Making the Case

Advocates hope to convince lawmakers to keep funding Baldrige program

After yet another recommendation by U.S. lawmakers to withdraw funding for the Baldrige program next year, the award’s advocates have turned their sights on House and Senate committees on Capitol Hill to convince them to reject the recent vote and reconsider supporting the program.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science voted in mid-September to deny funding for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. Other committees still need to consider the recommendation before fiscal appropriations are legislated, perhaps as early as this month.

"The Baldrige program has been recognized as a model public-private partnership, and we are disappointed in the decision made to eliminate its funding," said Paul Borawski, ASQ’s CEO.

"Taxpayers have a vested interest in the improved performance of schools, the improved performance of healthcare facilities and the increased competitiveness of companies nationwide. It’s clear we have more work to do to educate Congress on the program’s value," he said.

During the panel’s hearing, a member of the Senate subcommittee blamed the proposed cuts to Baldrige and other programs on the "chilly" political climate for federal spending.

"We’ve gone beyond frugality and are into austerity," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md). "This stringent budget environment required the subcommittee to make difficult decisions."1

This latest recommendation follows a similar one made by the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee and Appropriations Subcommittee in early July. President Obama had reduced funding for the program by $2.2 million in his budget recommendation to Congress earlier this year.

Historically, federal funding has been joined by funds from the Baldrige Foundation, along with application fees and services of nearly 1,000 volunteers. The federal funding is a small portion of the total amount of hours, funds and value contributed to the Baldrige program. The program’s $9.6 million federal budget represents less than 19% of the Baldrige enterprise’s $51 million total annual resources.2

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, manages the program, while ASQ sponsors and provides administrative support.

Advocates have pointed to an independent economic study of the Baldrige program, which estimated nearly $25 billion in benefits to the economy, a 25-to-1 return on the government’s investment.

The study said the Baldrige award recipients that used the program method for six continuous years showed a median growth of 57%, revenue growth of 93% and job growth of 63%. During the same period, industries from which the recipients came had 3.2% job growth.

"Congress should be shining a light on Baldrige recipients and point with pride to their accomplishments as an example of what the best can do," Borawski said. 


  1. Alex Philippidis, "Science Agencies Feeling the Pain of Budget Cuts as Lawmakers Craft FY 2012 Budget," Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, Sept. 26, 2011, www.genengnews.com/analysis-and-insight/science-agencies-feeling-the-pain-of-budget-cuts-as-lawmakers-craft-fy-2012-budget/77899462.
  2. "Malcolm Baldrige Foundation to Continue to Pursue Support for Baldrige Program," Quality Magazine, Sept. 20, 2011, www.qualitymag.com/Articles/Industry_Headlines/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000001105547.

11 Organizations Under Final Review For 2011 Baldrige Awards

Judges for the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award have selected 11 organizations for the final review stage. This includes site visits to one organization in the small business category, one in education, six in healthcare and three in nonprofit.

The panel of judges and a board of examiners sifted through 69 applications this year. In 2010, seven organizations were honored with Baldrige awards. This year’s award recipients are expected to be announced later this month.

QP articles featuring past Baldrige recipients can be found at http://asq.org/qualityprogress/topics/index.html?topic=2&mode=nav&lst=more&parenttopic=qp2.


Former Motorola CEO And Six Sigma Pioneer Galvin Dies

Robert Galvin, Motorola’s CEO for nearly three decades and the man credited with first implementing Six Sigma, died last month. He was 89.

"We lost a transformative leader and visionary," current Motorola Mobility Chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha said in a statement. "We will continue to honor Bob Galvin’s legacy here at Motorola Mobility. He was committed to innovation and was responsible for guiding Motorola through the creation of the global cellular telephone industry. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family."

Galvin, the son of Motorola’s founder Paul Galvin, was at the helm of Motorola when the Six Sigma concept was officially launched in early 1987—communicating the goal of achieving less than 3.4 defects per million opportunities throughout the organization. Galvin made Six Sigma a core element of the company’s business strategy.

Motorola engineer Bill Smith is noted as a key person who developed the Six Sigma concept and presented the idea to Galvin and other Motorola leaders in late 1985. Some call Galvin the "Godfather of Six Sigma."

Six Sigma also was a key component when Motorola earned the first Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1989.

Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown told Reuters that Galvin was the most impactful chief executive in Motorola’s history.

"He was a global thinker," Brown said. "He saw around corners. He put an extraordinary emphasis on innovation."


ASQ News

WORLD QUALITY POSTER To help celebrate World Quality Month, ASQ has created a free 8½ x 11-inch downloadable poster for use at any event. The full-color poster offers a large white space for adding a special World Quality Month message or including specific event information. Visit http://asq.org/2011/10/world-quality-month-poster.pdf to download the poster.

AUTHOR RECOGNIZED Eric D. Schoen has been named the recipient of this year’s Lloyd S. Nelson Award for his paper, "Optimum Designs Versus Orthogonal Arrays for Main Effects and Two-Factor Interactions," published in the Journal of Quality Technology (JQT) in April 2010 (pp. 197–208). ASQ’s Statistics Division created the award to honor JQT’s founding editor and recognize a JQT article from the previous year of "greatest immediate impact to practitioners." Schoen received his award at the ASQ and American Statistical Association’s jointly sponsored fall conference in Kansas City, MO.

PACT IN INDIA ASQ India and a government-operated training and research institute have signed a memorandum of understanding that will provide future Indian administrators the quality tools necessary to improve citizens’ quality of life. As part of the agreement, ASQ India and the Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy of Administration’s National Institute of Administrative Research, located in Mussoorie, India, will develop training programs, seminars and events in India to promote modern concepts, methods and best practices techniques to enhance quality in government and public services. The agreement also will promote the application of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

SCHOLARSHIP RENAMED ASQ’s Inspection Division has renamed its scholarship to honor H. James Harrington, a past ASQ president and past division chair. Division members and their families and friends are eligible to apply for the annual $3,000 scholarship. The division also is looking for candidates for the Chuck Cater International Inspector of the Year award. Applications for the scholarship and award, both due Feb. 15, can be found at http://asq.org/inspect/about/awards-inspect.html.

CONCURRENT CONFERENCES ASQ’s statistics and quality management divisions are sponsoring the Institute for Continual Quality Improvement Conference, which will be held concurrently with ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement on May 21-23 in Anaheim, CA. Visit http://asq.org/statistics/interaction/conferences-statistics.html for more details.


Survey: Lean Six Sigma Could Help Cut Deficit

As lean Six Sigma continues to be bandied among presidential contenders and the Obama administration as a possible way to cut waste and spending, recent ASQ survey results showed the U.S. federal government’s structure would keep that from ever happening.

The popular quality improvement method would indeed help reduce the soaring deficit, quality professionals agreed, but the federal government structure would be a barrier to comprehensive evaluation and accountability, along with other obstacles in the government, such as:

  • An environment facing conflicting strategies, goals and priorities.
  • The need to create a sense of urgency to deploy a comprehensive improvement method across all government agencies.
  • The personnel management model currently used by many government agencies.
  • A lack of familiarity with lean Six Sigma.
  • Ongoing political partisanship.

"There are true benefits to using lean and Six Sigma to reduce the national debt, but it’s important to emphasize that these tools alone are not a solution for all government budget ailments," said Liz Keim, ASQ past president and lean Six Sigma expert. "There are a number of other excellent quality improvement methods available, and it is crucial to match the right tool with specific needs."

Several GOP president hopefuls have pledged to implement lean Six Sigma throughout the federal government if elected. President Obama, too, has shown interest in lean Six Sigma through his Jobs and Competitiveness Council, which will apply business approaches such as lean Six Sigma to regulatory processes this year.

For more information, visit http://www.asq.org/media-room/press-releases/2011/20110915-lean-six-sigma-reduce-debt.html.

Salary Survey Says


The average salary in U.S. dollars earned by a regular, full-time quality professional in the United States in 2011, according to the annual QP Salary Survey. Be sure to check out all the results and analysis in next month’s issue of QP.

Word to the Wise

To educate newcomers and refresh practitioners and professionals, QP occasionally features a quality term and definition:

Analysis of means (ANOM)

A statistical procedure for troubleshooting industrial processes and analyzing the results of experimental designs with factors at fixed levels. It provides a graphical display of data. Ellis R. Ott developed the procedure in 1967 because he observed that nonstatisticians had difficulty understanding analysis of variance.

Analysis of means is easier for quality practitioners to use because it is an extension of the control chart. In 1973, Edward G. Schilling further extended the concept.



Quick Poll Results

Each month at www.qualityprogress.com, visitors can take an informal survey, and we post the results.

Here are the numbers from a recent Quick Poll:

"What is the state of Six Sigma?"

  • Somewhat effective, but needs updates. 49.4%
  • Still relevant as is and here to stay. 31.7%
  • Outdated and on the way out. 18.8%

Visit www.qualityprogress.com for the most recent poll question:

"What has been the most significant contribution of young quality professionals at your organization?"

  • Ambition and energy.
  • Innovative Ideas.
  • Tech savvy.
  • Work ethic.

QP Classics

To celebrate ASQ’s 65th anniversary this year, each month QP is spotlighting classic content online. This month, you can download "21 Voices for the 21st Century," a collection of creative and influential quality practitioners QP featured in its January 2000 edition.

A look to the future

Listen to this month’s Author Audio featuring Lori Dellinger, cofounder of ASQ’s Young Quality Professional Network, discussing QP’s New Voices of Quality (pp. 16–23) and the next wave of quality leaders.

Who’s Who in Q

NAME: Ayed T. Al-Amri.

RESIDENCE: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

EDUCATION: Al-Amri holds a doctorate in business process reengineering from the School of Computing and engineering at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom.

INTRODUCTION TO QUALITY: He first implemented a self-assessment using the European Foundation for Quality Management Model at Saudi Arabian Airlines and facilitated a Six Sigma implementation in partnership with General Electric. Al-Amri has also led nine major business process reengineering projects for Saudi Arabian Airlines’ core business processes.

CURRENT JOB: General manager of bilateral and commercial agreements for Saudi Arabian Airlines.

ASQ ACTIVITIES: Member since 2005.

OTHER ACTIVITIES: Al-Amri is secretary general for the Board of Airlines Representatives in Saudi Arabia and secretary general for Saudi Arabian Airlines’ Quality Board. He is president of the
Saudi Quality Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes quality in Saudi Arabia, and chairman of the Middle East Quality Association, another nonprofit organization that promotes quality in North Africa. Al-Amri has been a member of the International Academy for Quality since 2009.

QUALITY QUOTE: Quality is not achieved by talking, but by practicing. You must be the role model. You have to walk the talk to inspire and get the best possible results.


In a recent Career Corner column, "Wowing the Boss" (September 2011, pp. 58-59), a reference to Figure 1 was mislabeled due to an editing error. The article shows how to use the Kano model to better understand your employer’s expectations. In the figure, the straight red—not blue—line demonstrates how customer wows become wants, and wants become musts. QP regrets the error.

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this article

Add Comments

View comments
Comments FAQ

Featured advertisers