified Manager of Quality/ Organization Excellence (CMQ/OE) exam underwent its scheduled update in 2018. That meant the CMQ/OE Handbook needed to be revised to match the revised exam BoK. The CMQ/OE Handbook is considered a “must have” reference for those that sit for the exam.
I have avoided naming names thus far in this message because I don’t want to risk leaving someone out. However, the work that Doug Wood and Sandy Furterer’s team has done on this book deserves some special recognition. With the passing of Russ Westcott, they had some pretty big shoes to fill.
Doug and Sandy tapped many of the Content Management Committee team members and other thought leaders outside QMD to contribute. The revisions to this book were more than just a refresh to the revised BoK, but their team spent a great deal of time with additional rhetorical edits and updates to the examples and illustrations in the book to make it more relevant and easier to read. Our hope is that the 5th Edition of the CMQ/OE Handbook will be made available on ASQ Quality Press in early 2020.
Doug also led a team to rework the CMQ/OE refresher course material so that it more closely aligns with the handbook. Some of the same Content Management Committee members used on the handbook edits also helped with updates to the CMQ/OE prep course.
A Word About Students and Young Professionals
Supporting and understanding the needs of the next generation of quality professionals has been a passion of the entire QMD leadership team. It has been an area where we have tried to make a meaningful lasting contribution, but it may also be an area where we bit off more than we can chew. We just don’t have the resources to make a difference outside of select localized areas. I think other divisions have experienced the same thing. More bandwidth is needed, and it needs to be applied throughout ASQ. The opportunity to engage students and young professionals is bigger than one division.
The Quality Management Division of ASQ supports a universal approach to attracting and retaining students and young professionals. While we have had successes under Stephanie Thompson’s leadership, there is so much more we can be doing as a society to engage the next generation of quality professionals.
Our business plan for next year includes continuing to build on the gains we have made in the past few years as well as addressing some other items of concern. We need to do a better job of recognizing our volunteers. We need to consider adopting an organizational excellence model for our governance, so we are practicing what we preach. We need to listen to our members to better understand what you value and how to engage.
I’m exhausted. Two years is a long time. However, it has been an honor to serve the members of the Quality Management Division. We have a great leadership team. They made it easy most of the time and their support has helped me grow as a leader. My hope is something is left behind for the next leadership team to build upon. It’s now in the very capable hands of Peggy Milz, Denis Devos, and much of the same great leadership team… and I’ll still be around to help where needed. Thank you all for your support.
Chair (soon to be Past Chair)
ASQ Quality Management Division