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Open Access

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

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

Standards Outlook: Managing the System

by West, John E. “Jack”; Cianfrani, Charles A.

There is an apparent difference in focus in the ISO 9001:2015 draft international standard. Clause 4 of the draft introduces what seems to be a new concept, “context of the organization.”...


Journey to Excellence

by Bailey, Dawn Marie

Baldrige executive fellows embarked on capstone projects to address challenges within their organizations. They integrated feedback from other executive fellows and Baldrige award recipients, and applied the Baldrige criteria to find a solution....


Expert Answers: July 2014

by QP Staff

Building an effective QMS ... understanding medians...


Open Access

Career Corner: Opening Doors

by Conklin, Joseph

Career Corner columnist Joseph Conklin interviews a counselor at the Prince George’s One-Stop Career Center in Laurel, MD, during the second week of the October 2013 government shutdown to look into training and retraining programs for displaced workers....


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....


Open Access

Making the Rounds

by Volland, Jennifer

Executive leader rounding helps organization leaders connect with the voice of the customer and understand day-to-day procedures to identify needs or shortcomings in service delivery....


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....


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....


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

Standard Wise

by Combs, Oscar

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


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

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....


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

One Good Idea: Act the Fool

by Levinson, William

Almost every workplace has a few heyokas and they are vital to the organization’s survival....


Innovation Imperative: Risk and Development

by Merrill, Peter

In my first Innovation Imperative column, I wrote that, in short, innovation is a risky business. In this month’s column, I am going to move beyond identifying the nature of the risks we must address and look at how we manage those 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?...


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....


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....


Statistics Roundtable: Let's Be Realistic

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.

Decision making is all about understanding and comparing trade-offs between choices: What benefits are possible, what are the risks and can they be mitigated, and what will each of the alternatives cost?...


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....


Standards Outlook: Keeping Watch

by Russell, J.P.

Supply chain management is important to ensure organizations can compete in the global market. Organizations continue to focus on core competencies, resulting in greater dependence on high-quality materials and services from suppliers....


3.4 per Million: Box Paradox

by Carnell, Mike

Without any data to support this, I’m willing to wager that anyone who has been employed in a manufacturing or transactional environment for five years has either been directed to or heard someone direct others to “think outside the box.”...


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...


In the Crosshairs

by Lindquist, Russell

In 2005, Fairbanks Morse Engine discovered that work content analysis can help clearly define product families and can align improvement activities in a leveraged execution....


Open Access

Out in Front

by Schultz, John R.

“The job of management is not supervision, but leadership.” … “The aim of leadership should be to improve the performance of man and machine, to improve quality, to increase output, and to simultaneously bring pride of workmanship to people.”...


Standards Outlook: Get in Front of the Problem

by West, John E. "Jack"

Considering the unfortunate fact that product recalls and their disastrous results seem relatively common, it’s curious why so many organizations resist formal efforts to address preventive action....


Open Access

Salary Survey 2012: Facing Tight Times

by Hansen, Max Christian

The more things stay the same, the more quality professionals must look for productive ways to change. For the first time since QP began its annual salary survey, the most important indicator—average salary—has become frustratingly stuck in place....


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.”...


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....


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....


Pick Your Spots

by Sherman, Peter J.

In the rush to achieve results, lean Six Sigma programs can get derailed because projects are pushed through the organization, leading to the selection of the wrong projects and suboptimizing the entire enterprise’s goals....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Shaping Your Life

by El-Din, Mohamed Nour

When I graduated from Cairo University’s College of Pharmacy in 2006, I was full of hope and ready to hit the market. I imagined that organizations were waiting for me, ready to welcome me into their ranks....


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....


Blaze Your Own Trail

by Hutchings, Richard

We used to put our careers into the hands of our organizations. If we worked diligently enough, they might reward our efforts with a series of promotions. This template for career advancement was a clean 45-degree line....


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....


In the Spotlight

by Keathley, Jane

Based on what we know about the skills needed for innovation management, what quality management functions, responsibilities and skills can be applied to manage innovation?...


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

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....


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....


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

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....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Complicated Comparison

by Bower, Keith; Germansderfer, Abraham

Limited data availability complicates an assessment of whether two populations are comparable. A statistical tolerance interval (TI) can be used to set the comparability criteria....


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....


Statistics Roundtable: Right Answer, Wrong Query

by Anderson-Cook, Christine

Recently, I was reminded of one of my favorite statistics-related quotes from John W. Tukey: “Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.”...


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....


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....


Wasted Words

by Patra, Pradeep; Paul, Avijit

Lean tools are embedded with elements that encourage effective communication. Whether it’s color-coded work spaces or transparent parts bins, these tools foster an environment in which cycle times are reduced while raising quality....


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 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...


3.4 per Million: Inputs Into Action

by Breyfogle, Forrest W.

A year ago, I wrote about the nine-step Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) business management system and how it can be used to integrate voice of the customer (VOC) sources with other improvement efforts so an entire enterprise can benefit....


Open Access

Safe and Secure

by Scott, Bill; Krempley, Mark

Organizations everywhere are expected to do more with less in all areas of business. Safety and risk management are not necessarily immune when organizations must make difficult decisions about cuts in personnel and funding....


Standards Outlook: Clearly Defined

by Russell, J.P.

It seems that everyone knows the difference between a system and a process. We know processes and systems are related, but most of us aren’t sure when one begins and the other ends....


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....


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

Around the Bend

by Krzykowski, Brett

While the eight forces found in the 2011 ASQ Future of Quality Study are unique, what ties the group together is the theme of emergence—the idea that, in many cases, these forces rose quickly and seemingly out of nowhere....


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 ......


Standards Outlook: The Missing Link

by Liebesman, Sandford

In most organizations, quality and finance behave like independent silos, resulting in excessive costs and unhappy customers and investors....


Online Tables Olson

by Olson, Diane; 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....


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....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Quality Helps Kick Cancer

by Roberson, Russell L.

As a quality professional, I can’t help but look for ways to use quality tools in anything from correction to prevention, from work to everyday life. I have two examples of how quality tools and processes can help people overcome life-changing challenges....


Pushback Prevention

by Schultz, John R.

“Our quality program doesn’t seem to be working.” This statement, or a similar one, is frequently repeated by executives and managers who believe quality-focused projects are not meeting expectations. Such perceptions are often reinforced by published...


Get in Touch With Your Emotions

by Liu, Shu

Emotional intelligence is one of the key traits shared by organizations that succeed in a dynamic world characterized by innovative technology, a diversified workforce, easy access to information and economic globalization....


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....


Are You A Good Problem Solver?

by Gano, Dean L.

If you are like most people, you probably think you are a pretty good problem solver and have a good overall understanding of problem-solving practices. Yet, because you are reading this article, you also understand the value of continuous learning to...


Open Access

What Have We Learned?

by Reid, R. Dan

In a general way, the disaster in Japan provides us with a good context to see what lessons can be learned from fundamental quality management science....


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....


Climb to the Top

by QP Staff

Who said it’s lonely at the top? For only the second time since the Baldrige program began in 1988, seven organizations were recognized last year with the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence—the Baldrige Award....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Mind Your A's and E's

by Goldman, Ira B.

Regardless of what media combinations you decide to use for your training, four concepts are essential for engaging students and making the learning stick....


Standards Outlook: Spring Into Action

by West, John E. "Jack"

In a lot of organizations, quality is relegated to the status of a long-forgotten initiative the organization “finished.” In these cases, what should a quality professional do?...


Open Access

The Way to Engage

by Parks, Kirsten; Connor, Timothy

To be successful in today’s competitive global economy, more and more companies rely on suppliers and expect them to be on top in the areas of quality, cost and delivery....


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...


Lessons in Loyalty

by Hayes, Bob E.

Business growth depends on improving customer loyalty behavior. Companies with higher customer loyalty usually experience faster business growth than companies with lower customer loyalty, research has shown....


Expert Answers: March 2011

by QP Staff

Explaining rework verification ... Getting management involved ... Measurement confusion....


Loud and Clear

by Aquino, Glynis; Nichols, Michael D.; Houry, Karim

An company's use of metrics to drive and measure success can help it maintain a leadership position in its industry. A commitment to applying performance management tools has increased efficiencies, reduced cost and improved customer satisfaction scores....


Know More, Do More

by Chang, Nancy S.Q.; Gagliardi, Frank A.

If organizations want to take advantage of a changing landscape dotted with new opportunities, products and services, they need to make a substantial investment in educating and retaining a competent labor force....


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....


Expert Answers: December 2010

by QP Staff

The benefits of certification ... Knowing when to document....


Open Access

Tip of the Iceberg

by Ellifson, Valerie

HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS KNOW it’s not enough to treat a patients’ conditions and send them on their way. Often, the patient’s condition and symptoms are simply the tip of the iceberg. Many other factors—including human behaviors and societal conditions...


Open Access

Online Figures Ellifson

by Ellifson, Valerie

Customer relationship management model / ONLINE FIgurE 1 Evaluation and improvement Strategic planning process ( SPP) step 1: Review customer inputs and analyze processes to refine feedback mechanisms, customer relationship strategies, and action plans (...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Take Another Look

by Daniel J. LeSaux

The use of several strategies to monitor and improve the overall effectiveness of the quality management system is included in ISO 9001, paragraph 8.0, “Measurement Analysis and Improvement.” Two of these are often used independently while...


Mixed Signals

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M. , Lu, Lu, and Morzinski, Jerome

It's no surprise when statistics students or colleagues from outside the discipline don’t immediately understand advanced statistical terms and concepts such as “kriging” or “probit regression.”...


Open Access

3.4 per Million: Firefighting With DMAIC

by Snee, Ronald D., Gardner, Edgar C.

As quality professionals, we like to solve problems by finding root causes and putting fixes in place. As a rule, we don’t like to fight fires, but sometimes we have to....


Statistics Roundtable: A Sample Plan

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

Often, there are situations in which you might want to draw a representative sample from a finite population to characterize some aspects of its distribution....


Open Access

Jersey Score

by Krzykowski, Brett

For most, it takes years to reach a point at which an organization can expect to be seriously considered for the Baldrige award. But that didn’t deter New Jersey-based healthcare provider AtlantiCare, one of five award recipients for 2009....


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...


Proof Positive

by Tiwari, Anshuman; Nandiwada, Siva

Implementing change is challenging. Implementing change while driving growth and profitability is even more difficult. But when growth and profitability are at a premium, the need to accelerate positive change becomes even more critical....


Open Access

Two in One

by Razzetti, Eugene “Gene” A.

The terms risk analysis, risk assessment and risk management—often used interchangeably—can mean a variety of different concepts and metrics. There is no one single approach to risk management....


Statistics Roundtable: Tried and True

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

A review of past Statistics Roundtable columns reveals that statisticians and quality professionals are always looking for better ways to increase the breadth and effectiveness of the use of statistical thinking and methods....



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