Connecting the dots
"Shatterproof" (November 2015, pp. 34-39) and "Changing Tides" (December 2015, pp. 46-51) really struck a chord with me. The authors captured a strategic imperative for quality professionals—to connect the dots between quality approaches and the aim of their organizations.
This alignment is captured by the practical application of excellence models. They provide a big umbrella under which all quality genres fit (such as ISO 9001, lean and Six Sigma) and are comprised of interconnected best management practices that contribute to the organization’s aim. These models harness the talent within the organization to work toward the aim. And they also include the use of benchmarking, which encourages people to look outside the organization and learn from others.
Courtenay, British Columbia
Finding a balance
In response to "Career Corner: Clocking Out" (November 2015, pp. 52-53): I’m a fairly young quality engineer and 100% agree with this article. When looking for a new job last year, one of the first things I asked about was the work-life balance.
I had temporarily worked for a place that required 55-hour workweeks and working alternating weekends. It offered overtime and higher pay than other job offers I’d received, but I left after two months. I would rather enjoy less money with my family and friends than have more income and be tired and miserable by the time I get home.
In response to "One Good Idea: Personnel Frustrations" (December 2015, p. 79):
It’s a good idea to stress-test business operations as a preventive measure. This isn’t commonly practiced, however, because most organizations are not preventive-oriented. We need crisis and drama to feel needed.
Good article. Some start-up companies are facing this problem. It can be improved with good top-management support.
Threshold not recommended
In response to "It’s Fun to Work With an F-M-E-A" (January 2016, p. 32): I liked your article on the failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) process. But I would like to see you write about how using a risk priority number (RPN) threshold is not a recommended practice for determining the need for action.
The Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Reference Manual (Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., 2008, p. 103) provides an example of how an RPN may not address the appropriate area.
The latest episode of ASQ TV discusses lean and Six Sigma. See the difference a Six Sigma-level of quality can make and hear how organizations have applied lean and Six Sigma tools and concepts into their cultures.
Watch for the next episode that debuts on Feb. 2 that covers careers in quality. Visit http://videos.asq.org to access the full video library.
See five additional tables that illustrate the case study described in this month’s 3.4 per Million column, "Before Breakdown," pp. 51-54. Find them on the column’s webpage.
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Quick Poll Resuts
Each month at www.qualityprogress.com, visitors can take an informal survey. Here are the numbers from last month‘s Quick Poll:
What has been the biggest quality-related story of the year?
- Volkswagen cheats emissions tests. 76.1%
- Takata air bag recall. 17.6%
- Hackers take control of a Jeep. 4.6%
- Amazon proposes "drone zones" for delivery. 1.5%
Visit www.qualityprogress.com for the latest question:
What is the most important factor in a successful Six Sigma project?
- Top management support.
- Adequate staff training.
- Accurate root cause analysis.
- Ensuring post-project controls are in place.
Recent headlines from ASQ’s global news service
Controlling the Supply
Chain Is Key to Preventing E. Coli Outbreaks
A rash of recent E.coli outbreaks is certainly not good press for the food industry, and as foodservice operators prepare to navigate the challenges tied to Chipotle’s outbreak, consumer confidence continues to erode. Recent E. coli outbreaks have affected chains including Target, Starbucks and Costco.
Takata Emails Suggest Data
Newly obtained internal emails suggest Takata made bold and broad efforts to manipulate air bag test data. Engineers’ emails included suggestions to alter a graphic to "divert attention" and "dress it up."
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