Well, another virtual WCQI

Another, and hopefully, last virtual ASQ World Conference on Quality Improvement.

Stand out presentations:

  • John Dew’s on Metacognition, which is a critical part of reflective thinking and John is so right about it being a fundamental part of our profession. More on this one later as it has prompted a post.
  • Peter Gallagher on change management. Great slides, great summary of key points. Change management is my bread and butter and I always learn something from Peter.
  • Erin Urban “Steps for Leaders to Connect Better with Virtual Teams” is gold. Good presentation, engaging speaker and her section on creating tiny moments is pure gold.

Here are some other thoughts:

  • We need a requirement that every quote be checked. If I see one more “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” attributed to Drucker I am going to cry.
  • Text heavy presentations with few graphics have got to go. Every presenter should have to attend a class on slide structure and build.
  • A virtual conference platform needs to do 3 things right – closed captioning of recorded presentations and ideally live ones, robust breakout sessions, easy to use chatting. The one used could use some work in all three areas. I would love to have seen a platform that easily integrated with the ASQ app on my phone as well.
  • My junk science bingo card is kind of full.
  • There is a very real discussion to be had about the use of the Service Mark in presentations when all someone is doing is using a standard tool (an annotated swimlane is not unique). The ASQ can be accused of being too much dominated by consultant companies and I think balance is important here.
  • Not understanding the sticking to 4:3 aspect ratio slides. 16:9 is better for conferences and video.

Virtual events are important, they enable inclusion. While I miss face-to-face events I do believe we should have a mix of events going forward. events that are more than passive webinars. So sick of webinars. Looking forward to experiments in making that blend happen. We’re experimenting with a storytelling event in the Team and Workplace Excellence Forum.

Virtual WCQI

The ASQ is hosting a virtual World Conference on Quality Improvement. Glad to see thisexperiment. While a lot of organizations have been holding virtual conferences, this use of technology is a stretch for a lot of ASQ Members.

James Clear – 1% Better Every Day

Clear’s 2019 book Atomic Habits was definitely one of the most talked about self-help books from last year.

1% Better Every Day

The book has some concerns, for example do a little googling on the Marshmallow Test, and Clear still starts his talk referencing the British Cycling Team, probably not the most convincing given their doping scandals. Clear has actually written about the scandal, so I’m surprised he continues to use it in talks.

That said, I really like his use of a score card and his four rules. No argument from me on the importance of systems.

The four laws for building good habits according to Atomic Habits:

  1. Make the habit obvious.  
  2. Make it attractive
  3. Make it easy
  4. Make it satisfying  

To break bad habits the inverse applies:

  1. Make the habit invisible
  2. Make it unattractive
  3. Make it difficult
  4. Make it unsatisfying

Great discussion on how design and environment shapes our choices. Fits nicely into “nudges.” How we organize our work space and homes is a critical thing that we as quality professionals need to spend more time on. The structuring of an environment, including social, fits nicely into quality culture.

It may be pop psychology goes, but it is a very well written book. And James Clear is a great speaker, even from comfort of his living room or study.

WCQI Day 4

Last day of the conference and for the first session I present on “Knowledge Enables Change.”

Similar to my BOSCON talk, which was the beta so I think I covered things better in this one.

Expand Your Impact on the Culture of Quality by Kathy Lyall

Solid focus on both external and internal signifiers of quality culture. A little basic but very worth reinforcing.

And then I left, skipping the last keynote to get to the airport.

Good conference this year. Overall I felt that many of my choices for sessions ended up being more basic than I thought, but there is a lot of value in that. I will hopefully make the time to turn my thoughts into better blog posts.

WCQI Day 3 – Afternoon

Afternoon Keynote – Cheryl Cran on NextMapping

Future of work thought leadership….People First, Digital Second

Digital second is an interesting keynote theme (2 out of 4) and I appreciate the discussion on equitable futures and moving companies away from autocracy. Not sure anyone who speaks at large corporations is really all that committed to the concept. And I didn’t feel much more than lip service to the concept in this keynote.

Stressing reverse mentoring is good, something that all of us need to be building the tools to do better. Building it into technology integration is good.

Basic sum-up is that Change Leadership Traits are:

  • Relational vs transactional
  • Focus on ‘people’ first
  • Highly adaptable to people
  • and situations
  • Coach approach
  • Creative solutions
  • Future focused
  • Transparent
  • Empowering

In short, any talk that thinks having a clip from “In Good Company” is a good idea for teaching agile thinking is problematic.

“Storytelling: The Forgotten Change Management Tool ” by Keith Houser

Storytelling is one of the critical jobs of a quality professional, and this was a great presentation. Another flip session with pre-work that a lot of folks didn’t do.

I’m going to let Keith’s template speak for itself: https://www.eventscribe.com/2019/ASQ-World/flipSessions.asp?h=Full%20Schedule&BCFO2=FL

This was marked basic. And unlike a lot of stuff marked intermediate this felt like truly a best practice, pushing the envelope in many ways. Sure I apply these principles, but the discipline here is impressive.

WCQI Day 3 – morning

I didn’t make it to the key note. I had a work conference call so I will never learn the quality secrets of Anheuser-Busch.

“A Fresh Approach to Risk Assessment & FMEA: It’s all about severity” by Beverly Daniels.

After yesterday’s Quality 4.0 session I was not going to miss this as the presenter has a blunt, to the point attitutde, that could be interesting and fun to watch.

Very R&R driven mindset, which is a little far away for me but one I find fascinating. Her approach is to get rid of probability and detection on an FMEA. How does she do that?

  • Create a function diagram and process maps as applicable
  • Create an input:output matrix
  • List functions
  • List failure modes: how a failure presents itself
  • List the effects of the failure modes
  • Determine severity of the failure modes at the local level and system level
  • Develop V&V, mitigation and control plans for all high severity failures.

Which means she’s just not using the risk assessment as a consolidation of decisions (hopefully using some other form of matrix) and always uses  testing data for occurrence.

The speaker made the point about static FMEA’s a lot, I’m a big fan of living risk assessments, and I think that is an approach that needs more attention.

Some interesting ideas on probability and testing here, but buried under some strong rhetoric. Luckily she posted a longer write-up which I’ll need to consider more.

“Using Decision Analysis to Improve, Make or Break Decisions” by Kurt Stuke

Someday I’ll write-up more on why I find long credential porn intros annoying. My favorite intro is “Jeremiah Genest works for Sanofi and has 20 years of experience in quality.” Post my damn CV if you want, but seriously my words, my presentation and my references should speak for themselves.

I like the flip sessions, prepping prior is always good. The conference needs to do a better job letting people know about the prep work. The amount of confusion in this session was telling. The app does not even link to the prep work, only way is an email.

Here are Kurt’s resources: https://www.kurtstuke.com/OER/WCQI/

There is no 100% tool, glad he stresses that at the beginning, as we sometimes forget to do that in the profession.

“Whim leads to advocacy approach which means data looses its voice.”

Used KT as a way for decision analysis. Talking about the “must haves” and “nice-to-haves” Maybe it’s because of the proprietary nature of KT, but I feel their methodology is either someone folks are really familiar with or surprised by.

So this is again basic stuff. I’m not sure if this is what I am deciding to go to or if just where I am in my journey. At my table I was the only one really familiar with these tools.

Good presenter. Love the workshop approach. It was great watching and participating with my table-mates and seeing lightbulbs go off. However, this is a basic workshop and not intermediate.