Hit the Road

Determine your destination, plan your route

As long as you wind up in the same place, does it really matter how you get there? That is the question explored in this month’s cover story, “All Roads Lead to Rome.”

In answering the question, the author looks back at the origins of lean and Six Sigma, and how they evolved to be applied and used as they are today by organizations—sometimes separately, sometimes in concert. And though they are fundamentally different methods, they give you the means—either separately or together—to achieve the same end: meeting customer needs. I’m sure you’ll learn something new through this unique perspective on these quality improvement methods to reach future destinations.

As you’re probably aware, risk is all the rage these days. In “Tending to Trending,” you’ll learn to look at customer complaint tracking through a risk-based lens. Proper trending of adverse events through attribute control charts can drive organizations’ quantitative and qualitative actions in response to adverse events, the author contends. This article is a primer for using them effectively.

In “Getting to Normal,” the author focuses on statistical process control (SPC). Pointing to its diminishing utility in today’s rapidly changing production environment, the author advocates for new ways for manager-level professionals to use SPC to drive decision making.

In today’s era of automation—in which machines will eventually take over the role of SPC and operator control—humans will still have the ability to manage processes and give SPC new life and visibility at leadership levels. Lean in.

In “Bridging the Gap,” the author offers us another look at quality vocabulary in ISO 9000 and reiterates the importance of clarity with definitions and use. The multiple definitions of “quality” alone will get you thinking about how different definitions can lead to different interpretations and perceptions, and how this can negatively affect the establishment of a quality system. Choose your words wisely.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

Editor in Chief and Publisher

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