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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....


Expert Answers: May 2014

by QP Staff

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


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....


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....


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....


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: February 2014

by QP Staff

Controlling documents ... Showing resources in an audit...


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....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Bucket List

by Suedbeck, John G.

Categorize and control your risk management audit data....


Open Access

Career Corner: Switch Gears

by Westcott, Russell

Beat job boredom and burnout with reinvention....


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%....


The Service Quality Platform

by Swersey, Arthur J.

A five-step framework helps service organizations lay the foundation for building a service quality program....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 2, Section 23. Base Earnings by Education and Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

The independent consultants who respond to QP’s Salary Survey are, of course, a smaller group than the regular employees. This year in the United States, 62 consultants reported working part-time and 109 full-time....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 4. Salary by ASQ and Exemplar Global Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

In North America, 58.2% of respondents to QP’s salary survey held at least one ASQ certification. As Table 1 shows, the two certifications held by most respondents are certified quality auditor (23.9% of respondents) and certified quality engineer (22%)....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 1. Salary by Job Title

by Hansen, Max Christian

Of those who responded to this year’s salary survey, the vast majority are employees of a single organization, and of these, most work full time. Part 1 of this report, consisting of sections 1-19, address these respondents....


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

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....


Show of Hands

by Liu, Shu

“How many think this process is capable of meeting the specification?” Students sitting in a basic quality class in Asia were asked this question while they looked at a long-term normal process variation curve well within the specification range....


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....


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....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Tell Me About It

by Radziwill, Nicole

Plan-do-study-act-export (PDSA-X) supports the collaborative pursuit of excellence across organizational boundaries, geography and time....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Get a Job

by Cote, Murray

Professor encourages students to seek certification....


Open Access

Career Corner: The Dilbert Syndrome

by Lindborg, Henry

Ways managers can cure survey cynicism among employees....


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....


On the Map

by Schmidt, Megan

The City of Irving, TX, engages the hearts and minds of its employees to drive world-class performance. It became the second municipality to receive a Baldrige award in the program’s 25 year history in 2012....


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?...


Open Access

One Good Idea: See If It Sticks

by Perdigao, Ramon

The strategy deployment intention-perception matrix is a tool to help management gauge how the workforce, the individuals who are responsible for getting the work done, perceive and respond to organizational strategies....


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....


Open Access

Career Corner: Stake Your Ground

by Lindborg, Henry

Stakeholder analysis has become standard practice among quality practitioners....


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

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....


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.”...


Open Access

Career Corner: Build Your Economic Case

by Westcott, Russell T.

Do you realize that one of the greatest means for professional development is attending a quality industry conference? But first, you need to get there....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Winning Them Over

by Becker, Jr., Steve

You’re the new quality manager. You meet the management team and it seems committed to quality and fulfilling regulatory requirements. You’re relieved. Obtaining buy-in is half the battle....


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....


Why Certify?

by Laman, Scott A.; Korkuch, Dana; Kohler, Rene; Drobnick, Rudy; Kramer, Robin; Gardner, Pete; DiPuppo, Janet G.; Krothapalli, Sowmya;

These stories are told by people at different stages of their careers. One of the things they have in common, however, is they’ve carefully considered the costs and benefits of ASQ certification....


Salary Survey 2012: Crunching the Numbers

by Hansen, Max Christian

The 2012 survey was sent to 54,337 members. Of the 6,857 individuals who started the survey, 6,857 completed the questionnaire for a response rate of 11.2%....


Get Them in the Game

by Walker, Carlotta S.

The key to developing a high-performance, quality-oriented workforce is maintaining a high level of employee engagement....


Open Access

Career Corner: Trade Your Expertise

by Westcott, Russell T.

Most readers have an idea of what a mentor is. Perhaps you have received counsel or knowledge from an experienced mentor or mentored a person seeking your advice. But there is a lesser-known mentoring relationship—a peer-to-peer relationship....


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 1: Salary by Job Title

by Hansen, Max Christian

Figure 1 includes results for: x Full- time employees, part- time employees, x U. S. employees, Canadian employees, International employees Salary by job title for U. S. respondents / FIgUre 1 46,884 50,558 53,970 56,246 57,718 69,279 70,094 72,261 74,13...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 4: Salary by ASQ and RABQSA International Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

Percentage of respondents holding aSQ certifications / Table 1 2012 2010 2008 Certified quality auditor 22.9% 24.1% 24.2% Certified quality engineer 20.4 23.7 21.6 Certified manager of quality/ organizational excellence 12.6 13.7 12.6 Certified Six Sigma...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 2, Section 23: Base Earnings by Education and Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

1 28,000 28,000 Certified manager of quality/ organizational excellence 20,000 275,000 86,193 9 112,391 100,000 Certified quality auditor 12,000 180,000 56,553 17 87,066 96,521 Certified quality engineer 12,000 214,245 71,048 10 96,625 82,500 Certified q...


Open Access

Quality Around the Clock

by QP Staff

It’s in your DNA. It’s how your mind works. It’s what you do. It’s who you are. When you work in quality, you see things differently. You approach problems and scenarios in certain ways. It happens after you’ve signed off....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Keep Moving

by Robinson, Jeffrey A.

Many decision makers do not properly distinguish uncertainty from risk. When this occurs, there’s a tendency to spend too much time studying the problem, leading to a phenomenon often called “analysis paralysis.”...


Expert Answers: November 2012

by QP Staff

Surveys in the toolbox ... Auditing it all ... Reference materials in ISO 17025 ......


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....


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....


Healthy Returns

by Kennedy, Denise; Caselli, Richard J.; Berry, Leonard L.

The future of any enterprise depends on the quality of its customer service. All organizations—even those manufacturing products—are service organizations because all create value for customers by performing services....


A Service Framework

by Tyagi, Rajesh; Piccotti, Jen

To help service quality professionals negotiate the unique challenges they encounter, the ASQ Service Quality Division envisaged the Service Quality Body of Knowledge as an umbrella framework....


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....


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....


Expert Answers: September 2012

by QP Staff

Sustaining excellence ... Blood bank error...


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....


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....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Know No Bounds

by Tingley, Craig

For me, the common denominator in optimal job satisfaction and employment progression nearly always relates to an organization’s people focus—or lack thereof. I began to develop a strategic plan that would prepare me for a major transition....


Statistics Roundtable: Go With the Flow

by Hare, Lynne B.

Years ago, while on my way to conduct a statistical process control short course at a local ASQ meeting, I was stopped by a man who told me he had attended my short course the previous year and got a lot out of it....


Improving on Excellence

by Buckman, Jim; Buckman, Mary Beth

With the changing face of healthcare in the 1990s, the Mayo Clinic started to measure more thoroughly the results of its efforts to track quality. So it enlisted the help of the Juran Institute to begin a full-fledged quality improvement program....


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

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

Career Corner: Waiting for the Phone to Ring?

by Westcott, Russell T.

Whether you're employed or unemployed, if you are waiting for the phone to ring or for an email to arrive inviting you to explore a new job opportunity, you are awaiting a miracle. And we all know how often a miracle occurs....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Solid Proof

by Suedbeck, John G.

In general, the audit process is similar across most industries. To effectively evaluate risk, we need an understanding of the reliability of the audit evidence obtained. But how do we best assess the reliability of audit evidence?...


Open Access

One Size Fits All

by Krzykowski, Brett; Hankel, Amanda

There’s a reason why simple tools endure: They work, regardless of the situation. That’s a characteristic shared by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence....


Open Access

Beyond the Basics

by Duffy, Grace; Laman, Scott A.; Mehta, Pradip; Ramu, Govind; Scriabina, Natalia; Wagoner, Keith

A movie sequel often can be as, if not more, captivating than the original. Essentially, a sequel builds on the original, continuing a journey with familiar characters and settings, developing ideas and unveiling more insight....


Open Access

Career Corner: Should You Blow the Whistle?

by Lindborg, Henry J.

Becoming a whistle-blower is no easy choice, even for quality professionals knowledgeable of organizational behavior and accustomed to audit processes with clear guidelines for nonconformance and corrective action....


Open Access

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....


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....


Quality Curriculum

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

Does quality exist as an entity independent of business? Are the business of quality and the quality of business simply two sides of the same coin? No matter—the quality discipline has become inextricably woven into business....


Online Sidebars Goodman

by Goodman, John

The customer experience framework, shown in Figure 1, allows the VOC and quality improvement activities to be placed in the context of the overall customer experience, which includes the intended basic customer experience plus all service contacts. The be...


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....


Salary Survey 2011: Part 2, Section 23: Consultant Education and Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

Base earnings for U. S. self- employed consultants / Table 1 ( conTinueD) Minimum Maximum Standard deviation Count Average Median Part- time All consultants $ 10,000 $ 450,000 $ 82,437 87 $ 74,648 $ 54,000 Highest level of education High school diploma 6...


Open Access

Salary Survey 2011: Slow and Steady

by Hansen, Max Christian; Wilde, Nancy J.; Kinch, Eileen R.;

A single organization’s actions may be reported several times if multiple employees of that organization responded to the survey. Director: Oversees all aspects of an organization’s quality or business improvement efforts, such as developing and administr...


Open Access

Career Corner: Dust Yourself Off, Dive Back In

by Westcott, Russell T.

Don’t just sit there waiting for the phone to ring. You’re a professional. If you envision losing your job, or it’s already happened, refocus your approach. You are capable of reinventing yourself....


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?...


Tribal Quest

by Dew, John

The continuing abundance of news stories about quality failures in the manufacturing, food, pharmaceutical, healthcare and education sectors is a reminder that award-winning organizations are islands in a sea of quality indifference....


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 ...


Expert Answers: December 2011

by QP Staff

Survey struggles ... ISO 9001 vs. ISO 22000....


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....


Open Access

Perspectives: Salvaging Baldrige

by Hubbard, Dean; Klute, Paul

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is in trouble. It was in trouble before its federal funding was threatened. And it’s because the program has gotten away from its roots....


Open Access

Career Corner: Planning Ahead

by Lindborg, Henry J.

When TQM became a strategic imperative for competitive advantage, celebrity CEOs became cheerleaders, quality maturity was measured by more vice presidents for quality, and academics traced quality’s history from inspection to customer-focused strategy....


Open Access

Career Corner: Timing Is Everything

by Whitacre, Teresa

The last few years have been a struggle for those seeking employment as well as those seeking to make a change. The employment market has been difficult to judge. Many folks have shared their stories with me, especially during ASQ’s recent World...


A Change in Focus

by Lokas, Karim

It is ironic that the life-sciences industry’s approach to quality management systems has been lagging rather than leading due to a fundamental focus on compliance with regulation versus a holistic process for improving quality....


Open Access

Certification at Work

by Roberson, Russell L.; McKaig, Brian

Organizations face difficult decisions every day: where to invest, how to focus employees and how to drive a competitive advantage in their markets. A decision to launch employee training cannot be taken lightly....


Quality in the First Person: Introverts: Get Out!

by Purdy, Derek

Networking. We all know we should do it. Most of us have repeatedly been told the key to getting good jobs, achieving goals and having a happy life is building a network. And yet, if you’re an introvert, the prospect of heading into a group of strangers...


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,...


The First Step

by Gonnering, Russell S., M.D.

In his penetrating and perturbing 2009 New Yorker article, Atul Gawande explored the huge cost differential between care in McAllen, TX, and care at other spots in the country with similar demographics and medical sophistication. His conclusion was that...


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....


Open Access

Organize How You Innovate

by Scriabina, Natalia

It is difficult to underestimate the role of innovation in the success of an organization. ISO 9004:2009 redefines the role of improvements and innovations within a quality management system....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Make a Choice

by McCain, Cecelia

A selection matrix, also known as a prioritization matrix, is a ranking technique used to evaluate potential projects, problems, alternatives or remedies based on specific criteria or quality dimensions. The selection matrix has many uses, such as when...


Open Access

Getting on Track

by Bowers, Dorothy P.; West, John E. “Jack”

ISO 26000 is here. Are you ready? Maybe the better question is: Do you care? You should. ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility has been touted as the new standard that can help manage social responsibility issues at your organization....


Open Access

Career Corner: Will You Be Ready?

by Westcott, Russell T.

In October 2002, I wrote a Career Corner column titled “Fired? Tired? Mired?” Even today, that’s the sense I get from the restlessness that I believe permeates today’s workforce. People are unemployed, and some have given up looking for jobs. People are...


Perspectives: Regain Your Footing

by Weisbrod, Stu

The presence of warning signs that quality may be slipping doesn’t mean an organization is doomed. Instead, it can be redeemed with a three-step approach to reinvigorate quality....


Open Access

Career Corner: The Missing Links

by Lindborg, Henry J.

The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence presents an ideal pattern of values to which quality professionals can aspire. Tracking its development throughout close to a quarter century reveals shifts in the quality community’s thinking...


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....



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