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Mike Richman

Quality Insider

Looking Ahead to 2015

The QD team has a story to tell you

Published: Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 12:10

Those of us in the media get into our careers for various reasons and in many different ways, but one thing that we all have in common is our love of a good story. Finding the narrative, discovering the angle, figuring out why we (and you) should care—these are the things that keep us coming back for more.

Unlike many of our B2B brethren, here at Quality Digest we haven’t had an editorial calendar for several years. Normally when folks ask me why, I’ll tell them, truthfully, that as an online daily we don’t plan our editorial in advance. We cover what’s hot and happening in the world of quality as it occurs, in as close to real time as we possibly can.

That’s valid, and valuable, we believe. But reacting to the news on a daily basis doesn’t always allow us to investigate, to examine, to analyze—in other words, to find the great, meaningful stories in our industry and share them with you, our customers.

So we have determined to switch up the game a bit for 2015 and roll out our first “editorial calendar” since 2009. I put that in quote marks because it won’t be the type of calendar that many of you may be used to, and it certainly won’t be like the ones we did during our print days. Back then we were very specific about planning articles. In each monthly issue, we had four dedicated features, on methodologies, standards, metrology, and management. These were narrowly defined, often many months ahead of time, and we or our contributors would write those individual pieces to spec.

Today, however, we publish seven or more articles and news pieces each day, as opposed to 20 or so in the average month when we were in print. With such a greater volume of content, we have more freedom to talk about our calendar topics in more creative ways, and not just with words, but video, too. There’s no pressure to hit the mark in one long piece offering a purely analytic, cost-benefit approach to any particular subject. There will be some of that, sure, but we will also approach these concepts (which are, by the way, much more philosophical and strategic in nature) in different ways, thinking about best practices, the role of teams, the desires of customers, economics, politics, quality, and much more. Not all or even most of our pieces in any one given month will focus on the topic, but enough will so that you’ll get our best thinking about the meaning and importance of what we’re covering, and how it affects you and your organizations.

We’ve carefully selected these 12 topics for maximum import. By month, they are as follows:
January: Product Life Cycle
February: Digital Workplace
March: Automation/Robotics
April: Management Excellence
May: Supply Chain/Logistics
June: STEM/Teams/Training
July: Shop Floor
August: Risk Management
September: Standards/Human Beings
October: Healthcare
November: Lean Tools
December: Customers

In addition to finding and sharing stories about these topics each month, we’ll also weave a broader narrative throughout the course of the year, striving to show you how industry has thought about performance excellence in the past, and where that thinking is taking us in the future. Each month will build on the one before as we examine why and how we do what we do. In the end, we hope to offer a look at the nature of what it means to impart quality to our lives, our organizations, and our world. Yes, it’s an ambitious undertaking, but we know that once launched, these themes will resonate with each other and with you, and your feedback will help keep us on course and moving forward.

Yes, it’s the nature of journalists to tell stories; it’s also the nature of quality professionals to seek connections, find patterns, and benchmark progress. This neat dovetail between our worlds, between media on one side and quality on the other, gives us at Quality Digest a unique perspective not only into finding these stories, but also in bringing them to you in ways that deliver value. In undertaking to order our editorial in this way, it is our hope that we can maximize this value for all who read Quality Digest Daily, watch Quality Digest Live, or visit our website regularly.

Thanks, as always, for being a part of this journey with us. I wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy, and successful New Year! May 2015 be your best year yet.

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Mike Richman