Quality as a profession is often put into the position of being the cop or gatekeeper. There are a set of regulations and standards that must be met, and it can be easy, especially early in one’s career and without proper mentoring, to start to see absolutes.
Compromise is not a weakness in a quality professional, it is a strength.
There are times when, instead of ramping up your argment fill fore to make a case, it is better to step back and think about where you can comprise and still convince the organization to implement most, if not all, of your ideas.
Pilot programs, soft launches, workshops. These tools will help you find your allies and facilitate a solution.
Part of comprise is knowing what you can and will settle for. These questions can help:
What is the first thing I am willing to cede? It may be the timeline or a small adoption of your solution, such as a pilot project.
What is my backup plan? If the stakeholders don’t adopt my plan but offer a counterproposal, what am I willing to accept and jump on board with?
What is fueling the stakeholders’ reluctance? Ask questions, engage in “yes…but…and” practice.
Can I rework my argument? Is there an opportunity to come back with a revised pitch? Can you simplify or emphasize specific parts of your argument? Can you break it down into smaller parts – such as building blocks – first gaining support for the concept, ten gaining support for the first step to test its success, and then building support for the next step or phase?
Compromise is negotiation, and it requires all your emotional intelligence skills – patience, active listening, respect for the stakeholders’ position.
Have a vision, a plan, can really help. You will never get to 100% of meeting a requirement but being able to articulate what great looks like and then showing a plan that builds at a good clip, that allows compromise, will allow you to make continued progress and adjust as you go. Your systems will be stronger as a result.
With the current plan to start attending conferences again this spring, I’ve been working a lot on a few different presentations, which means spending a lot of time on PowerPoint presentations.
Microsoft debuted PowerPoint in 1987, and since then, it has been used to present content in meetings, conference rooms, and classrooms. There are a lot of jokes about how bad PowerPoint can be, but if you know a little about its features, PowerPoint can be so much more than mere presentation software. It can be the means for taking audiences on a truly engaging learning adventure as well as a powerful tool that supports presenters by serving as their digital co-facilitator. It just requires some work.
Making presentations for folks outside my organization always gets me thinking of best practices. It helps me concentrate on how the true value of PowerPoint isn’t to serve as an information provider—that’s the role of a presenter. The true value of PowerPoint is to support you and your presentation.
A presentation is most effective when it is focused and has a coherent narrative. Achieving that starts with defining your objectives and then taking some time to figure out how you’ll meet those objectives. Be intentional in your use of PowerPoint.
Traditional PowerPoint Thinking
Intentional PowerPoint Design Thinking
Every presentation needs slides.
My intended presentation outcomes should dictate the types of visual aids I use (or don’t use).
Every point I make needs a slide.
My slides should never compete with me for the audience’s attention; they should support my message.
PowerPoint is synonymous with your presentation.
PowerPoint is my co-facilitator.
PowerPoint is linear, and slides appear sequentially.
Using triggers and hyperlinks, it’s possible to reveal information dynamically.
Templates make a slide deck look professional.
Effective use of slide real estate and visual representation of my message looks professional.
There is a maximum number of words and an ideal font size for most presentations.
My audience should be able to read all the words that appear on a slide.
People need a lot of information on technical slides and data-driven presentations.
Slides are a visual aid for a presentation; more detailed information is better offered through handouts.
There are lots of options for animations and transitions, so they should all be used at some point.
Animations and transitions can help focus attention, but there is such a thing as too much.
I can send someone my PowerPoint deck and that should be the equivalent of attending my presentation.
Most narratives can be placed in the Notes section and distributed, along with my slides, to paint a complete picture for those not in attendance.
What’s Possible with PowerPoint?
Give a lot of thought to who is your audience. It is always a good idea to understand your audience, but when speaking to folks outside of your What (if anything) does the potential audience already know about your topic? What should the audience be able to do new, different, or better because of the time spent with you?
For example, at the upcoming ISPE Asceptic Conference, my audience understands pharmaceutical quality systems so I can start with the understanding that they understand the basics of my topic. My presentation, as a result, can go to more advanced topics and not have to explain the basics.
A presentation is most effective when it is focused and has a coherent narrative. Achieving that starts with defining your objectives and then taking some time to figure out how you’ll meet those objectives. Taking an hour or two to map out your thoughts and truly think through how best to visually represent your key points can help ensure that your presentation will be tight and focused with a coherent flow.
For each slide:
Things Conferences Should Change
Working on presentations for conferences again really reminds me of all the bad practices conferences continue to use.
Stop Using Templates: It is a common misconception is that using a template makes the slide deck look more professional. Slide templates do help with consistency, but they dramatically reduce the real estate you have to work with on your slide. By the very nature of their structure, these templates encourage a title and bulleted list format. Don’t just believe me, watch this fun video by Will Thalheimer. The more space on a slide that is occupied by professional-looking template designs and logos, the less space remains for inserting powerful imagery, text, facts, or figures.
Leverage Technology to Break Linearity: Most people use PowerPoint in linerar ways, and conference technology builds pretty much make that an inevitability. The technology exists to allow the audience to have some sort of control over the content that’s on display in front of them, and would greatly enhance the conference experience.
Bozarth, J. 2013. Better Than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging e-Learning with PowerPoint. 2nd ed. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.
Duarte, N. 2010. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Duarte, N. 2008. slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media.
Medina, J. 2014. Brain Rules (2nd ed.). Seattle: Pear Press.
Schwertly, S. 2011. How to be a Presentation God: Build, Design and Deliver Presentations that Dominate. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Vella, J. 2002. Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Williams, R. 2008. The Non-Designer’s Design Book. 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.
Often characterized by reference
to the potential event
and consequences or combination of these
Often expressed in terms of a
combination of the consequences of an event (including in changes in
circumstances) and the associated likelihood of the occurrence
Hazard, harm and risk
Enabling state that leads to the possibility of harm
Injury or damage
Probability of harm from a situation triggered by the hazard.
Hazard harm and risk
A hazard is defined in ISO 12100 as “The potential source of harm.” This definition is carried through other ISOs and regulatory guidances. The hazard is what could go wrong, our “What If…”, it is when we start engaging the outcome identification loop to query uncertainty about the future.
Harm are those injuries or damages I should care about.
Every risk assessment is really asking “What could go wrong,” and then answering two questions:
If it did go wrong how bad is it – the Harm
And how likely is it to go wrong – Probability.
Risk is then the combination of those things as a magnitude or priority.
Risk assessment tools break down into two major camps. Those that start with the hazards, asking how something can fail; and those that start with the harms, asking what bad things do we want to avoid.
On 2 March, FDA’s Device Good Manufacturing Practice Advisory Committee will meet for the first time since 2013 to discuss the agency’s proposal. The meeting materials, and the meeting itself, could offer the first glimpse at the future of the QSR.
I have it on my calendar, and I don’t currently work with medical devices. That has changed before and can change again. More importantly, this QSR update is an important milestone for those who watch the FDA’s take on quality systems and is worth attending.
In the 14 years since permission-less blockchains were created absolutely no one has come up with a single useful thing to do with the technology. The majority of blockchain activity is just about maintaining the blockchain — not about buying or selling things or actually doing anything that has any value to society.
The massive amounts of energy and ewaste is a requirement, maybe even a feature, to the wasteful endeavor of blockchain. Given how that energy waste is a requirement to ensure ‘security’ (for what it is) there’s really no way to fix the problem. And why bother since the whole thing is a tulip-bubble anyways. It exists for speculation.
Blockchain has not offered one feasible solution, and cannot offer a single one, to issues of data integrity or anti-counterfeiting. It isn’t what the technology is designed to do. All it is designed to do is spend a lot of money to drive a speculative bubble,
I leave you with a comic, which succinctly summarizes how I feel everytime blockchain comes up in a professional context.