Fun and Games

29185P6One thing I notice again and again as I meet and talk with people involved in quality is how much you all truly enjoy the subject. Even people who say they just happened to fall into the profession or field find themselves happy to be part of it and delighted to discuss, learn about and spread the "gospel" of performance excellence and continuous improvement.

So to celebrate our readers' pure enjoyment of quality, this month Quality Progress' editorial team decided to look at one of the field's lighter sides: sports and the sporting goods industry. Even if you are not a baseball nut like I am or a sports fan in general, we think you will enjoy reading about--and will learn something from--your favorite subject set within this framework.

Though the industries they serve are devoted to recreation and leisure, you will see that companies such as Hillerich & Bradsby, maker of the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bats (p. 27), and Ping, maker of golf equipment (p. 36), are very serious about their quality programs and commitments to exceed their customers' expectations. Likewise, "The Game of Statistics" (p. 43) demonstrates how selecting the right measurements is crucial to accurately gauging performance. While the context--baseball's World Series--does not equate to a make or break situation for an organization, we trust statistics devotees will applaud the basic message and other readers will be able to apply it somehow to their own experiences.

In keeping with the lighthearted sports theme, we asked Mike Crossen, creator of the "Mr. Pareto Head" comic strip, to develop some special cartoons for this issue. Mr. Pareto Head has been gracing QP's pages since March 2000. Crossen, an ASQ member and quality engineer for a large industrial computer corporation in Ohio, created the strip in response to a letter in the magazine bemoaning its lack of humor.

While monthly reader feedback indicates a steadily increasing interest in and appreciation of Mr. Pareto Head and his co-workers, we know from anecdotal information that the cartoon seems to engender an extreme response--most readers either love it or hate it. Whichever camp you fall into, we hope you can at least appreciate the spirit and passion Mr. Pareto Head represents and that quality people like Crossen embody everyday. We know you agree that, one way or another, quality is a way of life worth enjoying and celebrating.

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson

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