Q-100 Long-Term Performance Continues To Top S&P

Since its inception on Sept. 30, 1998, the Quality Progress Q-100, an index of stocks in quality organizations, has continued to top the long-term performance of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500.

As the adjacent chart shows, the Q-100 has returned 29.53% since its inception, compared to the S&P’s 20.09% for the same time period. Shorter-term results, however, differ. For the previous 12 months, the S&P went up 13.9%, compared to 12.5% for the Q-100. Results for the second quarter of 2004 were almost the same for the two indexes: -1.9% for the Q-100 and -1.87% for the S&P.

“Once again, the S&P has surprised us, this time with its unusually flat performance for the first three quarters of 2004,” says Craig Robinson, who started the Q-100. Robinson is with Kopp Investment Advisors in Minnesota.

“We have not seen this lack of volatility in the market in more than 10 years,” Robinson continued. “For the first three quarters of 2004 the Q-100, at +1.92%, outperformed the S&P, at +1.51%, by 41 basis points.”


‘Quality Progress’ To Survey People Variability and Performance

Quality Progress and the Metrus Group, a Somerville, NJ, consulting firm specializing in strategic performance measurement and organizational change, will conduct a survey of ASQ members and customers in early 2005 to answer one of the most pressing—and poorly understood—questions related to quality: How does variability in employee performance affect organizational performance?

The objectives of the study will be to:

  • Develop a pragmatic framework of how the variability in the alignment and capability of people affects quality, and if so, how.
  • Determine whether this variability affects business outcomes.
  • Determine how the level of alignment from top management to those in the trenches affects quality and business goals.

The results of the survey will provide guidance to organizations as to where they should put limited resources and time. “Everyone knows variability is a problem,” says Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, QP editor. “We have lots of information on how machines and processes affect variability, but insufficient attention has been given to the people side of variability and how it is connected to quality and customer satisfaction.”

William Schiemann, founder and president of Metrus Group, explains, “We expect this survey, which will tap ASQ’s huge database of quality professionals and practitioners, to provide definitive research on this important subject.”

The survey will be conducted in January 2005 via e-mail to members and customers who have opted to receive electronic communication from ASQ. All those who respond to the survey will receive a special executive summary of the survey results, and a related article will run in a spring issue of QP. Responses will be confidential.


NQF Reports on Two Sets Of Consensus Standards

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has published a new set of national consensus standards related to performance measures of care affected by nursing. NQF also endorsed a set of national voluntary consensus standards for cardiac surgery.

The 15 nursing standards provide a framework for how to measure the quality of nursing care in hospitals and by providers to identify opportunities for improvement of critical outcomes and processes of care.

The cardiac standards include 21 hospital measures that facilitate efforts to achieve higher levels of patient safety and better outcomes for patients. The measures are intended for public reporting.

Additional information on the nursing care report and cardiac standards can be found at http://www.qualityforum.org.


Healthcare Quality Institute Feb. 14-16 in New Orleans

A Quality Institute for Healthcare has been planned for Feb. 14-16, 2005, in New Orleans.

Reduced rates are available for attendees who register before Dec. 17 and for ASQ, American Hospital Assn. and American Society for Healthcare Risk Management members.

Presentations will cover topics such as quality improvement, balanced scorecard, workforce development, human factors and patient safety, applications and best use of evidence based medicine, error proofing and Six Sigma.

Keynoters will be G. Richard Hastings, president and CEO of St. Luke’s Health System, a 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, and Brent James, executive director of Intermountain Health Care’s Institute for Health Care Delivery Research.

For registration information and program updates, go to http://qihc.asq.org.


NCQA Reports Major Gains in Some Healthcare Quality

A study released by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) says the quality of care delivered by health plans that publicly report their performance improved markedly in 2003.

“Yet,” says NCQA, “the U.S. healthcare system as a whole remains plagued by deadly quality gaps that contribute to 42,000 to 79,000 avoidable deaths every year. The findings suggest the system is deeply polarized, delivering excellent care to some people and generally poor care to many others.”

NCQA’s annual State of Healthcare Quality report also found nearly 66.5 million avoidable sick days and more than $1.8 million in excess medical costs can be traced to the healthcare system’s routine failure to provide needed care.

NCQA represents health plans, accredits and certifies healthcare organizations and recognizes physicians and physician groups as it measures and reports their performance. It believes pay for performance projects are a key part of the solution to the nation’s healthcare woes.

For more information on the report, go to http://www.ncqa.org/communications/news/sohc2004.htm.


Power of Six Sigma Shown In Recent Business News

Recent news items demonstrate the power and increasing use of Six Sigma as a management tool.

  • At a gathering of engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs at Mas-sachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the speakers, Sophie Vandebroek, Engineering Center vice president for Xerox, said design for Six Sigma is critical for research and development.
  • General Electric Co. has been training Frontier Airlines in management tools such as Six Sigma.
  • James McNerney, the 3M Co.’s CEO, brought Six Sigma, best practice strategies and devotion to data benchmarks to the Greater Twin Cities United Way as its 2004 volunteer chair.
  • U.S. Navy leaders were required to complete a new fleet business course by Nov. 30. The eight-hour course was available online and included lean, Six Sigma and the theory of constraints. These quality methods “have proven track records of success in both private and public sector organizations, including naval commands,” a Navy press release said.

The FACE of Quality

Name: Susan E. Jacobs.

Residence: Palatine, IL.

First job related to quality: Supporting a quality initiative to revamp a document change control process, which resulted in accepting a full-time position as a manufacturing quality assurance specialist in regulatory affairs.

Current job: President, QMS Consulting Inc.

ASQ activities: New national director serving on ASQ’s board of directors; immediate past chair of the Biomedical Division; teaches courses and does conference presentations.

Other activities: Faculty member of the Assn. for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s good manufacturing and industry practice course.

Publications: Contributing author of The Biomedical Quality Auditor Handbook, published by ASQ Quality Press in 2003.

Personal: Married to Jeff; 16-year-old son, Matt.

Favorite ways to relax: Gardening, cooking and travel.

Quality quote: Quality is a journey. Whether or not we are in the field of quality, continuous improvement, problem solving, leadership and teamwork are essential skills we use everyday. This journey knows no boundaries. The lessons learned and experience we acquire along the way enable us to effectively influence quality thinking through mutual respect and a desire for change. Practicing quality adds value to everything we do.


Juran Center Names Seven 2004 Fellows

The Juran Center for Leadership in Quality at the University of Minnesota has named its 2004 Juran fellows. They are:

  • Zhike Lei, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, $10,000, identifying errors for continuous learning and model of error identification for transactive memory system.
  • Mary Maloney, University of Minnesota, $10,000, coordination and multinational enterprises—a test of Six Sigma teams as coordinating mechanisms.
  • Enno Siemsen, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, $10,000, measurement of hoarding and sharing knowledge and interventions available and the impact of design choices on how to share.
  • John Gray, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, $5,000, outsourcing manufacturing resources.
  • Shilpa Gupta, Arizona State University, $5,000, laying the groundwork for developing an optimal scheme for the monitoring of product and process profiles.
  • Xiaosong Peng, University of Minnesota, $5,000, a control theory perspective of managing an improvement project team.
  • Bosu Seo, University of Minnesota, $5,000, racial disparities of children in the quality of healthcare in Minnesota.

The awards in Joseph M. Juran’s honor are given to doctoral candidates whose research shows the most promise in broadening and fueling thinking and practices in the field of quality.

For a 2005 Juran Fellowship call for proposals brochure, go to http://www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/jurancenter or e-mail juran@csom.umn.edu.

ASQ News

QUALITY MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE FEB.24-25 The 17th Annual Quality Management Conference will be held Feb. 24-25, 2005, in Orlando, FL. Courses will be on Feb. 21-23 and Feb. 26-27. Other features include keynoters, healthcare and human development tracks and certification examinations. An early registration discount will be offered until Dec. 24. For more information, go to http://www.asq.org/qm/conferences/index.html.

SIX SIGMA CONFERENCE FEB. 7-8 The Society’s Fifth Six Sigma Conference will be held Feb. 7-8, 2005, in Palm Springs, CA. Speakers and presenters will share personal experiences in leading projects and applying tools. Programming will include a golf tournament, the Master Black Belt certification exam, 30 case studies and a Super Bowl party. For complete information, go to http://www.asq.org/ed/conferences/sixsigma/index.html.

BECS 2005 STARTS FEB. 28 IN TAMPA The Third Business Excellence and Customer Satisfaction (BECS) Conference will be Feb. 29-March 1 in Tampa, FL. Keynoters will be Gwynee Whitley, director of corporate customer service excellence for Wachovia Bank, and Steven R. Phillips, vice president-quality, reliability and technical service for Harley-Davidson Motor Co. For registration information and conference updates, go to http://www.asq.org/ed/conferences/becs/2005/index.html.

ANNUAL ISO 9000 SUMMIT SLATED FOR APRIL The 12th Annual ISO 9000 Summit, including the U.S. Standards Group meeting, will be held April 4-5, 2005, in Atlanta. Programming will cover the Sarbanes-Oxley law, the new SA8000 social accountability standard, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, lean manufacturing and sector specific versions of ISO 9000. For additional information, go to http://www.asq.org/ed/conferences/iso/2005/index.html.

AUDIT DIVISION CONFERENCE MARCH 10-11 The Quality Audit Division’s 14th Annual Conference will be held March 10-11, 2005, in St. Louis. Topics will include auditing using the process approach, concepts and applications, Six Sigma methodology, sector specific standards and corporate social responsibility. For speaker and attendance information, contact Janet Muschlitz Book, conference chair, at 412-777-2080 or janet.muschlitz.b@bayer.com.

EACH ONE REACH ONE WINNERS NAMED In September, two members were recognized for recruiting new members through the Each One Reach One (member-get-a-member) program. Yong Shio Ping, of George Town, Penang, Malaysia, recruited the most new members—17. Carl Porter from Walls, MS, was the random drawing winner after sponsoring one member. Both received Quality Press coupons. For more information on the Each One Reach One program, go to http://www.asq.org/eoro.html.


Quality Cost Survey Participation Sought

The candidates in the doctorate program in technology management and quality systems at Indiana State University are conducting a study of quality costs and enterprise size in the manufacturing industry.

The doctoral program at Indiana State is a consortium program among that school and four other universities: Bowling Green State, Central Missouri State, East Carolina and North Carolina Agricultural and Tech-nical State.

Respondents to the survey should be in manufacturing for a company that collects data on quality costs and/or costs of poor quality (scrap/rework). Respondents who request it will receive a copy of the research findings.

To fill out the questionnaire, go to http://faculty.cmsu.edu/qcsurvey. If you have questions, e-mail Sue Rodchua at rodchua@cmsul.cmsu.edu.

Short Runs

THE $1.5 BILLION CORPORATION headquartered in Menasha, WI, that prints Quality Progress is implementing the Six Sigma process throughout its manufacturing operations and sales areas. Banta Corp.’s larger clients include Target Corp., Best Buy Co., Procter & Gamble Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and J.C. Penney Co.

INVESTIGATORS OF THE GENESIS SPACECRAFT crash in Utah in September say upside-down switches may have prevented parachutes from opening. Because of an error in the instructions stemming from the craft’s design drawings, some crucial switches were installed backwards. Note: News items similar to this one picked up from http://www.nature.com appear every weekday on Quality News Today on the member portion of ASQ’s website at http://www.asq.org.

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY is offering a Spanish version of its CD-ROM that provides training for the calibration of mass standards used for testing commercial measuring equipment. The free CD-ROM includes interactive activities, quizzes, examples, video demonstrations and specialty graphics and photos for specific products. To receive a copy, metrologists should contact owm@nist.gov, provide their name and mailing information and stipulate whether they want the English or Spanish version.

THE JURAN CENTER for Leadership in Quality at the University of Minnesota is sponsoring a study of barriers that teams from three Twin Cities healthcare systems face in eliminating ventilator acquired pneumonia and bloodstream infections. The research is being funded by 3M Co. and the university. Following the research project, the Juran Center plans to work with healthcare organizations and leaders to develop leadership development curriculum and courses, with an emphasis on systems transformation, personal leadership and process management.

TO IMPROVE DATA QUALITY in computer aided design throughout the global automotive industry, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has released a guideline on product data quality issues and how to efficiently handle them. D-19: SASIG—Product Data Quality for the Automotive Industry describes situations that can affect data quality and offers suggestions for measuring, correcting or adjusting data. Copies can be ordered at www.aiag.org or by calling 248-358-3005. AIAG members can download the guidelines from the website at no charge.

THE REGISTRAR ACCREDITATION BOARD has earned an initial four-year qualification for its environmental management system certification of auditor training courses to ISO 14001 from the International Auditor and Training Certification Assn.


ASQ Certification Rates To Increase Jan. 1, 2005

ASQ certification rates will in-crease on Jan. 1, 2005, when the following exam fees go into effect:

  • Six Sigma Black Belt: member, $180; nonmember, $330; retake, $130.
  • HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control point), quality auditor, quality engineer, reliability engineer, software quality auditor and quality auditor-biomedical: member, $210; nonmember, $360; retake, $160.
  • Quality manager: member, $270; nonmember, $420; retake, $220.
  • Quality technician, mechanical inspector, quality improvement associate and calibration technician: member, $155; nonmember, $305; retake, $105. A special fee of $105 is being offered to active members of the U.S. military who wish to take the calibration technician exam.

For more information, go to http://www.asq.org/cert.

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