Editor’s Corner

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.

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.

The Editor’s Corner

Michael Bournazian

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

The February 2021 power crisis in the state of Texas, that continues to cause issues even after all the snow and ice has melted away, was something to see.

I have been to the state on several occasions in my professional life: Dallas twice, and Houston, Tyler, Abilene and Lufkin once each. These trips were never scheduled to take into account any specific season because, well, it’s Texas, and never did I assume at any time I may want to avoid, say, Dallas in January because it would snow a lot.

Politics aside, the causes as to why the grids failed will be interesting to find out, to say the least. On February 16, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott declared that there will be an investigation of the power outage to determine long-term solutions. Good idea: of course he then turned around a few days later and declared Texas 100% open for business with no mask mandate, so not so good. But I digress.

I have written in the past about catastrophic failures in industry (British Petroleum, Toyota, Boeing), all with a sense of  “look at what these buggers (clean language folks) did?! How dare they?! There better be some honest-to-goodness investigation, cause & corrective action/risk analysis/restructuring/rewriting of processes/hirings/firings/blah blah blah.” To be honest, this was going to be my “tone” for this article.

And then, not long after, I was reminded of something: the January 1998 Ice Storm.

Remember, that storm that came through and affected Eastern Ontario, Southern Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, knocking out power to millions of people for days, weeks, and even months in some cases? At the time, the power grids and installations in this part of the world (aka Canada, the cold snowy country) did not fare much better. I personally remember my family taking in some relatives for one week when their power was out; and then when theirs came back, they immediately returned the favour when ours went out for a week!

Eventually, lives got back to normal, as they will in Texas. But can either of these situations be considered the better of the other?

* In this corner, we have Texas, an American state synonymous with sun, heat and desert. So power grids ill-equipped to handle snow and ice would not be too surprising. That said, the effects of global climate change have been evident for decades, and abnormal weather events have become unfortunately normal. And sometimes, it does take a disaster to make people realize that a risk is real.

* And in this corner, we have Canada, a country synonymous with snow at every given stereotype. You would have expected the power grids here to have been well-equipped to withstand snow, ice, wind, hail, freezing rain and the like. And yet . . . well, you know.

So how was my tone?

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

Since I last wrote to you in January, I have had 2 good friends of mine, both of whom work in the Quality field, lose their jobs. Both had been with their respective companies for over a decade, but in both cases, cutbacks and downsizing needed to happen, so their seniority, experience and dedication meant little.

As someone who has been through this myself, I know that starting over and finding new employment can be difficult under the best of circumstances: under our current world circumstances, well, difficult suddenly becomes DIFFICULT.

So I am using my Editor’s Corner this month to highlight a few things that I believe are important when it comes to job searching. If you are reading this and unfortunately find yourself in the same boat, maybe these tips will help you find your way to a new shore.

1) CVs and LinkedIn: Nowadays, a solid and comprehensive LinkedIn profile is as (if not more) important that the paper/Word CV. Recruiters and headhunters use LinkedIn to easily search for candidates that fit the profile of the job they are trying to fill, so making sure that your profile properly summarizes your work experiences, education and training is vital. In the end, make sure both your CV and LinkedIn profile are up-to-date and “attractive”. And don’t forget to use job sites like Monster, Jobillico, Indeed and the like.

2) References: Most (if not all) companies will ask for references during the interviewing/hiring process, so make sure you have (if possible) 3-4 reliable references. A mix of people you have both worked with and worked for is good, and of course, make them aware that you are on the job market and get their buy-in that they will give you a solid reference when called upon. Finally, I have found that having the vital information regarding these references summarized on a single page very handy, especially when asked for them in an interview.

3) Interviews: It’s been said/heard many times, but prepare for your interviews: have copies of your CV, references and certificates with you; research the company ahead of time, as you may be asked what you know about them and/or why you want to work for them; have a list of questions to ask them, it shows that you are prepared and interested. Finally, unless you are very lucky and get hired at your first interview, you are more than likely going to have more interviews that don’t end with a job offer than those that do. The important thing is to not get discouraged, you are probably not the only one who applied and got rejected; and if you do get discouraged, don’t stay down for too long.

4) Zoom/Skype/Teams: Given our current world situation Part 1 . . . the previously discussed interviews may very likely happen virtually. So make sure that you are accustomed to using the current plethora of online meeting tools.

5) Working from Home or On-Site: Given the current world situation Part 2 . . . it is important to determine your comfort level with working at the company site, and therefore, in potential close proximity to other humans. Not all jobs can be done from your home bubble. So make sure to take this into consideration when researching an opportunity or being interviewed for it: it may be important for both your physical and mental health.

6) Any Given Hour: One important thing to finish on . . . when I first entered the job market in the early 1990s, the Internet was not a major player in our lives, so job searching mainly took place during traditional working hours and certainly not on weekends. Well, no more: with everything electronic and online, you can basically job search 24/7 if you wanted to. I am not advocating being on your computer all day and night looking for and applying to job opportunities, but realize that even on a Saturday or Sunday, an opportunity may pop up and the recruiter may be there to see your application. The early bird catches the worm, but so does the omnipresent bird.

I hope these tips have helped someone in some fashion. Good luck 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

Greetings! And a (hopefully) better new year to everyone. If are not happy to see 2020 come to an end, then I would like to know what you have been smoking since March 2020.

I like to think of myself as a realistic person and thinker, leaning more towards optimist. So I currently do believe that 2021 will at some point give us our “old” lives back. And hopefully, that will include in-person ASQ events again. I believe we have succeeded wonderfully with our online webinars since March 2020; that said, it would be nice to be in a room again and actually meet the other people in that room, and watch the speaker live and in person. Fingers permanently crossed then.

One big change that we are introducing this month is our new, revamped website and newsletter. For me, the newsletter has been a source of pride since 2010 when I took over from Chantale Simard as its editor-in-chief. For 10 years, I used NVu software to create these newsletters 9 months out of 12; now we have switched over to using WordPress to create and publish. Much like when I started in 2010, I expect there to be a learning curve until I feel like I can fly the plane on my own; thankfully, your trusted and diligent ASQ Montreal Committee is a supportive and generous bunch of guys and gals, so I know I have several parachutes at my disposal if I need to “eject” 😉

In the end, the important thing is to give you, the reader and ASQ member, an enjoyable reading experience and a source of vital information for your Quality focused careers. That is, and will continue to be, the ultimate goal.

So here’s to WordPress! And here’s to you! And here’s to 2021 . . . hopefully the learning curve towards normalcy is not to steep.

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

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

As this is the final Newsletter of 2020, I want to take up this space by saying THANK YOU to everyone who has taken the time to read them this year.

This year had been unique to say the least. So I think I speak for all my Section Leadership Team colleagues when I say that your participation in 2020 ASQ events it is wholeheartly appreciated. We have more coming in 2021, so stay tuned.

Finally, a thank you to my former work colleague Diego Lythgoe on his presentation to the Section last month. It was wonderful to see how he has taken his Quality expertise onwards and upwards. Continued success Diego!

The Editor’s Corner

Michael Bournazian

Michael Bournazian

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

So the challenge to myself last month to not write about the “P” word or the “C” word has come and gone. I spent that article talking about participating in the ISO 9001:2015 revision committee for Canada.

One of the nice things that came from publishing that piece was having someone actually reach out to me and ask how they can participate, in a similar capacity, for the next revision. I was more than happy to provide them the information.

It also made me realize that 7-8 years ago when I participated in that activity, everything I did was done remotely (or as we say more often nowadays, “virtually”).

I never met one person with whom I communicated, and I never participated in any face-to-face meetings. Everything happened through the (technological) magic of telephones, computers, modems, e-mails, Internet, and yes, even Webex. Everything I did back then mirrors what I believe would NEED to be done now, if I was to participate in such a committee again. So my experience with working virtually and helping to achieve something with a global reach was already there.

Why then was I so apprehensive with everything going virtual with regards to my work in March 2020?

In retrospect, I think the initial (and continued) unknown of how our current situation will be resolved fed that apprehension.

As well, back in 2012-13 during my ISO involvement, and certainly as close as earlier this year, the OPTION of doing things live-and-in-person or virtually existed.

Not so much now at this given time, and humans by nature like to have options, the more the better. When you go to an ice cream establishment, do you want only chocolate and vanilla as choices? Hell no, 31 flavours no less, and while I am here, create a new one.

As Quality professionals, we often are presented with options: Which problem solving tool to use? Which SPC method to use? Immediately quarantine the nonconforming part or continue processing to gain some advancement and then quarantine? Sometimes the options are plentiful and require thought; sometimes the options are narrow yet require equal or more thought.

And then there are times when options are taken from you without your say, and you have to make the best with what you have, or else nothing will move forward and get done.

So as I like to say to anyone who will listen . . . “I am not perfect, but I always try to do my best. That way, I can never say I failed”.

OPTIONS: Make the best of them.

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