Rooting for clarity

Thank you for the excellent article "Flip the Switch" (October 2008, p. 50). It clearly articulates the problem that many participants in my problem-solving workshops have in understanding root cause, while also providing a way to think about root cause that problem solvers can actually use.

It was a pleasure to read Gary Jing’s straightforward and practical approach. Too many articles on quality topics are big on theory but are not so helpful in answering the question, "But what do I do?" I’d love to see more like this one.

Jeanne Sawyer
San Jose, CA

Value in auditing?

Regarding the issuing of ISO 9001:2008, I am curious if there are data available that compare the number of registered companies in the United States versus those that comply with the standard but are not registered.

The firm I work for is registered by a well-known certification body that is fully accredited. We have recently completed a yearly audit, and I am disheartened by the way the bar has been lowered over the years by our auditors.

The audits are becoming more and more cursory, and the findings are of no value and almost embarrassing to present to our executive committee.

The audit process has become a nonvalue-added exercise for us. I would challenge QP to publish an article asking the readership to weigh in on the value of ISO registration.

Name withheld

An influential individual

My congratulations to Armand V. Feigenbaum for being recognized among the quality giants by receiving the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President George W. Bush. It’s about time.

He has been my hero since he helped me kick off a career that totaled some 37 years, 29 of which were spent in quality at Hughes Aircraft Co. In 1963, I took a course that used Dr. Feigenbaum’s 1961 book, Total Quality Control, as the text. After that, I was a believer for life. There must be thousands and thousands of people who have had a similar experience.

Billie R. Marcum
Hemet, CA

Share your knowledge

I really enjoyed "The Making of a Knowledge Worker" by Greg Hutchins (Career Corner, May 2007, p. 68). I wish you would encourage more members to come forward and provide similar articles in QP so knowledgeable professionals would share their experiences and lessons learned.

Karam Sethi
Quality assurance specialist
Albany, GA

Editor’s note:

QP is always looking for new authors and article submissions. We rely on the editorial contributions of quality professionals and practitioners to support a rich and diverse content mix.

To learn how to become an author and view the guidelines for publication, visit www.asq.org/qualityprogress/information/AuthorGuidelines/index.htm.

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