William A. Tony

Debra J. Phillips-Donaldson

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To promote discussion of issues in the field of quality and ensure coverage of all responsible points of view, Quality Progress publishes articles representing conflicting and minority views. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of ASQ or Quality Progress. Use of the ASQ logo in advertisements does not necessarily constitute endorsement of that particular product or service by ASQ.

Teams: The Way We Work

In today’s marketplace, “teaming” and “team-building” have become buzzwords. While many organizations use teams effectively and instinctively as part of the way they do business and expect their staffs to operate, others just pay lip service. Many people still don’t have the training, understanding or will to function on teams.

Teams have been a part of the quality field and body of knowledge for a long time, so QP readers and ASQ members know well the value of this concept; but others in the workplace may not. That’s where your skills and experience come in. You can put them to good use by educating and training your co-workers—at every level—on how to participate, facilitate and manage teams to the benefit of everyone, especially your customers.

This issue of QP touches on this important topic, including the Association for Quality and Participation (AQP) team competition. If you or others in your organization need more information, a wealth of books, articles and websites are available, such as AQP’s (www.aqp.org). Starting next month, ASQ’s site, www.asq.org, will be upgraded to make it content rich, fully searchable and organized by topic, with “teams” as a key word.

I know about the upcoming changes to the website because—speaking of teams—I serve on one working to improve ASQ’s electronic content. As you might expect of an organization dedicated to the support and growth of quality, ASQ is very team oriented. In fact, teamwork is one of the core values every staff member is expected to understand and practice daily.
The main team I belong to, of course, is the one that creates and strives to continually improve this magazine. For example, we introduced a new format for feature articles a few months ago, followed in May by a revamped news section, which starts on p. 18 this month. You’ll notice other minor design changes throughout this issue; those changes will continue in July.

Look to the right-hand column on this page, and you’ll see the core members of the QP team. But this list just scratches the surface. Behind us are the countless authors who contribute articles (on their own time), dozens of experts who tirelessly review submitted articles—again, often on a volunteer basis, and keep in mind published articles represent only about 20% of the total reviewed—plus ASQ’s Publication Management Board and Journal Editors Committee, which are volunteer groups that support and guide us.

Then there are all the other ASQ volunteer committees and staff departments that offer information, ideas, news items and articles. And, most importantly, we consider readers—our customers—team members. By sharing your feedback, you play a powerful role in shaping the content, tone and look of the magazine. So please keep it coming to editor@asq.org.

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson

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