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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....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Saying Goodbye to Dad

by Mazur, Glenn

How one family used analytic hierarchy process to evaluate the choices and agree on the best solution for end-of-life care for a family member....


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....


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....


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....


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....


Speaking in Code

by Kaiser, Randy

Manufacturers spend time and money creating products for market, yet all of that hard work can be wasted if coding errors affect product quality....


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....


Expert Answers: January 2014

by QP Staff

Selecting KPIs ... Controlling multiple processes...


Open Access

Words to Work By

by QP Staff

Readers shared their favorite quality quotes and reflected on the wisdom of the words....


Standards Outlook: Regulatory Nightmares

by Schnoll, Les

“Do it right the first time” is a mantra often used by quality professionals. In the associated world of regulatory affairs and compliance, this adage also represents an appropriate mindset....


Open Access

Perspectives: Getting It Right

by Kennedy, Bob

One of the surest ways to lose credibility is to issue some edict, mantra or slogan that is silly to the extreme. Consider the phrase, “Do it right the first time.” What a load of nonsense. Has anyone achieved such a feat—other than by accident?...


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

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....


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....


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....


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....


Tool Time

by Liu, Shu

“Does everybody know what time it is? It’s ‘Tool Time’!” On “Home Improvement,” one of the most watched TV sitcoms in the U.S. in the 1990s, Tim and his assistant, Al, demonstrated to their television audience what tools they had and how to use them....


Expert Answers: April 2013

by QP Staff

Root cause analysis tools ... Calibration data for a fee ......


Open Access

Career Corner: Out of Hiding

by ReVelle, Jack B.

While I was the senior statistician for a manufacturing division of a major aerospace firm, I shared the concept of the hidden factory with a statistical quality control (SQC) training class composed entirely of senior and middle management....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Show and Tell

by Weeden, Marcia M.

I have a confession to make. One of the most frustrating things I have encountered during the course of my quality career is trying to explain what I do for a living to people who have no idea what quality is or what it does....


Statistics Roundtable: Group Effort

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

Cluster analysis is being widely used in disciplines as diverse as marketing, genomics and climate change. The technique lends itself to large data sets and small, focused data sets....


Statistics Roundtable: Inquiry on Pedigree

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

THE MEDIA FREQUENTLY report on examples of situations in which results from statistical studies are not reproducible. A recent article in the New York Times reported how a sophisticated study went wrong because of poor data quality....


Expert Answers: December 2012

by QP Staff

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


Open Access

Perspectives: Added Structure

by Trotter, A. Mark; Calabrese, Rick; Huang, Li-Chung; Krumenaker, Alice; Palm, Ulo

Global good manufacturing practices (GMP) and regulatory guidelines ensure the “safety, identity, strength, quality (and) purity of drug(s).” Manufacturing and quality control testing of approved drugs fall under these GMP regulations....


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....


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 ......


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....


Open Access

Learning to Fish

by Bullington, Kimball

The career excellence diagram, a modified version of the fishbone diagram, can be used to create desired results in career development by identifying causes that will ultimately lead to success....


Open Access

Career Corner: Turn, Turn, Turn

by Conklin, Joseph D.

In the quality world, I have seen my share of heated conversation about why (fill in the quality technique of your choice) works or doesn’t. The passion usually does not run as deeply as on a soap opera, but it comes close on occasion....


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

Tangled Mess

by Schonberger, Richard J.

Many of the world's factories are designed in ways detrimental or unhealthy to product quality. The typically complex and lengthy flow times multiply process variables, which can obscure and delay the discovery of defects and nonconformities....


Expert Answers: May 2012

by QP Staff

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


Statistics Roundtable: Going on Feel

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

Customers consider consistent quality to be one of the most important product and service attributes. Often, it’s the most important....


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

Career Corner: Keep Your Toolbox Full

by ReVelle, Jack B.

Be aware of all the tools at your disposal to excel at your job. Your career as a quality professional depends on your ability to recall a specific quality tool and apply it when necessary....


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....


Open Access

Perspectives: Perfection Is Possible

by Godfrey, A. Blanton

Bob Galvin did more to change the way we manage quality in the United States today than any other executive leader. We will truly miss him, his ideas and his leadership....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: A Bad Sign

by Moeeni, Farhad

I kept my head down as I played hopscotch with the puddles on the mall parking lot. I started the engine, wiped some fog from the windows and started to back out, looking behind for cars. Suddenly—what was that?...


Salary Survey 2011: Part 1, Section 4: Salary by ASQ and RABQSA International Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

com 48 Part 1. Regular Employee Results Section 4. Salary by ASQ and RABQSA International Certification Certification Is Golden Salary by number of ASQ certifications held by U. S. respondents / Figure 1 85,015 86,165 88,821 91,114 94,463 96,041 112,586 ...


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....


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....


Reaching Out

by Blumenthal, Cynthia

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Middlesex, Jeffery Eugenides describes life at Ford Motor Co. in the 1920s, detailing how unskilled workers tried to match the calculated pace of assembly lines and a manufacturer that made almost every part itself....


Statistics Roundtable: Not Significant, But Important?

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

In March 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that even if a result from a controlled clinical trial was not statistically significant, it still might be important....


Expert Answers: August 2011

by QP Staff

Connecting SOPs and IT ... quality assurance vs. quality control ... looking for remote audits....


Statistics Roundtable: Complaint Department

by Hare, Lynne B.

PERHAPS YOU KNOW what goes on in most corporate complaint departments. Given euphemistic names such as “consumer affairs” and “consumer response,” their business is still the same....


Risky Business

by Singer, Donald

In highly regulated industries that manufacture pharmaceuticals, foods and cosmetics, quality control scientists have been known to perform sampling and testing to determine the acceptability of finished products. Throughout the last decade,...


Online (Singer)

by Singer, Donald C.

Media/ incubation time Experiment design tSa/ 3d tSa/ 5d r2a/ 3d r2a/ 5d CFU Product + PW + 2 days 30 10 240 380 Product + PW + 5 days < 10 < 10 < 10 < 10 Product + WFi + 2 days 10 20 160 180 Product + WFi + 5 days < 10 < 10 < 10 < 10 PW = purified water...


Statistics Roundtable: Proper Blending

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

Since we proposed the idea and theory behind statistical engineering, we’re often asked: “Is it just another term for traditional applied statistics?” That’s a legitimate question....


3.4 per Million: Sum it Up

by Conklin, Joseph D.

The future of the quality profession is a perennially popular topic of conversation whenever my colleagues gather at the water cooler, the monthly section meeting or the annual ASQ conference....


Quality in the First Person: A Winding Career Path

by Behr, Tim

Career paths can sometimes alter quite unexpectedly. Some people take great care in steering their career development, only to learn that factors beyond their control can have a greater influence on life....


Quality in the First Person: Around the World

by Hannah, Ian W.

Earlier this year, I was going through my e-mails and found one from ASQ, offering online training. The e-mail pointed to ASQ as being, “the leading quality training provider for more than 60 years.” I can vouch for that....


3.4 per Million: We Are Different

by Carnell, Mike

A few months ago, I was speaking with a prospective client about continuous improvement, and I mentioned another organization that I helped. “I can see how it worked for them,” he said. “But, we are different.”...


Don't Leave Learning to Chance

by Howard, John C.

Whether in a college statistics course or a refresher session in a statistical quality control course, it is important for students to understand probability distributions. Fortunately, a simple in-class exercise can achieve that end....


Time for Action

by Kovach, Jamison; Hutchins, Holly M.

Action learning is a simple yet intricate problem-solving strategy that engages participants in issue analysis, reflective questioning, listening and feedback. Its premise is that the answers to most problems lie within individuals....


Open Access

One Good Idea: TREAT Your Customers

by Sedlock, Ron

The missing piece to the quality puzzle is service quality. It is the catalyst needed to activate the quality ingredients that produce the results you want....


Shining on the World Stage

by Harding, Paul

With nearly 30 billion people turning their eyes to South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the South African Quality Institute (SAQI) took steps to help ensure those eyes would see the best South Africa had to offer....


Salary Survey 2010: Part 1, Sect. 17: Salary by Highest Level of Education and Yrs in Quality Field

by Hansen, Max Christian

Part 1. Regular Employee Results Section 17. Salary by Highest Level of Education and Number of Years of Experience in the Quality Field The Benefits of Staying In School and in Quality Figure 1 includes results for: x Full- time employees, Part- time em...


Salary Survey 2010: The Complete Report

by QP Staff

experience by gender / FIGURE 2 More than 20 years 10.1- 20 years 6.1- 10 years 3.1- 6 years $ 6,000 Male Years of experience in quality profession Years of experience in quality profession Female $ 4,000 $ 2,000 0 $ 2,000 $ 4,000 $ 6,000 1- 3 years Less...


Circling Back

by Moen, Ronald D.; Norman, Clifford L.

THERE STILL SEEMS to be much confusion today surrounding W. Edwards Deming’s plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle. How did Deming’s PDSA cycle evolve? Did Deming create the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle? Are PDCA and PDSA related?...


Standards Outlook: Benefit Without a Doubt

by Bucher, Jay

In the typical executive reward system, bonuses are based, in part, on implementing creative solutions to complex problems rather than using standardization. for strategic advantage....


Open Access

Guru Guide

by QP Staff

The quality world certainly has its game-changers, and as part of its annual quality basics issue, QP is highlighting six individuals who indelibly altered the course of quality....


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....


Expert Answers: October 2010

by QP Staff

Assessing your audit ... control charts and process capability ... keeping lab instruments in check....


Brace for Impact

by Wells, James

There are two main problems with internal audits, but both have a solution that has produced good results in real-world situations. It’s called an “audit for impact.”...


Statistics Roundtable: The Statistical Engineer

by Mason, Robert L., and Young, John C.

Many engineers working in processing industries often are overwhelmed by the amount of data available to them. Until recently, most industries collected only a small amount of information on their processes....


Quality in the First Person: Share the Wealth

by Marchetti, Carol E.

When I received my doctorate in statistics in 1997, I had never heard of quality control in a statistical context. But by 2002, I was teaching statistical quality control (SQC) at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York...


Handle With Care

by Evans, Marilyn

An internal auditor walks into a drug manufacturer’s production area and sees three containers staged outside the weighing room of the formulation section. She asks the first container, “Where are you from, stranger?”...


Past Is Prologue

by van Kemenade, Everard

Although it’s tempting to look ahead, it’s wise to look back and learn from the past. This axiom holds true for quality management, which is why the history of the discipline is worth closer examination....


Measure for Measure: Well Equipped

by Doty, Stephen; Caldwell, Del

If you're experiencing consistent customer dissatisfaction with your product, it's possible your measurement information may be of such poor quality that it prevents you from making sound decisions related to your product or service....


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....


Expert Answers: June 2010

by QP Staff

Changing industries ... Organizing your quality department....


3.4 per Million: An Everyman's Guide to Handling Data

by Conklin, Joseph D. ;

I have been an applied statistician for many years. Regardless of the industry or project I encounter, the most common request I get is, “How big a sample size do I need?” That one is usually fairly straightforward, but not always....


Open Access

Be Prepared

by Klaber, David G.; Hawk, Jared S.

Because of good product design or good fortune, the expense associated with a product recall may not have appeared in past budgets, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t prudent to include it in future planning....


Quality in the First Person: Oh, the Places You'll Go

by Newcomb, Willam O.

In 1988, after I had been working in the quality control department of a major alkaline battery producer for 10 years, I had the opportunity to move to the quality assurance department. The move included some quality control responsibilities....


Open Access

Perspectives: TPS Troubles

by Leggett, Steven C.

It’s only natural to link the TPS to Toyota’s safety problems. But is the system the problem? And should organizations that employ a version of the TPS be concerned about their systems?...


Open Access

Career Corner: Right, Wrong, Good, Bad or Indifferent?

by Kulisek, Diane G.

Although the new guidance standard for social responsibility (SR), ISO 26000, will be a completely voluntary guidance standard—not a certification standard1—how best to implement and sustain the organizational behaviors it will prescribe deserves...


Breaking From the Pack

by Watson, Gregory H.

Russ Ackoff's life story is instructive for quality professionals as they trace the development of systems thinking during its 60-year migration....


Online Figures Sherman

by Sherman, Peter

Episode Type Issue ( People, technology or process) QA vs. QC Controllable or Uncontrollable Potential Impact 1 Not reviewing medical binder for prescription medications Adverse health implications; lawsuits Not performing two procedures backtoback to re...


Quality in the First Person: Accidental Destiny

by Harding, Paul

John Ruskin once said, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.”1 How many of us who work in quality came into the profession by accident? I, for one, can raise my hand. I started my career as an apprentice tool...


Test Run

by Ramu, Govind

In 2008, 14,906 people took ASQ certification exams, and 9,394 of these people—or 63%—passed. So how can you avoid being one of the certification exam takers who will not pass this year?...


Salary Survey 2009: Part 1, Section 18: Salary by RABQSA International Certification

by QP Staff

In all, 13.3% of the surveyed quality professionals have at least one RABQSA International certification. Respondents held 31 of the 37 certifications listed in the salary survey....


Salary Survey 2009: The Complete Report

by QP Staff

52 section 6 Salary by Number of Work Hours Online section 7 Salary by Nonexempt vs. exempt Status Online section 8 Salary by Number of Years in Current Position Online section 9 Salary by Number of Years in Current Position and in the Quality Field Onli...


Open Access

Spring Into Action

by Feigenbaum, A.V.

Last year, I was presented the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. It was a great honor for all of us at General Systems Co.—and for all of us in the quality profession—to be recognized for our efforts related to total quality and innovation....


Aerial Coverage

by Clifford, Jim

To harmonize requirements across the supply chain for the management of the Department of Defense aviation CSIs, a standards publication group has reconciled final industry comments and is preparing to publish a new aviation, space and defense standard....


Standards Outlook: Trust, but Verify

by Russell, J.P.

Grouping product, service and process audits together is somewhat natural, because a process audit may include a product or service audit. I’ve dubbed the combination a verification audit....


Expert Answers: October 2009

by QP Staff

Creating quality awareness ... Best test for data comparison....


Standards Outlook: Remaining Relevant

by West, John E. "Jack"

Without changes, ISO 9001 risks becoming irrelevant on the world stage. So, what new ideas should be included in the next edition?...


Starting Line

by Cooper, Jill

So, you’ve volunteered (or, as one of my coworkers says, you’ve been “volun-told”) to lead your company through the implementation of ISO 9001. Now what do you do?...


Open Access

Career Corner: Out of Quality, Out of Business

by Kulisek, Diane

Being lean used to be associated with poverty and starvation. Today, being lean refers to profitability and fitness, especially in business. Cutting corporate fat, or non-essentials, has become as important for organizational health as slimming down is...


It Doesn't Add Up

by Sloan, M. Daniel

Bewildered economists offer many theories as to what ultimately led to today’s financial woes. Analysts attempt to untangle how so many factors and variables—banks, mortgages and government oversight—contributed to the mess....


Quality in the First Person: Be All that You Can Be

by Brand, Mark

At first glance, my journey into the quality world may seem unusual. But when I look back, I see that it wasn’t about where I worked or what type of job I had, it was more about how I did those jobs and what they did for me....


Expert Answers: February 2009

by QP Staff

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


Open Access

One Good Idea: Chart Smart

by Gojanovic, Tony

One of the greatest challenges with consumer data is to make sense of it. A particularly useful way to summarize consumer call-in information is the control chart, which can transform data into a time-series graph, along with an estimate of noise....


The Power of Balance

by Su, Qiang; Shi, Jing-hua; Lai, Sheng-jie

Many organizations face tremendous challenges in calculating trade-off relationships and the point of balance when determining their cost of quality. Experts don’t always agree, compounding the difficulty....



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