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Listen to the Workers

by Richard, Harry P.

Open communication and employee involvement help make TQM a success

One of the most important elements to consider when embarking on a total quality management (TQM) program is recognizing that TQM is an employee involvement process. The following case studies, one occurring within a TQM environment and one taking place o...


Contracting Training Requirements

by Zaciewski, Robert D.

Using a customer contract to communicate responsibilities, expectations and training objectives

For this reason, the team needed to obtain information about each customer's quality system and target population. The two-page contract helped both the team and the customer understand and meet their responsibilities, provided a stable and capable instru...


Safeguard Analysis

by Dew, John R.

Improve process quality through environmental, health and safety performance excellence

Safeguard analysis offers a practical way to ensure that reliable safeguards are designed into activities to achieve product and process quality, avoid environmental insults, and protect the health and safety of employees. To conduct a safeguard analysis,...


STARS of Quality Management

by Loon, Han van

A training model that simplifies and endorses a quality culture

My employer, CelsiusTech Australia, is a software supplier that wanted to present its culture, particularly its quality management beliefs, during new employee orientation. STARS stands for set goals, think, act, review and supply improvements (see Figure...


ASQ Awards Process Lets You Put Your Mark on Quality

by McClaskey, David J.

Nominating process is open and easy

As we approach the Nov. 1 deadline for nominations, I am encouraging all ASQ members to help us identify qualified candidates for the next round of awards. You should also use an ASQ nomination form as a guide for professional development. You do not have...


NISO: A Standard That Parallels, Complements and Exceeds ISO 9001:2000

by Lamprecht, James

I have since come to realize that the acronym NISO could have a variety of other meanings: Next ISO, New ISO, Never ISO, Nice ISO or a multitude of other creative options. 3. To satisfy its customers an organization must provide product(s) that will satis...


Getting the Most From Cause and Effect Diagrams

by Clark, Timothy J.

A cause and effect diagram can be enhanced, however, by following up with a responsibility matrix and an action planning matrix. A responsibility matrix identifies the degree of control process owners have over the cause of a particular problem and the ac...


Planning for Design of Experiments: A Case Study

by Thakur, Dipak

Preparing before experimentation saves time, money and frustration

We decided to strengthen several processes by implementing design of experiments (DOE)--a quality tool the company hadn't used before. The team had planned to begin with the company's wave soldering process and intended to experiment with particular facto...


Identify Big Payback TQM Projects

by Richard, Harry P.

For example, obsolete buyer inventory, low buyer inventory levels and value of buyer inventory all have the same underlying issue--buyer inventory. Suppose a team of supplier personnel, buyers and customers was assembled to discuss possible TQM initiative...


The Nominal Group Technique

by Andersen, Bjørn; Fagerhaug, Tom

Generating possible causes and reaching consensus

Editor's note: Root Cause Analysis: Simplified Tools and Techniques, written by Bjørn Andersen and Tom Fagerhaug and published by ASQ Quality Press (item H1047), offers approaches to identifying and eliminating root causes. 1. Each team member generates i...


Process Capability: Understanding the Concept

by Meagher, Jack

Help employees grasp the basics of process potential and performance

Imagine the vehicle's width as the variability of the process (the +3 sigma) and the construction barriers on either side of the lane as specification limits. Consider the lane to be 10 feet across; the motorcycle, 3 feet across; the compact car, 6 feet a...



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