March 1997


The Value-Added Ratio

by Shannon, Patrick

The value-added ratio (VAR) can measure improvement in all processes in all organizations. For a given process, VAR equals the time devoted to process steps of interest to the customer divided by the total process cycle time. The typical VAR is less...


Four More Years of Reinventing Government

by Stratton, Brad

The National Performance Review (NPR) introduced by President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore in March 1993 will continue to reinvent government. An interview with Director Bob Stone indicated that NPR has helped transform the Federal Emergency...


Can Benchmarking for Best Practices Work for Government?

by Keehley, Patricia; MacBride, Sue A.

Best practices imported from other organizations allow public sector agencies to improve service delivery. Benchmarking in the private sector goes back to Henry Ford and the Japanese dantotsu concept. Among the purposes of benchmarking for government...


Integrate Quality Cost Concepts Into Teams' Problem-Solving Efforts

by Robison, Jim

Cost of quality (COQ) initiatives can be incorporated into any organization. A ten-step method integrates the four COQ elements of appraisal costs, prevention costs, external failure costs, and internal failure costs into problem solving programs....


Give Success a Chance

by Anand, K. N.

A full-time coordinator for a total quality control (TQC) program at an engineering company in India helped to revitalize a fading effort. The TQC initiative had started well, with a seminar for top executives and training for management and employees....


Helping the Learning Disabled Participate in Quality Programs

by Owens, Boyd E.

Employee training is ever more important in an era of worker shortages and technological change. This is especially true for employees with learning disabilities (LDs). Even though an LD may affect one's ability to process information, persons with...


Insights Into Improving Organizational Performance

by Roland, Christopher; Cronin, Kate; Guberman, Candace; Morgan, Rose

The continuous quality improvement (CQI) implementation at Cheshire Medical Center has produced its share of lessons learned. It is important for senior and middle management to buy into and lead the initiative. They can communicate by displaying...


A New Twist to a Quality Classic

by Sackmary, Michael

Using the World Wide Web (WWW) to track customer returns helps both customers and employees. At one company, it took three weeks to set up the WWW project for hardware/software product returns. First, they identified system requirements, including the...


How to Stay Flexible and Elude Fads

by DeToro, Irving; McCabe, Thomas

Business process management is a comprehensive approach that goes beyond any single improvement technique. Benefits of its team orientation in the flat organization include process improvement and competitive advantage. The most essential processes...


COQ Systems: The Right Stuff

by Bottorff, Dean L.

Cost of quality (COQ) is a performance measurement system that supports the implementation of quality improvement programs. Developed by J. M. Juran and others in the early 1950s, these measurements of poor quality were promoted by the ASQC Quality...


Customer Feedback From the Classroom

by Walker, Sharron

A principal of a small high school used teacher surveys to identify areas for improvement. The first two attempts were unable to reveal what the teachers needed from the principal. The third try was successful: teachers used Likert scales on a 60-item...


Make Customer Service Analyses a Little Easier With the PGCV Index

by Hom, Willard C.

The index of potential gain in customer value (PGCV) is an enhancement of importance/performance (IP) analysis. It is especially useful in the public sector. As in other IP methods, data for PGCV are customer ratings of the importance and performance...


12 Rules to Make Your ISO 9000 Documentation Simple and Easy to Use

by Russo, C. W. Russ

Simplicity and usability of an ISO 9000 documentation system is the theme of 12 recommendations. First, create the quality manual only after all other documents have been prepared. Second, a concise quality policy need be only one paragraph or one...


Open Access

How Did They Do That?

by Bemowski, Karen

The winners of the 1996 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award were celebrated by President Bill Clinton and others at the annual Baldrige Award ceremony. ADAC Laboratories has tripled its revenue between 1990 and 1996, while customer retention has...



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