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Onward and Upward

by Thomas, Donna

Operational excellence has been a long-time focus for Xerox, the international document management corporation. Before joining Xerox, Affiliated Computer Services shared that same focus....


Expert Answers: August 2014

by QP Staff

Achieving division quality ... Clarifying calibration...


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....


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....


July 2014 Standards Outlook - Online Figure

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

Reject SMS will be covered by sub- team X 323 EAQG Title Title is more biased towards Aerospace than inclusive of Defense Amend wording from Aerospace Standard to Defense Standard Inclusive of all sectors Reject X 187 AAQG Foreword verbiage confusing ( n...


Open Access

No Weak Links

by Bailey, Bill D.; Alter, Howard

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


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....


Open Access

Catching Fire

by Liu, Shu

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


3.4 per Million: Knowing the Drill

by Conklin, Joseph D.

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


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

Career Corner: Serve and Learn

by Lindborg, Henry J.

Board membership is a meaningful way to grow....


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

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....


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....


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....


Standards Outlook: Work in Progress

by Liebesman, Sandford

ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 are scheduled for major revisions by the end of 2015. Many of the revisions being considered are controversial. In this column, I will only discuss the changes to ISO 9001, but note that changes to ISO 14001 are similar....


Open Access

At Your Service

by Schmidt, Megan

Servant leadership is a timeless concept that is especially relevant for quality organizations because of its relationship with continuous improvement. Organizations benefit from servant leadership because it creates more effective and innovative teams....


For the Greater Good

by Badrick, Tony; Kehrer, Sue; Reid, Elizabeth

When the Coffs Harbour Laboratory of Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology in Australia implemented an environmental management system, it realized financial savings, reduced waste and improved operational efficiencies, and saw increased staff engagement....


Turned On

by Scriabina, Natalia; Cort, Gary

Quality can be defined in many ways. In technical usage, quality can have two meanings: the characteristics of a product or service that influence its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs; or a product or service free of deficiencies....


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?...


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...


Open Access

Expert Answers: September 2013

by QP Staff

Centralizing quality ... ISO 9001 cost of implementation...


Standards Outlook: Checking the Checkers

by Russell, J. P.

ISO 19011:2011—Guidelines for auditing management systems provides guidance for managing audit programs. Clause 5.6 provides guidance on improving an audit program, just as other departments in an organization are expected to continue to improve....


Open Access

Standard Wise

by Combs, Oscar

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


3.4 per Million: Operational Definitions

by Kubiak, T.M.

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


Dig Deeper

by Chadha, Rajeev

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


Open Access

Measuring Up

by Hankel, Amanda

What is, and what does it mean to your organization and your industry? What does continuous improvement mean for your country, region and community, now and in the future? These are questions that, until recently, hadn’t been answered on a global level....


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)....


Expert Answers: June 2013

by Ramu, Govind; Kubiak, T.M.

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


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....


The Power of Prediction

by Kruger, Gregory A.

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


Open Access

To All Corners of Kenya

by Darabi, Tiffany

Effective supply chains deliver products on schedule and within budget to customers. Those customers shouldn’t have to think about the behind-the-scenes process or worry about whether the goods will be delivered on time....


Mood Righting

by Thor, Scott

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


Open Access

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....


Standards Outlook: World View

by Liebesman, Sandford

The global economy has provided organizations with many opportunities that didn’t exist even 10 years ago. On the other hand, the internet and extensive outsourcing have “flattened” the Earth, presenting organizations with many new risks....


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: What’s Cooking?

by Schnoll, Les

The U.S. Federal Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act is another milestone in food safety—the latest step to supplement hazard analysis and critical control point programs that have been mandated for a variety of commodities....


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

Apples to Oranges?

by Surak, John G.;

Consumers around the world demand safe food. Through the years, retailers and food companies have pushed their suppliers to have food safety systems and improve on them. The drive started with suppliers being required to have third-party good GMP audits....


Before the Fact

by Mehta, Bob

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


Open Access

The Right Ingredients

by Zaidi, Syed Wasi Asghar;

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


Open Access

Know the Why

by Ramsay, Owen

One of the primary reasons improvement projects fail is a lack of alignment with an organization’s vision, mission, goals and objectives. In an attempt to avoid that issue, a government agency in Guyana deployed a multi-tool method for improvement....


Open Access

Lessons in Labeling

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

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


Open Access

The Right Blend

by Vanicek, Vera

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


Online Figures - Ramsay

by Ramsay, Owen

Year Verct( dys) # Rpts FinRpts InvTech #_ Staff 2003 296 31 13 1.00 216 2004 829 24 11 2.24 190 2005 309 22 12 1.65 210 2006 222 22 9 2.35 225 2007 171 17 5 3.58 247 Verct( dys) = verification of claims cycle time # rpts = number of reports for the boar...


3.4 per Million: No Specification? No Problem

by Breyfogle, Forrest W. III

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


Expert Answers: December 2012

by QP Staff

A better supplier scorecard ... Inspecting your suppliers ......


Open Access

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....


Law and Order

by Schrunk, David G.

The laws created and enforced by government are among the most important works of humankind. They address the most significant societal problems and have a direct impact on human rights, living standards and the quality of life of every person....


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....


Making Contact

by Metz, Brian

For an organization to be able to truly understand how well it’s meeting customer expectations, more concrete, measureable metrics must be used....


Open Access

Career Corner: Risky Reputation

by Lindborg, Henry J.

Formerly the work of marketers, an organization's image and reputation are integral to quality and risk-based management systems. They are everyone's business in sustaining corporate integrity, and they deserve the attention of quality professionals....


(Re)visionary Thinking

by Briggs, Susan L.K.

The preeminent ISO standard on environmental management, ISO 14001, is being revised to incorporate new approaches in the field of environmental management systems and meet stakeholder expectations that have evolved since it was first published in 1996....


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....


Open Access

Pointed in the Right Direction

by Dunmire, Thea; Johnson, Gary L.

Last November, ISO published a new edition of ISO 19011—Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems. This marks a further evolution in management system auditing and in ISO’s approach to the drafting of management system standards....


Standards Outlook: On the Lookout

by Russell, J.P.

Audit program managers have always dealt with risk in some manner. They’ve analyzed and evaluated risk, as well as monitored and reported it. Now, all of those activities are becoming a formal part of an audit program manager’s duties....


Rethinking Treatment

by Muzenjak, Diane; Carboneau, Clark; Galagan, Robert

Changing and improving complex processes in healthcare settings are no easy tasks. They require a systems approach using a variety of quality improvement methods and tools....


Follow the Signs

by Palmer, Brien

Many change models have been proposed, but one stands out: the transtheoretical model, also known as the health behavior change model. The model originates from directly observing how people really did or didn’t change in response to urgent medical needs....


In the Trenches

by Tiwari, Anshuman

Deploying a quality change program is something every organization needs to do sooner or later, whether it involves lean, Six Sigma, the Baldrige criteria, kaizen or any other improvement effort. But managing a change program is a double-edged sword....


Expert Answers: August 2012

by QP Staff

Innovation issues ... SPC vs. SQC ......


Standards Outlook: Group Effort

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

When users think about AS9100, they typically think only of the AS9100 quality management system standard and not about the other products and services the International Aerospace Quality Group provides to the aviation, space and defense industry....


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....


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....


Open Access

Perspectives: Relying on the Basics

by Diepstra, Keith

It’s difficult to improve a process that isn’t running. Equipment reliability from a manufacturing equipment perspective is typically the purview of maintenance teams and may include watch-over by the engineering team....


Make the Leap

by Harvey, Jean

Kaizen events, also called kaizen blitzes or workshops, are intensive drives by dedicated teams of workers to fix broken processes or design new ones. They are arguably the best change vehicles in the organizational change fleet....


On the Right Course

by Nejati, Mehran; Ghasemi, Sasan

In today's competitive business environment, organizations do not always limit their concerns to those of shareholders and customers....


Open Access

Standards Outlook: What's Old Is New Again

by West, John E. "Jack"; Hunt, Lorri; Croft, Nigel H.; Jarvis, Alka

The time appears to have finally come to start another major revision of ISO 9001. But before moving forward, it’s a good idea to look back at where we’ve been....


Open Access

Career Corner: Survive and Thrive

by Christopher, Rosemarie

An understanding of how the entire workplace dynamic is changing and the ability to adapt to those changes with a united workforce comprised of multiple generations is critical not only to a company’s success, but also its survival....


Open Access

Fair or Foul?

by Allen, I. Elaine; Seaman, Julia E.

After Moneyball was published nine years ago, Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane was hailed as a genius for adopting analytics in baseball. His goal was to create a small-budget MLB team that could compete with big-spending teams in the American League....


3.4 per Million: Next in Line

by Conklin, Joseph D.

In quality, the sequel is what usually makes things better. Who knows how often savings have been left on the table because organizations failed to look ahead to the next project?...


Online Figures 3.4 per Million: Next in Line

by Conklin, Joseph D.

Reason for problem incomplete form Pass not mailed illegible form Pass not delivered Wrong form version used Visitor presents no/ unacceptable iD Supervisor name not on approval list name on pass disagrees with visitor no/ wrong supervisor name on approv...


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....


Rethinking Design

by Gattiker, Thomas

Design thinking offers several tools and concepts that can complement problem-solving approaches normally taught and used by quality professionals....


A Tangled Web

by Dougherty, Jim; Lengel, Wylene

In simple terms, software as a service is on-demand access to software via the internet. It seemingly eliminates the installation and testing of the software by the customer—or does it?...


Open Access

Email Matters

by Milton, Alec

It is commonly accepted that 80% of data within an organization is unstructured. Emails are considered a part of the definition of unstructured data. But with the right processes, it is possible to get email under control....


Standards Outlook: Complex Relationship

by Schnoll, Les

In addition to being required to master a multitude of global requirements, regulatory professionals must address other issues that impede their ability to function expeditiously....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Understanding Variation

by Port, Jonathan

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....


Taking the Wheel

by Goodman, John

Customer experience has become the mantra of senior management looking to enhance revenue and margins. In fact, more companies are trying to differentiate themselves not only on product quality but also on total customer experience....


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....


Open Access

The Power of Positive

by Johnston, Frank C.; Beck, Duane P.

In his 2006 book, The World is Flat, Thomas Freidman cites the many challenges globalization puts on corporate life: changing political realities, social entrepreneurship and the effects of the internet....


Online (Taylor)

by James B. Taylor, John W. Sinn and William S. Lightfoot

Insights from developing a quality management and continuous improvement curriculum can be applied in an operations management context to teach quality principles to general management....


Heavy Mettle Victory

by Mazu, Michael J.; Conklin, Joseph D.

After 23 years of service, I retired from Heavymet. Heavymet is a colossus: 65,000 employees in 55 plants in six business units in six countries. I lived in interesting times there. Many asked how I felt about our progress in process management....


Online Conklin: Baker’s Loaf

by Conklin, Joseph D.; Mazu, Michael J.

When recounting Plant Able’s successful struggle to implement process management, we compared it to raising children. That sums up the story when implementation is in your home plant....


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....


3.4 per Million: The Way to Fail

by Kubiak, T.M.

Several months ago, I received a call from a lean Six Sigma leader from a large multinational organization who was concerned because his organization was having great difficulty completing projects....


A Decade of Distinction

by Thompson, Matias Gadda; Rosanó, Verónica

In the first six months of 2010, Telefónica Group launched 60 simultaneous quality improvement projects. These 60 projects represent nearly 30% of the total number of improvement projects conducted in the company during the last decade....


Open Access

40 New Voices of Quality

by QP Staff

When QP set out to find the individuals who will give a voice to the new generation of quality professionals, one of the hopes was that the group’s makeup would lend insight into what the future holds....


Surf's Up

by Edmund, Mark

In essence, a disconnect within the Telefónica Group was throwing off and disconnecting its customers from the internet....


Is Six Sigma Dead?

by Weeks, J. Bruce;

There are reports from the field about the death of Six Sigma. The word is that it has been overused, has not brought its expected benefits and that newer methodologies, such as the theory of constraints and systems thinking, are replacing it....


Expert Answers: October 2011

by Ramu, Govind; Kubiak, T.M.

A QMS checklist ... Selecting a Six Sigma project ......


Growth Chart

by Olson, Diane J.; Sinn, John W.;

Globalization, as well as demands from people, business and technology, require organizations to deliver high-quality performance to remain competitive. Quality methods can allow alignment with rapidly changing and increasing customer expectations....


Natural Selection

by Chakravorty, Satya S.

It is mind-boggling to find widely contradictory reports of improvement programs from companies using the same improvement methods. Executives don’t know what to believe. Two similar Six Sigma implementations can have two very different end results....


Open Access

Site Seeing

by Yu, Louis W.; Urkin, Esther; Lum, Steve; Kenett, Ron S.; Ben-Jacob, Ron

Assessing exposure to risk events and initiating proactive risk mitigation actions must be a priority of organizations worldwide. Fortunately, there’s a conceptual and methodical approach to conducting a risk-based quality audit....


Open Access

Healthy Skepticism

by Grenuk, Julie

It’s important not to underestimate the intense, personal nature of change as each employee in the healthcare industry transitions from the familiar paper-driven world to an entirely electronic one....



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