This issue of Quality Management Journal focuses on quality certification programs, as well as statistical process control and factors important in reducing errors in hospitals. In “Significance of Quality Certification: The Case of the Software Industry in India,” George Isaac, Chandrasekharan Rajendran, and R.N. Anantharaman of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras examine the impact of quality certification initiatives in the software industry in India. In addition to ISO 9000, they also included the Capability Maturity Model for Software (SEI-CMM). They surveyed 324 respondents from development centers in 61 firms, finding that quality certification was related to better operational performance, as well as the development of software with better attributes and the use of better management practices. In comparing quality certification initiatives, they found better management practices and operational performance was more strongly associated with CMM than ISO 9000.
In another study related to certification initiatives, Dana Johnson of Michigan Technological University examined the impact of organizational variables on operational and business performance of suppliers that were QS-9000 registered in the automotive industry. Responses to the questionnaire were received from 153 QS-9000 registered locations, sampled from the ASQ database. Companies were found to focus on a few high-level organizational variables, although not consistently achieving desired results in operational and business performance. The results confirmed the results of a previous survey, with few changes between the years.
Qidong Cao of Winthrop University, J. Wayne Patterson of Clemson University, Xue Bai of Virginia State University, and Thomas Griffin of Indiana Wesleyan University explore the development of a new type of control chart in “Residual Control Charts for Improving Changeover Productivity.” Using a case study of machine changeover productivity in a textile manufacturing company, they developed the residual control chart. This approach reduces the number of control charts needed, while still blocking out the effect of extraneous factors. They described approaches for analyzing the residual control chart results in order to get at various types of information.
The case-study approach was also used in “Critical Success Factors for Controlling and Managing Hospital Errors,” by Kathleen L. McFadden of Northern Illinois University, Elizabeth R. Towell of Carroll College, and Gregory N. Stock of Northern Illinois University. In studying errors in hospitals, they adapted their previous work on aviation errors. They interviewed respondents in four hospitals, gaining detailed information about seven potential factors critical to the success of reducing hospital errors. They were they synthesized into a framework, which was validated by the case-study respondents.
Combined, these articles present some very interesting and intriguing findings, developed using a variety
Barbara B. Flynn