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Open Access

Career Corner: Making the Jump

by ReVelle, Jack

Should you quit your day job and become a consultant?...


Open Access

Brought Into Focus

by Liebesman, Sandford

For the first time, the word “risk” is being incorporated into the new version of ISO 9001. Using risk-based thinking and tools such as risk analysis and risk control matrixes can enhance an organization’s risk management approach...


Statitistics Roundtable: The Folly Youth

by Borror, Connie M.

When I began analyzing data for various companies and researchers a long time ago, I learned an extremely valuable lesson: When given data, be sure to ask lots of questions about it before any analysis....


Which FMEA Mistakes Are You Making?

by Carlson, Carl S.

Focusing on achieving quality objectives and using an FMEA audit process will greatly enhance the FMEA effectiveness....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Road Warrior

by Coleman, Lance

Why conferences are your secret career weapon....


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

Perspectives: Restaurant Day

by Kachoui, David

To celebrate "Restaurant Week,” my daughter’s first-grade class recently turned its classroom into a restaurant for a day. Parents were the patrons. Students ran operations. Upon arrival, we were greeted by 6-year-old host with a white shirt and bowtie....


Open Access

Career Corner: Career Compass

by Whitacre, Teresa

Use basic quality tools to avoid navigating professional development blindly....


Statistics Roundtable: What's Meant by 'Capability'?

by Hare, Lynne B.

Time and again, you hear the question: “Is this process capable?” “Of what?” I want to ask. It hasn’t learned any new moves since the Macarena, so I’m not sure. Very funny. But we really need to know whether it can produce product within specification....


Open Access

Clues About Culture

by Hankel, Amanda

When it comes to building a culture of quality, each organization must develop its own approach. It can be helpful, however, to learn what other organizations around the world are doing and to see how your organization compares....


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....


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....


First Things First

by Arendall, C. Steven; Tiger, Andrew A.; Westbrook, Kevin W.;

Quality management literature has devoted considerable effort to the task of understanding and measuring process capability. Process capability is defined as the best distribution a process can produce given its present design at a given point in time....


Standards Outlook: Revision Runway

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

Revision activities on AS9100—Quality management systems—Requirements for aviation, space and defense organizations continue....


Innovation Imperative: Making Choices

by Merrill, Peter

When you think about how to steer your career, it’s important not to steer too hard. Life presents many opportunities, and if you are trying to force your way through, you will miss the opportunities that come your way....


Expert Answers: June 2014

by QP Staff

Driving service quality ... Evaluating equipment...


Insurance Policy

by Minckler, William

Using a quality-centric approach, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in 2012 embarked on an initiative to create an enterprise content management system to manage, safeguard and accelerate the use of key informational assets....


Solid Base

by Ahmed, Afaq;

A petroleum and petrochemical plant consists of equipment such as pumps, valves, motors, flanges, pipes, turbines, tanks and pressure vessels. Typically, such plants rely on a global supplier base to procure such equipment....


Statistics Roundtable: Solving Jigsaw Puzzles

by DiBenedetto, Alexa; Hoerl, Roger W.; and Snee, Ronald D.

We all face problems in business, as well as in our personal lives and relationships. Despite the need for effective ways to address problems, there is surprisingly little agreement in quality or scientific literature on approaching problems in general....


Need for Speed

by Spencer, Karen; Helfer, Steve

Organizations must focus on key indicators and achieve optimal performance levels. They must define quality as it relates to customers and modify quality to achieve and sustain quality levels that maximize supply chain performance and quality management....


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....


Plan of Attack

by Machado, H.F.

Every important business project has a logical starting set of conditions, followed by a set of events that lead to a logical completion of defined objectives....


Virtual Voices

by Wigent, Dave; Sinn, John W.; Adams, Mike

Social services departments in seven Ohio counties and a university banded together to serve an influx of applicants and improve service by implementing a virtual call center....


Expert Answers: May 2014

by QP Staff

Starting a career in quality ... Testing traceability...


Open Access

Career Corner: Knowledge at Work

by Christopher, Rosemarie

There are numerous ways that knowledge workers can apply influential leadership principles and practices in their work to create stronger collaboration and better quality....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Mix It Up

by Barsalou, Matthew

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


Statistics Roundtable: The Quality Practitioner’s Friend

by Borror, Connie M.

On Aug. 28, 2013, the quality and statistics communities lost one of their biggest champions: Lloyd S. Nelson. Nelson was an honorary member of ASQ, the founding editor of the Journal of Quality Technology and wrote the Technical Aids column for JQT....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Take Note

by Hart, Vicki

Tips to perfect your note-taking techniques....


Standards Outlook: Do You Really Understand?

by Russell, J.P.

The challenge for quality professionals for the next decade is to achieve a deeper understanding of our profession and its purpose....


Safety in the Skies

by Odigie, Michael; Martin, Royce A.; Courbat, Michael; Sinn, John W.

Embracing the notion of continuous improvement, the aviation industry is endeavoring to redefine and fine-tune the way safety is managed....


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

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Tome Nota

by Hart, Vicki

Consejos para perfeccionar sus técnicas para tomar notas....


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....


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

Career Corner: Penny-Wise Planning

by ReVelle, Jack B.

Find your financial footing before your golden years....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: The 'Write' Fit

by Wrestler, Denise

Writing and the ability to effectively communicate are foundational skills of good quality engineers....


Standards Outlook: Into the Future

by Reid, R. Dan

During the past 30 years or so, there has been a lot of content in this column and in QP dealing with management system standards (MSS). Well, get ready. ISO MSSs as you know them are about to change, starting as soon as next year....


Open Access

Learning From Experience

by Behling, David

Seven thought leaders offer their take on lean’s impact, opportunities and challenges....


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....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Super Powers

by Schmidt, Megan

In honor of National Engineers Week, QP took a closer look at what makes engineers and the profession super by asking the global engineering community to weigh in with its thoughts....


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....


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....


Back in Service

by Chakravorty, Satya S.

Machines have evolved from prehistoric tools to sophisticated 21st century devices. Man has been and always will be fascinated by machines and will continue to dream about building something that does what everyone thinks is impossible....


Follow the Fundamentals

by Snee, Ronald D. ; DeVeaux, Richard D.; Hoerl, Roger W.

New technology for acquiring, storing and processing data is being introduced at an ever-increasing pace. In 2012, the White House launched a national “Big Data Initiative.” According to IBM, 1.6 zettabytes of digital data are now available....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Purpose and Principle

by Vora, Manu K.

Lifelong volunteer and teacher reflects on the value of giving back....


Expert Answers: January 2014

by QP Staff

Selecting KPIs ... Controlling multiple processes...


Standards Outlook: Common Ground

by Gordon, Dale K.

Accreditation by a recognized accreditation board ensures the impartiality and competence of the certification board (CB), and fosters confidence and acceptance of the CB’s certifications by end users in public and private sectors....


3.4 per Million: The Best of Both Methods

by Breyfogle, Forrest W.

Many organizations have deployed both business process management and lean Six Sigma. The similarities and differences between these two methods could be illustrated using a Venn diagram, shown in Figure 1....


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 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 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....


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

Inside Job

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

The relationship between business performance and internal service quality is well documented, as are changes in internal service levels over time and the impact of outsourcing on internal service quality....


Statistics Roundtable: Providing Better Insights

by Doganaksoy, Necip; Hahn, Gerald J.; and Meeker, William Q.

In an earlier Statistics Roundtable column, we advocated for the use of degradation testing (that is, monitoring change in a quality or performance characteristic) instead of time to failure....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Mind Your Metrics

by Hartmann, Thomas

Add customer value to your overall equipment effectiveness formula....


Innovation Imperative: Changing Tides

by Merrill, Peter

We are currently in a perfect storm for global change. The global marketplace is changing and advances with technology are dramatically changing the way we complete even the simplest tasks. We are responding to change by innovating....


Expert Answers: November 2013

by Laman, Scott A.

Sampling plans for reliability testing...


Open Access

Perspectives: Action Required

by Veenstra, Cindy P.; Walters, Glenn

IN ITS EFFORT to advance ideas, research and practice in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce, ASQ’s Education Division co-sponsored the third annual Advancing the STEM Agenda Conference earlier this year....


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

5S Shakeup

by Casey, John

There are secrets about 5S that lean experts often overlook because nobody ever clued them in. Before revealing the secrets, however, there are a few questions to answer: What is 5S? Why is 5S important to implement?...


Statistics Roundtable: Balancing Priorities

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.;

We live in a complex world in which getting exactly what we want is often difficult or impossible. The notion of a trade-off is something we are forced to confront almost daily....


Open Access

Quality vs. Safety

by Ghaleiw, Mustafa

In the oil and gas industries, quality can no longer be viewed as a nice-to-have feature. Today, quality must be considered a top priority to ensure safety throughout an organization’s operations and processes...


Ready, Set, Go

by Lawson, Edward

Organizational progress is generally driven by the identification of goals and objectives. Strategic planning, which defines goals and objectives, is a formal process in organizations, regardless of size....


One Good Idea: Probable Cause

by Broccoletti, Moreno

An approach that standardizes the unwritten rules that make root cause analysis effective is proposed in this column....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Quality Couple

by Mouradian, George

Husband and wife use quality tools to sweeten union...


Open Access

Career Corner: The Gift of Growth

by ReVelle, Jack

For both mentors and mentees, mentorship is an invaluable experience....


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

Quality in the First Person: Broken Arrow

by ReVelle, Jack

One member’s role in preventing nuclear disaster....


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....


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....


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?...


Reinventing Excellence

by Buckman, Jim; Buckman, Mary Beth

How Corning used quality to maintain its legacy of innovation for 160 years....


Full View

by Richardson, Robb

As quality professionals, we are comfortable in discussing both the health of a process and how to improve it using the tools of our trade. Yet, when it comes to applying those same approaches to our own performances, many of us are far less comfortable....


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....


Statistics Roundtable: Wanderlust and Memory

by Hare, Lynne B.

Pop quiz. Question one: How do you derive Shewhart (X-bar and R, or X-bar and S) control chart limits?...


Open Access

Expert Answers: July 2013

by QP Staff

Micrometers ... Quality indicators ......


Standards Outlook: Road to Revision

by Cressionnie, L.L. “Buddy"

The flagship aviation, space and defense quality management system (QMS) standard has started revision activities. AS9100 is the foundation standard of the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)....


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....


Getting a Good Read

by Bruns, Todd; Bai, Rendong

The internet has forced libraries to focus on enhancing customer service through quality management. LibQUAL+ is a tool to evaluate library customer service and engage patrons as partners to close the gap between experienced and expected service....


Open Access

Perspectives: Bank on It

by Kumiega, Andrew; Davis, Michael; Van Vliet, Ben

Automated trading, including high-frequency trading, now accounts for more than 70% of daily trading volume. Though not everyone agrees, most academic studies support the claim that automation benefits the overall functioning of society and markets....


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....


What Makes You Tick?

by Machado, H.F. Ken

Uncoordinated internal operations create organizational inefficiencies, a lower level of customer service and unnecessary delays in management decisions, resulting in increased costs....


Avoiding an Avalanche

by Milliken, Greg

Organizations that make products with rigorous quality requirements face numerous challenges associated with meeting objectives—ranging from complying with standards to operating in highly-regulated and frequently audited environments....


Open Access

Balancing Act

by Montgomery, Eda Ross; Neway, Justin

With common quality methods and standards in place, manufacturing organizations share a daunting challenge: an increased volume of electronic and paper-based data collected during process development and manufacturing....


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....


Statistics Roundtable: One Size Does Not Fit All

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

The need to improve is ever present in all endeavors and will continue to be so. We live in a dynamic world. As predicted in the second law of thermodynamic and entropy, the world will continue to change....


Heart of the Matter

by Aba, Eli Kofi; Hayden, Michael A.

The goal of most processes in the manufacturing and service industries is to produce products or services that exhibit little to no variation. Variation is defined as “where no two items or services are exactly the same.”...


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?...


Statistics Roundtable: Getting Graphical

by Borror, Connie M., White, T. Kevin

A company has six manufacturing processes critical to its business success. Management recently required each area manager to provide quarterly reports on the performance of their particular process....


Open Access

Perspectives: Survey Overload

by Purdy, Derek

Some years ago, I was presented the bill at a restaurant. In addition to the itemized list of charges, the little billfold contained a customer comment card. “Wow,” I thought, “what a great idea. This place is really on the ball.”...


Statistics Roundtable: Let's Be Realistic

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.

Decision making is all about understanding and comparing trade-offs between choices: What benefits are possible, what are the risks and can they be mitigated, and what will each of the alternatives cost?...


Standards Outlook: Confidence Game

by Gordon, Dale K.

For the second time in my 55 years on this Earth, we are seeing a crisis of confidence. This stems from many factors, including the devastating recession of 2008 to 2009 and the slow and painful global economic recovery we are witnessing....


Five at the Forefront

by Scriabina, Natalia

ISO 19011:2011 is an international standard that provides guidance on auditing management systems. Using ISO 19011 is not mandatory, and organizations are not required to reference this standard in their auditing procedures....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Form by Design

by Coleman, Lance B.

Filling out simple forms should be easy, right? Yet, how many of us have had the experience in which a simple and easy-to-follow form took more than one time to fill out 100% correctly?...


Innovation Imperative: Seize the Opportunity

by Merrill, Peter

I bought a copy of the Scientific American and skimmed through the articles during my flight until I came to Michael Webber’s, “How to Make the Food System More Energy Efficient.” He had my attention....


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....



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