Quality Progress - October 2014 - 80

BACK TO BASICS BY LUIS ECHEVERRIA Use Your Head Put what you learned during certification prep to work ARE YOU A quality professional who re- energy and attitude, and they display more cently passed an ASQ certification exam? pride and confidence. Results are amazing Or, are you preparing to take an exam not only for that professional, but also for soon? Many organizations reimburse or the organization they work for. pay for their employees to prepare for and Leveraging the benefits of being certi- take certification tests. Numerous profes- fied must be the responsibility of manage- sionals pay out of pocket. Either way, it ment and the certified professional. The is a serious effort and investment. Have certified professional must show initia- you ever thought about the return on this tive and define how and when to apply investment? Passing the test and getting his or her new knowledge. By doing so, a certification to display shouldn't be the the opportunity to grow professionally only end goal. multiplies. Every individual who decides Throughout my career in quality, I have to take the exam is already demonstrat- been professionally recognized as an ASQ- ing a desire for professional and personal certified quality professional. I obtained growth. my first certification, certified quality It is a mistake to solely focus on the act methods for the test. Ask yourself questions such as: "How can I use the theory of hypothesis testing in my job? Why not implement statistical engineer (CQE), in the early 1980s when of preparing for the exam without giving process control on a specific process at I worked in the computer industry. Later any thought to applying the knowledge work? How about confidence intervals? in my career, I provided training for this gained. Maybe applying for another job is How can I apply leadership and team rigorous exam. the path that some will take. But the re- building concepts on a project?" It is a mistake to solely focus on the act of preparing for the exam. An ASQ certification provides the confidence of accomplishment and the Approach management with the ideas you've generated and put your recently acquired knowledge to practice. This move can be the stepping stone to your next promotion. Remember, knowledge without application is waste. Also, don't stop professional learning and develop- wards of certification could begin sooner ment after you received that initial certifi- and last longer. cation. Aim to acquire other certifications Plan up front how you will use the to enhance your career portfolio and keep tools and resources available in the quality knowledge you gained. Try applying the you motivated to grow in quality. Certifica- field. This knowledge is instrumental in knowledge acquired during the study tions are not only helpful in the quality our daily contribution to society through period. Review the different topics the field. If life takes you to other fields, your products and services. respective body of knowledge covers. credentials will follow you, and you can Form a list of potential projects and op- apply the concepts there. QP knowledge for applying the concepts, I have noticed two behaviors that quality professionals exhibit after passing an portunities while reviewing the different exam. One is business as usual. As soon concepts. Make a mental correlation with as the day after the test, the incentive and your current job or processes at your motivation of becoming a CQE, or a certi- current organization. You can name this fied quality auditor, for example, disap- list the "put it to practice list" and log your pears. Other professionals take a new path ideas and potential improvement appli- in their respective jobs with a renewed cations while you review the tools and 80 QP * www.qualityprogress.com LUIS ECHEVERRIA is a program quality manager at Northrop Grumman Corp. in El Segundo, CA. He teaches graduate courses at California State University (CSUN) in Northridge, and is a consultant and trainer at his consultancy, Quality Training and Solutions. A senior member of ASQ, Echeverria earned a master's degree in engineering management from CSUN and is an ASQ-certified quality engineer. 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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