Simplified answers

In response to: "Statistics Roundtable: It Isn’t There" (February 2016, pp. 60-61):

I generally abhor consultants—particularly those in the quality field because they lurk in the darkness and jump on you when you stumble—and most QP articles are written by these individuals. But I was still impressed by Lynne B. Hare’s article. Lynne is right and very observant of misgivings in common simplicity approaches. In simple cases, you probably don’t need statistics because an answer will jump out at you.

Isaac Glick
Waterloo, Ontario

Mix in people skills

I enjoyed browsing the Best of Back to Basics issue (January 2016) and remember reading many of the articles. It seemed to be missing the people skills or nontechnical elements of quality. For example, there is a ton of content about teams, facilitation and coaching that people should know, too. Many of the relevant authors for these subjects write for the Journal for Quality and Participation. Consider sharing their basics for soft skills so it’s not left out of the mix.

Steve Pollock
Louisville, KY

Smooth SPC implementation

In response to: "Back to Basics: Clearing SPC Hurdles" (January 2016, p. 55):

This article was very well done. It seems to be missing a mention of conducting a measurement systems analysis (MSA). It might be implied in "hurdle 4." Some organizations build the MSA into the initial data collection, but I’ve found there is a much smoother statistical process control (SPC) implementation when the MSA is conducted prior to data collection.

Brian Mailhot
Belchertown, MA

Life happens

In response to: "Career Corner: Clocking Out" (November 2015, pp. 52-53):

I completely agreed with this column. As a leader, I want my employees to feel good about their jobs and work duties. Life happens. I don’t expect them to stress out about running late or needing to take time off for an illness. I also try hard to practice what I preach—often leaving before they do and urging them to do the same. Trust me: You will get higher quality work during a normal work week than you would if employees felt compelled to regularly work overtime.

Deborah Hein
Grand Rapids, MI

Inspiring personal quality

In response to: "Quality in the First Person: Pursuit of Happiness" (October 2015, pp. 54-55):

This was an inspiring article. I have many dreams and projects in my life. But I feel I must focus on one at a time. I didn’t know it was possible to apply lean and quality practices in our lives to be happy. I guess you learn something new every day.

Maria A. Rojas
Machala, Ecuador

Tune In

The latest episode of ASQ TV provides advice for quality careers. Develop qualifications that employers seek and get a peek at the latest salaries in the quality field.

Watch for the next episode on March 15 that focuses on government regulations and compliance with medical devices. Visit http://videos.asq.org to access the full video library.

Online Extras

QP on the Go

No matter where you are, you can read the latest, open-access digital edition of QP on your computer, tablet or mobile device by visiting www.qualityprogress.com.

Tough Questions Require Expert Answers

Stumped by a quality question? QP’s experts can help. Submit your question to editor@asq.org or at http://tinyurl.com/qpexpertanswers, and a subject matter expert will help you find a solution.

Let’s Hear It

Share your feedback about an article, and start a conversation. Submit your comments to editor@asq.org, or comment on the article pages at www.qualityprogress.com. It could appear in an upcoming edition of LogOn.

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:

What is the most important factor in a successful Six Sigma project?

  • Top management support. 85.7%
  • Accurate root cause analysis. 9.5%
  • Ensuring post-project controls are in place. 4.7%
  • Adequate staff training. 0%

Visit www.qualityprogress.com for the latest question:

What is your biggest challenge in leading a multigenerational workforce?

  • Understanding communication preferences.
  • Delivering performance feedback effectively.
  • Managing work-life balance expectations.
  • Ensuring experienced workers adequately mentor new employees.


Recent headlines from ASQ’s global news service

Flint’s Next Steps: Big Costs, Technical Fixes Looming
It could take up to $1.5 billion to remove lead contamination from the public water system of Flint, MI, according to city officials. What will ultimately be needed to fix the system isn’t fully known. But a chemical treatment regimen is expected to begin the process, and engineers highlighted a number of technical fixes, such as liners and coatings.

3-D Printing and Surgery Could Cause a ‘Paradigm Shift’
To remove a patient’s mouth tumor and create a new, fully functioning jaw, it previously required three operations over 18 months, leaving some patients with trouble chewing and disfigurement. But doctors at New York University Langone Medical Center have pioneered a new approach they call "jaw in a day." And a 3-D printer made it possible.

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