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Mike Richman

FDA Compliance

Being Comfortable in a World of Never-Ending Change

The Quality Digest Way

Published: Monday, April 25, 2011 - 05:00

Welcome to Quality Digest Daily 2.0! This new format represents a significant re-imaging of our flagship brand (the industry’s only daily newsletter), which we first launched nearly two years ago. I hope you notice that we’ve added more video content to the newsletter as well as greater editorial interactivity. There are new departments as well, so take your time and explore the new Quality Digest Daily (QDD) at length.

What hasn’t changed is our focus on providing the very best and freshest articles, case studies, columns, news, and videos on all issues related to quality—from relationship management (internal and external) to 3-D metrology, and from standards to risk management and how to create a lean operation.

Designing a new format

The process of redesigning this newsletter offers an interesting case study about how one company (ours) handled the tactics of product redesign and rollout, not to mention the strategic imperatives of change management.

We started in the same place that you might—by looking at customers and what they want. In our case, the customer is you, the reader, and what you’ve told us, by actions as well as words, is that you want a newsletter filled with more applications, management tools, and informed opinion pieces. Our recent reader survey, which many of you completed last month, gave us a wealth of fantastic information that assisted us in the redesign process. Look for more on the results of that survey coming soon.

With the voice of the customer information in hand, our team began regular meetings to determine how to proceed forward on the redesign. Because the format of QDD is so central to our success, all of us, whether we worked in editorial, art, circulation, sales, marketing, accounting, and/or human resources, offered opinions and counsel. We looked at different formats and models, critiqued them, tried others, and critiqued them, too. Wash, rinse, repeat. This process went on for many weeks and the debates, although sometimes passionate, were always genuine. Everyone was heard, everyone was respected, and ultimately, everyone got some (but not all) of what he or she wanted into the revamped version of QDD. We’re a team.

And then we tested, tested again, and tested some more. The wonderful thing about the online environment for media companies like ours is that you can test, gauge results, and course-correct, all in something approaching real time. Testing isn’t necessarily finite in our environment, either. In fact, the newsletter that you received today is slightly different from the one delivered to another segment of our audience. We’ll test open rates and clickthroughs on the different splits to determine which performs best, adjust according to the data, and then test again.

Of course, underpinning all this work is the knowledge that status quo is not an option. QDD worked just fine as it was, but being satisfied with “good enough” has never been good enough for our team. If it were, we would never have created a daily newsletter, or a first-in-class website, or a video production arm responsible for programming such as TechnorazziLIVE.

The need for agility

We have our feet in the worlds of two industries—not only in quality and performance excellence, but also in media. Both of these industries are changing at breakneck speeds. Downsizing, outsourcing, and consolidation are common to both worlds; media companies also have to deal with a shockingly fast transition in how customers want to receive and share information. For all of us, it means living comfortably with agility in an atmosphere of constant change and a never-ending requirement to be better today that we were yesterday, and better still tomorrow. Winston Churchill put it perfectly in perspective:

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

In that spirit, I’m here to tell you that you will soon see further changes in the way that we gather and present our content:

• We’re launching a weekly video broadcast that will be lively and LIVE. The show will allow us to roll up our sleeves and show you that week’s news, how it was made and why it’s important. Look for the premiere episode later this week, only at www.qualitydigest.com.

• Later in the year, you’ll see another new video program in which QD contributors will take a lighthearted look at some serious quality messages found in pop culture entertainment.

• You’ll soon see our fresh take on a well-established format with our Enhanced Webinar series. QD Enhanced Webinars will make today’s regular, screen-shared, PowerPoint webinars look about as advanced as Galileo’s early optics vs. the Hubble Space Telescope.

• Finally, later this year our website will receive a complete upgrade, based again on your feedback and our staff’s best insights into what a fully featured modern site should offer. That means more and better mobile content, more prominent video, a cleaner interface, better navigation, and more.

The Quality Digest Way

Our commitment is to constantly strive to serve you better, and that essentially boils down to one simple but sometimes deceptively difficult skill: The ability to listen. Once you hear—really hear—your customer, you can then translate, synthesize, and implement those messages into your core processes. Each of us, every day, makes every attempt to embody this principle. Maybe it’s immodest, but we refer to this as “The Quality Digest Way.”

Please share your thoughts with us by writing to http://www.qualitydigest.com/contact?category=Comments. Our ears are open, and your feedback is welcome. Thanks for sharing this continuing journey with us.


About The Author

Mike Richman’s picture

Mike Richman


Love the new look

I like the new look, especially the summary and interactive nature on the right hand side (for those of us with no patience for video!!).


QDD 2.0

In the new QDD 2.0, please don't publish dark text on a dark background. It is cute but not effective.

Thank you,


Dirk van Putten