Curious Cat Management Blog Carnival Annual Review – Part I

Posted on January 21, 2014 | in ASQ Influential Voices, Quality | by

curious catJohn Hunter of the Curious Cat Management Blog hosts an annual review of blogs, penned by other management blog authors. Last year I had the honor of having Lean Blitz reviewed by Matt Wrye, author of the Beyond Lean blog. (Matt also reviewed Lean Blitz this year as well.)

This year I get the distinction of joining in with providing reviews of blogs I enjoy. I read a lot of blogs about Lean and continuous improvement because there’s a lot more that I don’t know than I do know about quality (we must always be broadening our horizons!) and I’m extremely interested in learning more from others who have either been in similar situations with quality applications or they have new and fresh ideas I’ve never considered before. I’m excited to give back by sharing my opinions about some of these blogs.

I will cover four blogs, starting with two blogs in this post. These two blogs and their authors are fellow ASQ Influential Voices but I had actually discovered their blogs before I even knew programs such as the Influential Voices existed.


nicole radziwillDr. Nicole Radziwill is the author of the blog Quality and Innovation. She is a teacher in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) at James Madison University and the tagline of her blog is “exploring quality, productivity & innovation in socio-technical systems”.

She writes one or two posts per month, going beyond the traditional application of quality in manufacturing systems and looks at the concept of quality as a life philosophy. Multiple times she cites the twelfth of Deming’s 14 Points – “Remove barriers to pride of workmanship (or joy in work)” – in her posts, which is important on both quantifiable and subjective levels. She has a side project called the Burning Mind Project where she aligns the 10 Value of the Burning Man project, which embrace Deming’s 14 Points, to the transformation of education.

I have enjoyed her atypical look at quality applications. Here is a sampling of content she shared this past year that definitely caught my attention.

– As she is a fellow ASQ Influential Voice, she was tasked early in the year to identify quality in unexpected places. She shared a great entry by demonstrating quality application with the weather – she pointed out a study showing the true costs of working in an office that is just a little bit too cold to be comfortable. Really simple yet eye-opening.

– I shared a blog post last year asking “What is quality?” and provided the answer I felt was most reflective of how I approach problem solving. She also shared a post about her definition of quality.

– Last year I had a poor supplier interaction when trying to rectify a quality problem with Gold’s Gym and Dr. Radziwill in the same time frame shared a post about a similar poor interaction with a rental car company (which I made reference to in my post).

And Dr. Radziwill herself was a participant in last year’s Blog Carnival Annual Review as a reviewer.

I first discovered Quality and Innovation when I was researching the the use of PDSA/PDCA in college football rule changes, and I referenced Dr. Radziwill’s work. After reading some of her other contributions, her blog immediately became an entry in my RSS feed.

Dr. Radziwill can be found on Twitter at @nicoleradziwill.


jimena calfa lets talk about qualityASQ Influential Voice Jimena Calfa has a blog named Let’s Talk About Quality. Ms. Calfa is an information systems engineer in San Diego, an ASQ-certified Quality Process Analyst and Software Quality Engineer, and has been writing about quality since 2010. In her words, here’s why she started her blog:

Studying for my CQPA exam, I had to do a lot of research (on Internet, books, articles, etc.), and made my own notes to prepare myself for the exam. After pass the exam, I had the idea of put my notes and knowledge in a blog, so other people interested in the same field can get the information all in one place, and also to share concepts with other quality professionals, exchange opinions, and create a quality community (wordplay intended!)

Most of her posts are with regard to ASQ Influential Voices contributions, which she joined in 2012, and quality quotes from prominent business leaders or thinkers in history. Here are some of the posts that I’ve found the most enlightening or entertaining.

– When she was asked to find quality in unexpected places, she came up with a great list of how we use quality concepts but don’t think much about it.

– She provided a quick overview of what a Quality Assurance Engineer does, even using a bakery as example to explain it. Before reading her post, I hadn’t really given it much thought nor could I have properly defined it had I been asked to do so.

– She shared quality quotes throughout the year from historical figures and business leaders such as Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, Aristotle, and W. Edwards Deming.

Her articles are light in content so as to not overwhelm readers with too much technical jargon, but comprehensive enough (when going into detail on a topic) to get her points across.

Ms. Calfa can be found on Twitter at @jimecalfa.

Part II with two more blog reviews – by two very prominent consultants and influential book authors – coming soon.

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