You, Yes You! Speak at a Conference

The process of writing and speaking is a core part of the Quality profession. Only through these activities can we truly contemplate and learn from our accomplishments to propel us forward to new heights.

There are some great speaking opportunities for folks around the Boston area coming up:

BOSCON is November 6 and 7th and is looking for speakers. I’m a huge fan of this regional convention and strongly recommend it. Submissions are due August 15th, 2023.

The ASQ’s Quality Innovations Summit (formerly the Quality 4.0 Summit) is September 19–21 in Boston, MA with a theme of “Innovations and Future Trends for Excellence.” Submission deadline is June 9th, 2023, with more information here.

I’m quite happy to help coach potential new speakers, both in the development of your proposal and in your presentation.

Quality Control as a Top 10 Skill

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has developed a Global Skills Taxonomy that provides a framework for aligning around a universal language for skills. It synthesizes and builds on existing taxonomies by integrating definitions and categorizations of skills that are of growing relevance in a fast-changing labor market 1

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023quality control is one of the top 10 core skills listed in the Global Skills Taxonomy. In the WEF taxonomy, Quality control refers to the process of verifying that a product or service meets specified standards or requirements. It appears to bundle both quality control and quality assurance into this definition.

Quality Control was not listed in the top 10 in the 2020 report. Throughout you find reference to a skill set called “Quality control and safety awareness”, so we can assume this is a refinement in the reporting. In any case, this is an interesting development that I wish the WEF’s material provided more detail on, especially as the 2021 Skills Taxonomy doesn’t include an entry for Quality Control.

You need to go to the Data Explorer for Quality Control to see valuable information. Including this nice chart on the 7 top countries emphasizing quality control.

What facinates me most here is how it is not developing countries, there are some economic power houses here.

The industry categories of importance are interesting. Some industries I consider strong on quality rank below the mean and ohers above the mean. Others, Information and technology services I am looking at you, rate well below the mean on importance and it explains a lot of what is wrong with the world.

It would be nice to see the taxonomic entry. I’m fascinated by this one on Problem-Solving, which contains the first 2 in the top 10.

Interesting read that creates a lot of questions for me. But France and Canada, feel free to hit me up since it seems you are skill building.

And to help the WEF out, here is a nice way to break down what Quality is all about.

The Challenges Ahead for Quality

Discussions about Industry 4.0 and Quality 4.0 often focus on technology. However, technology is just one of the challenges that Quality organizations face. Many trends are converging to create constant disruption for businesses, and the Quality unit must be ready for these changes. Rapid changes in technology, work, business models, customer expectations, and regulations present opportunities to improve quality management but also bring new risks.

The widespread use of digital technology has raised the expectations of stakeholders beyond what traditional quality management can offer. As the lines between companies, suppliers, and customers become less distinct, the scope of quality management must expand beyond the traditional value chain. New work practices, such as agile teams and remote work, are creating challenges for traditional quality management governance and implementation strategies. To remain relevant, Quality leaders must adapt to these changes..

 ChallengeMeansImpact to Quality ManagementHow to Prepare
Advanced AnalyticsThe increase in data sources and improved data processing has led to higher expectations from customers, regulators, business leaders, and employees. They expect companies to use data analytics to provide advanced insights and improve decision-making.Requires a holistic approach that allows quality professionals to access, analyze and apply insights from structured and unstructured data

Quality excellence will be determined by how quickly data can be captured, analyzed, shared and applied  
Develop a talent strategy to recruit, develop, rent or borrow individuals with data analytics capabilities, such as data science, coding and data visualization
Hyper-AutomationTo become more efficient and agile in a competitive market, companies will increasingly use technologies like RPA, AI, and ML. These technologies will automate or enhance tasks that were previously done by humans. In other words, if a task can be automated, it will be.How to ensure these systems meet intended use and all requirements

Algorithm-error generated root causes
Develop a hyperautomation vision for quality management that highlights business outcomes and reflects the use cases of relevant digital technology

Perform a risk based assessment with appropriat experts to identify critical failure points in machine and algorithm decision making
Virtualization of WorkThe shift to remote work due to COVID-19, combined with advancements in cloud computing and AR/VR technology, will make work increasingly digital.Rethink how quality is executed and governed in a digital environment.Evaluate current quality processes for flexibility and compatibility with virtual work and create an action plan.

Uncover barriers to driving a culture of quality in a virtual working environment and
incorporate virtual work-relevant objectives, metrics and activities into your strategy.
Shift to Resilient OperationsPrioritizing capabilities that improve resilience and agility.Adapt in real-time to changing and simultaneously varying levels of risk without sacrificing the core purpose of QualityEnable employees to make faster decisions without sacrificing quality by developing training to build quality-informed judgment and embedding quality guidance in employee workflows.

Identify quality processes that may prevent operational resilience and reinvent them by starting from scratch, ruthlessly challenging the necessity of every step and requirement.

Ensure employees and new hires have the right skill sets to design, build and operate a responsive network environment.
Rise of Inter-connected EcosystemsThe growth of interconnected networks of people, businesses, and devices allows companies to create value by expanding their systems to include customers, suppliers, partners, and other organizations.Greater connectivity between customers, suppliers, and partners provides more visibility into the value chain. However, it also increases risk because it can be difficult to understand and manage different views of quality within the ecosystem.Map out the entire quality management ecosystem model and its participants, as well as their interactions with customers.

Co-develop critical-to-quality behaviors with strategic partners.

Strengthen relationships with partners across the ecosystem to capture and leverage relevant information and data, while at the same time addressing data privacy concerns.
Digitally Native WorkforceShift from digital immigrants (my generation and older) to digital natives who are those people who have grown up and are comfortable with computers and the internet. Unlike other generations, digital natives are so used to using technology in all areas of their lives that it is (and always has been) an integral, necessary part of their day-to-day.Increased flexibility leads to a need to rethink the way we monitor, train, and incentivize quality.

Connecting the 4 Ps: People, Processes, Policies and Platforms
Identify and target existing quality processes to digitize to offer desired flexibility.

Adjust messages about the importance of quality to connect with values employees care about (e.g., autonomy, innovation, social issues).
Customer Expectation MultiplicityCustomer expectations evolve quickly and expand into new-in-kind areas as access to information and global connectedness increases.Develop product portfolios, internal processes and company cultures that can quickly adapt to rapidly changing customer expectations for quality.Identify where hyperautomation and predictive capabilities of quality management can enhance customer experience and prevent issues before they occur.
Increasing Regulatory ComplexityThe global regulatory landscape is becoming more complex as countries introduce new regulations at different rates. Increased push for localization.Need strong system to efficiently implement changes across different systems, locations, and regions while maintaining consistent quality management throughout the ecosystem.Coordinate a structured regulatory tracking approach to monitor changing regulatory developments — highly regulated industries require a more comprehensive approach compared to organizations in a moderate regulatory environment
Challenges to Quality Management

The traditional Value Proposition of quality management is no longer sufficient to meet the expectations of stakeholders. With the rise of a digitally native workforce, there are new expectations for how work is done and managed. Business leaders expect quality leaders to have full command of operational data, diagnosing and anticipating quality problems. Regulators also expect high data transparency and traceability.

The value proposition of quality management lies in predicting problems rather than reacting to them. The primary objective of quality management should be to find hidden value by addressing the root causes of quality issues before they manifest. Quality organizations who can anticipate and prevent operational problems will meet or exceed stakeholder expectations.

Our organizations are on a journey towards utilizing predictive capabilities to unlock value, rather than one that retroactively solves problems. Our scope needs to be based on quality being predictive, connected, flexible, and embedded. For me this is the heart of Qualty 4.0.

Quality management should be applied across a multitude of systems, devices, products, and partners to create a seamless experience. This entails transforming quality from a function into an interdisciplinary, participatory process. The expanded scope will reach new risks in an increasingly complex ecosystem. The Quality unit cannot do this on its own; it’s all about breaking down silos and building autonomy within the organization.

To achieve this transformation, we need to challenge ourselves to move beyond top-down and regimented Governance Models and Implementation Strategies. We need to balance our core quality processes and workflows to achieve repeatability and consistency while continually adjusting as situations evolve. We need to build autonomy, critical thinking, and risk-based thinking into our organizational structures.

One way to achieve this is by empowering end-users to solve their own quality challenges through participatory quality management. This encourages personal buy-in and enables quality governance to adapt in real-time to different ways of working. By involving end-users in the process of identifying and solving quality issues, we can build a culture of continuous improvement and foster a sense of ownership over the quality of our products and services.

The future of quality management lies in being predictive, connected, flexible, and embedded.

  • Predictive: The value proposition of quality management needs to be predicting problems over problem-solving.
  • Connected: The scope of quality management needs to extend beyond the value chain and connect across the ecosystem
  • Flexible: The governance model needs to be based on an open-source model, rather than top-down.
  • Embedded: The implementation strategy needs to shift from viewing quality as a role to quality as a skill.

By embracing these principles and involving all stakeholders in the process of continuous improvement, we can unlock hidden value and exceed stakeholder expectations.

Deaing with these challenges and implications requires the Quality organization to treat transformation like a Program. This program should have four main initiative areas:

  1. Build the capacity for targeted prevention through targeted data insights. This includes building alliances with IT and other teams to have the right data available in flexible ways but it also includes the building of capacity to actually use the data.
  2. Expand quality management to cover the entire value network.
  3. Localize Risk Management to Make Quality Governance Flexible and Open Source.
  4. Distribute Tasks and Knowledge to Embed Quality Management in the Business.

Across these pillars the program approach will:

  1. Assess the current state: Identify areas requiring attention and improvement by examining existing People, Processes, Policies and Platforms. This comprehensive assessment will provide a clear understanding of the organization’s current situation and help pinpoint areas where projects can have the most significant impact
  2. Establish clear objectives: Establish clear objectives to h provide a clear roadmap for success.
  3. Prioritize foundational elements: Prioritize building foundational elements. Avoid bells-and-whistles for their own sake.
  4. Develop a phased approach: This is not an overnight process. Develop a phased approach that allows for gradual implementation, with clear milestones and measurable outcomes. This ensures that the organization can adapt and adjust as needed while maintaining ongoing operations and minimizing disruptions.
  5. Collaborate with stakeholders: Engage stakeholders from across the organization,to ensure alignment and buy-in. Create a shared vision for the initiative to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals. Regular communication and collaboration among stakeholders will foster a sense of ownership and commitment to the transformation process.
  6. Continuously monitor progress: Regularly review the progress, measuring outcomes against predefined objectives. This enables organizations to identify any potential issues or roadblocks and make adjustments as necessary to stay on track. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) will help track progress and determine the effectiveness of the Program.
  7. Embrace a culture of innovation: Encourage a culture that embraces innovation and continuous improvement. This helps ensure that the organization remains agile and adaptive, making it better equipped to take advantage of new technologies and approaches as they emerge. Fostering a culture of innovation will empower employees to seek out new ideas and solutions, driving long-term success.
  8. Invest in employee training and development: It is crucial to provide employees with the necessary training and development opportunities to adapt to new technologies and processes. This will ensure that employees are well-equipped to handle the changes brought about by these challenges and contribute to the organization’s overall success.
  9. Evaluate and iterate: As the Program unfolds, it is essential to evaluate the results of each phase and make adjustments as needed. This iterative approach allows organizations to learn from their experiences and continuously improve their efforts, ultimately leading to greater success.

To do this leverage the eight accelerators to change.

ASQ WCQI 2023 – Member Leader Day

ASQ WCQI starts with Member Leader Day, the one time a year when we actually get the chance to get a large group of member leaders together.

The ASQ continues to grapple with demographics, and I would love to see the demographics of this group of member leaders. Given that 76% of member leaders joined between 1970 and 2020. I would love to see that a little more granular by decade.

I know that the divisions send 2 members each, but I am not sure what sections are allowed for conferences and travel. Given the huge amount of sections compared to divisions, I would not be surprised if there is a different dynamic. If so, then that would skew the demographics even more.

We made it 12 minutes before the membership challenge was brought up. The value of a professional association remains critical to my mind. I feel that a lot of folks in my own organization don’t see the value, let alone among the wider professional group (and I pay for an ASQE membership as well as a few others for people to take advantage of).

Stephanie Gaulding then presented a diversity moment drawing from a post Belonging: A Conversation about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Diagram from Turner Consulting Group 

We then did a brainwriting activity (yes!) on “What is one thing we, as ASQ, Member Leaders, can do together to increase the Society’s value to our members?”

Our table consolidated around push vs pull communications and the value of a personal connection. Other tables talked about entrepreneurship (overuse of the buzz term if you ask me); student organization connections; the value of fun.

I look forward to seeing the full list. More importantly, I would like to see the follow-up. Aspirational activities often end up being just that, with little follow-through.

The CFO then discussed the “Short Term Fixed Income Investment Fund” which seems more directed to the Sections (which seem to sit on a lot of than the Division. Given that on the Division basis, it usually feels like a total lack of money, not sure of the value of this. I definitely zoned out.

And then we got the 3+ year debate on Division funding grumbling through the Q&A. Only took 40 minutes.

We then broke into Geogaphic Communities (the sections) and Technical Community (the divisions). I went to the technical meeting, as I am currently serving as chair-elect of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Division.

One can take, from posts like ASQ Technical Forums and Divisions as Knowledge Communities and my thoughts from the 2022 Member Leader Day that I have struggled over the years with the concept of the technical community (divisions). For all the changes happening in the ASQ, blowing up the technical communities would be my favorite thing to happen.

As an aside, the tendency to focus on longevity as a member leader may be counterintuitive to our desperate need to have new member leaders get more engaged.

Scholarship and Donations (including Sponsorship, Grant, and Honorariums) have been a source of discussion for years. Well overdue in having a procedure for this.

It is always embarrassing when folks ask where to find operating procedures. Document/Content management is a core part of the Quality profession, and the fact member leaders continue to complain they aren’t aware of procedure and do not know how to find it is a black mark.

Way too much time spent on scholarships, it is a small segment of our work yet something we discuss a lot. Not even sure why this is such a hard matter, every kid going to college I know uses CommonApp Having 2 kids currently in college I got to know CommonApp really well). Put the scholarships in that, go from there.

And then myASQ was the topic. Same old topic, new platform. I haven’t had a chance to use the new platform that went live on May 1st. Frankly, my.ASQ has never been part of my daily or weekly internet diet, and often my engagement was driven by folks tagging me and me seeing an email. Hopefully, it will be easier to use and drive more content and discussion. Driving engagement is so critical. And at its heart lies the problem core to a lot of ASQ activities, poor communication.

Communication is a theme throughout today. It is a return to fundamentals around communication plans.

Four board initiatives:

  • Quality 4.0
  • Economic and Environmental Sustainability – this is a hard one for me. I agree we should be discussing, but in every organization I’ve been in, Quality is not welcome at this table.
  • NextGen Mentoring
  • Conference/Event Improvement

Financial Update – everyone’s favorite topic! At the end of the day, the membership cliff means everything to the budget (and lack thereof)

I am becoming more and more convinced that the individual membership model is dead. Individuals cannot afford and do not see the value of paying for a membership, so the only way to get members is to make organizations see the value. And there’s the challenge.

Congratulations to all the member units who won Performance Excellence Program (PEP) awards.

I would like to state that any rubric that is secret is not really a rubric. Also, secret scoring mechanisms may be antithetical to quality principles. Make that PEP rubric public!

myASQ Engagement

I worry that myASQ continues to falter because it is viewed as a social medial tool instead of a knowledge management tool that drives communities of practice. That said, this transition has been driven more by member leaders than past attempts, which makes me feel positive that it will meet some unmet needs.

Like a lot of things, a few more tools like job aids would be greatly appreciated.

ASQE Insights of Excellence and the Quality Body of Knowledge

I am so excited we have moved this ahead. I participated in developing this tool and seeing where it is going excites me so much. So much that this will be another post later this week.

Wrap Up Thoughts

I am so done talking about the impact of the new membership model and whether or not member units were ripped off. And the spin off of the ASQE. And the debacle of the first launch of myASQ.

I want to focus on QBoK and member value realization and how the future is in organizations and not individual members. And doing cool things like poster sessions and a few other ideas in the works as I do the 2nd half of my chair-elect term and gear up for my term as chair of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic division.

I have so many thoughts on IoE and QBoK that will definitely be a separate post. Probably after the ASQE meeting on Tuesday.

BOSCON 2023- Nov 6&7-Call for Speaker

41st Annual Quality Conference BOSCON2023 

Gaining the Edge and Increasing Confidence

Call for Speakers!

Share your knowledge and experience with your peers!

Proposal Deadline:  August 15, 2023

About the event

BOSCON is a key event for local, national, and international quality professionals to hear speakers discuss different quality topics and network. Each year hundreds gather at this BOSCON quality conference to share best practices, expand their network, and further develop their professional and personal growth from experts and professionals in multiple quality related fields. This year BOSCON 2023 will be held on November 6th and 7th, 2023.

We invite you to join us as a key contributor to the success of the 41st BOSCON Quality Conference hosted by ASQ – Boston. It encompasses two days of presentation by the most knowledgeable and innovative quality professionals at all levels.

Presentations will be offered in 4 tracks:

  • Technology and Innovations
  • Quality and Regulations for Lifesciences
  • Quality Tools and Continuous Improvement
  • Reliability, Maintenance & Managing Risk


Presentations must be 50 minutes plus up to 10 minutes of Q&A.  Presenters must be on site and receive free admission to the conference, the Exhibitor Hall, keynote addresses, and lunch.  The Conference Committee will evaluate all proposals, but there are only 12 time slots available each day.

Key Dates  

  • August 15th: Please complete the form below and submit to and and no later than August 15th 2023. 
  • September 3rd: Applicants will be notified if the submitted proposal was accepted, confirmation requires a signed speaker agreement.  
  • September 15th:  Sign speaker agreement and submit. 
  • October 8th : Submit final set of slides by October 8th. ​

Speaker Proposal Form

1. Title: (Max 50 characters)

Provide a clear and concise title to list and publicize your presentation.  Consider including a tag line, e.g. – “Raising the Bar to Excellence – a CAPA journey.”

2. Description: (Max 100 Words)

Show the prime focus of your presentation and what the attendee(s) will learn.

Provide a short description of your session that will be posted on the conference website and distributed electronically to registrants.  Consider identifying the intended audience (Management, Engineers, Quality Professionals, etc.) and what they will learn.  Think of this as an advertising blurb to capture people’s attention and make them want to attend.

3. Session Abstract(s): (250-300 Words)

Please provide a more detailed overview of your proposed presentation for inclusion in the conference materials.  Abstracts should include the following:

  • Introduction of the topic, including context and background (don’t repeat the Description above)
  • Objectives in terms of what you intend to communicate; what problem(s) are you addressing?
  • Approaches you intend to use to get your message across, e.g. – case studies, data analyses, tips & tricks, etc.
  • Key takeaways the audience should expect to learn.

4. Biographical Sketch: (150-200 Words)

Please provide a summary of your career and credentials for publishing in the conference proceedings.  This information should be composed from the third person perspective.  You may also include a link to your LinkedIn profile or website.

5. Contact Info & Credentials:

Name, address, email, phone, organization, title, and LinkedIn profile link.

6. Additional Info:

Anything that may increase the value or credibility of your proposal, for example, presenter’s relevant credentials or experience in the related field, etc.  If the proposed or similar presentation has been presented in another venue, preferably a national venue, it will add to the credibility and interest to our audience; if the organization or the presenter has won relevant industry recognitions, such as awards or press citations, this will be of benefit in attracting attendees.  Attachment of your presentation or an outline slide is welcome. 

Please submit proposals to and  
not later than August 15th, 2023.  

For general questions about the Conference, please email

Encouraging New Speakers

I would like encourage new speakers at BOSCON, and at ASQ events in general. I will make myself available to assist and coach individuals who want to speak. I will help you refine your proposal, review and propose edits to your slides, and do some speaker coaching. Let me know if you want some coaching through this blog’s Contact or on LinkedIn.