Michael Bournazian

The Editor’s Corner

Michael Bournazian

Michael BournazianBy Michael Bournazian, Eng., Newsletter Editor, ASQ Senior Member, CSSGB

In June 2021, I published my 100th newsletter for the ASQ Montreal Section (the English section when I first started, now the bilingual English/French section). Never did I think I would reach a triple digit milestone such as this. When I took over the role back in September 2010 from current Section Chair Chantale Simard, my feelings were more akin to “survival” than to “excellence” and “mastery”. I had no idea if I would do a good job, no idea if I would enjoy doing it, plenty of “no ideas”.

What drove me to accept the challenge originally was simply to do something outside of my comfort zone. The reason I started going to ASQ dinner presentations in 2009 was to learn different languages of Quality. Although I enjoyed my job and the company I worked for at the time, I felt my Quality vocabulary was becoming myopic: often I would say to myself such things as “There must be a different way to do this”, or “I bet Company X does this better than us”. In the end, attending those initial dinner presentations helped me meet new people in the Quality field, but also helped answer some of these things I would (often frustratingly) be asking myself on the job.

As a result, this put me in touch with others on the Montreal Section Committee at the time, and eventually thanks to Chantale’s belief in me (a belief that I did not fully have yet), I took on the role of Newsletter Editor. Slowly and surely, as I have done with many other things in my life, I learned how to best make everything work for me. And so to this day, I continue to enjoy putting together these newsletters.

Not every edition has been easy:

  • There was the one I started back in September 2011 and hoped to finish before leaving for a business trip to Berlin. Unfortunately, a car accident a few days before leaving left me uninjured but my car a total loss. With a trip to prepare for and a new car to purchase, I had to call in the help of the previous Editor (Mme. Simard encore!) to finish what I started.
  • Also in November 2013, when I spent most evenings after work in a hospital watching my Father slowly lose his life. At the time, I thought of asking for help, for someone else to step in just for this month. In the end, I told myself that putting in the time (even at the midnight hours) to do it myself would be a good distraction from what I knew was going to be a difficult next few months.
  • And finally, I cannot forget all the times I would have to be travelling with work, doing audits during the day and then in my hotel room in the evening catching up on “the regular job” AND working on the newsletter. Somehow I always got it done: that said, I think back now and wonder “HOW?”.

In conclusion, as a woman who should have been President once said: “It takes a village”.  So a huge THANK YOU to all those who have contributed over the past (now 101) issues of this newsletter. You know who you are, you are many, so please accept this single yet large sign of gratitude from me. You have all helped make my working life, and my life in general, better.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Neither the “C” word nor the “P” word were used during the writing of this article.

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Any feedback? Click on the link and let me know.

Thank you, all the best and none of the worst.

Call for Officer Nominations – Appel à candidatures

Sam WeissfellnerBy Sam Weissfelner, ASQ Senior Member, ASQ CSQE, CQA, Nominating Chair,  Arrangements Chair, Program Committee Member

The ASQ Montreal Section Nominating Committee comprising of J.P. Amiel, Inteaz Alli, and Sam Weissfelner (Nominating Committee Chair), proposes the following Slate of Officers for January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022:

Chair: Raymond Dyer     Vice-Chair: Chantale Simard

Treasurer: Eric Hosking     Secretary: Jean-Pierre Amiel

To nominate a different Slate of Officers, or to obtain further information, please contact Sam Weissfelner at nominating_chair@asqmontreal.qc.ca. Alternate nominations for Section Officer positions can be made by petition of at least 10 members of the Section (see ASQ Montreal Section nomination petition form). Please note that, in order to hold a Section Officer position, one must be a Full, Senior, or Fellow ASQ member in good standing affiliated with the section.

The proposed Slate of Officers will be repeated in the October newsletter and the General Assembly will be held on October 27, 2021.

For a listing of current ASQ Montreal Section 0401 positions, see https://asqmontreal.qc.ca/language/en-ca/contact/. For more information on the ASQ position themselves, see http://asq.org/member-leader-community/positions/index.html.

If you are interested in participating on the upcoming Section Leadership Team or have any questions on the roles themselves, please contact Section Chair Chantale Simard at section_chair@asqmontreal.qc.ca or myself at nominating_chair@asqmontreal.qc.ca.

Thank you to all section members who supported the efforts of the Nominating Committee over the last several months, and welcome back to all our members from their summer vacations!

Unemployed Members – Dues

Unemployed ASQ members may receive a discount on their membership dues based on consecutive years of membership as described below.

Consecutive Membership Years Dues Discount
1-4 50%
5 or more 100%

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be a Full or Senior, or Fellow member.
  • Any years as a Forum or enrolled student do not qualify.
  • You may submit this application only after being unemployed for at least 90 days.
  • You must be actively seeking employment.
  • Retired or self-employed members are not eligible. ASQ offers a similar benefit for retired members.

Benefits

  • Your basic membership dues for the current membership year will be paid or partially paid by ASQ. Basic membership dues exclude
    additional Forums and Divisions, journals, and additional Sections (Seniors and Fellows—you keep your extra benefit of choice).
  • You may participate in the program for no more than two years in your membership lifetime. You must complete an application for the second
    year of participation.
  • After renewing your membership, please visit the ASQ Careers in Quality to search for jobs, apply for positions online, and post your resume for employers to view.
Notes:
  • The following link requires you to be logged into your ASQ account before you try to activate it. Download the ASQ Unemployment Program Application PDF (105 KB)
  • The information related to this benefit was correct at the time this Newsletter was issued (Membership Dues Exceptions, ASQ Policy & Procedure Document Number F10.03, Revision L–11/03/2017). ASQ may revise its benefits or discontinue this offer, please contact ASQ for the latest information: 1-800-248-1946 (United States and Canada only)

Had You Connected to the Last Event

M-Charbonneau and A-Mulchandani

Réseautage bilingue d’ASQ Montréal sur les certifications – ASQ Certifications Networking Event 16 juin 2021

Par Marcel A. Charbonneau,M-Charbonneau & A-Mulchandani Retraité, T.P., CQA de l’ASQ, membre sénior (en français)
et/and
Amitkumar Mulchandani, Manager – Lean and Continuous Improvement at Dehumidified Air Solutions, Canada. ASQ Member. (in English, below)

La certification de l’American Society for Quality (ASQ) est reconnue mondialement et permet de reconnaître vos compétences.

Derrière les écrans, Raymond Dyer et Jean-Pierre Amiel, CQA ret., ont animé et présenté cette soirée de réseautage qui nous a permis de discuter de la valeur et les champs d’activité de la qualité des certifications et nous avons échangé sur leurs valeurs et revu les moyens d’obtenir et de maintenir une certification.

L’ASQ offre 18 certifications décrites sur son site (voir ASQ Certification) ou vous pouvez télécharger la brochure en format PDF. Pour chaque certification vous y trouverez les prérequis, la scolarité, l’expérience nécessaire, le formulaire d’inscription et les coûts. De façon générale, l’ASQ fait une revue de votre dossier de scolarité, votre formation continue et votre expérience de travail et un examen écrit permet d’évaluer votre compétence et votre compréhension d’un ensemble spécifique de vos connaissances.
La plupart des certifications doit être revalidée tous les 3 ans selon un programme de 18 unités de recertification (RU’s) accumulées tel que décrit dans le journal de recertification (Recertification Journal). Les cinq certifications suivantes n’exigent pas de recertification : CQI, CQPA, CQIA, CSSGB et CSSYB.
Un premier sondage auprès des participants a identifié que onze personnes détenaient des CQE, CQA, CQM/OE, CSSBB et CSSGB et dans un second, que huit personnes recherchaient à obtenir des CQE, CQA, CQM/OE, CSSBB et CSSGB. Une personne visait aussi une certification CMDA, cette dernière est en demande par les Registraires pour l’enregistrement de systèmes selon la norme ISO 13485 Dispositifs Médicaux.
Les participants ont discuté des valeurs de la certification et suggéré des avenues pour promouvoir les certifications de l’ASQ en deux groupes : le premier animé par David Tozer, CQE & CSSBB et Veronica Marquez, CSSBB; le second par Chantale Simard, CQM/OE & CSSGB et Raymond Dyer, CQM/OE & CQA.
Résumé des questions et discussions :

  • Quels sont les avantages de détenir une certification de l’ASQ?
  • Comment attirer des personnes vers la certification?
  • Comment la section Montréal peut-elle aider à la préparation aux examens de certification?
  • Quels sont les avantages de détenir une certification de l’ASQ?

Premièrement, une certification qui évalue vos connaissances et expériences est unique et de qualité reconnue par les grandes entreprises. Vous serez perçus positivement par vos clients, vos fournisseurs canadiens et américains. Par exemple, l’un des participants, suite à son entrevue d’embauche, a obtenu une reconnaissance pour un poste de gestionnaire au lieu du poste de spécialiste qualité auquel il postulait.
Lorsque vous détenez une certification CQA, CQE, CQM/OE, CSSBB ou CSSGB, vous pouvez envisager plus facilement une 2e carrière comme auditeur chez un Registraire.
Comment attirer des personnes vers la certification? Entre autres, la formation et les rencontres de petits groupes via LinkedIn où ceux/celles qui ont une certification et de l’expérience peuvent répondre aux demandes. Plusieurs d’entre nous sommes membres du Réseau Qualité ASQ Montréal.
Les personnes peuvent se préparer avec l’aide de la documentation selon la bibliographie. Il faut pratiquer avec les exemples de questions pour se familiariser avec le style américain des questions à choix multiples.
ASQ présentera bientôt une façon formelle de reconnaître des formateurs qui pourront offrir leurs services dans le domaine de la qualité. Nos membres consultants qui ont de l’expérience et une certification peuvent offrir cette formation et guider ces personnes vers notre association et la certification de l’ASQ. Plusieurs consultants, universités, même des CEGEP et des associations offrent de la formation d’auditeur, 6 Sigma ceinture noire, jaune et verte. Mais le contenu de ces formations n’est pas toujours égal ou équivalent aux exigences de l’ASQ.
Bien que l’ASQ offre ses examens en anglais, espagnol et chinois, il faut insister auprès de l’ASQ que la francophonie ce n’est pas uniquement le Québec et le Canada mais bien plusieurs pays d’Europe et d’Afrique qui parlent et vivent aussi en français. La formation doit être reconnue aussi par les ordres professionnels et le gouvernement pour la formation continue et les crédits d’impôts. C’est aussi ce que recherchent les entreprises via leur service des RH.
Les membres détenant une certification sont invités à participer avec les représentants de la section Montréal pour rejoindre le réseau des étudiants universitaires et collégiaux. Ces rencontres permettent de présenter les possibilités de carrière en qualité, les avantages de devenir membre de l’ASQ et d’obtenir une certification.
Comment la section Montréal peut-elle aider à la préparation aux examens de certification? La section de Montréal doit être présente lors des congrès et des colloques des autres associations et ordres professionnels tels que les Ressources Humaines, l’OIQ, l’OTPQ, l’Ordre des Chimistes etc. Les représentants de la section de Montréal doivent communiquer avec les représentants des Ordres Professionnels et d’expliquer la valeur des certifications.

NDR: Vous pouvez consulter notre page sur les Certifications ASQ pour en savoir plus et voir notre offre de soutien à la préparation aux examens.


ASQ CertificationsOn June 16th 2021, we had the pleasure of connecting with ASQ Montreal section members and other quality professionals during a Networking event on the topic of ASQ Certifications. The event started with a Networking session where everyone was welcomed and participated in getting familiarized with each other.
While networking, section leaders conducted a quick survey in order to visualize attendees’ background and expert area to better serve their needs during the event, where I proposed improving the survey to include the ability for attendees to write their domain area if it does not fall under the given options and add them for future surveys to reduce the “Other” category. All agreed and later during the event, it was decided to implement the suggestion. It gave me a sense of satisfaction by adding value.
During this event, we learned about a total of 18 certifications offered by ASQ in six important quality domains such as Management, Foundational Quality, Inspector/technician, Engineering, Six Sigma and Auditing. We also learned about the value of the ASQ Certification, the range of Quality areas they focus on, how to get certified, and how to maintain these certifications.
We then had a Breakout session (30 minutes) to discuss in detail the certifications in particular domains based on the attendees’ interest captured through the surveys. We were invited to share the ways through which we can enhance ASQ’s awareness to a larger population. Below are some of the suggestions given by my group:

  1. Reach out to Colleges, Universities and provide awareness to students through short workshops.
  2. Organize short complimentary Quality training.
  3. Reach out to company HR representatives to create awareness in their employees.

Finally, key highlights of the event that drew my interest and inspires me to get more involved in ASQ events:

  • The importance on the Voice of the Customer: Use of user-friendly surveys during the event to collect voice of customer in order to better serve the ASQ community based on their needs.
  • Great emphasis on continuous Improvement and openness to hear others’ ideas.
  • Involve everyone and empower the members to drive improvements.

Thanks to the ASQ Montreal section leaders for organizing this event! I am looking forward to attending future ASQ events and get involved.

ED: You can also consult our own ASQ Certifications page to learn more about this as well as our exam preparation support.

ASQ Montreal Section – Education Program 2021

Dr David TozerBy Dr. David Tozer, Ph.D., ASQ CQE and SSBB, Education & Audit Chair.

ASQ Certification often leads to higher paying employment. The money invested in education and certification increases chances of finding employment quickly in the down sizing environment we live in.  People who take the section sponsored refresher courses, and spend at least twice as much time as spent in the classroom on self study, have an 80%, or better, chance of passing the examination on the first attempt.

Having ASQ certification gives you an edge in the market and can significantly increase your income.
Courses are now available online as well | Courses now available online

    • Certified Quality Engineer : quality concepts, cost of quality, human resources, team formation and group dynamics, inspection, metrology, sampling, reliability, quality standards, quality audit, statistics, design of experiments, process improvement, liability, and modern management methods for improving quality.
    • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt: quality concepts, cost of quality, enterprise wide deployment, business process management, project management, team formation and group dynamics, define, measure, analyze, improve, control, lean enterprise, statistics, design of experiments, and design for six sigma.
    • Certified Six Sigma Green Belt: quality concepts, cost of quality, enterprise wide deployment, business process management, project management, team formation and group dynamics, define, measure, analyze, improve, control, and statistics.
    • Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: quality concepts, quality planning, customer focus, quality standards, project management, cost of quality, team formation and group dynamics, human resources and improvement.
    • Certified Quality Auditor: quality concepts, team formation and group dynamics, management responsibility, audit objectives, audit preparation, audit conduct, audit reporting, sampling, and basic statistics.
    • Certified Quality Inspector: quality concepts, team formation and group dynamics, geometry, metrology, reading drawings, mechanical processes, statistical process control, inspection, and sampling.

    Calendar and Registration Form
    Questions? Cours en site/In house courses, etc. Contact: Dr. David Tozer (514) 694-2830

The Editor’s Corner

Michael Bournazian

By Michael Bournazian, Eng., Newsletter Editor, ASQ Senior Member, CSSGB

Before I wish you a happy and safe summer, as I normally do in the June newsletter, something interesting to touch on:

This newsletter marks the 100th of said publications that I have written, edited, assembled, reviewed, stressed over, cursed at, and just plain enjoyed doing since I first took on the role of Editor in 2010. At that time, Chantale Simard saw something in me that I did not know I was capable of, so I was wary to accept the challenge. But soon enough, I decided that the old adage “no chances, no advances” needed some actual practice. One hundred newsletters later, and it still feels like one of the best chances I took on myself.

My original want was to write something special in this newsletter regarding this milestone. Well, now you’ll have to suffer through a long, hot summer and wait until the September newsletter to see what I come up with. I am positive you will all find ways to occupy your time until them.

OK, now back to normal broadcasting . . .

As is customary for me in the June newsletter, I would like to thank you, the reader, for taking the time to read this newsletter. I do hope that the effort that goes into putting it together by myself and others shows, and that you get something positive out of it every time you read it.

I, as well as the entire ASQ Executive Committee, are fully aware that we continue to live in strange times. With all the additional stresses and changes we have adapted to, I would not blame anyone for not being able to give the ASQ as much attention as they would normally give. Rest assured that we understand and that we will continue to be here to promote the Quality profession for you, to the best of our abilities.

So finally . . . I wish you a safe, happy and QUALITY summer season. After the completion of the June 16th event, we will be back in September 2021.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Neither the “C” word nor the “P” word were used during the writing of this article.

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Any feedback? Click on the link and let me know.

Thank you, all the best and none of the worst.

ASQ Region Webinar-Webinaire

Lean as a Lever for a Sustainable Supply Chain – Le Lean comme levier pour une chaîne d’approvisionnement durable

Lean Supply Chain

What is your organization doing to positively impact the SDG goals?
Que fait votre organisation pour avoir un effet positif sur les ODD?

May 19, 2021 – 19 mai, 2021 (12h00)
(Webinar-Webinaire bilingue)

In 2015, the UN adopted a plan for achieving a better future for all with sustainable development goals (SDG) to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet. If this seems like a daunting task, join us to discuss what you can do in your organization to make the world a better place with Veronica Marquez, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with ASQ and Certified Sustainable Supply Chain Professional from ISCEA.


En 2015, les Nations Unies ont adopté un plan pour parvenir à un avenir meilleur pour tous avec des objectifs  de développement durable (ODD) visant à mettre fin à l’extrême pauvreté, à lutter contre les inégalités et l’injustice et à protéger notre planète. Si cela vous semble insurmontable, joignez-vous à nous pour discuter de ce que vous pouvez faire dans votre organisation pour rendre le monde meilleur avec Veronica Marquez, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt avec l’ASQ et Certified Sustainable Supply Chain Professional de l’ISCEA. Looking forward to see you there. On vous y attends.

ASQ RU Recertification Units:
Attendance will be worth 0.5 RU (Recertification Units) for ASQ. A certificate will be sent by email after the event to the participants.
La participation vaut 0.5 RU (Recertification Units) de l’ASQ. Un certificat sera envoyé par courriel aux participants après l’événement.

The Editor’s Corner

Michael Bournazian

By Michael Bournazian, Eng., Newsletter Editor, ASQ Senior Member, CSSGB

A positive update on my Editor’s Corner article from February 2021. If you recall, I had 2 good friends of mine, both of whom work in the Quality field, lose their jobs.

The positive is that as of this month, both have started new, permanent employment. They were both let go from longstanding jobs with aerospace companies, and have now started new roles with different aerospace companies.

In both their cases, it took a few months, a few interviews, and few frustrations. But hopefully they can now settle into their new Quality roles. I wish them the best of luck.

And if you are reading this and are currently in the situation they used to be in, then click on the link above and read my full article on things to keep in mind and to do with regards to “Job Searching 2021”. All the best and none of the worst to you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Neither the “C” word nor the “P” word were used during the writing of this article.

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Any feedback? Click on the link and let me know.

Thank you, all the best and none of the worst.

The Editor’s Corner

Michael Bournazian

Michael BournazianBy Michael Bournazian, Eng., Newsletter Editor, ASQ Senior Member, CSSGB

If you are a member of ASQ, then certainly you receive the monthly ASQ magazine “Quality Progress”. And if you read closely the April 2021 issue, then surely you realized that a few of our ASQ Montreal committee members were part of a group of 4 people who authored the article entitled “A Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Events“.

I am very proud of both J.P. Amiel and Raymond Dyer, who have both worked very hard to make sure that our current situation of “Virtual Webinar Events only” is well executed every last Wednesday of the month. As well, they have shown an openness to ideas and a regular drive to continuously improve the process of doing these kinds of events, and making them fruitful for everyone attending.

If you have not already read the article, then I encourage you to CLICK HERE and start reading. You must login to your ASQ account first to access the full article.

Congratulations as well to the other 2 co-authors, Ruth Stanley and Michel Guenette. Great job everyone!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Neither the “C” word nor the “P” word were used during the writing of this article.

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Any feedback? Click on the link and let me know.

Thank you, all the best and none of the worst.

ASQ Region Webinar-Webinaire

Lean as a Lever for a Sustainable Supply Chain – Le Lean comme levier pour une chaîne d’approvisionnement durable

Lean Supply Chain

What is your organization doing to positively impact the SDG goals?
Que fait votre organisation pour avoir un effet positif sur les ODD?

May 19, 2021 – 19 mai, 2021 (12h00)
(Webinar-Webinaire bilingue)

In 2015, the UN adopted a plan for achieving a better future for all with sustainable development goals (SDG) to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet. If this seems like a daunting task, join us to discuss what you can do in your organization to make the world a better place with Veronica Marquez, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with ASQ and Certified Sustainable Supply Chain Professional from ISCEA.


En 2015, les Nations Unies ont adopté un plan pour parvenir à un avenir meilleur pour tous avec des objectifs  de développement durable (ODD) visant à mettre fin à l’extrême pauvreté, à lutter contre les inégalités et l’injustice et à protéger notre planète. Si cela vous semble insurmontable, joignez-vous à nous pour discuter de ce que vous pouvez faire dans votre organisation pour rendre le monde meilleur avec Veronica Marquez, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt avec l’ASQ et Certified Sustainable Supply Chain Professional de l’ISCEA. Looking forward to see you there. On vous y attends.

ASQ RU Recertification Units:
Attendance will be worth 0.5 RU (Recertification Units) for ASQ. A certificate will be sent by email after the event to the participants.
La participation vaut 0.5 RU (Recertification Units) de l’ASQ. Un certificat sera envoyé par courriel aux participants après l’événement.

Voice of the Customer – Voix du client

Par Mauricio Figueroa, Voix du client

Le Panel de discussion virtuelle “Women in Quality” du 31 mars a eu une présence record avec plus de 60 participants, venus des quatre coins du monde. La majorité des participants (40%) résidait à Montréal et ses alentours (Laval, Pointe-Claire, Boisbriand), mais nous comptions également sur des personnes de la Capital Nationale et Mont-St-Hilaire. Pour le reste du Canada (15%), nous avons eu des représentants de la Nouvelle-Écosse (Halifax), de l’Ontario (Durham, Toronto, Windsor), du Manitoba (Winnipeg), et de l’Alberta (Calgary). À l’international, nous avons eu des représentants des États-Unis (Augusta, Bellevue, Bloomington, Clarksville, Edwardsville, Grand Rapids, Lafayette, Middletown, Orange County, Rochester, San Diego, Seattle and Washougal), qui comptent pour 25% de l’audience. Pour le reste des Amériques, nous comptions le Mexique (Mexico City) et le Brésil (Campinas) et enfin, par-delà les mers, nous avions les Émirats Arab Unis (Abu Dhabi), l’Iran et l’Inde (Chandigarh).

En général, vous avez été engoué par l’événement avec des niveaux d’appréciation de 95% pour la Qualité de la présentation, de 91% pour le sujet, et de 87% pour l’approche et l’Échange. Certaines personnes auraient toute foi voulue moins d’interventions de l’auditoire masculin et plus d’intervention de l’auditoire féminin, étant donné qu’elles étaient à l’honneur.

Comme la grande majorité (95%) est disposée à participer à un autre événement, nous vous invitons le 28 avril, 2021 à la conférence Vers l’amélioration Continue 4.0, un Petit Pas à la Fois avec Robert Vadeboncoeur.

Had You Connected to the Last Event

Debbie Sears Barnard

By Fatima Al-Roubaiai, Graduate Student, School of Nursing, UBC Okanagan

Had You Connected . . . Can Continuous Improvement Impact the Reduction of Systemic Racism in Healthcare

On February 24th, 2021, Debbie Sears Barnard gave an informative and inspirational talk via TEAMS from her home in Dubai about what Continuous Improvement (CI) professionals can do about systemic racism in healthcare. Debbie began by giving a special shout out to the Women in Lean, an online community of improvers, as well as Deondra Wardelle of #rootcauseracism for their power and energy towards ending racism around the world. This is part of what I love about learning with Debbie – she begins from a place of purpose, a place of community, and invites you in with arms wide open. I first met Debbie in Northern Ontario ten years ago. She was my first mentor in quality and improvement, and she continues to be a support for me today. One of her reminders to all of us working for change was to “get comfortable being uncomfortable,” and she found a way to bring that into her presentation.

One point that I continue to reflect on is how in 2021, we still cannot ensure that all patients will be treated with respect and dignity. Not in the United States, not in Canada, and not around the world. It has been decades since the Institute of Medicine report and To Err is Human were published, and in this time, there have been infinite references to the social determinants of health, yet still the frustration with our failure to move the needle on equity is real. Healthcare has a long history of racism to work through. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study in which researchers experimented on Black men enrolled in the study for 40 years and knowingly allowed them to die when a treatment became available. Or myths about physical racial differences that doctors still believe today, and that lead to racial profiling in healthcare and differences in treatment. All of this is unnerving and can bring about all types of feelings, so now what do we do about it?

Debbie made an excellent point around CI professionals being perfectly positioned to help move us from the current to an idealized state. She challenged us to learn and act. Do we know the key terms around this topic: racism, implicit bias, intersection of racism and health, equality, equity? She challenged us as CI professionals to use the language, to use what we know to help the teams we work with. Do we really know what our baseline is? Where are the gaps? Go and see! When we approach equity, let’s apply the same steps to problem-solving – identify, analyze, develop, test/implement, sustain.

The most impactful recommendation had to be around making equity the priority. Equity infuses all of quality care. That work needs to happen at an organizational and leadership level. We need to identify and promote the conditions that support equity and quality in healthcare. Is there a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion? Do the members of the health system represent the communities that they serve? Do staff feel taken care of and safe? And do they understand their role towards the overall strategy?

This past year, with the pandemic spreading around the world; the killing of George Floyd (and so many others) by police in the US; the deaths of Chantel Moore, Ejaz Choudry, and other fatal encounters with police and RCMP during wellness checks in Canada; and the anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian, anti-Black, anti-other racism happening across our country – this talk helped to focus me towards action. I am so grateful to Debbie for taking the time to research and prepare this talk, and I thank ASQ Montreal for hosting and encouraging my small contribution with this article.

I have compiled a list of a few of the many resources Debbie shared in her talk to pass on to my fellow CI and quality professionals:

Turning Data into Useful Information

Dr David TozerBy Dr. David Tozer, Ph.D., ASQ CQE and SSBB, Education & Audit Chair.

Over the years I have seen many presentations where people collect data to perform evaluations and then try to draw conclusions from the data.  In many cases it is difficult to draw conclusions from the data collected.  A common reason for this difficulty is the data were collected by an experiment or evaluation that did not use designed experiment methodology to guide how to collect data.

For almost 100 years, we have been teaching Design of Experiments (DOE) to students.  These methods are more efficient and effective, from an economic perspective, than other methods.  In some industries, designed experiments are used regularly.  Examples include agriculture, chemical and pharmaceutical safety and efficacy testing (pre-clinical and clinical trials).  In other parts of industry, designed experiments are uncommon.  Many of us are involved in doing experiments or evaluations.  I think it would be useful to use a scientific method to perform experiments or evaluations.

Scientific work is based on having standards.  I am not referring to ISO standards, but the physical standards that are the basis for commerce, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and medicine.  Standards reduce bias and allow us to use a common language to describe the world.  These physical standards include the degree (temperature), ampere, kilogram, metre, second and mole.  In the case of biological and social systems, we often do not have well-defined physical standards when performing experiments or evaluations.  In these circumstances we designate a sample from the population as a control to serve as the standard.  Controls receive a reference treatment and can include placebos (sugar pill), untreated subjects or a current treatment.

Designed experiments can be used in almost all industries and get useful results. The simplest experiment that could be used by many organizations is described in the following example. 

An activity that is done in almost all industries is training.  Another thing that is common to many industries: the money spent on training does not seem to yield the expected results in increased productivity or effectiveness. 

So, to assess training effectiveness the following process could be used:

1) Before training begins:

  • Training methods are developed and documented;
  • Important performance metrics are identified;
  • People being sent on training are evaluated to access current performance, the control, and data collected on the current performance. 

2) The people are then trained in the required skill using the developed methods. 

3) After training is completed, the trained people are evaluated for their performance of the required skill, the treatment effect. 

4) The difference in performance between the control and the treatment is assessed to see if there is a training effect.

In more technical terms, this set up is a single factor (training) repeated measures (repeated on the same people) two level experiment (control and treatment). 

The analysis of the results requires the use of the first statistical test discovered in the early 1900s.  It too is the simplest possible statistical test.

We also need to make sure the environment and selection of trainees is done in as uniform a manner as possible.  It is important to ensure the environment, in which any experiment or evaluation is done, is understood and documented.  All results are conditional on the environment the data were collected in.  In the case of the training example the results are conditional on the training methods.

An important take away from this short discussion is the idea of a control as a reference standard.  It is not the same as a physical standard, but it is a standard nonetheless.  Standards in the form of controls should form the basis for evaluations and experiments in many business situations.

As mentioned earlier, the example demonstrates the simplest designed experiment possible.  The real world is a lot more complicated.  For more complicated systems, more complicated designs need to be used.  Many economical methods have been developed over the years to handle complicated situations.  The methods can be used for evaluation, screening and optimization.  Some designs look for relative changes and may not, at first glance, appear to have a standard or control.  It is always a useful exercise to determined what the actual control is when doing an experiment or evaluation.

By performing designed experiments, data collected during the evaluation are turned into information about the effectiveness of an intervention.  By using information, we can make better informed decisions.

Voice of the Customer – Voix du client

Amine Djeffal

Amine DjeffalBy Amine Djeffal, ASQ CQA, RAC, Quality and Regulatory Affairs Professional.

Can the Continuous Improvement (CI) Professional Influence the Reduction of Systemic Racism in Healthcare (24 February 2021).

Interestingly 38% of the audience declared themselves as ASQ senior members. If we take a look at poll results in terms of field and responsability, non-managerial roles and manufacturing areas are what defined the audience the most.

Participants expressed interest in attending other webinars. Many topics were proposed such as Risk management, Human error, Audits and Quality standards offered by registrars.

Based on poll results nearly 29% of the participants heard about the event through the section’s newsletter which demonstrates it is still the perfect communication channel to reach a maximum of ASQ members and to keep them informed about the section’s events. In addition, using Eventbrite to inform members about our section’s events was efficient, since 18% of the attendees heard about the event through this platform. Finally 07:00 pm to 9:00 pm was the best time to join webinar.

We would like to thank all the attendees for their enthousiasm, as usual. We look forward to connecting with you soon at one of our events.

Since this Voice of the Customer report is my last one, I would like to take this opportunity to bid farewell to the Section Leadership Team and to all ASQ Montreal section members.

Amidst the pandemic that we continue to endure we’ve learnt a lot. We should continue to see the value in the positive and encouraging lessons of resilience.

Stay safe and healthy.