Grandma’s influence

Thank you to author Yvonne Simmons Howze for the delightful article about your grandmother and her impact on you, "Quality in the First Person: Lasting Impression" (December 2014, p. 64).

These lessons in humility, service and struggle that we are exposed to when we are young, often from parents or relatives, are so important. It sounds like your grandmother was a fantastic person.

It is always a pleasure for me when I see examples of the human, interpersonal side of our profession discussed in the press. I am convinced there is a wealth of productivity waiting to be released by understanding the effects of true leadership and how we can work together better. I am grateful for your latest contribution.

David Ledwig
Brevard, NC

Defining, creating quality

In response to "Finding Harmony" (November 2014, pp. 16-20): Defining quality is not that complicated. Creating it is another matter entirely.

Quality can be defined as the customer’s perception of the product. If the customer thinks the product has low quality, it does. Conversely, if the customer thinks that the product has high quality, it does. It does not really matter what you think, or how hard you tried. The customer’s perception is all that matters.

Creating quality is the sum the process parts, from marketing to shipping and all functions in between. For expediency, an imaginary line is drawn between product reliability (design) and quality (manufacturing). But in the end, the customer only sees a product that is cost efficient and either performs its mission or doesn’t. A product that fails to perform its mission in any way is a low-quality product. Therefore, quality is the customer’s perception of the product.

John L. Dalrymple
Westlake Village, CA

Business excellence and Baldrige

Congratulations to the authors on recognizing the need for a multipronged approach to business excellence in the article, "Multipronged Approach" (November 2014, pp. 22-29). I was delighted to note that, by the end of the article, they had included almost all of the elements covered in the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. Perhaps that’s why it worked so well for them.

Diane Schmalensee

Cooperation, not competition

"The System Is the Solution" (November 2014, pp. 38-43) is an excellent article on how a system perspective leads to the conclusion that cooperation instead of competition is the key to attaining the goals set by any organization.

Eleazar Chacon

Inspiring story

I just got around to reading Brian Csikos’ story, "Will to Live" (March 2014, pp. 32-37), and I’m glad I did. It was fabulously inspiring and very well written. Congratulations to you, Brian, and your beautiful family. Keep hanging in there.

Larry Jenkins
Westminster, MD

Tune In

The latest episode of ASQ TV focuses on careers in quality. In the episode, hear about the stages in a quality career, evolving responsibilities of a quality professional and what quality professionals wish their colleagues would stop saying.

Watch for an episode dedicated to those new to quality on Jan. 20. Visit http://videos.asq.org to access the full video library.

Online Extras

  • Watch more on risk management
    Looking for more on this month’s featured topic? Check out an episode of ASQ TV by visiting http://videos.asq.org/risk-management-and-quality. In the episode, learn the ways organizations think about risk management, how risk management is evolving and why the quality community is essential to organizations’ risk management functions.
  • Resource guides and directories
    QP often publishes guides to vendors, providers and suppliers. View an archive
    of these guides by visiting http://asq.org/qualityprogress/tools-resources/

  • We want to hear you
    Send comments about recent QP articles to editor@asq.org or comment on the article’s webpage. Your comment could appear in the LogOn section of QP.

Quick Poll Results

Each month at www.qualityprogress.com, visitors can take an informal survey. Here are the numbers from last month’s Quick Poll:

Which of these definitions of quality do you most agree with?

  • 42.1% Implementing changes to prevent future issues.
  • 32.8% Having a recall process in place in advance of quality problems.
  • 21.8% Apologizing publicly and maintaining transparency while rectifying the issue.
  • 3.1% Performing customer outreach methods to prevent recall notices from being ignored.
  • Visit www.qualityprogress.com for the latest question:

    What technology-related amenities would you most like to see at sports venues?

    • Apps for food service.
    • Apps for restroom wait times.
    • Bigger, brighter video boards.
    • Free, fast Wi-Fi service.

    Quality News Today

    Recent headlines from ASQ’s global news service

    Amazon’s New Robot Army is Ready to Ship
    The e-commerce giant boasts that it has boosted efficiency by deploying more than 15,000 wheeled robots to crisscross the floors of its biggest warehouses and deliver stacks of toys, books and other products to employees.

    Learning Together, From Others
    A school district in Wisconsin opened its doors to more than 100 visitors from all over the country to learn tactics and strategies used to build continuous improvement processes throughout their respective school districts.

    Want the latest quality-related news and analysis? The QNT Weekly enewsletter, available exclusively to ASQ members, delivers it every Friday. Subscribe now at http://email.asq.org/subscribe/qntwk.

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