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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....


Open Access

A Step Forward

by Hampton, Debra M. Hay;

The committee draft of ISO 9001:2015 is significantly different from ISO 9001:2008, and includes new terms and clause structure. It also focuses on reducing risk and applying the process approach....


Innovation Imperative: Innovation Toolbox

by Merrill, Peter

There is a core set of tools from which innovators can choose. Generally, innovators should select one primary tool and perhaps one secondary tool to use in each stage of the innovation process....


Expert Answers: March 2014

by QP Staff

Defining the customer ... incoming inspections...


Open Access

Standard Wise

by Combs, Oscar

View ISO 9001 as more than a QMS standard to lift business performance to new heights....


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

Quality in the First Person: Looming Memory

by Taylor, William D.

As quality professionals, we pride ourselves on our ability to get to the root cause of any problem and correct it. To our credit, we usually have numerous success stories. But I wonder how many of us are haunted by an unsolved problem?...


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....


Standards Outlook: The Missing Key

by West, John E. "Jack"

Past perceptions about conformity to ISO 9001 suggest an organization may have a good quality management system, but it can still produce junk. But ISO 9001 does provide reasonable assurance that the output of the system will meet customer needs....


Expert Answers: June 2013

by QP Staff

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


Open Access

Paving the Way

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.; Borror, Connie M.

Data and information are at the heart of good investigations and decision making, but are all kinds of data the same? What are the major categories and types of questions to ask to collect and analyze data?...


Standards Outlook: Keeping Watch

by Russell, J.P.

Supply chain management is important to ensure organizations can compete in the global market. Organizations continue to focus on core competencies, resulting in greater dependence on high-quality materials and services from suppliers....


Standards Outlook: Get in Front of the Problem

by West, John E. "Jack"

Considering the unfortunate fact that product recalls and their disastrous results seem relatively common, it’s curious why so many organizations resist formal efforts to address preventive action....


Shift Into High Gear

by Hankel, Amanda

When customers of tgestiona began expressing dissatisfaction about the its inefficient service and delivery processes, it began a transport optimization project that earned gold-level status in the 2012 ASQ International Team Excellence Award process....


Lasting Impression

by Stauffer, Rip; Owens, Debra

A recent paper found that quality initiatives have made significant contributions to three primary indicators of economic well-being: gross domestic product, corporate tax revenues and employment....


Clever Combination

by Flori, Albert

As software use increases in safety-critical applications, we must implement quality improvement tools and techniques to identify software failures before they have a critical effect on the completed system or a fatal effect on the end user....


Innovation Imperative: Time for a Change

by Merrill, Peter

A quality manager’s career is far from predictable. It depends on the attitude of an organization’s leadership toward quality and, perhaps more importantly, leadership’s understanding of what quality is....


The Audit Answer

by Estrada, Angel; Sinn, John W.

Graduate students at Bowling Green State University studied the Quality Systems Educational Collaboration, a program that addresses workforce and technical assistance needs for organizations, and disclosed areas for improvement using Six Sigma methods....


Quality for Tomorrow

by Merrill, Peter

The work of the quality profession has evolved over the years from quality control to quality assurance to quality management. But what is the next stage of evolution from quality management?...


Open Access

Up and Away

by Owens, Tracy; Fritz, Caroline

Do you want to quickly test your creativity? Take a sheet of paper and draw a big circle on it. Draw a dot on the paper. This exercise is part of a test given to children entering kindergarten to find out their baseline levels of creativity....


Expert Answers: May 2012

by QP Staff

Defining quality ... Consolidating certifications ......


Open Access

One Size Fits All

by Krzykowski, Brett; Hankel, Amanda

There’s a reason why simple tools endure: They work, regardless of the situation. That’s a characteristic shared by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence....


Eradicating Inconsistency

by Udell, Mark; Buffington, Mike

When most people imagine the Orkin man, they visualize a uniformed technician driving a white truck from house to house. What’s probably not as widely known is that the technicians stop at many places other than homes....


Get on Board

by El Tigani, Omer Abdel Aziz

Although it is difficult to find a universally accepted definition of what it actually means, quality management is still the dream of every organization on the planet—or at least it should be....


Fail-Safe FMEA

by Rodríguez-Pérez, José; Peña-Rodríguez, Manuel E.

The appropriate use of quality risk management can help organizations comply with regulatory requirements, such as good manufacturing practices or good laboratory practices....


Expert Answers: January 2012

by QP Staff

Cost-of-quality reporting ... Auditing options ......


Standards Outlook: Know Your Future

by Reid, R. Dan

The future is a subject of great interest to quality practitioners. So let’s look for initiatives that may be right around the corner. Armed with the right information, you should be able to get a head start on the competition....


Standards Outlook: Know Your Role

by West, John E. "Jack"

When an organization has stale quality management system processes in the face of dynamic—at times chaotic— uncertainty, the entire system may become irrelevant....


All Over the Map

by Merrill, Peter

Innovation can be rewarding, and it’s taking on greater importance worldwide. There’s no better proof of this than the recent World Economic Forum analysis of the innovative capability of countries from all parts of the globe....


Online Tables Standards Outlook

by Liebesman, Sandford

Developed the following business process measures: 4 � documented results of management review meetings 5 � Customer satisfaction measures 5 � Measurable objectives used in product or service improvement 1 � balanced scorecard ( please indicate measures ...


Open Access

Career Corner: Wowing the Boss

by ReVelle, Jack B.

No matter the organization, type of job or department size—everyone has a boss. Even if you have your own company, there's always someone to whom you are responsible and to whom you report. CEOs and board chairmen all report to their boards of directors....


The Secret to Sustainment

by Lindquist, Russell

Of all the problems and projects encountered by most continuous improvement professionals, the most challenging is making change last. In fact, sustaining change tends to be an afterthought for many....


Standards Outlook: Hand in Hand

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

Beginning July 1, all aviation, space and defense (AS&D) quality management system (QMS) certification body audits were required to be conducted according to a newly released AS&D QMS standard....


Standards Outlook: Taking Control

by Russell, J.P.

Organizations need controls to ensure objectives are achieved. It’s management’s job to establish, implement and monitor controls, and the auditor’s job to determine whether they are adequate....


Open Access

Career Corner: Polish Up on Quality Lessons

by Conklin, Joseph D.

Quality is a rewarding career. Yet, occasionally, after a particularly intense day battling a crisis, a momentary break from quality seems attractive. Sometimes I leave quality behind for a little while only to run into it someplace else....


Best of Both Worlds

by Granowicz, Gene

Combine flowcharts and turtle diagrams to simplify the presentation of information and clarify process interactions, making employee training and quality management system auditing easier....


Standards Outlook: Spring Into Action

by West, John E. "Jack"

In a lot of organizations, quality is relegated to the status of a long-forgotten initiative the organization “finished.” In these cases, what should a quality professional do?...


Standards Outlook: Revisionist History

by Liebesman, Sandford

The latest version of ISO 9001 was published in December 2008. Since then, ISO/TC 176 has created a task group to consider concepts for inclusion in the next revision, which is scheduled for publication in 2015....


Open Access

Refresh and Revitalize

by Kelley, Lynn

Textron would be the first to admit it was stuck in a rut. In particular, two of its business units, Avco Lycoming and E-Z-GO, were trapped in 1950s management styles. Both units had limited new product development and a less-than-engaged workforce....


Doomed to Fail

by Caffrey, Noel G.; Medina, Candace G.

Ben looked around his new office, happy to still have a job but apprehensive about his new position. He had just been reassigned after his boss’s boss, the CEO, decided the continuous improvement initiative he had been leading was just not working out....


Open Access

Online Figures Ellifson

by Ellifson, Valerie

Customer relationship management model / ONLINE FIgurE 1 Evaluation and improvement Strategic planning process ( SPP) step 1: Review customer inputs and analyze processes to refine feedback mechanisms, customer relationship strategies, and action plans (...


Open Access

Get Your Ducks in a Row

by Orthaber, John

The ISO 9001 quality management system has been around since 1987, and it is generally acknowledged that the system produces some fairly significant benefits, including improved profitability, higher sales and better employee morale....


Standards Outlook: The Bottom Line

by Liebesman, Sandford

Quality and environmental managers need to understand the language of finance and the effect of operations on the bottom line, while financial managers need to know how quality and environmental managers can help improve results....


Measure for Measure: Calibration Evaluation

by Shah, Dilip

What do you do when a supplier does not have accreditation to the required quality standard? How about when the particular test or calibration item is not covered under the scope of accreditation?...


Online Figures ReVelle

by ReVelle, Jack B.

com 1 Responding to voice of customer / online Figure 1 Kano model of customer expectations / online Figure 2 What the user really wanted As received by the customer As produced by product operations As designed by engineering As specified in the request...


Standard Outlook: In Transition

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

The 30-month transition period for the aviation, space and defense (AS&D) quality management system (QMS) standard began Jan. 1. With plenty of time to get familiar with the QMS documents, organizations are striving to meet their requirements....


Statistics Roundtable: Tried and True

by Hoerl, Roger W. and Snee, Ronald D.

A review of past Statistics Roundtable columns reveals that statisticians and quality professionals are always looking for better ways to increase the breadth and effectiveness of the use of statistical thinking and methods....


Online Tables Fedotowsky

by Fedotowsky, Alex

Corporate main office BSC structure / ONLINE TabLE 1 Corporate BSC perspectives Strategic objective Action plans Measures Financials Lagging KPI KPI = monthly operating costs and reported profits . bSC = balanced scorecard KPI = key performance indicato...


Standards Outlook: Better Together

by Russell, J.P.

Even if everything is done appropriately during an audit, following up on the findings is just as important because it gives meaning to the audit....


Open Access

Where to Start

by Hayes, Bob E.; Goodden, Randall; Atkinson, Ron; Murdock, Frank; Smith, Don

Companies are viewing the Toyota situation as a cautionary tale rife with lessons that can benefit all organizations. To help drive those lessons home, QP recruited five quality experts, each of whom broke down one aspect of the fallout....


Open Access

Power to the People

by Seibert, Jerry H.; Schiemann, William A.

The economic environment is so profoundly different from the beginning of this millennium, it begs the question of whether organizations’ primary relationships have changed, including those with customers and their employees....


Expert Answers: February 2010

by QP Staff

Updating a scorecard ... the right metrics ... starting a quality management system....


High Priority

by Caruso, Bob; Hamilton, Marc

ASQ DEFINES voice of the customer (VOC) as “the expressed requirements and expectations of customers relative to products or services, as documented and disseminated to the providing organization’s members.”...


Cover Your Bases

by Rowe, Matt; White, Brent

Recently, we were asked to give a presentation to a graduate-level organizational development (OD) class comparing process focused management (PFM) to OD. The request led us to conclude the complementary nature of PFM and OD is not well understood....


Standards Outlook: The Right Approach

by Liebesman, Sandford

The process approach is at the heart of a quality management system (QMS) defined by ISO 9001. And, as everyone knows, it’s necessary to have the old ticker checked out from time to time....


Open Access

Tune Up

by Allen, I. Elaine; Davenport, Thomas H.

Six Sigma has many meanings. In its simplest context, Six Sigma can be defined statistically as the attempt to achieve near-perfection by having no more than 3.4 errors per million opportunities, or being 99.997% correct (or defect-free)....


Progress Report

by He; Park; Hu; Knod; Yue

Six Sigma has been a hot topic discussed and implemented globally in the business world, nonprofit organizations and even governments. There is comparatively less research, however, into how to assess the maturity of Six Sigma implementation....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Table Talk

by Leonard, Denis

There are many ways to determine how successful a process or project is. These methods normally involve detailed metrics and may include cycle-time reduction, number of process steps and customer satisfaction. However, the more improvement projects there...


Open Access

Prepared for Battle

by Grossi, Peter C.

Organizations need to remember that while the impact of a recession may be significant from a psychological perspective, the application of sound quality management principles has a much more significant effect on an organization’s success....


Riding the Storm Out

by QP Staff

Virtually everyone and every organization has been touched in some way by today’s turbulent economy. Smaller budgets, unexpected layoffs and workplace shake-ups have become commonplace....


Standards Outlook: Effective Audit Programs

by Russell, J.P.

Today's organizations need to be agile and responsive to the changing requirements in private and public business sectors. Properly directed, internal audit program resources can help an organization stay focused and uncover improvement opportunities....


Online Figures Jing

by Jing, Gary G.

QP 2 Pure bonding / online Figure 5 Part one Part one Part two Part two Left distance Right distance Step one Step two Heat DMAIC Mind- set / online Figure 4 30- 50 10- 15 4- 8 KPIVs 8- 10 KPIVs Critical KPIVs 3- 6 Key leverage KPIVs Inputs variables Mea...


Standards Outlook: Dynamic Duo

by Liebesman, Sandford

Lean and Six Sigma are two methods aimed at improving the quality of an organization’s operations and its financial results. Both concentrate on customer satisfaction and improved business performance....


Expert Answers: February 2009

by QP Staff

Executives hear money talk ... Customer feedback: What works best?...


Open Access

Standards Outlook: To Launch or Not to Launch

by Schnoll, Les

Having quality professionals on medical device product development teams eliminates last-minute conflicts....


Open Access

Contacts That Count

by Daniels, Susan E.

A team dedicated to improving member contact rates at Healthways Inc. pulled just about everything from its lean Six Sigma toolbox while working on a project and was recognized in ASQ’s International Team Excellence Award competition....


Smooth Approach

by Morris, Jon

Traditional internal audits fulfill a need for companies with fresh ISO 9001 implementations. But for organizations with mature systems, an innovative approach called an appreciative internal quality audit can take them beyond compliance to excellence....


Open Access

What's Up?

by Sanders, Seiche

Study participants outlined the forces, four scenarios in which they might play out, and the implications to quality, organizations and the profession. Study participants were asked to envision the implications of the key forces and scenarios for quality ...


Open Access

Online Sidebars Sanders

by Sanders, Seiche

Increasing movement from quality of product to quality of management and the organization. The systems approaches the quality profession has evolved through ISO 9000 and other management system standards will be valued by organizations looking to bring qu...


Open Access

Futures Study

by QP Staff

Forces of Change From All ASQ Futures Studies Table 1 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 Changing values Partnering Quality must deliver bottom- line results Globalization Globalization Globalization Learning systems Management systems will increasingly absorb the...


Standards Outlook: Down With Silos

by Liebesman, Sandford

Businesses today have multiple management systems, including financial, quality and environmental. Unfortunately, these management systems usually do not talk to one another....


Newer Better Faster

by Stevenson, James R.; Kashef, Ali E.

The Small Business Administration has indicated that the majority of innovations are consistent with the continuous improvement commonly used in the define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) Six Sigma method....


The Road to Improvement

by Baranzelli, John D.

Registration of public organizations to the ISO 9001 quality management standard can be difficult because of their complex operations and extensive documentation....


Open Access

A Dose of DMAIC

by Mukherjee, Shirshendu

Ruby hospital, a multispecialty for-profit facility in Calcutta, India, was the first in Eastern India to embrace ISO 9001 and is the only one in the country to have successfully deployed a Six Sigma improvement program....


Online Baranzelli sidebars

by Baranzelli, John D.

IDOT developed an internal quality system audit team to determine whether the new QMS conforms to planned arrangements, to the requirements of the ISO 9001 and to the QMS requirements established by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), and is...


Open Access

Raising the Bar

by Feigenbaum, A.V.

Now more than ever, companies must measure and manage their quality costs to compete at a high level in today’s global marketplace....


Online Coral Springs

by Krzykowski, Brett

The City.s Performance Improvement System / ONLINE FIgurE 1 Strategic level Strategic planning process Environmental scan ( including customer requirements analysis and operational results) Business plan, key intended outcomes, business plan initiatives,...


Open Access

Customer Servicemen

by Krzykowski, Brett

Customer Feedback is a key component of improvement. The challenge has always been finding the most effective way of procuring it....


Open Access

It All Ties Together

by Adrian, Nicole

At a time when gas costs have skyrocketed and companies across the board are doing their bit to be greener, a team of individuals from CSX Corp. came together to develop a solution to combat the large amount of fuel wasted while locomotives sat idling....


3.4 per Million: Test Drives and Data Splits

by Conklin, Joseph D.

Prediction models are one of a Six Sigma practitioner’s best friends for improving processes. The more complicated and persistent the quality problem, the more useful prediction models can be....


Quality in the First Person: Lapses in Quality

by Dean, Darrick

This past year marked my 10th year in industry. It seemed an opportune time to look back at how the various companies I have worked for approached quality....


Standards Outlook: Product vs. System Quality

by Gordon, Dale K.

We live in an era in which complex and technologically advanced products are produced on a regular basis. Little concern is given to the engineering and advanced process capabilities that are required to produce them....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Process Optimization for Service Organizations Isn't Rocket Science

by Scott, John

The following is intended for service industry people who are mostly clueless about quality improvement. (You manufacturing people can skip the page because you already get this, right?)...


Standards Outlook: Output Really Does Matter

by West, John E. "Jack"

Auditing is a key component of systems that provide confidence in organizations’ competence, ability and honesty in meeting requirements. For decades we have been using audits for this purpose...


DFX and DFSS: How QFD Integrates Them

by Jiang, Jui-Chin; Shiu, Ming-Li; Tu, Mao-Hsiung

The differences in concept and application between design for excellence (DFX) and design for Six Sigma (DFSS) are discussed, and it is shown how they can be effectively integrated by using quality function deployment. Quality must be built into a...


Open Access

Avoid Random Acts of Improvement With Baldrige

by Werner, John

Organizations can use the best project execution methods, such as Six Sigma and lean, but be disappointed with the results if key strategic goals are not addressed. Improvement efforts should begin by first considering the characteristics of the...


Deployment: Start Off on the Right Foot

by Gates, Robin

Deploying lean Six Sigma can produce fantastic results that are worth all the hard work of deployment. Managing change, securing leadership commitment, managing talent, and getting the right accountability will make the difference between a...


Open Access

Lean Lessons: Lean Kaizen in the 21st Century

by Alukal, George

Adapted from a chapter of Lean Kaizen, the author offers key takeaways from the Toyota Production System (TPS). He describes how the kaizen method is the foundation of the The Toyota Way and how it emphasizes efficiency, problem solving and...


Conformity or Sustainability? That Is the Question

by Watkins, David

Sustainability is an enterprise’s ability to survive and prosper in a rapidly evolving environment, and the essence of sustainability is performance results. Any expenditure of resources that does not generate value produces a net loss and impaired...


Quality Glossary

by Nelsen, Dave

Five years after it published its first glossary of quality terms, ASQ has revised that glossary with updated definitions and new entries, many from the lean glossary published in 2005. This reference of terms, acronyms, and prominent figures in the...


Open Access

10 Quality Basics

by Duffy, Grace; Payne, Graeme; Rooney, James; Hare, Lynne; West, John E. "Jack"; Borawski, Paul; Westcott, Russ; Okes, Duke; Guttman, Howard; Foster, S. Thomas; Conklin, Joe

In an overview designed to give quality newcomers a glimpse of the knowledge they need to succeed, ten regular Quality Progress contributors write on 10 basic quality topics that are fundamentals essential to surviving in a quality role. Topics covered...


Standards Outlook: Why a New ISO 9004?

by West, John E. "Jack"

In the rush that is today's business environment, we often worry more about details than we do the big picture....


Lean Lessons: Using Lean to Meet Quality Objectives

by Gordon, Dale

For many years, proponents of lean and Six Sigma methodologies have worked to achieve a marriage of convenience. For the most part this has fared well....


Open Access

ASQ Certification Board Puts Quality Tools to Work

by Laman, Scott A.; Burns, Elizabeth; Lynn, Kathy L.

Recognizing the importance of customer satisfaction in strategic planning, the ASQ certification board recently used quality tools to develop customer requirements. To begin the process, a SIPOC (suppliers, inputs, outputs, and customers) diagram was...


ISO 9001: Could It Be Better?

by Dearing, Jack

Many well-intentioned people are using ISO 9001 to control and improve quality, but much of the standard should be disregarded. ISO 9001's unnecessary costs affect companies, their employees and customers, as well as society in general which depends...


How to Fail the ISO 9001 Driver's Test

by Palmes, Paul

An ISO 9001 audit can be likened to the process of getting a driver's license when you think of the auditor as a department of motor vehicles tester who must examine your vehicle and its key operators before granting certification. ISO 9001 requires...


Standards Outlook: Do Environmental Management Systems Improve Performance?

by Briggs, Susan L.K.

The debate regarding the value of environmental management systems arises from a lack of comparable, quantifiable data demonstrating companies with a formal EMS produce less environmental emissions, discharges and waste than companies without one....


Standards Outlook: Increase ISO 9001's Value

by Liebesman, Sandford

ISO 9001 describes a basic, effective quality management system (QMS). Compliance to it is the starting point toward achieving excellence in an organization. Additions to an ISO 9001 compliant QMS can act as the first steps toward excellence....


Open Access

Employee and Patient Focus Earns the Baldrige

by Funk, Valerie

Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan has a vision of becoming a national leader in healthcare quality. In the 1990s, it began using the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria as a tool for improvement and self-evaluation, and in...


Measure for Measure: Four Steps to Ensure Measurement Data Quality

by Graham, Robert

Millions of measurements are made every day in this country, ranging from the very simple to the extremely complex. Unfortunately, many do not obtain valid results because they make unrealistic assumptions about their measurement capability....



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