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Open Access

Back to Basics: Checks and Balances

by Bautista Smith, Janet

A technique to sync organizational vision and strategies using the auditing beyond compliance approach....


Open Access

Blog Boom

by Calfa, Jimena; Graban, Mark; Hunter, John; Stepniowski, Jennifer J.; and Zrymiak, Daniel

Back in the late 1990s—well before 140-character Tweets, before Facebook posts and before LinkedIn discussions—there was the blog. Register at any number of blogging sites and you could set up your own personal or professional website....


Necessary Measures

by Johnson, Louis; Deaner, Maureen;

Learn the difference between standard and expanded gage repeatability and reproducibility (R&R) studies and how expanded gage R&R helps clarify measurement system variation....


Open Access

Career Corner: Opening Doors

by Conklin, Joseph

Career Corner columnist Joseph Conklin interviews a counselor at the Prince George’s One-Stop Career Center in Laurel, MD, during the second week of the October 2013 government shutdown to look into training and retraining programs for displaced workers....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Steer Your Career

by Goffnett, Sean

An individual development plan (IDP) focuses on developing a quality talent pool by allowing each individual to create a systematic strategy to improve skills and overall performance....


3.4 per Million: Conducting FMEAs for Results

by Kubiak, T.M.

Today’s world is fraught with risk. A failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is a prevention-based, risk management tool. Its real value is reflected in its use as a long-term, living document....


Open Access

No Weak Links

by Bailey, Bill D.; Alter, Howard

A global telecommunications organization decided to use the lean tool value stream mapping, along with the eight rights and seven supply chain wastes to better understand its complete supply chain and to help avoid suboptimization....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Curve Your Enthusiasm

by Phillips, David

Microsoft Excel includes built-in functions that make drawing OC curves easy. This column focuses on attribute (pass/fail) single sampling plans that can be modeled with the binomial distribution....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Pay It Forward

by Ramu, Govind

Helping professionals on their ASQ certification journeys and improving their careers gives this ASQ member a sense of fulfillment....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Mix It Up

by Barsalou, Matthew

Combine exploratory data analysis and strong inference to generate and verify hypotheses....


Open Access

Catching Fire

by Liu, Shu

Teams can use the seven creativity strategies and their related tools to develop creativity to solve quality improvement problems....


Open Access

A Place to Call Home

by Leonard, Denis; Zajicek, Gary

Builder leverages quality toolbox, culture to construct house for "Extreme Makeover" TV show....


3.4 per Million: Knowing the Drill

by Conklin, Joseph D.

In the quest to solve quality problems, drilling down into data is a time-honored strategy that serves Six Sigma practitioners well....


Open Access

Looping in Quality

by Awofala, Dele

The quality loop framework provides organizations with a structured approach to integrating quality throughout the product assembly process—from the workstation to the customer....


Expert Answers: April 2014

by QP Staff

Coordinate measuring machine profile capability ......


At Your Fingertips

by Cartia, Robert A.

Troubleshooting is defined as a form of problem solving most often applied to the repair of failed products or processes. It is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem so it can be solved and so the product or process can operate again....


Open Access

Will to Live

by Csikos, Brian

How one quality professional confronted a life-threatening diagnosis....


Open Access

Probing Probabilities

by Hooper, William

Let's do a little experiment from an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1978. Suppose you are tested for a rare disease that occurs in the population at about 1%. The test is 95% accurate....


Open Access

A Pathway for Patients

by Dean, Mark L.

The clear success of lean in other sectors has stimulated its adoption in healthcare. Reaping its benefits are a growing number of progressive healthcare organizations, including the Mayo Clinic, ThedaCare, Jewish Hospital and Virginia Mason....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Calculated Risk

by Sherman, Peter J.

A formula for balancing the cost of risk and uncertainty....


Hoist Help

by Chadha, Rajeev

Overall equipment effectiveness and waterfall analysis are proven continuous improvement analysis tools that have been used in the manufacturing world for many years....


Choose Wisely

by Sharma, Mohit

How to select the right metrics to ensure process improvement success....


Open Access

Breaking Down Barriers

by Liu, Shu

To leverage the benefits and prepare for the challenges big data present, quality professionals must change their mindset, get more data, upgrade their skills and expand their roles in the big data universe....


Open Access

Fresh Perspective

by Radziwill, Nicole M.; Owens, Tracy;

The relationships among technology, innovation and quality are based on creating new value and sustaining the ability to continue creating it. Leveraging these relationships can help in releasing your creative spirit....


Open Access

Career Corner: Putting Pen to Paper

by Conklin, Joseph D.

Task management tips for the digitally unhip....


Open Access

2013 QP Salary Survey Webcast Powerpoint Presentation

by Hansen, Max Christian

View a PowerPoint presentation to accompany the webcast summarizing and discussing the 2013 QP Salary Survey, featuring author Max Christian Hansen....


Open Access

Salary Survey 2013: Behind the Results

by Hansen, Max Christian

The 2013 Salary Survey was sent to ASQ 44,945 members. There were 7,504 individual responses, for a response rate of 16.7%....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 2, Section 23. Base Earnings by Education and Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

The independent consultants who respond to QP’s Salary Survey are, of course, a smaller group than the regular employees. This year in the United States, 62 consultants reported working part-time and 109 full-time....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 20. Size of Raise and Additional Annual Payments

by Hansen, Max Christian

In 2009, the percentage of North American quality professionals not expecting a raise in salary hit an all-time high of 38%. That number has dropped since then, although the dropping stalled in 2012....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 19. Salary by Gender and Age

by Hansen, Max Christian

In the United States, 68.4% of the full-time workers who participated in the QP Salary Survey are men. With an average salary of $91,070, they earn an average of $9,158 more than their female counterparts....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 18. Salary by Exemplar Global Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

Worldwide, 14.2% of the surveyed quality professionals have at least one Exemplar Global certification. Canadian and U.S. respondents held 49 of the 72 certifications listed as choices in the salary survey, which are divided into two tables....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 17. Salary by Highest Level of Ed. and Yrs. of Exp. in Quality

by Hansen, Max Christian

Year after year, the QP Salary Survey shows that education pays off in higher salaries for quality professionals. The two most advanced degrees, the master’s degree and doctorate, seem to pay especially large dividends....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 16. Salary by Highest Level of Education

by Hansen, Max Christian

Year after year, the QP Salary Survey shows that education pays off in higher salaries for quality professionals. The two most advanced degrees, the master’s degree and doctorate, seem to pay especially large dividends....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 15. Salary by Extent of Quality Responsibilities

by Hansen, Max Christian

In QP’s quality survey, respondents are asked: “In your company, how many people do you think have quality responsibilities stated in their job descriptions?” In 2009, a majority noted a figure of 25% or less....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 14. Salary by Organization Quality Infrastructure

by Hansen, Max Christian

If you work in a quality department, there’s a good chance you work in one whose size has been stable for a while. For several years, between 35% and 44% of respondents reported that their department had stayed the same size during the past year....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 13. Salary by Geographic Location

by Hansen, Max Christian

Of the quality professionals who participated in this year’s salary survey, the vast majority live in North America. Only 0.85% of the respondents work outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico (Table 1)....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 12. Salary by Industry

by Hansen, Max Christian

Year after year, respondents from North America are more likely to work in the manufacturing sector than the service sector. But, also perennially, the workers in service industries bring home, on average, bigger paychecks....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 11. Salary by Division Size, Org. Size and Location of HQs

by Hansen, Max Christian

For quality professionals, it pays to work in a larger organization. And, within the larger organizations, it seems that the larger the division you work in, the larger your paycheck....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 10. Salary by Number of Employees Overseen

by Hansen, Max Christian

In the United States and Canada, the majority of survey respondents oversee the work of other employees. Asked whether they supervise others, 36.2% of U.S. respondents declined to answer, and this section will deal only with those who did answer....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 9. Salary by No. of Yrs. in Crnt Position and in Quality Field

by Hansen, Max Christian

Section 8 shows that quality professionals don’t seem to be strongly rewarded for staying in one position for a long time. Table 1 of this section shows that respondents don’t tend to stay in one position for too long....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 8. Salary by Number of Years in Current Position

by Hansen, Max Christian

Each year, QP salary survey looks at respondents’ salaries by their tenure in their current position. And each year, one data point of interest is how many professional are new to their positions that year....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 7. Salary by Nonexempt vs. Exempt Status

by Hansen, Max Christian

Quality professionals who are paid for overtime earn less than those who are exempt from such pay. In the US, the 85.6% of respondents who said they’re exempt from receiving overtime earn an average of $31,438 more than the respondents who are nonexempt....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 5. Salary by Six Sigma Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

Year after, QP’s salary survey shows that it pays to get Six Sigma training. As Figure 1 shows, U.S. respondents who’ve completed any level of Six Sigma training earned $16,826 more on average than those without any Six Sigma training....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 6. Salary by Number of Work Hours

by Hansen, Max Christian

If you’re from the United States, it’s likely you work a lot of hours. Each year, QP’s salary survey shows that more than 40% of U.S. respondents work on average more than 45 hours per week....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 4. Salary by ASQ and Exemplar Global Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

In North America, 58.2% of respondents to QP’s salary survey held at least one ASQ certification. As Table 1 shows, the two certifications held by most respondents are certified quality auditor (23.9% of respondents) and certified quality engineer (22%)....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 3. Salary by Number of Years of Experience in the Quality Field

by Hansen, Max Christian

Over the 27 years QP has been conducting its salary survey, results have consistently shown that quality professionals are rewarded for their years in the profession....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 2. Salary by U.S. Regions and Canadian Provinces

by Hansen, Max Christian

Average salaries of quality professionals vary widely by state or province. In the United States, the highest-paying region provides salaries 9.2% higher than the national average, while the lowest-paying region comes in at 9.3% below that average....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 1. Salary by Job Title

by Hansen, Max Christian

Of those who responded to this year’s salary survey, the vast majority are employees of a single organization, and of these, most work full time. Part 1 of this report, consisting of sections 1-19, address these respondents....


Open Access

Words to Work By

by QP Staff

Readers shared their favorite quality quotes and reflected on the wisdom of the words....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Career Traveler

by Hermenitt, Chris

Determination helps machine operator soar to the top....


Show of Hands

by Liu, Shu

“How many think this process is capable of meeting the specification?” Students sitting in a basic quality class in Asia were asked this question while they looked at a long-term normal process variation curve well within the specification range....


Expert Answers: October 2013

by QP Staff

Handling incoming inspections ... identifying special processes during an audit...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Tell Me About It

by Radziwill, Nicole

Plan-do-study-act-export (PDSA-X) supports the collaborative pursuit of excellence across organizational boundaries, geography and time....


Get There Faster

by Andell, Jonathon L.

While traditional value stream maps, 5S workplace organization and spaghetti diagrams are crucial tools for the lean practitioner, they do not lend themselves readily to quantifying waste associated with transporting things throughout a facility....


Open Access

Career Corner: Put Yourself in the Hot Seat

by Whitacre, Teresa

Auditing is a big part of many quality professionals’ careers. We audit our suppliers and we perform internal audits. Some of us even participate in third-party audits. How many of us, though, have audited our career paths?...


Open Access

Expert Answers: August 2013

by QP Staff

Correction vs. corrective action ... Identifying and eliminating waste...


Open Access

Back to Basics: According to Plan

by Port, Jonathan

Regardless of the purpose, audits must be properly planned so they’re successful and valuable. Often, this crucial step receives scant attention. The audit process should be divided into three equal parts: planning, execution and follow-up....


3.4 per Million: Operational Definitions

by Kubiak, T.M.

If your organization is like most when it comes to data collection or metric development, little thought is actually given to these processes. I mean, after all, how difficult can it really be?...


Dig Deeper

by Chadha, Rajeev

Sort,store, shine, standardize and sustain (5S) is a lean process for creating and maintaining an organized, clean, safe and high-performing workplace....


On the Map

by Schmidt, Megan

The City of Irving, TX, engages the hearts and minds of its employees to drive world-class performance. It became the second municipality to receive a Baldrige award in the program’s 25 year history in 2012....


Raising the Bar

by Bertels, Thomas; Buthmann, Arne

Many large organizations have invested in operational excellence initiatives. Some organizations are motivated by potential cost savings, while others are looking for culture change or a common language for solving problems....


Open Access

Feeling Connected

by Port, Jonathan D.

Each of us desires to be heard and understood, affirmed, blessed, safe, touched, chosen and included. Understanding these desires in each person can lead to high-performing work relationships, motivated employees and better quality....


Open Access

Career Corner: An Age-old Problem

by Conklin, Joseph D.

When coaching younger generations in the workforce, one size does not fit all. Career Corner columnist Joseph Conklin provides tips for navigating a multigenerational workforce....


Expert Answers: June 2013

by Ramu, Govind; Kubiak, T.M.

Auditee refuses nonconformance report ... Customer service quality in the banking industry...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Light Bulb Moment

by Force, Scott

NEWLY CERTIFIED Six Sigma Black Belts often struggle with understanding how the various quality tools work together. It took me a few projects before I began to see linkage. As I teach and mentor new Belts, I use an analogy that hits close to home....


Parts of the Process

by Aguirre-Torres, Victor; López-Alvarez, Maria Teresa

Repeatability and reproducibility studies are based on the concept of variance components estimation. This is a remarkable achievement of statistical science because people usually think in terms of means and trends, not variation around a mean....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: It's a Process

by Jennings, John

I have been a Type 2 diabetic for 40 years—about as long as I’ve been in the quality field. Currently, there is no cure for diabetes. But it can be managed....


The Power of Prediction

by Kruger, Gregory A.

Inconsistent supplier delivery can negatively impact an organization’s ability to serve its customers. Using quality and statistical methods can help predict demand and minimize the impact of supplier inconsistency....


Mood Righting

by Thor, Scott

U.S. organizations face monumental challenges as a global economy has emerged. Arguably, the global economy is driving competitive forces to levels unimaginable only a few decades ago....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Act the Fool

by Levinson, William

Almost every workplace has a few heyokas and they are vital to the organization’s survival....


3.4 per Million: Roundabout Estimation

by Conklin, Joseph D.

THE IDEAL IN Six Sigma is to directly measure your inputs and outputs. What can a quality practitioner do when that’s not possible or practical?...


Tool Time

by Liu, Shu

“Does everybody know what time it is? It’s ‘Tool Time’!” On “Home Improvement,” one of the most watched TV sitcoms in the U.S. in the 1990s, Tim and his assistant, Al, demonstrated to their television audience what tools they had and how to use them....


Before the Fact

by Mehta, Bob

The FDA has ratcheted up its surveillance and inspection activities on the suppliers of food and dietary supplements. Growing concern over protection of America’s food chain has been voiced by the FDA’s commissioner of food and drugs....


Open Access

The Right Ingredients

by Zaidi, Syed Wasi Asghar;

In Out of the Crisis, W. Edwards Deming writes, “Everyone doing his best is not the answer. It is first necessary that people know what to do.” To ensure people know exactly what to do, all activities within the organization should be system oriented....


Open Access

Lessons in Labeling

by Braswell, Nina; Koroseta, Jill; Grogan, Amy

What kind of care would you want for a loved one fighting cancer? This is the question the experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America ask themselves every day and motivates employees to create a culture where continuous improvement becomes a habit....


Open Access

Don't Lose Patients

by Creasy, Todd; Ramey, Sarah

Clinch Valley Medical Center—a for-profit, 175-bed hospital operating in western Virginia and part of a healthcare organization with operations in 18 states—has been undertaking lean Six Sigma initiatives for approximately three years....


Open Access

The Right Blend

by Vanicek, Vera

Faced with cost reductions and scheduling changes, a chemotherapy mixing room (CMR) implemented the define, measure, analyze, improve and control method and lean tools to optimize operations....


Expert Answers: February 2013

by QP Staff

Root cause analysis...


Expert Answers: January 2013

by Kubiak, T.M.; Vaks, Jeffrey E.

Six Sigma staffing ... Calibration vs. verification ......


Why Certify?

by Laman, Scott A.; Korkuch, Dana; Kohler, Rene; Drobnick, Rudy; Kramer, Robin; Gardner, Pete; DiPuppo, Janet G.; Krothapalli, Sowmya;

These stories are told by people at different stages of their careers. One of the things they have in common, however, is they’ve carefully considered the costs and benefits of ASQ certification....


Open Access

Career Corner: In Shape for Quality

by Conklin, Joseph D.

I first met A.H. when my personal growth shifted to a more horizontal direction. He has since gone solo, working as a self-employed personal trainer. When I learned he had gone solo, I wondered if his perspective on managing for quality had changed....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Ultimate Originality

by Sundararajan, K.

When developing products for a new market, innovative ideas are essential. A tool that can be used to spark innovative new product ideas is the ideate, define, design and validate (IDDV) method....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Failure of Inspection

by Austin, Alan L.

Inspection often occurs at the end of the production line. As a result, the information gained from identifying problem pieces comes too late to make adjustments in the process, let alone isolate places in the process that are causing the problem....


In the Crosshairs

by Lindquist, Russell

In 2005, Fairbanks Morse Engine discovered that work content analysis can help clearly define product families and can align improvement activities in a leveraged execution....


Rain Gauge

by Fulton, Lawrence V.

The Six Sigma define, measure, analyze, design and verify process is appropriate for exceedingly complex engineering construction problems that require the use of simulation and design of experiments....


Salary Survey 2012: Crunching the Numbers

by Hansen, Max Christian

The 2012 survey was sent to 54,337 members. Of the 6,857 individuals who started the survey, 6,857 completed the questionnaire for a response rate of 11.2%....


3.4 per Million: No Specification? No Problem

by Breyfogle, Forrest W. III

In a column earlier this year I referenced a nine-step approach for determining an organization’s long-lasting operational metrics and how to decide where to focus improvement efforts so the entire enterprise benefits....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Who Is the Customer?

by Smith, Julian D.

The Christmas season is a good time to study processes because shopping provides a prime example. During this time, men tend to revert to a “hunter-gatherer” state, while women are diligently searching for the optimum gift....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Breaking It Down

by Ayulo, Alberto

A3 thinking is based on the plan-do-check-act cycle. This powerful way of thinking is transcribed on a piece of paper (the A3 report) a team of employees can use to produce a desired outcome for a proposed process....


Open Access

Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 5: Salary by Six Sigma Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

S. employees, Canadian employees, international employees Salary by highest level of Six Sigma training for Canadian respondents / Figure 3 115,929 170,000 133,600 91,538 89,811 79,511 84,000 87,750 103,314 92,094 84,608 77,523 65,000 94,000 105,062 84,8...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 1: Salary by Job Title

by Hansen, Max Christian

Figure 1 includes results for: x Full- time employees, part- time employees, x U. S. employees, Canadian employees, International employees Salary by job title for U. S. respondents / FIgUre 1 46,884 50,558 53,970 56,246 57,718 69,279 70,094 72,261 74,13...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 2: Salary by U.S. Regions and Canadian Provinces

by Hansen, Max Christian

South Carolina 1.4% 96.8 North Carolina 3.6% 95.3 Tennessee 2.1% 89.6 Kentucky 1.3% 89.9 WV 0.3% 92.9 Virginia 2.9% 95.8 Maryland 2.1% 123.4 Delaware 0.4% 108.2 D. C. 0.1% 144.4 New Jersey 2.1% 128.6 Connecticut 1.7% 132.7 RI 0.3% 125.5 MA 3.5% 121.4 Mai...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 3: Salary by Number of Years of Experience in the Quality Field

by Hansen, Max Christian

Salary by years in quality and job title for U. S. respondents / Table 1 ConTinued) Minimum Maximum Standard deviation Count Mean Median Analyst no experience $ 80,000 $ 129,000 $ 22,218 4 $ 97,800 $ 84,000 less than 1 year 28,000 77,800 19,915 7 50,114 ...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 4: Salary by ASQ and RABQSA International Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

Percentage of respondents holding aSQ certifications / Table 1 2012 2010 2008 Certified quality auditor 22.9% 24.1% 24.2% Certified quality engineer 20.4 23.7 21.6 Certified manager of quality/ organizational excellence 12.6 13.7 12.6 Certified Six Sigma...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 6: Salary by Number of Work Hours

by Hansen, Max Christian

117,746 105,228 99,432 93,146 80,680 72,965 56,449 0 $ 20,000 $ 40,000 $ 60,000 $ 80,000 $ 100,000 $ 120,000 More than 60 hours ( 1.8%) 56- 60 hours ( 6%) 51- 55 hours ( 10%) 46- 50 hours ( 26%) 41- 45 hours ( 39.9%) 36- 40 hours ( 15.2%) 35 or fewer hou...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 7: Salary by Nonexempt vs. Exempt Status

by Hansen, Max Christian

com 44 Exempt vs. nonexempt status by job title / Figure 2 Percentage exempt and average salary by job title for U. S. respondents / Figure 3 11.5 13.3 19 64.5 69.6 71.4 75.1 77 80.6 81.7 84.6 89.9 91 91.9 92.2 93.9 94.1 94.6 95.1 95.4 97.2 98.5 99.6 88....


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 8: Salary by Number of Years in Current Position

by Hansen, Max Christian

com 50 SponSored by Salary by time in current position for U. S. respondents / Figure 2 Salary by time in current position for Canadian respondents / Figure 3 93,287 87,271 90,357 84,833 85,039 85,433 0 $ 20,000 $ 40,000 $ 60,000 $ 80,000 $ 100,000 More ...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 9: Salary by No. of Years in Current Position and in Quality

by Hansen, Max Christian

Part 1. Regular Employee Results Section 9. Salary by Number of Years in Current Position and in the Quality Field Longevity.s Effect On Earnings Cross- tabulation of the number of years in current position and in the quality field / Table 1 In a positio...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 10: Salary by Number of Employees Overseen

by Hansen, Max Christian

QP 65 QP Salary Survey 2 0 1 2 Salary by number of employees overseen for U. S. respondents / Figure 2 Salary by number of employees overseen for Canadian respondents / Figure 3 125,378 111,064 100,758 102,717 93,924 89,209 85,176 76,431 0 $ 20,000 $ 40,...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 11: Salary by Division Size, Org Size and Location of HQ

by Hansen, Max Christian

Salary by division size for U. S. respondents / Figure 3 Salary by division size for Canadian respondents / Figure 4 104,974 104,656 97,212 90,354 84,140 80,486 73,220 84,729 0 $ 20,000 $ 40,000 $ 60,000 $ 80,000 $ 100,000 More than 10,000 ( 4.5%) 5,001-...



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