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Open Access

Lean Lessons: In the Office: Where Lean and Six Sigma Converge

by Locher, Drew

When focused on the reduction in process variability, Lean Six Sigma efforts can improve the predictability of the office environment and improve the flow of information....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Under One Roof

by Sedlock, Ronald

Quality function deployment (QFD) is a great tool for designing a business based on the voice of the customer. Many quality tools are multifaceted....


Six Sigma at Cigna

by Daniels, Susan

In 2002, Cigna Corp., a provider of employee healthcare and insurance benefits, launched a grass-root driven quality program based on Six Sigma. Leadership made it clear that the approach would be holistic and would require behavioral changes and a...


Building Task Cohesion to Bring Teams Together

by Knouse, Stephen B.

Traditional, homogeneous teams made up of members of the same gender, race, and age tend to be more cohesive and more successful and effective in problem solving, but such sameness can produce bland and predictable solutions. On the other hand, a team...


One Good Idea: Bringing the Fishbone Diagram Into the Computer Age

by Levinson, William A.

The cause and effect, or fishbone, diagram is an established problem solving tool. It is particularly suitable for use by cross functional teams, helping a group organize a problem's potential root causes in an easily understandable visual format....


One Good Idea: Improve Product Development Using IPD

by Dickerson, Jim

As with many processes at IBM, product development can be summarized with the three-letter abbreviation IPD--Integrated Product Design. Simply put, IPD is a systematic process for product development....


Open Access

Lean Lessons: Value Stream Mapping--an Introduction

by Manos, Tony

Value stream mapping (VSM) can be an extremely powerful tool, combining material processing steps with information flow as well as other important related data. VSM is arguably one of the most powerful lean tools for an organization......


Open Access

A Community College's Long-Term Commitment

by Daniels, Susan E.

Committed leadership is essential to maintaining a focus on continual improvement in any organization. Dallas' Richland College proved this when, under the leadership of long-time president Steven Mittelstet, it became the first community college to...


Open Access

Rapid Knowledge Transfer: The Key to Success

by English, Michael J.; Baker, William H. Jr.

Rapid knowledge transfer (RKT) involves the discovery, learning, creation, and reuse of knowledge that becomes intellectual capital that can be converted into value and profits. The concepts of RKT are applicable to quality management because its four...


Open Access

Corral Your Organization's Knowledge

by Okes, Duke

One useful method of determining organizational performance is to assess how well it manages critical knowledge. Definitions of knowledge management may vary, but they generally fit into one of four categories: Information technology, organizational...


The Importance of Building Social Capital

by McGrath, Roger Jr.; Sparks, William L.

Maintaining the integrity of the supply chain is critical in times of economic instability. An investment in social capital among organizations within the supply chain is mutually beneficial. The affinity group provides a strategy for developing...


Open Access

PetroChina's Strategic Planning Focused on Quality

by Gao, Shengping; Li, Timothy

PetroChina is a consortium of numerous previously state-owned small- to medium-sized oil companies. Despite modernization efforts taken to reposition itself in the global market, PetroChina faced strong competition from both foreign and domestic sources...


Open Access

Two Hospitals Prescribe Performance Excellence

by Johnson, Kristen

Florida's Baptist Hospital Inc. (BHI) and Saint Luke's Hospital (SLH) in Kansas City, Missouri were recipients of the 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the healthcare category. In addition to its new mission to provide world-class patient...


Open Access

The Image and Reality of Excellence

by Daniels, Susan E.

Medical device manufacturer Medrad Inc. was the only company in the manufacturing sector to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for 2003. The company has been involved with Baldrige since the award’s inception fifteen years ago....


Open Access

At Your Service

by Daniels, Susan

"Boeing Aerospace Support (AS) and Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. (CFSC), 2003 winners of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards in the service industry, have proven once again that quality pays rather than costs. As Baldrige award applicants,...


The Legacy of Ishikawa

by Watson, Greg

Kaoru Ishikawa was a prime mover of quality in Japan who believed in quality through leadership. His six quality concepts form the basis for a holistic approach that is the unique Japanese approach to quality improvement. Ishikawa’s focus on...


Managing Supplier Relationships

by Kumar, Sameer; Bragg, Richard

Effective supply chain management (SCM) can provide companies the competitive edge by adding stability and predictability to their supply stream. Manufacturers can identify vendors that provide high quality service and developing close,...


Best Practices in Process Management

by Dolan, Tom

Process improvement tools have been used to evaluate business processes ranging from employee satisfaction to customer help desk support....


Column: Frontiers of Quality: DFSS and Your Current Design Process

by Mader, Douglas P.

Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is not intended to replace an organization's current design process. Instead, DFSS methodology should be used as a framework at the macro level for deliverables and performance criteria for the design process already in...


Do Teams and Six Sigma Go Together?

by Page Cooper, Nancy; Noonan, Patricia B.

Team involvement is an integral part of any successful Six Sigma implementation. Research shows that Six Sigma rates high in providing an organization with improvements in productivity, cost of quality, work flow, and cycle time reduction. Survey...


Column: Standards Outlook: ISO 9000 and More

by Reid, R. Dan.

DVDs have become a very popular form of home entertainment. Movies released on DVD often feature bonus material and deleted scenes. Wouldn't it be nice if readers of print material could have this option from time to time!...


13 Steps to Certification in Less Than a Year

by Landon, Tammy

Ultratech Stepper (UTS), a manufacturer of photolithography equipment, became both ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14000 certified in less than a year at a cost under $200,000, using only two employees to manage the effort part-time. UTS's quality steering...


Open Access

The Little Hot Dog Stand That Could

by Daniels, Susan E.

Pal's Sudden Service isn't a large, sophisticated corporation, but that didn't stop the Tennessee-based restaurant chain from winning the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA). Pal's two executives believe there is a process for everything...


Open Access

Developing a New Kind of Certification

by Hartman, Melissa G.


One of ASQ's newest certification exams, the certified quality improvement associate (CQIA), is a unique example of process management and response to customer needs. While most certifications are geared toward quality practitioners, CQIA...


Open Access

First to the Top

by Daniels, Susan E.

A small, scattered school district in a remote part of Alaska, a suburban school district near New York City, and a mid-sized public university have become the first winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the education category. The...


Open Access

Journey to the Baldrige

by Phillips-Donaldson, Debbie, editor

The year's Baldrige winners are profiled. They include Operations Management International Inc. (OMI), Spicer Driveshaft (SD) (an operating unit of Dana Corp.), Karlee Co. Inc., and Los Alamos National Bank (LANB)....


Lessons Learned

by Treichler, David H.; Carmichael, Ronald D.

Despite the difficulty of transferring technology and methodology from one culture to another, a team from Raytheon has successfully conducted Six Sigma based tactical transformation workshops for Raytheon Business units, their customers, and suppliers...


Open Access

Managing in Uncertainty: Lessons from the Underground

by Spindler, Garold R.

Corporate results can only be improved in the face of uncertainty if the management process itself is defined, developed, and monitored carefully. In some industries, including the mining industry, high levels of uncertainty impact results. In such...


Open Access

Implementation Can Benefit from Quality Experience

by Clarke, Anthony J.

Knowledge management is beginning to be recognized as a quality tool that will change the standards of competition. Knowledge management decreases waste and rework by focusing on shared solutions, ideas, and best practices. The concept of knowledge...


Open Access

Roll Quality Roll

by Dew, John R.

The University of Alabama is using the Baldrige Award criteria to measure its continuous improvement. As part of its effort, the university is raising its expectations of strategic quality plans to provide guidelines for improvements within colleges,...


A Road Map for Quality Beyond Control

by Pyzdek, Thomas

This final installment in the "Quality in the 21st Century" helps quality professionals deal with seven problems noted earlier. First, to avoid imposing the one best way, hierarchies and control systems like the ISO 9000 series should give way to...


How a Team Can Grow

by Denton, D. Keith

Team growth relies on: planning; communication; a well defined target; performance measurement; and a goal to establish self-directed work teams (SDWTs). Only 10% of employees at Fortune 1000 companies are in work teams, perhaps due to poor development...


Don't Count TQM Out

by Hendricks, Kevin B.; Singhal, Vinod

A study of about 600 award winning firms examined the relationship between financial performance and the implementation of total quality management (TQM). TQM has been criticized lately as ineffective, a perception based on short-term thinking,...


Quality You Can Bank On

by Kalmin, Norman D.; Myers, Linda; Fisk, Mary Beth

Certification to ISO 9002 for the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center required four phases embedded in the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle. Phase one, planning, included evaluating the Center's competitive and business needs; selecting the ISO 9002...


Go with the Flow: Stress and the Quality Professional

by Dew, John R.

Being aware of the sources and danger signs of too much stress as well as knowing how to cope will enable quality professionals to avoid the disabling nature of negative stress and make the most of positive stress. When it is positive, stress generates...


Open Access

The Barriers to Total Quality Management

by Tamimi, Nabil; Sebastianelli, Rose

A survey of quality control managers and quality managers provided rankings for 25 potential impediments to TQM (total quality management). The 25 items were identified by interviewing managers and searching the literature. Then they were sent to 872...


Are You Listening?

by Rice, Elizabeth J.

Successful communication depends on listening well to others. Typical listening skills include active listening, paraphrasing, questioning, and overcoming barriers. These skills are applied at all four levels of communication. At the first level is...


Benchmarking Your Plant Against TQM Best-Practices Plants: Part 1 of 4

by Rogers, Hank

The Ford Ranger Truck Plant is the first of four world-class operations described in a series of articles on quality practices. A visit to this assembly plant consisted of: discussions with the quality manager; observation of quality review at the end...


Advanced Quality Planning: A Guide for Any Organization

by Thisse, Laurence C.

Implementation of advanced product quality planning (APQP) has long-term business advantages for any organization, while supporting the QS-9000 activities of firms in the automotive industry. This planning process, including a control plan (CP)...


The Criteria: A Looking Glass to Americans' Understanding of Quality

by Williamson, James R.

Human Resource Development and Management is Category 5 in the 1997 criteria of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. As the fifth of seven installments on the Baldrige criteria, this article notes the relationships among work systems, employee...


Open Access

Motorola Brings Fairy Tales to Life

by Klaus, Leigh Ann

Celebration, motivation, empowerment, and dollar savings are keys to Motorola's worldwide Total Customer Satisfaction (TCS) competition. Held annually for the past seven years, it has built on the firm's 1988 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award....


Involve Employees at Every Level of Strategic Planning

by Purser, Ronald E.; Cabana, Steven

The search conference allows all employees to participate in continuous organizational learning and active adaptation to turbulent change. A typical search conference involves 20 to 40 employees who work on planning tasks for two to three days....


How to Manage Key Business Processes

by Yingling, Rico

The vital few cross-functional processes at a Borden Chemical plant have been managed for improvement. Management of these key business processes occurs in a system composed of a management team, department teams, and key process teams. Implementing...


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...


Open Access

Measuring for Excellence

by Struebing, Laura

Measurement is a key to continuous improvement at four winners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Federal Express Corp. systematically collects large amounts of data for immediate and potential use. Its customer satisfaction measures...


Research for the Next Generation of Quality

The National Science Foundation's Transformations to Quality Organizations (TQO) program has committed $9 million during 1994-97 to research on quality management and engineering. Supported by the American Society for Quality Control and the Leadership...


A Nation Reconstructed

by Hart, Roger D.; Cooley, Sheryl L.

Rebuilding America's cities requires a quality system supported by quality champions and cross-functional teams. It will take a root cause analysis that acknowledges the American people and the U.S. Constitution as vital elements in the rebuilding....


Open Access

What Should Higher Education Be Teaching About Quality?

by Evans, James R.

Customer-supplier relationships, continuous process improvement, interpersonal skills, and teamwork are keys for those who plan to work in quality organizations. These are among the survey findings from seven 1988-1994 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality...


Where Will They Fit In?

by Silverman, Lori L.; Propst, Annabeth L.

As organizations change, quality is becoming less of a department and more of a paradigm. The agile, customer-sensitive organization is moving away from the traditional quality assurance department. Instead, quality functions may be dispersed...


Sharing the Wealth: TQM Spreads from Business to Education

by Manley, Robert; Manley, John

The 14 points of W. Edwards Deming have applications for total quality education (TQE) in the West Babylon, NY, School District. This student-focused TQE initiative relies on the commitment of the superintendent and board of education as well as the...


Process-Product Integrity Audits: A Hardware Auditing Technique for the '90s

by Taylor, Michael J.

Fact finding, review, and implementation were the three phases used by Lockheed Martin Manned Space Systems to build quality into the processes and hardware products of its space shuttle program. This was called a process-product integrity audit...


Continuous Improvement Through the QS-9000 Road Map

by Lovitt, Mike

The automotive industry has harmonized supplier standards. QS-9000 has international applications for the Big Three (Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors) and other subscribers. Released in 1994 and revised in 1995, the QS-9000 framework includes the 20...


Teams in the Age of Systems

by Scholtes, Peter R.

Customer focus and systems thinking affect the implementation of teamwork. Without attention to these factors, teams can proliferate and become disconnected. A customer-in mentality means that customers drive the formation, activity, and evaluation of...


Small Groups Bring Big Results

by Gyani, Girdhar J.

Employee participation in quality circles and the leadership of executives as team facilitators enabled an oil refinery to implement total quality management (TQM) at the shop-floor level. This is a labor-intensive, continuous-cycle process industry,...


Open Access

A Not-So-Secret Recipe for Successful TQM

by Nadkarni, R. A.

Companies that successfully implement TQM (total quality management) share ten characteristics. These characteristics are often seen in Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winners, though the Baldrige Award is no guarantee of continued success....


Use Technology to Unleash the Potential of Your Quality Improvement Teams

by Teegarden, James W.

Group decision support systems (GDSS) can increase the effectiveness of problem-solving teams. Teamwork is important because groups create better decisions than do individuals, especially if the groups are cross functional. However, power, status, and...


Quality Is Helping Canadian Airlines International Get Off the Ground

by Bemowski, Karen

Employee involvement and customer focus has enabled Canadian Airlines International to improve its customer service ranking from last to first in five years. An interview with chief executive officer (CEO) Kevin J. Jenkins highlights the company's...


The Gentle Art of Chartering a Team

by Cupello, James M.

Establishing a problem solving team comprises six steps. This chartering process is overseen by a quality council. First, the quality council identifies a total quality management (TQM) executive to create the team. A team facilitator, who may be the...


UNC Charlotte Measures the Effects of Its Quality Initiative

by Buch, Kimberly; Shelnutt, J. William

Assessment of TQM (total quality management) programs is the way to understand why programs succeed or fail. At the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, TQM implementation began in 1992, with a CQI (continuous quality improvement) focus on...


But It Takes Too Long . . .

by Early, John F.; Godfrey, A. Blanton

Quality improvement projects can consume too much time. The Juran Institute studied twenty projects of 10 clients in 5 industries. The average project took 68.1 weeks; 62.8% of that time could have been eliminated. Inadequate management preparation...


Naval Station Mayport Jump-Starts Quality

by Ryan, Bobbie

Although fundamental change takes time, a quality improvement program can have a successful impact in only a couple of years. At Naval Station Mayport, the first two years (1992-1994) of its TQL (total quality leadership) initiative have been fruitful....


Aerospace and Defense Contractors Learn How to Make Their Businesses Soar

by O'Guin, Michael

A strategic benchmarking study of 24 divisions in 17 companies identified characteristics of the most profitable companies. This analysis of the aerospace and defense industry by Price Waterhouse and a team of contractors collected more than 20,000...


Japan's New Advantage: Total Productive Maintenance

by Turbide, David A.

Employee ownership of equipment and work areas can lead to reduced equipment downtime, abuse, and accidents. Total productive maintenance (TPM) programs encourage teams of workers to do preventive maintenance and minor repairs of their own machinery....


The OCAP: Predetermined Responses to Out-of-Control Conditions

by Sandorf, John P.; Bassett, A. Thomas, III

The out-of-control action plan (OCAP) is a companion to the control chart at Philips Semiconductors. The OCAP is a flowchart that guides employees' reactions to out-of-control situations. At Philips, process action teams design OCAPs for the equipment...



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