ASQ Section 0511 July 2021 Meeting Announcement

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Quality Matters Round Table: Plans and Process Descriptions

Moderated by
Michael Coleman
ASQ Section 0511 Membership Chair

Mike Coleman
Short Narrative/Description:
ASQ Section 0511 is a community of quality professionals of Northern Virginia, with tremendous cumulative experience across multiple industries, companies, and government agencies. Any single one of you in our ASQ Section is a formidable source of takes, opinions, and lessons on a number of Quality Matters.
  • A Quality Matter is an aspect, focus, slice, segment of the quality landscape that one deals with in a particular situation.
  • Quality Matters Round Table is a series of discussions on the Quality Matters topics noted at the May 2021 Section Meeting.
  • In each such discussion, the Section Members share their experience and opinions on one such topic and network as Quality Professionals.
  • The previous discussion was held in June 2021 on the topic of ASQ Certifications. Its Discussion Report is upcoming soon.
The 14 July 2021 Section 0511 meeting is a Round Table Discussion on one of the 9 winning topics that you voted for in our June 2021 poll, namely: Plans and Process Descriptions.
Quality Matters Polls:
If you have not yet done so, please respond by Sunday Night Midnight 11 July 2021 to the poll conducted by our Section 0511 Chair for Voice of the Customer: Quality Matters: Questions on Plans and Process Descriptions
The following questions on the topic of Plans and Process Descriptions will be up for discussion at the 14 July 2021 Section 0511 Round Table:
  1. Existence.  Does your project or organization have plans, process descriptions, procedures, or work instructions?  Or do you rely on oral tradition and people’s unwritten skills?
  2. Definitions.  Are plans, process descriptions, procedures, and work instructions the same thing?  If different, do they differ by title (plan, process, procedure, instruction, guide, manual) or format?
  3. Motivation.  Why do you write plans and process descriptions on your project or in your organization?  Is it because the teams need them?  Or because the Client or Organization requires them?  Or because of CMMI, ISO, or audit compliance?
  4. Source.  What do you use as the basis for your plans and process descriptions?  Do you write them from scratch?  Or tailor from an organizational template?  From ISO 9001, CMMI, or PMP processes?  From international, government, or company standards?  Who decides this?
  5. Structure.  How do you structure the hierarchy of your plan and process documentation? by teams? by functions? by technologies?  For example, do you have separate Project Management Plan, Configuration Management Plan, Reliability Plan, and other?
  6. Number and Size.  How many plans and process descriptions do you have?  What is their size: few vs. many pages? Does the size depend on the program, the customer, the industry?
  7. Content.  What do you include in your plans and process descriptions?  Do they have goals and objectives?  Step-by-step instructions?  Illustrations and charts?  Checklists?
  8. Authors.  Who should write plans and process descriptions?  And who actually ends up writing them on your project or in your organization?  Do your teams have skills to write them?  Do you have a Technical Writer?
  9. Reviews and Approvals.  Do you perform reviews and approvals for your plans and process descriptions?  Do you distinguish reviews from approvals?  Who reviews and who approves?  Is it a peer review or a quality group review?
  10. Use in Training.  Are your plans and procedures included as materials in your Training Program? Are they the required reading in your Training Program?  How often do team members have to re-read them?
  11. Use in Work.  Do your teams use the plans and process descriptions in their day-to-day work?  And for what?
  12. Audits and Appraisals.  Do you use your plans and process descriptions in Audits and Appraisals?
  13. Change Control.  How do you document and control changes to your plans or processes?  Do you have different levels of changes defined?  Do you have a change review board?
  14. Updates.  Do you require periodic updates, reviews, and approvals for your plans and process descriptions?  How often?
Read these questions now and become familiar with them.  The questions discussed at the 14 July 2021 Round Table may be slightly modified from the above in case good improvements to those questions are received through our poll; however, they will not differ significantly from the above, if at all.

You Speak Up, I Moderate:
At the July 2021 meeting, YOU are the speaker:
  • The meeting is a Round Table discussion, not a presentation by a Featured Speaker.
  • You should speak up.  You can get floor multiple times.  Please do!
  • If you decide only to listen what others say and not share your experience and opinions, that is your choice, and it will be respected.  You are encouraged to attend the discussion anyway if only to listen; you will not be called out to speak unless you speak up!
  • Speak of your personal experience and express your personal opinions.
  • You do not need to prepare a speech or slides, just speak up.  You already know your experience and your opinions, and that is all that matters.
  • Time will not allow lengthy speeches.  We have 5-7 minutes per question, on average.  So, be brief and share floor with others, so that several people could speak on every question.
  • Time will not allow digressions.  Speak on the topic and, specifically, on the question that is up for discussion.  (Did I mention you should become familiar with the questions above?)
  • Time will not allow discussion of similar topics.  For example, topics such as Process Improvement Initiatives, Inspections and Peer Reviews, Effectiveness, Lessons Learned are NOT in scope of this discussion unless mentioning them reflects DIRECTLY upon your experience with and opinions on Plans and Process Descriptions.
  • The list of the questions will be displayed during the discussion.  We will go by the question list, top to bottom.  Thus, limit your speech to the question at hand, perhaps drawing on the previously stated material but holding off on the questions that are still down the list.
  • It is OK to speak on some questions and not on some others.  Time will not allow everyone to speak on every question anyway.
  • Your experience is unique and differs from the experience of others.  Make it known!  It is irrelevant what some book says on this topic or what they said on this topic someplace else.  What matters is what YOU think on this NOW.
  • A discussion is not a debate.  You will get floor to express your experience and opinions on this Quality Matter, not to criticize the experience and opinions of other discussion participants.
  • A discussion is not a Q&A session with the Moderator.  The questions on the agenda are up for you to speak on, not for finding correct answers that do not exist.
  • Have fun!  This is your chance to get to know other Quality Professionals better and allow others to get to know you.

Moderator Background:
Mike joined ASQ in 1987 and became a senior member in 2005.  He holds certifications in Reliability Engineering (CRE) and is a Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB).  Mike has been a member of the Northern Virginia Section since 2007 and is currently its Membership Chair and the Past Treasurer on the Section’s Finance Committee.
Mike has over 40 years of experience in the defense industry with engineering services companies.  Most of his experience is with electronic, electro-optical, and laser systems.
An early assignment was to the Quality Department where Mike examined both hardware and data deliveries.  Mike was mentored in quality in areas of inspection, electro-mechanical systems, engineering drawings, electro-optical systems, geometrical dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), materials, maintainability, reliability, safety, human factors, and review of engineering reports.
Mike subsequently moved into engineering management and program management, where he led engineers, logistics analysts, provisioners, trainers, and technical writers in all facets of the Defense programs.
In recent years, he has been a contributor as a maintainability engineer, as a journeyman maintenance engineer, and a quality assurance specialist.

Reservations: There is no charge to attend. To register, please use our on line reservation form which can be used up to the day of the meeting. If your plans change, please contact, and let us know.


  • 6:00pm - 7:00pm – Section Leadership Committee meeting
    The following information is for a recurring meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of the month:
    • Join by meeting number: Meeting number (access code): 127 497 3673
    • Meeting password: JMdVGdPP348
    • To join from a mobile device (attendees only) +1-408-792-6300,,1274973673## Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
    • Join by phone: 1-408-792-6300 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)
  • 7:00pm - 8:30pm – Section Meeting Information
    The following information is for this meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of July:

Meetings are open to all ASQ members as well as to the public.


  • Presentation Slides — PDF
  • Questions — PDF
  • Report — PDF

Next Meeting:
Wednesday, 11 August 2021 — TBD

Call for Speakers!!!
Would you or someone you know like to speak at a future ASQ meeting? We're always looking for volunteers. Be creative! Exercise your public presentation skills! Earn recertification credits! Get a free dinner! Please contact