ASQ - Electronics and Communications Division


Following are a few articles from the Summer 1998 edition of the ELECTRONICS DIVISION Newsletter, "CONTINUITY", edited by David Rivera.

If you are an ED member and did not receive this newsletter please let David know by phone, fax, or email. If you are not an ED member, but would like to join, just call ASQ at (800) 248-1946 and tell them that you want to join the Electronics Division.


David L. Rivera

The Magic of Quality: All Smoke and Mirrors?

I received a call recently from an employment agency looking for a technical writer. "One of my clients heard about you and was wondering if you're interested in working for them," the recruiter said. "Maybe," I replied and began a preliminary conversation. The recruiter explained that their client, a software company, was looking for someone who could quickly put a user's guide and online tutorial together and fix the documentation in the following upgrades. "So, how did they hear about me?" I asked. "You reviewed one of their competitor's software programs. Once they fixed the things you found wrong, the software became an overnight success in the software industry. Our client is hoping you will do the same for them." Suddenly, I started having flashbacks of my bowling career when no one wanted me in the league (or tournament) unless, of course, I was bowling on their team.

As a professional bowler, I didn't need to know the difference between a p-chart and an n-chart, or to know when to tighten or reduce sampling plan parameters in order to be a good bowler. All I had to do was consistently roll high scores. But in order to do that, I needed to have a thorough understanding of process improvement, statistical analysis and assignable causes. Without these quality tools, I was doomed to being nothing more than an average bowler. These same principles hold true for any career.

Whether it's sports or business, highly skilled and talented individuals are often perceived as good quality players and workers. However, quality suddenly becomes a perception, an illusion, like a magician performing a trick. The trick is successful if the magician completely fools everyone in the audience. Such perceptions diminish the importance, value and respect that quality truly deserves. Good workers (and players) know and realize that quality is not just a position or a department in a company. It is a responsibility that must be shared and fulfilled by everyone in a company (or team) in order to achieve and maintain superior position.

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A combined Annual Meeting and Regular Council Meeting of the ASQ Electronics Division was held prior to the ASQ Annual Quality Congress in Salon M of the Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia, PA, on May 3, 1998. Attendance at the meeting including the following:

Lowell Tomlinson Chair, 1996-1998
Donald Williams Long Range Planning Chair
Jenna Villarreal GTC Administrator
Renee Janscha Quality Infosearch Database Administrator, QIC
Joseph L. Hancox RAMS Representative and new ASQ Fellow
Dawn Onalfo Vice Chair Membership, Publicity Chair
Neil Pedersen Vice Chair-Elect Technical Activities; Program Chair;
Region 12 Councilor
Woody Rabon Jr. Past Chair (1994-96), Nominating Committee & Webpage
Bill Trappen Sr. Past Chair (1992-94); RAMS Rep; AQC Session Manager; Awards Chair
Allan Golant Region 7 Tri-Councilor; Historian
Bernie Carpenter Region 7 Tri-Councilor; China Conference Rep
Phil Ernst Treasurer-Elect
Bob Gusciora Past Division Chair (1990-92)
August Mundel Founding Division Chair (1955-57)
Julian Edelman Past Division Chair (1973-74)
John Miller RD Rep for Internet Review Course Discussion
Roger Newell Member

A quorum was present to conduct the meeting. The Chair distributed agendas and the current version of the Tactical Plan/Action Register of the Division. The agenda was altered a bit to accommodate those who had conflicting meetings. Items covered were as follows:

SENIOR PAST CHAIR'S REPORT: Bill Trappen's report was distributed covering the AQC Conference Committee and the ED Awards Committee. Tuesday's ED Session covers "Sector-Specific Quality Standards: Today and Tomorrow" with four speakers and moderated by Region 5 Councilor, Charles Cianfrani. In addition, Bill moderates a special Wednesday Session: "University Quality Degrees via the Internet" with four speakers. Tuesday evening prior to the Congress Banquet, a reception for participants in the MSQA via Internet Program at California State University, Dominguez Hills was scheduled. ED will be working with the school to set up Certification Review courses on the Internet. The Review for Certified Quality Manager is targeted for August and the CQE Review for an October start.

Awards presented this year include:

* Ralph A. Evans Award: Bonnie B. Small
* Electronics Division Council Award: Jenna Villarreal
* Partnership Award: Motorola
* Past Chair Award: Lowell Tomlinson
* McDermond Top Achiever Award for 1995-96: Woody Rabon

In addition, E3 Awards were presented to those who contributed to the record of management excellence attained by the Division in the years 1995-1998. Presentations were made to Dawn Onalfo, Neil Pedersen, William Trappen, Joseph Hancox, Roy Babel, Robert Caine, Donald Williams, Charles Cianfrani, Allan Golant, Robert Gusciora, Woody Rabon, and Lowell Tomlinson. Awards were mailed to David Rivera, Marilyn Rivera, Joseph Rogers, Steve Kanellos, George Koons, Henry Kling, Myron Wilson, Charles Plotkin, Jack Isken, Albert Stoltz and Marcus Nachman. Member statistics gathered as part of the selection procedure for the Partnership Award should be used in leadership recruitment.

REGION 7/HISTORIAN REPORT: Two of the Tri-Councilors from Region 7 were in attendance at the meeting and the third was present at the conference, honored as the winner of the Eugene L. Grant Award, Ray Klotz. Al Golant reported on a Regional Meeting where he began to interest sections in the Los Angeles area in participating with ED and RD in a joint conference in the year 2000. As historian, Al will be getting two cartons of material from Jim King, ED Past Chair, 1976-78 and additional information from Julian Edelman, ED Past Chair 1973-74. In addition to Bernie Carpenter's role as Region 7 Tri- Councilor, he is the ED Rep to the China-US Strategies Conference Committee which will be reviewing papers for presentation in Beijing in November.

GTC ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT: Jenna Villarreal brought ED Membership figures and results of the Spring balloting to the meeting. The membership count in March at the point when non-renewals are dropped was at 4172 indicating a continuation in the decline in ED members. The ED slate was elected with over 600 votes each. Unfortunately, the Chair-Elect will probably not take office due to business conflicts. The information from Bylaws Chair, Marilyn Rivera, is that the present Chair is to appoint the Chair in such a situation. Two appealing options came out of a discussion. Lowell Tomlinson, ED Chair, indicated the desire to accelerate the current progression if possible or to appoint a Past Chair if company support is not available. Either option would put ED in good hands for the coming year.

QIC INITIATIVES: Renee Janscha talked about Quality Information Center initiatives including:

Expanding the database of published and co-published journals as well as other value-added articles. Searches are free for members.

Based on numerous calls on specific topics QIC has also developed $30 Info Packets on such things as the Baldrige Award, Six-Sigma, and AQC.

They are also distributing non-traditional products such as the Statistics Division's brochure on "Statistical Thinking".

Another big part of the action is referral calls. Renee has called Henry Kling, ED Expert List Coordinator, as a link in this process from time to time.

PUBLICATIONS REPORT: The best paper awards for the Technical Supplement have been announced for 1995 and 1996 and the hope is to present them at RAMS. The 1997 winner will be announced in a short time. Dawn Onalfo was named ED Rep to a new journal, Software Quality Professional. Dawn has a new headliner for the booth. The booth now features a growing collection of photos of ED activities.

MEMBERSHIP REPORT: Dawn Onalfo has begun monthly shipments of labels to Lowell who is sending out the new member packets which contain the Chair's letter, CONTINUITY newsletters, and other timely inserts. She reports that letters are being sent to each Councilor including the need to identify Section Champions. Regional Councilor openings still exist in Canada and New Jersey. Preconference tutorials are being sought for the 1999 AQC.

TECHNICAL ACTIVITIES REPORT: Neil Pedersen reported that ED will likely be involved in at least one Mid-West conference in 1999. Possibilities include Fox Valley, Rockford, or NE Illinois. Other references to conferences occur elsewhere in these minutes. Roy Babel is working hard to get a new Speaker's List out by the end of the fiscal year. Woody Rabon is starting to update the Webpage and would welcome assistance. Lowell Tomlinson indicated that the Koalaty Kid involvement at their Annual Conference with Internet demos was again very successful. To be involved next year we would need some help from members/companies located in eastern Tennessee or adjoining Virginia as that is where the conference will be located. Should be a good place to get volunteers.

EXAMINING REPORT: Joe Hancox is to be congratulated as the most recent ED Member to become a Fellow of the Society. Bob Caine has reviewed two more applications which will be submitted before July 1.


Lowell Tomlinson commented on several timely items:

In addition to greetings from Regional Councilors, new members now get a packet from the Chair. Don Williams has been appointed as the ED Rep to ASQ's Education and Training Board.

Attendees were encouraged to spread the word about ED activities at the Congress: booth, suite, dinner and sessions. ED gold ribbons were distributed to pre-registrants as an aid to recognizing one another.

McDermond's results for the current year look good. With only a few minor items to button up, it looks like the "hat trick" is in the bag.

The Long Range Plan was modified at RAMS. The emphasis now should be on implementing or at least starting to implement what's there. Modifications should be made at the RAMS Anaheim meeting.

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