Quality Progress - October 2014 - (Page 50)

STANDARDS OUTLOOK BY J.P RUSSELL . Defining Your Role As a quality professional, who are you and what do you do? IF YOU TELL people you are a quality outside. Being inspectors is probably the some recognition lately due to a renewed professional, in my experience, they as- most visible aspect of what we do. focus on science, technology, engineering sume you are some kind of quality control One reason our jobs seem invisible and math (STEM) in today's culture. Sud- inspector. If you tell them you are a quality could be because we cannot explain what denly, professionals in STEM fields have a auditor, first they may think you work for we do in 20 words or less. My spouse has positive label, thanks in part to TV shows the Internal Revenue Service, in which frequently said to friends that I have one such as CBS's "The Big Bang Theory." In case they take a step back from you or of those jobs that no one understands, but fact, you can now tell people you have a start a conversation with someone else. whatever it is I do, I get paid for it. STEM-related job, and they will link it to It appears quality professionals have an If your friends and family cannot identity crisis with the people we want to explain what you do, how do you expect help-the customers. technical work. Identifying two or three core competen- anyone else to understand? You need cies of a quality professional can serve as With titles such as quality engineer, a simple and understandable message, a starting point for explaining who we are technician, auditor, quality manager, sup- similar to descriptions for other profes- and what we do. I asked some peers1 in ply quality engineer, Black Belt, software sionals. For example, attorneys deal with the quality field to help me with this task. quality engineer, quality management law, teachers educate students, dentists These individuals are authors, trainers, consultant and reliability engineer, quality care for teeth, and nurses care for patients consultants, auditors and managers who professionals' roles within organizations as they bring them back to health. have worked in the field for many years. are generally invisible to those on the Technical professionals are getting Competencies, characteristics To begin, I asked: What should every quality professional know and understand? What are some characteristics of a competent quality professional? The ideas presented in the responses could help shape a simple description of what a quality professional does. The first thought expressed was that quality professionals should know and understand Joseph M. Juran's quality trilogy-meaning quality professionals must know how to plan, control and improve processes. Juran's trilogy is simple, but it applies to the technical side of the profession. Another observation was that quality professionals can look through the bodies of knowledge (BoK) for ASQ certifications and see what components consistently show up for most certifications. This, however, could end up turning into a long list of geeky-sounding subjects. A third idea was that quality profession- 50 QP * www.qualityprogress.com http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - October 2014

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Perspectives
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Step It Up
Strength in Numbers
Take Care of Your ‘Ugly Baby‘
Getting It Right the First Time
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Quality in the First Person
Standards Outlook
ASQ's Quality Resource Guide
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
Back to Basics

Quality Progress - October 2014

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