#WCQI17 – Time for Replenishment!

The 2017 American Society for Quality (ASQ) World Conference on Quality and Improvement took place this week (April 29 – May 3).

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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!

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New Year. Transitioning into Post Sabbatical phase…

I took some much needed time-out to regroup, rejuvenate, reflect, review & rehash lessons learned. This week has been chuck full of professional affirming activities: Women in Data Science meetup, speaking engagement at the local ASQ Raleigh Six Sigma group, Prosci webinar and potential next step opportunity to wrap up the week!

These activities have been nectar to jump starting my post 8-month sabbatical transition 🙂

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To continue the post sabbatical momentum, I am speaking at the 2017 Lean and Six Sigma conference on February 27. Session: M16.  Topic: Selling Lean and Six Sigma (Securing Buy-In). I hope content stimulates robust discussion by the attendees. Looking forward to the opportunity to learn & share!

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2017 is shaping up to be a full-on year on many, many levels. It will be anything but boring/predictable. Bring it on…

Post ASQ ITEA Preliminary Judging Experience…

About the award: ASQ’s International Team Excellence Award is the world’s premier team recognition program—awarding achievements in improved performance in businesses
of all sizes.

 

Day 1 On-Site ITEA Criteria training:

We were split up into 4 teams – each team had a mix of new and experienced judges (my team had 7 people). Site Judge (Head Trainer) reviewed the agenda for the 2 days. There was a quiz to determine knowledge of the ITEA Criteria. The feeling of signing up for such a daunting-highly responsible task persisted for the 1st half of the day. There is no way I would be able to do this! I didn’t have a comprehensive insight into what an ITEA Judge would be doing (despite all the copious amount of material the Pre-Work section had entailed). I couldn’t let down the Teams that had submitted their presentations for review & scoring!
Experienced team members were very reassuring, supportive, empathic and instructive in clarifying the ITEA Criteria. By the end of Day 1, I was feeling more confident about my ability to apply the Criteria.
Looking forward to Day 2 when the scoring of actual presentations would begin…

Day 2 Preliminary Judging:

Our team had 2 presentations to score. Teamwork & Communication skills came into play. Ability to work successfully together – open mind, listening to each other, being respectful, speaking up to clarify position, ability to collaborate & arrive at consensus, sharing the load (dividing up Feedback content amongst the team). Time management was also used to ensure that we scored and arrived at the Feedback phase for each presentation, before we left for the day.

My takeaway from the experience:

Renewed confidence in my ability to undertake new & challenging opportunities (doing something completely foreign that I didn’t have any previous reference). Learned and came to appreciate, immersing myself into uncertain, uncomfortable, apprehensive situations (periodically) is a great way to sharpen-test-expand my Toolkit (jolt to a complacent mindset!).
As with any ASQ related activity, this was an invaluable opportunity to meet, collaborate, learn and share with other Quality Practitioners 🙂 – PRICELESS!

ASQ ITEA Judge!!!

My application to be a judge for the 2016-2017 ASQ International Team Excellence Award (ITEA) Preliminary round was accepted!!! I completed all Pre-Work deliverables on Monday.

Wow!!!

The Process involves: 1- Pre-Work (individual on own); 2- On-Site Training (2 days with trainers, other judges).

Pre-work involved reading and doing exercises on the ITEA Process and Criteria. The process reminds me of accreditation processes that I have participated in – learn then apply! Super intimidating to begin with – a lot of material to become familiar with and then the reminder that teams are depending on my contribution and participation.

Now that I have completed the Pre-Work, the process and expectations are clearer. This is a HUGE responsibility I have signed up to undertake (the hugeness of the undertaking is making it easier for me to step up and deliver). I am so looking forward to the On-Site training: November 3 & 4, 2016 in Raleigh, NC.

ASQ ITEA Judge…?

Today I am seriously pondering a call to action email received from my ASQ Raleigh Section:

“ASQ is seeking qualified judges for the International Team Excellence Award (ITEA)

About the award: ASQ’s International Team Excellence Award is the world’s premier team recognition program—awarding achievements in improved performance in businesses
of all sizes.

So I or shouldn’t I? Would I be able to do it? Do I have what it takes? I have been thinking about this for over a week. Today is the deadline for submission, so I have to do something – yes/no!

Notification: Speaker @ 2017 Lean and Six Sigma Conference!

I received an email today, notifying me that my proposal was accepted to present at the 2017 Lean and Six Sigma Conference in Phoenix, AZ on Feb 27-28, 2016!!!!!!!! Wow!

The title of my presentation is: Selling Lean and Six Sigma (Securing Buy-In). I will start fine tuning my PowerPoint slides in September and aim to submit final version in October. Looking forward to having an interactive lessons learned session with attendees!

I am still on sabbatical (i.e. not working) but my Quality Practitioner activities are very much alive and kicking. My interests are leading to uncharted professional areas. I am getting some invaluable opportunities to stretch my knowledge, skill-sets and tool-kits. So empowering and rewarding to put my brain to use 🙂