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Open Access

Quality in the First Person: The Story Starts

by Watson, Jay;

This author describes witnessing the rise of the U.S. quality movement and Six Sigma....


Statistics Roundtable: It Isn’t There

by Hare, Lynne B.

"Cats," Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical tells the story of the night a cluster of neighborhood cats decides which among them will ascend to the great beyond....


Open Access

Best of 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

Best of Back to Basics: Smart Charting

by Sherman, Peter J.

Control charts are at the foundation of Six Sigma. They serve as the primary tool to filter out the probable noise (inherent variation or common cause) from the potential signals (nonrandom variation or special cause)....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?

by Berardinelli, Carl F.

Define, measure, analyze, improve and control is a structured problem-solving method. Each phase builds on the previous one, with the goal of implementing long-term solutions to problems. Most problem-solving efforts benefit from a disciplined method....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Improving a System

by Pintavalle, Robert

When we think of nonconforming material, we think about scrapped and reworked material or products that directly cut into a company’s bottom line. But a closer look shows that a nonconforming material system can provide a wealth of information....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Turning 'Who' Into 'How'

by Thomas, Kenneth

When things go wrong, the goal should be to move away from trying to determine “who” was at fault and quickly transition into a problem-solving mindset of “how” to make things better....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: All About Data

by ReVelle B., Jack

We can't be certain, but Lt.Commander Data, a character on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," may have derived his name from his ability to acquire and process data critical to the mission of the United Star Ship Enterprise....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Take Note

by Hart, Vicki

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


Open Access

Best of 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....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Use Your Head

by Echeverria, Luis

Put what you learned during certification prep to work. Plan up front how you will use the knowledge you gained. Try applying the knowledge acquired during the study period....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Creative Combination

by Force, Scott

I have been facilitating lean Six Sigma projects and coaching other belts through their projects since 2002. Combining tools is a technique I use with teams when potential root cause analysis through a fishbone diagram does not show any obvious direction....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Get to the Root of It

by Rucker, David M.

We’ve all been there before—an elusive field failure sparks customer complaints and warranty claims and threatens to curtail future orders. Ambiguous, conflicting field reports of failure modes and products affected pour in....


Open Access

Best of 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

Best of Back to Basics: Calculated Risk

by Sherman, Peter J.

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


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Clearing SPC Hurdles

by Laman, Scott

Statistical process control (SPC) has provided significant cost savings for companies that are fortunate enough to implement it fully. However, implementation challenges can overcome the best of intentions....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems

by Laman, Scott A.

An experimenter's ability to minimize mistakes often comes with experience. Unfortunately, this experience often results from past problems, surprises or confusion....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: Understanding Variation

by Port, Jonathan D.

Organizations with quality management systems compliant to ISO 9001:2008 are required to take action to eliminate the causes of nonconformities. If determination of variability type is absent from problem-solving methods, it leads to ineffective actions....


Open Access

Best of Back to Basics: 1+1 = Zero Defects

by Hermenitt, Chris

Control plans, in conjunction with process failure mode and effects analysis, can be used to prevent problems and save organizations money by identifying prevention controls and ensuring their successful implementation....


Open Access

Standards Outlook: Putting Things In Context

by Reid, R. Dan

ISO 9001:2015 enhances the role quality management systems play in the success of an organization and its business processes. Evidence of this is in a new requirement in subclause 4.1: “Understanding the organization and its context.”...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Contrasting Priorities

by Force, Scott

Because quality professionals can’t address every customer complaint, eliminate all process defects or implement every solution a team develops, prioritization is vital....


3.4 per Million: High Vantage Point

by Breyfogle, Forrest W. III

Organizations can encounter catastrophic events or major issues in which their products or processes result in major financial problems, damage and destruction, serious injury and illness, and even death....


Open Access

Career Corner: Hard Facts on Soft Skills

by Harkins, Ray

Opportunities for career advancement may be determined by your communication skills, ability to take part in teamwork and willingness to learn....


Open Access

ASQ's Recruitment Guide

by QP Staff

Do you deserve a promotion but find yourself coming up against dead ends in your current organization? Use the resources below to find the career opportunity that best fits your skills, goals and aspirations. No matter what resources you are looking fo...


Salary Survey 2015: Part 1, Section 12: Salary by Industry

by Hansen, Max Christian

Other products 10.4 87,057 8.4 87,597 Paper and related products 1 84,455 1.5 64,150 Primary metals 1 83,530 0.3 120,000 Rubber and plastic products 3.3 76,060 4.3 83,120 Toys, sporting goods, pens, jewelry and miscellaneous products 0.3 96,886 0.3 73,00...


Open Access

Salary Survey 2015: Introduction. Reading This Report

by Hansen, Max Christian

Since last year’s QP Salary Survey, the global economy has seen some improvement. Perhaps that jolted quality professionals’ interest in the job market, giving them more reason to fill out the annual questionnaire....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Mind the Gap

by Sherman J., Peter; Luton W., Scott

Two Six Sigma practitioners taught high school students lean Six Sigma methods. It gave them the ability to define a problem, measure it, map the process, perform root cause analysis and create solutions....


Salary Survey 2015: Part 1, Section 10: Salary by Number of Employees Overseen

by Hansen, Max Christian

08 Levels QP SALARY SURVEY 2 0 1 5 Historical look at the changes in the number of employees overseen / FIGURE 1 0 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2014 2015 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Percentage of respondents In the past two years, the numbe...


Salary Survey 2015: Part 1, Section 17: Salary by Highest Level of Education and Years of Experience in Quality

by Hansen, Max Christian

Salary by level of education and years in the quality field for U. S. respondents / FIGURE 1 $ 20,000 0 $ 40,000 $ 60,000 $ 80,000 $ 100,000 $ 120,000 $ 140,000 $ 160,000 10 or fewer years 10.1 to 20 years More than 20 years Average salary Years of exper...


Open Access

On the Horizon

by Gaskill, Tyler

Experts share their ideas about what challenges and opportunities lie ahead. Their insights included using data to solve previously unsolvable problems and better connect people and processes, thus gaining knowledge of customers’ personalized needs....


To Measure Is to Know

by Leister, Susan; Tran, Suzanne;

Quality is often perceived as a qualitative attribute—“I know it when I see it”—rather than expressed as a quantitative one....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Deconstructing Risk

by Kumar Khare, Ashwani

Ten tips can help reduce procurement risk in an engineering, procurement and construction project....


Statistics Roundtable: Reliability Upsizing

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

In many reliability evaluations, the units placed on life test are reduced-size versions of the actual product. This is often the result of practical limitations such as available test facilities....


Open Access

Career Corner: Clocking Out

by Wrestler, Denise

Providing employees a more flexible work-life balance can improve their satisfaction and efficiency. More job candidates are seeking organizations that frown on working past 5 p.m. and provide options for employees to work from home....


Expert Answers: November 2015

by Cogan, Ken; Laman, Scott A.

ISO 9001 .. Adhering to and cross-referencing multiple standards...


Innovation Imperative: Think Big

by Merrill, Peter

If we look at past trends, we may be able to predict future direction. However, complexity makes that increasingly difficult. So predicting the future of quality in this increasingly complex world won’t be easy....


Open Access

Pop Culture

by Edmund, Mark

WHETHER OR NOT the general public realizes it, quality is all around us, the quality profession is quick to profess. Virtually every aspect of society has been (or should be) touched by some form of quality....


Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Deconstruyendo el Riesgo

by Kumar Khare, Ashwani

Consejos para reducir los riesgos de contratación en proyectos EPC....


3.4 per Million: Shock Absorbers

by Snee, Ronald D.

Consumers misuse—and even abuse—products. Driving a car is a good example. The auto industry has responded by making changes to autos—reducing and sometimes eliminating the effects of these sources of variation in driver actions....


Much-Needed Structure

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.; Lu, Lu

At the heart of Six Sigma is an approach to structured problem solving. DMAIC leads users through steps to determine the right scope for their problem, select the correct metrics to characterize the process to be improved and understand its performance....


Open Access

Super Supplier

by Namboodiripad, Vivek

How one organization created an audit program to improve supplier quality....


Statistics Roundtable: Thinking of Linking

by Anderson-Cook, Christine

Results that come from statistical studies often hold the key to answering important business questions that can influence future choices made in a project....


Open Access

One Good Idea: It’s Elementary

by Barsalou, Matthew

A root cause investigation doesn't always result in a clear path to the root cause. To overcome this, you can follow separate lines of evidence to the point that they join together: a point of convergence called a consilience....


Open Access

Career Corner: Management vs. Punishment

by Lindborg, Henry J.

Many millennials seek workplaces with Darwinist cultures for high-level challenges. They don’t, however, expect long careers under such pressure, and organizations should determine whether they’ve focused enough on how their managers are managing staff....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Pursuit of Happiness

by Chowdhary, Rai

Inspired by the plan-do-check-act cycle and define, measure, analyze, improve and control, this author developed a method that uses quality tools to help lead a more fulfilled life....


A Hard Look at Software Quality

by Rodriguez, Moises; Piattini, Mario; Fernandez, Carlos Manuel

Software quality is a key challenge for organizations because of its impact on final costs. At the same time, software quality can be a competitive differentiator an organization can offer to its customers....


Amazing Audits

by Coleman Sr., Lance B.

A new approach that incorporates the Kano model can help you evaluate the performance of your quality audit programs....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Who Cares?

by Purdy, Derek

Because quality professionals have the word “quality” in their job titles, their work is held to a higher standard. This author shares how he learned the importance of doing the job right the first time from his brother....


Open Access

Career Corner: Truth Detective

by Christopher, Rosemarie; Dionne, Paul

Learn how to investigate prospective employers and avoid working for duds, and why employers must consider their reputations as part of employee recruitment and retention....


Statistics Roundtable: Blocking Benefits

by Borror, Connie M.

When conducting even a seemingly simple experiment—such as one with a single factor with several levels—significant care and consideration should go into the design setup....


Expert Answers: September 2015

by Freeman, Robert; Ramu, Govind

Business success with ISO 9001 ... Selecting a consultant, registrar...


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Supplier Hugger or Engineer?

by Griffin, LaToya R.

The important dual role of supplier quality engineers is explained. They monitor the supply base, ensure suppliers are providing quality products, monitor supplier performance, evaluate corrective and preventive action responses, and perform audits....


Creative by Design

by Parendo, Perry

Although many people don’t consider its structured approach as enhancing creativity, it’s important to acknowledge DoE as an unexpected and valuable source of creativity. DoE is 50% more efficient than alternative test methods if you use a half-fraction d...


Standards Outlook: On-Time Departure

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) recently announced that the AS9100:2016 series of standards is on track to be released for sector publication in April 2016....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Agile Quality

by Johnstone, Jim

Twelve software-development principles can create more product value in less time. Agile software development can be applied to organizations looking to replace rigid, document-heavy development processes that are cumbersome and bureaucratic....


Open Access

Open to Change

by Reid, R. Dan

ISO 9001, the international consensus standard for quality management systems (QMS), has long been the core supplier of QMS requirements for several large sectors, including automotive, aerospace and medical devices....


Expert Answers: July 2015

by Merrill, Peter; Walfish, Steven

Integrating quality, innovation ... Switching standards...


Open Access

Continuing Education and Development Directory

by QP Staff

So if you.re feeling stuck, stagnant or dispirited, look into amping up your smarts with some of the best training, education and certification opportunities available today. Not only will you be helping to ensure your employability, you.ll increase you...


Open Access

Back to Basics: 1+1 = Zero Defects

by Hermenitt, Chris

Control plans, in conjunction with process failure mode and effects analysis, can be used to prevent problems and save organizations money by identifying prevention controls and ensuring their successful implementation....


Open Access

Assessing the Landscape

by Ramsay, Owen

To achieve organizational change, the entire workforce must be included and engaged in the efforts. The first step is to take a close look at the organization’s business environment....


Open Access

Perspectives: Discovering the Right Path

by Sharma, Manoj; Sharma, Vardayini

At last year’s New York University spring graduation ceremony, Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, told graduates: “You won’t succeed all the time. Finding the right path in life, more often than not, involves some missteps.”...


Change in Flow

by Patel, Raj C.

“The customer deserves to receive exactly what we have promised to produce,” Philip B. Crosby wrote in his classic work, Quality is Free. But how do organizations ensure this happens?...


Open Access

What's Your Next Move?

by Hansen, David

We want to solve problems, but how should we? Continuous improvement initiatives are deployed everywhere, and we use all types of improvement methods based on the scientific method to identify and solve problems, and resolve conflict and issues....


Open Access

Career Corner: Kindling the Flame

by Harkins, Ray

A primary goal of ASQ’s certification program is to encourage the continual growth of quality professionals through career-long learning, and now more than ever, online learning content is just a click away, making recertification easier than ever....


Statistics Roundtable: Guiding Beacon

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

Quality professionals are often faced with solving major organizational problems such as: “Customers are complaining about the quality of our product and returning it”; or “Our major process is producing an unacceptable amount of defective product.”...


Expert Answers: June 2015

by Reid, R. Dan; Aston, Bill; Shah, Dilip

Requirements in ISO/TS 16949 ... Ramifications of postponing an audit ... The role of an audit observer...


Open Access

Blank-Slate State

by Wrestler, Denise

When creating a quality management system (QMS) from scratch, quality professionals can forget the fundamentals, creating a complex QMS that the organization doesn’t need. Basics are essential in transitioning from an empty canvas to a QMS masterpiece....


Outside Influence

by O'Connor, Jim; Hayler, Eric; Ellis, Tim;

A South Carolina university and BMW summer camp taught students the real-world side of science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers and quality tool applications. Students also took part in a campus tour of USC Upstate and the BMW factory in G...


Small Changes, Big Results

by Harris, Chris; Audimoolam, Niran; Gudgel, Stephen A.

For a hitter in baseball, transitioning from one who relies on the big home run to win games to one who slaps out singles and doubles can be difficult. The same holds true for lean enterprise implementers....


Open Access

Process Primer

by Mendelssohn, Alan

Almost everything we do in life—personal and professional—involves a process. When we do it over and over, we have a repeatable process....


Statistics Roundtable: A Different Take

by Borror, Connie M.

I still find p-values to be one of the more difficult topics to explain. One definition of a p-value is the probability of obtaining a value of the test statistic that's as large as or larger than the test statistic value obtained from your experiment....


Open Access

No Finish Line

by Lotfi, Ray

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is an excellent risk management tool for evaluating and forecasting the possibility of a failure mode during the life of a product or process....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Tell Me What I Don't Know

by Pope, Larry M.

A few years ago, I took over a compliance department with a management mandate to: “Tell me what I don’t know.”...


Open Access

Perspectives: Down a Black Hole

by de Macedo, Magáli

In the aftermath of the most expensive soccer event of all time—the 2014 World Cup, which cost approximately $14 billion—one question remains:...


Open Access

ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement Sponsors and Exhibitors

by QP Staff

A Novartis Company Booth 501 American Quality Institute Booth 410 AQS Management Systems Booth 310 Assured Quality Inc. Booth 145 Baldrige Performance Excellence Program Booth 219 Bosch Engineering Booth 142 BSI Booth 307 BSI Supply Chain Solutions Booth...


Open Access

One Good Idea: Fishing for an Answer

by Barsalou, Matthew

The selection of the correct statistical test is a critical element when conducting statistical analysis--plugging numbers into the wrong test will deliver the wrong answer....


Being Smart About Parts

by Stevens, Nathaniel T.; Steiner, Stefan H.; MacKay, R. Jock

It was lunchtime, I was hungry, and so, of course, the phone rang. “Hey, it’s John from the foundry. How are you? We haven’t talked in a while.” John is a process engineer in a casting and machining plant that is a supplier to automotive OEMs....


Open Access

Career Corner: Commodity or Contributor?

by Christopher, Rosemarie

According to Gallup, 70% of us are disengaged at work, costing U.S. organizations half a trillion (not a typo) dollars a year. If you are reading this column, you are most likely one of the 30% of U.S. workers who are proactively engaged in their work....


Open Access

Walk the Line

by Bremer, Michael

Most organizations become more efficient after adopting an improvement methodology,1 but many fail to radically transform their competitive positions or significantly alter the way they engage their employees....


Capturing Cash

by Aldowaisan, Tariq A.; Abu-Latifa; Hytham

Most Six Sigma applications pertain to increasing the efficiency of a key process by focusing on decreasing operating expenses and consequently increasing the bottom line. Few applications address an organization’s top line or revenue generation function....


Open Access

Perspectives: Well Rounded

by Barsalou, Matthew

The term “Renaissance man” is used to describe somebody “who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field.”...


Carried Away

by Fulton, Larry; Bastian, Nathan; Wilson, Ron

DFSS is a widely used algorithmic process that integrates quality as part of the new product design process that has been shown to improve the new product development performance....


Open Access

Roadmap to Savings

by Harlan, Jim; Arnason, Walt; Nichols, Jack; Arthur, Jay;

E-470 is the 75-mph toll road that runs along the eastern perimeter of the Denver metropolitan area. The road is financed, constructed, operated and governed by the E-470 Public Highway Authority....


Open Access

Standards Outlook: Fake Out

by Gordon, Dale K.

Keep counterfeits at bay via your quality management system....


Open Access

Total Quality's Leader

by Watson, Gregory H.

Remembering Armand V. Feigenbaum, integrator of quality into organizational management...


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Building Blocks

by Burton, Sharon

Planning, controlling and improving. These three managerial tools were initially introduced to me while I worked during high school as a clerk at a large pharmacy in the late 1970s in Albany, GA....


Expert Answers: January 2015

by Laman, Scott A.; Reid, R. Dan

Understanding control charts ... ISO 9001:2015 and the automotive industry...


3.4 per Million: Understanding the Data

by Breyfogle, Forrest W. III

At the end of business quarters, many people spend precious time and effort preparing to satisfy management’s need to know how the business is faring....


Open Access

Career Corner: Square Pegs, Round Holes

by Harkins, Ray

How to cultivate the skills and qualifications employers want...


Open Access

Salary Survey 2014: Introduction. Making Cents of Dollars

by Hansen, Max Christian

The 2014 QP Salary Survey was sent out to 60,559 persons throughout the world. There were 7,618 individual responses, which translates into a response rate of 12.6%. Some responses were deleted from the data set because they were incomplete....


Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 12. Salary by Industry

by Hansen, Max Christian

Do you work for an organization that makes physical objects or one that provides services? If it’s a service organization, the QP Salary Survey shows that you probably make more money....


Open Access

Standards Outlook: Catch My Draft

by Reid, R. Dan

Dissecting the ISO 9001:2015 draft international standard....


Statistics Roundtable: Timely Reliability Assessment

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

Often, we must demonstrate long-term product or component reliability within a relatively short time window. For example, it is not uncommon to need to assess 10-year reliability from a six-month duration test program....


The System Is the Solution

by Schultz, John R.

Organizations function as systems—collections of interdependent processes, events and resources. Failure to embrace systems thinking can cause serious consequences for an organization....


Open Access

Multipronged Approach

by Patil, Prashant Ramakant; Mishra, Nandkumar

In the last few decades, several improvement frameworks and practices have evolved to help organizations extinguish burning business issues. These frameworks and practices are not always enough when implemented alone....


Open Access

Career Corner: The Pizza Paradigm

by Wrestler, Denise

Nothing fills training room seats faster than appetite appeal....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Use Your Head

by Echeverria, Luis

Put what you learned during certification prep to work. Plan up front how you will use the knowledge you gained. Try applying the knowledge acquired during the study period....


Expert Answers: October 2014

by Rico, David F.; Aston, Bill

Cost of quality of agile methods ... Employee qualification audits...


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Alternative Route

by Johnson, Stephen

An unexpected detour on the career path led probation agent to quality career....


Defining Your Role

by Russell, J.P.

With titles such as quality engineer, technician, auditor, quality manager, supply quality engineer, Black Belt and software quality engineer, quality professionals’ roles within organizations are generally invisible to those on the outside....



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