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TL 9000 Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Links to SIG sites
What is a TL 9000 SIG?
The name describes it: A TL 9000 SIG is a special group for people interested in TL 9000. But it is much more than that. A TL 9000 SIG is a “Community of Practice” — a group of people who share an interest in TL 9000 and want to increase their knowledge of TL 9000 through regular interaction. TL 9000 SIGs also promote the adoption of TL 9000, best practices, and business excellence models in the local telecommunications industry. A TL 9000 SIG meets regularly and brings in speakers or holds round-table discussions on topics of general interest to TL 9000.
How to Start a SIG
- A TL 9000 SIG is a volunteer organization and requires a core group of committed people to keep it going. Ask the local ASQ section to be a co-sponsor. They can advertise the SIG to their members and help get the word out. If the ASQ section has a Standards SIG or ISO Users Group, the TL 9000 SIG can be launched by speaking at one of their events.
- Develop a contact list using the local ASQ section, personal contacts in the industry, etc. Ask service providers and suppliers in the area to provide contacts to be put on the distribution.
- Once core membership is established, work on a mission statement and split up duties. Elect officers; the following positions are recommended (titles may vary):
— Chair – leads the meetings, serves as point of contact for the SIG
— Program Chair – arranges for speakers
— Secretary/Communications – add new members to group (for electronic communication), distributes meeting notices, maintains attendance records
Optional positions include Vice Chair (assists the Chair) and Publicity (publicizes the SIG activities beyond what the Secretary does)
- A regular meeting place is convenient and may help increase attendance. Since SIGs are volunteer organizations, usually with no budget, the space should be available at no cost. Establish a relationship with a local college or non-profit agency that is willing to sponsor meetings by providing a room and refreshments. If nothing like this exists, ask a service provider to sponsor meetings. They have a vested interest in TL 9000 adoption and would be open to covering the nominal costs.
- If a dedicated meeting place is not feasible, different organizations can serve as host. Local management and company representatives can be encouraged to attend and participate when hosting a meeting at their facility. One requirement is that the meeting room has or can accommodate audio/visual equipment.
- Meeting day and time – Pick a time that does not conflict with other telecom or quality events happening in the area. A recurring monthly meeting time is best for the SIG meeting, with the understanding that meetings may occasionally need to be moved. The time frame (morning, evening, etc.) can be determined by consensus of the core members.
- Meeting topics – Develop a speakers list of people who are known experts and leaders. Solicit input from the group to determine topics of interest. Once topics are determined, look for appropriate speakers. If there is someone in another city known for speaking on a particular topic, see if they will be in the area at a time that coincides with a SIG meeting. Communications and publicity are easier if the meeting topics are determined several months in advance. Have some back-ups in case plans fall through.
- Logistics – Designate someone to make sure the room is ready for the meeting. Have a checklist for anything you might need – computer, mouse, projector, screen, extension cord, etc. Have an attendance roster for sign-in by members/guests. Once a group of regular attendees is established, the secretary can prepare a roster with names on it that people initial, with a few blanks on it for guests or newcomers. Develop a brief survey to get feedback from members after each meeting.
- Email – Establish an email account for electronic communications. Use a non-commercial account that can be identified with the SIG so people don’t view it as spam or a sales pitch.
- Web page – A TL 9000 SIG web page facilitates communication about the SIG and its events. It can also provide a vehicle for members to join the SIG and subscribe to its mailing list. To request web space for a new TL 9000 SIG web page, contact TIA QuEST Forum TL 9000 Operations.
- Advertising – Advertise SIG events on the SIG web page, through ASQ, and by posting them on local electronic calendars.