“Valid or Not?” (July 2018, pp. 36-42) is an interesting article providing clarification about important aspects of certifications that aren’t very well known, even to quality engineers and managers. This is a clear example of the added value QP brings to ASQ members. Congratulations to the authors. Well done.

Davide Ceruti
Vimercate, Italy


I really liked the July 2018 Expert Answers column (pp. 8-9) on root cause analysis (RCA). As a quality manager for a small organization, I am responsible for facilitating the majority of RCA investigations in my organization. The issues described in the column are right on. If we can’t figure out the root cause quickly, it’s unlikely we will have a real chance to provide meaningful corrective action because the necessary resources are diverted to a new problem.

Amanda Foster
Endicott, NY


In response to the July 2018 Expert Answers (pp. 8-9): It is true that sometimes the system root cause may not be reached or addressed by eight-disciplines teams for several reasons. For such cases, management should be able to understand the risks and understand the consequences of possible repeats. This article is a good reminder on what ground to cover for an effective root cause analysis.

Raymond Medina
Santa Rosa, Philippines

The Reaction Gauge

This month’s question

Hundreds of millions of tons of plastic is produced every year, and much of it ends up in landfills or the ocean. To combat its negative effect on people and the environment, some governments are banning single-use plastics, and organizations are turning to alternative materials. What are some of the pros and cons of reducing plastic use? How might these changes affect manufacturers?

Send us your take at editor@asq.org. Or join the discussion on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/groups/3633.

Last month’s question

From a simple check sheet to complex matrix data analysis, it’s safe to say everyone uses quality tools. What is your favorite quality tool and why?

Setu Vora, New Longing, CT, says:

To me, the quality improvement project charter is the basic foundational quality tool.

Jonathan Raine, Milton Keynes, UK, writes:

When supporting other business areas, five whys is my most used tool. It quickly promotes thought and discussion with stakeholders, particularly those without prior quality tool experience. When they have started to think a little differently and differentiate between causes and symptoms, I tend to lean toward an Ishikawa diagram as a simple visualization tool.

David Knowlton, Jefferson, MA, notes:

Instead of one, I’m going with my top five: five whys, Pareto chart, event timeline, run/control chart and fishbone diagram. The order of the tools depends on the situation they are used for.

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