Thursday, April 9, 2015

Conference Pros and Cons

Today I read the ASQ's A View from the Q blog on conferences and felt compelled to share...

Several years ago I was working for an organization that talked a good talk on Quality but did not always walk that talk.  After two years with this company my immediate supervisor was replaced by an engineer who had no direct experience leading a Quality department.  He truly talked the talk but never really understood or believed in what our mission was.  In my opinion he derailed our drive toward ISO 9001 registration single-handedly.  Then he proceeded to tear the team apart.  Okay, this was intended to paint a picture for a single event...

Shortly after the new supervisor joined the organization I was scheduled to attend the ASQs World Conference on Quality and Improvement.  My attendance was approved by my prior supervisor and the VP / GM of our division had approved my ASQ activities including financial support when needed, so the new supervisor accepted my time away.  Upon my return he asked one simple question, "What did you learn that you can teach us right now?".  My answer was, "Nothing".  Then I went on to explain that at a conference you get a flavor of topics and tools to explore in more depth for implementation at a future date.  This response was unacceptable to him so he told me that the company would no longer support my ASQ activity.  I was floored!  He just does not understand, nor could I persuade him to reconsider and listen to reason.  The whole event made me question if I really belonged with that team.

My position on conferences is quite simple.  For many people they are a means to become introduced to new topics and tools which may be further explored after the conference ends.  They are also the best way to network with many like-minded professionals from around the world.  I've developed quite a network of professional connections / friends over the past 15 years of conference attendance. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Recap / 2014 Goals

First, let's recap 2013?


1. Lose that weight - get down to 175 max
  • Got down to 172, maintained it for about 5 months, then I got hungry.  Now I'm back to 179. 
2. Exercise 3 times per week (at least 1/2 hour on treadmill to start - expand from there)
  • My reality is I'm lazy, other than skiing, I did manage to get on the treadmill once or twice a month...maybe in 2014
3. Increase quality time with my wife
  • Sharon and I did spend more time going out to dinner, movies, socializing, etc. 
4. Poker:
Cash in at least one significant tournament WSOP; Borgata Poker Open; WPT; etc.
Increase bankroll by $20k
  • This goal, I am proud to write was accomplished, not only did I increase my bankroll by more than $20k, I cashed in the WSOP Main Event.  I placed 471 out of 6329 players (top 7.4%); buy in was $10k; cashed for $24,480.
1. Achieve ISO registration in Blauvelt
  • Blauvelt is about ready for registration; senior management has put a hold to registration at this time
2. Complete MiniTab Training
  • Registered for training in Feb but it was cancelled; I was never approved to attend again
3. Improve the resin reprocessing process
  • We've established a skeleton return specification and identified the source of problematic materials; now the task is to get the customer to comply with our requirements
4. Visit 6 customers
  • Visits this year included: PSI, Berry Baltimore, Rexam BevCan (2), Plastek; 4 for 6 
5. Implement Supplier Management including 4 key supplier audits - this is for the flexibles division
  • This was taken over by the new Director of Quality - taken away from me
On a separate note, I had major ASQ accomlishments that were not considered at the end of 2012:
  • Re-elected Region 3 Director (2014-2015)
  • Elected to the ASQ Board of Directors (2014-2015)
  • Elected as Section Affairs Council (SAC) Chair for 2014

So let's look at 2014 - what are my goals:

  • Get back to my goal weight of 172 lbs
  • Exercise 2 - 3 times per week
  • Improve my communications with key people in my life
  • Poker - increase bank roll by $25k
  • Implement Internal Auditing at BL
  • Implement Management Review in BL
  • Visit 6 customers
  • SAC Reorganization
  • Roll Global member units into SAC
  • Drive member leader training
  • Achieve re-election as SAC chair for 2015

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Which comes first?

Which comes first when you are implementing Process Control (SPC) - DOE or Control Charting?

Simple question, right?!?!

Well, I am in a repeat situation (last time this happened was nearly 20 years ago) where an organizational leader expects a timeline for implementation of SPC but cannot see that the optimizing the process must come first.

What is your opinion, what what you do?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to define Quality

Happy New Year readers!

In my first post for 2013 I will attempt to take on the challenge from Paul Borawski in ASQ's A View from the Q to define Quality.  So here we go...

Quality is...

Am I done?  I don't think so, but it is a good start.  The reason ask if I am done is that in my opinion quality cannot have one single definition.  It is the qualifying aspects of the word Quality that make one single definition impossible.

I have always favored two definitions:
  • Quality is User Defined.
  • Quality is meeting the needs and expectations of the customer.
However, beyond these 2 definitions are hundreds...all resulting in the same meaning.

When attempting to define Quality we must add a qualifying word like:
  • Product
  • Process
  • Service
Furthermore, we also must consider:
  • the customer
  • the consumer
  • the end user
  • the industry
  • the use
  • the purpose
  • the economy
Hence, as previousely stated, it is the qualifying aspects of the word Quality that make one single definition impossible.