The 2017 American Society for Quality (ASQ) World Conference on Quality and Improvement took place this week (April 29 – May 3).
This is an annual opportunity for me to replenish the “Quality Kool-Aid”! This event singularly resets and re-calibrates my mindset, toolkit, outlook and joy for all things Quality.
Something new this year, I signed up to be a Site Committee Volunteer. Duties entailed 8 hours of work to include session room monitor (attendee & speaker assistance), manning an information desk. Options were given to select the sessions we were interested in. I opted for sessions selection as well as being placed where ever assistance was needed.
Back-end view provided an invaluable opportunity to glimpse the immense amount of work & resources that go into the planning & execution of a world conference. ASQ being ASQ means that top-notch effort was exercised. For instance, volunteers vetted via online customer service training & quiz, 1 hour onsite in-person training, always with the request to provide feedback to inform continuous improvement of the process (talk about walking the talk, eh?).
Compulsion to provide the best customer service and contribute positively to the attendees experience. Volunteers were required to wear blue ASQ branded vests (on shift) – this provided a great opportunity to identify, chat and connect with fellow volunteers.
Looking back on my WCQI conference experiences since I started attending in 2011, I realized that my reasons for attending & takeaways have shifted over time (to coincide with my Quality experience maturity).
A few years ago it was all about voraciously gobbling up Quality knowledge i.e. fundamentals and foundation such as getting to know DMAIC (phases and the appropriate tools). Nowadays, it is about how to apply & utilize the abundance of acquired knowledge. I’m especially drawn to lessons learned and project report-out sessions (project experiences such as what worked/not, conflicts & resolution, team & project management, resources allocation, dealing with buy-in, etc). The opportunity to connect with fellow Quality Practitioners is priceless!
See you in Seattle, WA for ASQ WCQI 2018 (#WCQI18). Hope to share conference with friends based on the West Coast who were unable to attend this year!