Calling All Readers

One of the things we pride ourselves on here at Quality Progress is that we always try to be responsive to readers.

That's often easier said than done, however, because of the size and diversity of ASQ's membership. Some readers can't understand why we spend so much time on standards, while others have the same question about statistics. Our survey research shows that we have about the same percentage of readers who think the magazine is too simplistic as think it is too advanced.

So while we know we can't please everyone, we still think it is valuable to base our editorial decisions on input from readers. For example, this month we are introducing a quality comic strip called "Mr. Pareto Head" (see p. 16), and we are doing so because several readers asked us to add some humor to our editorial mix.

We are also considering some other significant changes in long-standing QP features, and before we make any final decisions we would like to hear from readers.

One of these changes involves our annual index. Thanks to the Internet, we are now publishing an electronic index that we think is easier to use than a printed index. Because an overwhelming percentage of ASQ members have Internet access, we are thinking about ending the practice of printing the annual index. This would allow us to increase the number of articles we can print in the December issue, and we would arrange to make the index available on demand to readers who cannot get it via the Web.

Another area where we are looking to make improvements is the annual salary survey. Among other things, this year we are planning to capture data for Canada, to create some data quality filters so that we don't report in categories where there is only a minimal response and to improve the wording of questions related to certification.

In addition we are thinking about eliminating questions related to insurance coverage, because we think that is more a function of employer than of occupation. Another question that may go has to do with the size of the last raise, which--given the current lack of inflation--does not seem to yield a great deal of useful data.

Please let me know what you think of these ideas. If you have other suggestions for improving either the index or the salary survey, please pass them along. The easiest way to reach me is by e-mail, at mmaguire@asq.org. But you can also call 800-248-1946, extension 7295. 

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  Miles Maguire

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