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Expert Answers: January 2014

by QP Staff

Selecting KPIs ... Controlling multiple processes...


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

Career Corner: Light Your Fire

by ReVelle, Jack B.

It takes the right team members to create an enabled, empowered, motivated, cross functional, self-directed team capable of selecting the most important tasks, and then efficiently and effectively solving the most critical problems....


Making the Connection

by ReVelle, Jack B.

Connectivity can refer to the predecessor-successor relationship existing between two or more tools for continuous improvement. The output from one tool, such as a Pareto analysis, can become the input to another, such as cause and effect analysis....


Online Sidebar Creasy

by Creasy, Todd

The evolution to 6TOC includes its predecessors, Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, lean Six Sigma and the theory of constraints...


Pyramid Power

by Creasy, Todd

The next evolutionary step for Six Sigma could be a method called 6TOC (pronounced “six-tock”) that combines principles of lean Six Sigma with the theory of constraints....


Open Access

Change That Sticks

by Spackman, Leon

Process improvement is gaining more attention as organizations face budget cuts, competition from developing markets overseas and a challenging economy....


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....


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....


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

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...


The Power of Process Orientation

by Sever, Kay

Hidden barriers to the success of continuous improvement programs exist in most companies and often transcend tactics applied to produce cultural change. These cultural conditions are not always obvious, but their symptoms include organizational silos...


Quality in the First Person: From Software Programmer to Quality Pro: The Road Less Traveled

by Arceneaux-Dobson, Angelica

Like many quality professionals, I did not intend to become one. I started out with the selfish goal of looking for improvements that would benefit me....


Open Access

Career Corner: How To Become an Internal Consultant

by Westcott, Russ

This article is not about how to become an external consultant - it is about enriching your quality job by assuming a role of internal consultant....


Open Access

The Dark Side of Process Measurement

by Stankard, Martin F.

The analysis of measurement data allows process operators to detect and control unwanted variation and enables process breakthroughs. However, without careful introduction, process measurement can cause widespread damage in an organization. Human nature...


The Human Side of Change Leadership

by Folaron, Jim

Even carefully planned efforts to introduce change can be short lived if the human element is neglected or left to chance. When planning a change it is important to identify potential resistance to the changes and then design motivation into the...


Open Access

Match the Change Vehicle and Method to the Job

by Harvey, Jean

Processes are at the core of continuous improvement, and improvement happens when a process is changed in one way or another....


Open Access

Translate Know-What Into Know-How

by Chaplin, Edward; Akao, Yoji

Organizational change is a much more difficult challenge than we've been led to believe....


Column: Emerging Sectors: Cost Reduction 101

by Lake, Erinn

Despite advances in e-mail technology, mass mailings remain an integral communication tool for large organizations, especially colleges and...


Do Teams and Six Sigma Go Together?

by Page Cooper, Nancy; Noonan, Patricia B.

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


AQP Awards Promote Business Results

by Bodinson, Glenn; Bunch, Raymond

The National Team Excellence Award competition combines the application of continuous improvement tools, problem solving processes, team dynamics, project management, and communications skills to generate performance improvements. Many organizations use...


Open Access

Column: Back to Basics: Process Improvement

by Detweiler, Danielle F.

Even minor changes can make an impact

Click here for Spanish.

After her first attempt to lead a process-improvement team failed to yield workable strategies, the author used an example from her...


Open Access

Quality Glossary


A handy reference is provided of quality terms, acronyms, and key people in the history of quality. Information is derived from a variety of sources and compiled by the editorial staff of the American Society for...


Capturing Financial Benefits From Six Sigma

by Neuscheler-Fritsch, Debbie; Norris, Robert

Six Sigma is a disciplined approach that helps organizations consistently meet customer requirements and drive continuous improvement through process-focused management. First and foremost, Six Sigma is about delivering value to the shareholder. What...


The Value-Added Ratio

by Shannon, Patrick

The value-added ratio (VAR) can measure improvement in all processes in all organizations. For a given process, VAR equals the time devoted to process steps of interest to the customer divided by the total process cycle time. The typical VAR is less...


How to Stay Flexible and Elude Fads

by DeToro, Irving; McCabe, Thomas

Business process management is a comprehensive approach that goes beyond any single improvement technique. Benefits of its team orientation in the flat organization include process improvement and competitive advantage. The most essential processes...


Another Look at "A Graphical Exploration of SPC"

by Hoyer, Robert W.; Ellis, Wayne C.

The authors of "A Graphical Exploration of SPC" (May and June 1996 issues of Quality Progress) comment on readers' letters about their two-part article. Among the responses by Hoyer and Ellis are the following. Their examples using the normal...


The TQEM-ISO 14001 Connection

by Hemenway, Caroline G.; Hale, Gregory J.

Environmental thinking should be integrated into all company functions. A tool for total quality environmental management (TQEM) is the ISO 14001 standard. Some organizations have gone beyond the ISO 14001 baseline, but initial steps in any TQEM...


The Five Drivers of Total Quality

by Grahn, Dennis P.

Service to customers, employees, and the business itself is the mission of the Menasha Corporation. A hierarchy of five drivers of quality implements this mission. People quality is the driver with the most influence. This requires selecting the...



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