"Mr. Pareto Head" Presents Humorous Situations
I have been in the quality profession for many years, and I want to comment on J.M. Juran's letter in the October issue ("Juran Questions 'Pareto Head' Name," p. 8). One thing that appears to be a constant in the quality arena is that it tends to bore people to death. All you have to do is sit through one quality presentation and review all the charts and graphs of quality data, including Pareto diagrams, to find that out.
"Mr. Pareto Head" takes a poke at the situations quality professionals see on a daily basis--things we shake our heads about but don't have the courage to bring to management's attention. In many ways, "Mr. Pareto Head" does just that in a light, humorous manner. Mike Crossen shouldn't change a thing.
Australian Business Excellence Awards Updated
It was great to read the insightful comparative analysis of a number of key quality awards, including the Australian Business Excellence Awards, in the article "A Comparative Analysis of National and Regional Quality Awards" (Robert J. Vokurka, Gary L. Stading and Jason Brazeal, August 2000, p. 41).
I just wanted to point out that a number of significant changes have been made to the Australian Business Excellence Awards model since 1998, the year the document used as a primary reference was published. The changes include a new pictorial model (see Figure 1). Please visit our Web site at www.aqc.org.au/abef/index.html for more detailed information on the 2000 Australian Business Excellence Framework.
Consistent with the changes in the United States and elsewhere, many of the current developments in our framework are designed to reinforce "big picture" issues in organizations, such as innovative leadership, market awareness and measures of organizational sustainability. It is a framework for improving and sustaining business results by addressing strategic and operational key success factors.
Australian Business Excellence Awards
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
The other authors and I appreciate the information on the update of the Australian Business Excellence Awards. It provides an example of a national award organization practicing continuous improvement and making further advancements towards an overall organizational performance model.
ROBERT J. VOKURKA
College Station, TX
Metrology Article Leaves Questions Unanswered
As an international register of certified auditors/registrar lead auditor and laboratory accreditation auditor with experience in laboratories, biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, I was extremely aggravated at Philip Stein's article "Calibration Buyers, Beware!" (September 2000, p. 113).
Stein states that "ISO 900X registration does not testify to the correctness or traceability of the answers a laboratory provides. As with all other 900X processes (at least the 1994 version), registration only addresses the quality system and not the quality or fitness for use of the final product." True, but a lead auditor with appropriate laboratory experience may identify other information that could be verified through ISO 4.3, contact review of deliverables, such as certificates which may identify these reference standards (ISO 4.9c), ANSI/NCSL Z540-1 or ISO 17025. Verification of either, if referenced, would be necessary if auditing the intent of ISO 900X:1994. Statistical techniques would be verified under ISO 4.20. If techniques weren't done correctly, a corrective action could be issued to ISO 4.9e or 4.18.
With regard to Stein's statement about QS-9000: third edition, 4.11.2.b.1, I would agree, but there aren't any limitations defined for accreditation. Therefore, the auditor shall verify the full scope of accreditation, which would include the scope of the lab along with specification limits to ensure requirements will be met.
Also, Stein's comment with regard to registrars not having the technical knowledge or expertise to pass muster with Guide 58 is at best an ignorant comment. Stein automatically inferred the word "all" in his comment. It may be true that a vast majority of each registrar's auditors don't have the technical ability and expertise to effectively audit Guide 25, ANSI/NCSL Z540-1, ISO 17025 or ISO/QS element 4.11. A vast majority of inability doesn't mean zero ability as Stein's words claim. Therefore, a registrar that has any technical knowledge/expertise available will have its base established and will begin its compliance to pass muster with Guide 58.
WILLIAM J. ANDERSON
Proposed MB-9000 Standard Confirms Inevitable Trend
Hampton Scott Tonk's article "Integrating ISO 9001:2000 and the Baldrige Criteria" in the August issue (p. 51) has considerable merit. We urge the Baldrige and ISO 9000 communities to consider the idea and work toward a pilot of the proposal, possibly with appropriate involvement of both National Institute of Standards and Technology and International Organization for Standardization/ American National Standards Institute/ASQ.
Tonk's analysis of the proposal's strengths and weaknesses highlights benefits from an integrated version of Baldrige and ISO 9000. The nonprescriptive Baldrige approach provides the flexibility to recognize industry best practices as part of a certifiable program. The ISO 9000 approach provides a way to publicly recognize that an organization has attained a certain level of management system maturity. A certifiable process also tells potential customers, investors and partners that the organization is committed to high performance values and customer focus.
Integrating ISO 9000:2000 with performance excellence criteria such as Baldrige elevates it far above the level of quality control and quality assurance to true organizational performance management. The Baldrige model integrates human resource and workflow development, strategic competitiveness, customer retention and loyalty, and analysis of data for improvement and risk reduction. It can signal an organization's progress toward performance excellence as it implements core values of performance excellence through continuous improvement and benchmarking.
Whether such an integration takes place because of a longer term vision, or simply out of having the good professional and business sense to stay relevant to organizational and performance excellence, this proposal offers a chance to vastly accelerate the inevitable for ISO 9000 and vastly expand the adoption of the Baldrige model. It can become a tremendous learning and leadership example looking forward toward performance excellence.
We invite others who share our support for this proposal and are interested in exploring how we might pilot it in the United States to contact us.
MARTIN F. STANKARD
Productivity Development Group
The legend in Figure 5 in the article "Using Corrective Action To Make Matters Worse" (Wallace Davis III, October 2000, p. 56) was printed incorrectly. This is what should have run:
Bar Specified setpoint
Blue circle Scheduled calibration
Black diamond Monthly test
In the same article, the quote, "Failure to understand variation is a central problem of management," should have been attributed to Lloyd S. Nelson.
In November's article "Quality Health Care--A Path Forward" (R. Dan Reid, p. 107), DaimlerChrysler was omitted from the names of Automotive Industry Action Group members who are working on a guidance document for health care organizations to use in implementing or improving their quality systems.