‘Vital’ criticism

In response to "Standards Outlook: ISO 9001:2015—What’s Vital" (September 2016):

Bravo! Authors John E. "Jack" West and Charles A. Cianfrani are leaders on ISO 9001, and it’s truly refreshing to read their frank criticism of the standard’s lack of an innovation requirement. Many quality professionals interpret the standard as law and miss the point that standards also should be subject to continual improvement. I also like the point West and Cianfrani made about standard compliance versus organizational excellence and sustainability.

Binseng Wang
Cornelius, NC

Bought in

"Buying Into Quality" (September 2016) was a fascinating article. It would be interesting to see whether someone has done this kind of process-flow analysis on engineering work from start to finish. I suspect projects are started before they’re fully defined, and this yields an apparent "lateness" while requirements are still being defined.

Steve Graber
Baldwin Park, CA

Problem solving 101

"Back to Basics: Solving the Problem" (September 2016) is an excellent tutorial on problem solving for quality beginners, and it’s a great refresher for those of us who have been long set in our ways.

Pete Benard
Rudersberg, Germany
Practical sampling advice

As usual, when I took the time to sit and read my issue of QP, I ran into yet another simple and practical article for quality practitioners—"Sample Simplification" (August 2016). In the past, I’ve had to try and understand ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003 (R2013): Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes and the standard’s "black magic" tables.

This article does a decent job explaining a hypergeometric sampling plan, and it even includes a spreadsheet template. It was nice that the author focused on the reject quality level—the probability of not rejecting a bad lot—instead of the usual discussion about its counterpart, the acceptable quality level—the probability of not accepting a good lot. If only I had read this article a decade ago.

Marc Bush
Morgan Hill, CA

Outstanding approach

My organization is not currently certified to ISO 9001:2015, but it plans to use the risk-based analysis approach the authors described in "Standards Outlook: Where Is Preventive Action?" (March 2016) to drive corrective and preventive action on supply chain issues. This article is the most outstanding accumulation of quality-based thinking I’ve been exposed to through ASQ over the last 20 years.

Edward Gibeny
Macungie, PA

Tune In

ASQ TV’s latest episode shows the fun side of quality in celebration of World Quality Month. Learn how Mr. Pareto Head cartoonist Mike Crossen finds humor in quality and meet Sunil Kaushik, a man who’s sharing quality tools while cycling around the globe.

Visit http://videos.asq.org to access the full video library.

Online Extras

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Quick Poll Results

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

What has been the most challenging factor in transitioning to ISO 9001:2015?

  • Demonstrating leadership commitment to the quality management system. 55.5%
  • Implementing risk-based thinking. 38.8%
  • Understanding organizational context. 5.7%

Visit www.qualityprogress.com for the latest question:

What will be the most critical skill for future quality professionals’ success?

  • Creativity.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Communication.
  • Project management.

Quality News Today

Recent headlines from ASQ’s global news service

Battery Debacle: How Pressure to Innovate Can Hurt Quality
Samsung’s battery issues reportedly resulted from erring on the side of speed and innovation at the risk of quality. Electronics manufacturers must routinely navigate diametrically opposing forces: pressure to beat rivals to market with a product that’s better than the last one while taking the time to ensure everything works and, most importantly, is safe.

Report: Defective Medical Devices Cost the United States Billions
A recent report found the United States paid $1.5 billion to healthcare providers for services and procedures related to medical device failures, and patients who received defective devices paid an estimated $140 million in deductibles and coinsurance costs from their own pockets.

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