Joe Basala, lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and consultant, QI Sigma Consulting Inc.
Joe Basala, an ASQ member since 1991, is a lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at his own consulting company, QI Sigma Consulting Inc., in Bettendorf, IA. There, he provides lean Six Sigma training and consulting to client organizations. Before owning his own business, he spent 14 years with Case Corp., which then became part of CNH Global. At Case, Basala held numerous positions: design engineer, senior reliability engineer, manager of quality engineering/improvement, Black Belt and Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
He has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in industrial technology from Western Illinois University in Macomb. He also earned an MBA from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA.
Basala is an ASQ fellow and has the following ASQ certifications: certified quality engineer, quality auditor, manager of quality/organizational excellence, reliability engineer and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has an additional certification as a certified manufacturing engineer from the Society for Manufacturing Engineering. Additionally, Basala teaches many of ASQ’s Six Sigma courses and is part of the Six Sigma Forum Advisory Council.
Recently, Basala answered questions about the importance of Six Sigma and provides advice to those new to quality.
What do you think is most important in implementing a Six Sigma project?
The most important part of implementing a Six Sigma project is the define phase. Getting the charter completed and the team in place is critical to getting the project launched correctly. If this isn’t done, projects falter and usually end up with subpar results.
Why do you think Six Sigma is important?
Organizations need an accelerated method for driving improvement. Six Sigma has delivered financial benefits for the last 20 years. An organization should drive out waste and work toward continuous improvement.
Why do you think quality is important?
Quality is the glue that holds the economy together. When quality can be assured, goods and services are able to flow more freely.
What’s your favorite benefit of quality?
Standardization. Quality improvement tends to drive standardization. When processes are standardized, work is more smooth and error free.
Why did you choose to go into the quality field?
Early in my career, a wave of downsizing occurred. I was spared, but it made me reevaluate where I wanted my career to go. I saw great potential in a quality career. In many of the positions I had, details mattered. This is particularly true in quality. It has turned out to have been an excellent choice.
What’s your best advice to someone new to quality?
Take the tough assignments and show your organization what you are made of. As your career progresses, invest time in obtaining ASQ certifications. The knowledge obtained through this process has been extremely worthwhile and critical to my success over the years.