News - New Quality Society Formed

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New Quality Society Formed

Believing that the quality field suffers from a lack of diverse voices, noted author and statistician Thomas Pyzdek has founded a new quality organization, the International Quality Federation (IQF).

 "My goal for the IQF is to create an independent and autonomous quality society where groups of people involved in quality improvement and quality science can meet, exchange ideas and learn from one another," says Pyzdek. "I think there's a role for us to play given that there is no independent and autonomous quality society. For instance, American Society for Quality (ASQ) sections are simply extensions of the national organization."

 Pyzdek is well-positioned to establish a quality society. He is an ASQ Fellow, the author of numerous quality-related books and a Quality Digest columnist. Pyzdek is also the recipient of one of ASQ's highest honors, the Edwards Medal, which is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the application of modern quality control methods, especially through the organization and administration of such work. The honor of receiving this recognition in 1995 led Pyzdek to research the man for whom the medal is named: George D. Edwards, ASQ's first president.

 "I learned that Dr. Edwards had some ideas about the way that ASQ was organ-ized," recalls Pyzdek. "In particular, he believed that if he had it to do over again, he would have favored a decentralized organi-zation. I agree with that: I think ASQ serves its purpose, but I think there's a place for a quality society that encourages the growth of quality through experiments and local activities that may differ from what the national entity is encouraging."

 In contrast to existing quality organizations, Pyzdek envisions IQF becoming a supportive parent organization of many member societies that will decide for themselves what they become. Moreover, IQF will be governed by these member societies rather than governing them. To facilitate this approach, IQF will not sell any products or services in competition with commercial firms.

 "We want to be a catalyst to encourage other organizations to provide products and services to quality professionals," Pyzdek explains. "We have a strict noncompetition policy because we don't believe it's fair or wise for a nonprofit organization to compete against commercial entities. Also, we're going to do our best to avoid partnerships that we think compromise the objectivity of a professional society. We won't have our commercial partners on the cover of our magazine."

 As for IQF's magazine, heading the effort to establish the publication is Doug Montgomery, the president-elect of IQF and former Journal of Quality Technology editor. In addition, Quality Digest will feature IQF news and events and will give free subscriptions to all IQF members.

 The IQF is still in its infancy, but it's poised for growth. The organization's articles of incorporation were filed on January 19, and the IQF's board of directors recently held its first meeting and elected Pyzdek president.

 Also in development are IQF bylaws, article review boards, a six sigma black-belt certification process and much more. To subscribe to the IQF e-newsletter, send a plain-text e-mail addressed to majordomo@theriver.com  with the words "subscribe iqf" in the message field. An IQF membership form and additional information is available at www.iqfnet.org , which is still under development.

 Pyzdek hopes to grow the IQF into an international body through a pervasive Internet presence. How soon that becomes a reality is yet to be determined, but the first president of IQF seems prepared to see it through.