The Editor’s Corner

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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