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Who Do You Trust?

by Hacker, Stephen K.

The world has been changing since the beginning, but many people don’t grasp that change is accelerating....


Innovation Imperative: Making Choices

by Merrill, Peter

When you think about how to steer your career, it’s important not to steer too hard. Life presents many opportunities, and if you are trying to force your way through, you will miss the opportunities that come your way....


Open Access

One Good Idea July 2014 - Online Figure

by Goffnett, Sean

Template of an individual development plan....


Statistics Roundtable: Solving Jigsaw Puzzles

by DiBenedetto, Alexa; Hoerl, Roger W.; and Snee, Ronald D.

We all face problems in business, as well as in our personal lives and relationships. Despite the need for effective ways to address problems, there is surprisingly little agreement in quality or scientific literature on approaching problems in general....


Open Access

Will to Live

by Csikos, Brian

How one quality professional confronted a life-threatening diagnosis....


Expert Answers: January 2014

by QP Staff

Selecting KPIs ... Controlling multiple processes...


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....


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?...


Innovation Imperative: The People Principle

by Merrill, Peter

Successful innovation does have a secret sauce—people. For successful innovation, we need to involve everyone in our organization....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Quality Couple

by Mouradian, George

Husband and wife use quality tools to sweeten union...


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

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....


Open Access

Career Corner: Boost Your Brand

by Christopher, Rosemarie

Your personal brand is your style. It is composed of your values, abilities, strengths and limitations. The most successful workers, knowingly or not, align their personal brands with their organizations’ cultures....


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....


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....


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....


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....


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....


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....


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

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....


Innovation Imperative: Unplugged

by Merrill, Peter

Many people think technology drives innovation. In fact, the opposite is true....


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....


Lead On

by Liu, Shu; Ruegg, Stephen

In today's business environment, any organization that wishes to exceed customer expectations and stay competitive needs effective supplier management. Emotional intelligence plays an important role in dealing with suppliers....


Fail-Safe FMEA

by Rodríguez-Pérez, José; Peña-Rodríguez, Manuel E.

The appropriate use of quality risk management can help organizations comply with regulatory requirements, such as good manufacturing practices or good laboratory practices....


Practice Makes Perfect

by Rich, David

Significant problems can occur during full-scale production when new manufacturing processes are poorly conceived. Therefore, it is incumbent on R&D organizations to employ effective procedures that ensure sound manufacturing process development....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Quality at Its Core

by Coleman, Lance

After leaving the manufacturing sector for 12 years and then returning, I found quality was still what drew me to the industry. Quality has carried me through my professional life, as well as my personal life, in ways I never realized were possible....


Surf's Up

by Edmund, Mark

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


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....


Open Access

Back to Basics: A Tool for Anyone

by Laman, Scott A.

The balanced scorecard is used to align business activities to an organization’s strategy and monitor organizational performance versus strategic goals. The scorecard traditionally contains information related to four categories: learning and growth...


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....


On the Clock

by Watson, Robert Q.; Leeson, Ken

Whatever the business, customers expect timely and efficient service. They expect their phone calls to be answered in two or fewer rings. They loath waiting in long lines and want transactions handled as quickly as possible....


Online Sidebar Watson

by Watson, Robert Q., Leeson, Kenneth

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital’s first change activity focused on the front-end processes of getting a patient triaged and into a bed, as shown in the highlighted boxes in the emergency department (ED) process flow in Online Figure 1....


Expert Answers: January 2011

by QP Staff

Implementing two systems simultaneously ... Cut-off date for ISO 9001:2000 ... Tips for a more effective survey....


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...


Top This

by Liedtke, Charles A.; Schroeder, Roger G.; Linderman, Kevin; Rickard, Jim

Besting your competitors means outdoing them when it comes to quality, safety, service, productivity and financials. The question is how to stay on top after you’ve planted your flag at the apex of your industry....


Online Tables Fedotowsky

by Fedotowsky, Alex

Corporate main office BSC structure / ONLINE TabLE 1 Corporate BSC perspectives Strategic objective Action plans Measures Financials Lagging KPI KPI = monthly operating costs and reported profits . bSC = balanced scorecard KPI = key performance indicato...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Change Essentials

by Ford, Jack

Since BloodCenter of Wisconsin began its lean journey four years ago, I have had the chance to do some thinking on what is necessary for any change initiative to be successful. What follows is a short list of what I consider to be the essentials for...


High Marks

by Esqueda, Paul; D'Allegro, Mary Lou

The public is demanding more accountability of many private organizations, corporations and institutions of higher education. In response, the Department of Education instituted changes to the process of accreditation of higher education institutions....


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....


Acquiring Assets

by Kirscht, Ron

Manufacturers face a growing threat to quality and productivity. The coming wave of baby boomer retirements, alongwith a projected decline in the number of new recruits, poses the threat of a gap in skilled workers that are critical to success....


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....


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

PDSA Leads to Top Accolades

by Adrian, Nicole

Force field analysis. Two-way communication. SWOT analysis. These terms are likely familiar to quality professionals in the manufacturing, service and possibly even healthcare fields. But to those in education? It’s unlikely....


Progress Report

by He; Park; Hu; Knod; Yue

Six Sigma has been a hot topic discussed and implemented globally in the business world, nonprofit organizations and even governments. There is comparatively less research, however, into how to assess the maturity of Six Sigma implementation....


Open Access

Total Quality, Total Commitment

by Watson, Gregory H.

An innovative approach to quality helped A.V. Feigenbaum create the concept of total quality management. Indeed, Feigenbaum’s quality contributions have been praised by U.S. business leaders and quality professionals around the globe. Armand V. Feigenbaum...


Newer Better Faster

by Stevenson, James R.; Kashef, Ali E.

The Small Business Administration has indicated that the majority of innovations are consistent with the continuous improvement commonly used in the define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) Six Sigma method....


Open Access

Incredible Journey

by Adrian, Nicole

In response to personnel’s safety concerns and rising workers’ compensation costs, a team at Boeing’s C-17 site developed a solution to thwart injury and save money....


First-Person Narratives

by Adrian, Nicole

The C-17 World-Class Safety Team was structured in a way that allowed members to have fun, work cooperatively with each other and work autonomously on their own. Participating on the World-Class Safety Team, preparing for the CTEA [California Team Excelle...


Helping Ease the Transition

by Schultz, John R.

Six Sigma and process improvement projects include implementation steps that typically alter workflow and deployment of labor to create a more effective and efficient process. New connections and relationships are established that reinforce new methods....


Statistics Roundtable: In With the Right Crowd

by Snee, Ronald D.; Hoerl, Roger W.; Patterson, Angela N.

First, the good news: The importance of statistics related to the way the world does business has never been greater. Now, the bad news: The statistician and quality professional might become the proverbial middle man who gets cut out by these advances....


A Gold Medal Solution

by Adrian, Nicole

By using quality tools, a team from Boeing came up with solutions that eliminated the unsafe conditions that occurred during installation of the details in aircrafts' tailcones....


Open Access

Classroom Lessons Learned

by Ghysels, Maurice

Public education often tries to emulate the successful methods of industry. However, the experience of a school district in California offers several lessons about achieving continuous improvement in the corporate world....


Open Access

Ghysels Online Sidebar: What Students Think

by Ghysels, Maurice

Moreover, by teaching how to align teachers’ goals to students’ goals, the teachers were more apt to pay attention to organizational goals. Even though we were initially cautious about calling students or parents “external customers” or teachers “interna...


Standards Outlook: Auto Industry Drives to Improve Healthcare

by Reid, R. Dan

The U.S. auto industry has been challenged by its need to compete in a global marketplace while burdened by healthcare expenses for workers and retirees....


Open Access

Quality Tools, Teamwork Lead Boeing Team to a System Redesign

by Adrian, Nicole

A team from Boeing, as well as members of the Air Force and suppliers, worked to fix the C-17's inert gas generating system that previously needed constant repairs. Using quality tools, the team identified cause and came up with the best solution for...


Quality in the First Person: Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

by Foster, Ronnie

Shortly after retiring from the business world, I had the opportunity to spend several semesters as an adjunct instructor in the school of business at a small, local private college....


Open Access

Lean Lessons: Lean Kaizen in the 21st Century

by Alukal, George

Adapted from a chapter of Lean Kaizen, the author offers key takeaways from the Toyota Production System (TPS). He describes how the kaizen method is the foundation of the The Toyota Way and how it emphasizes efficiency, problem solving and...


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

10 Quality Basics

by Duffy, Grace; Payne, Graeme; Rooney, James; Hare, Lynne; West, John E. "Jack"; Borawski, Paul; Westcott, Russ; Okes, Duke; Guttman, Howard; Foster, S. Thomas; Conklin, Joe

In an overview designed to give quality newcomers a glimpse of the knowledge they need to succeed, ten regular Quality Progress contributors write on 10 basic quality topics that are fundamentals essential to surviving in a quality role. Topics covered...


Reach for the Stars

by Van Loon, Han

CelsiusTech Australia, a systems and software supplier, has long had a commitment to quality, but believes there is always room for improvement. The company decided to create an improved approach to the plan-do-check-act cycle to help new employees...


Standards Outlook: Why a New ISO 9004?

by West, John E. "Jack"

In the rush that is today's business environment, we often worry more about details than we do the big picture....


Open Access

Quality Focus Good for Business

by Nelsen, Dave

Premier Inc., a San Diego-based healthcare alliance, is a 2006 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) in the service category. The firm credits employee involvement, experience gained while earning a state quality award, and...


The International Growth of Quality

by Feigenbaum, A.V.

Human, economic, and technological changes in the international arena require that businesses deliver high quality value to customers. Fundamental to any business's competitive strength is its ability to understand and implement the language of quality....


Open Access

Lean Lessons: The Benefits of Kaizen and Kaizen Events

by Manos, Anthony

Kaizen is a Japanese word typically translated to "continuous improvement." Originally this word referred to subtle, gradual improvements that are made over time. A baseball analogy is hitting singles all game long to score runs....


Lean Inspection Through Supplier Partnership

by Ericson, Joel

Incoming inspection is a nonvalue-added activity that does not improve a product, but only identifies products that do not meet standards. One way to reduce incoming inspection is to move from traditional sample inspection to a system in which the...


Getting Credit for Service

by Haupt, Heidi B.

Experian Marketing Services (EMS) considers quality management a critical part of its commitment to its clients. Last year EMS looked to ISO 9001 certification as a way to extend its established project management program. EMS identified more than 100...


Open Access

Lean Lessons: Keeping Lean Alive

by Alukal, George

We know we cannot stand still in the face of global competition. Our rivals are not standing pat--they are improving their processes and systems to catch up or overtake us. If we do not improve, sooner or later our customers will prefer our rivals....


12 Keys to Career Success

by Oltesvig, John

As the number of manufacturing jobs continues to decline in the United States, many quality professionals have become concerned about job security and opportunities to attain career success. But like Joseph Juran and W. Edwards Deming before them, each...


Uniform Maker Sews Up Success With Scorecard

by Gordon, Gus

Operadora Ganso Azul S.A. de C.V. is an ISO 9001 sewing factory in Mexico facing growing competition for China. In 2000 when the company began operating as a maquiladora producing uniforms for police officers and firefighters, rapid expansion created...


Open Access

Shifting Quality Into High Gear

by Edmund, Mark

Park Place Lexus (PPL), located in the Dallas metropolitan area, is the first automobile dealership to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Determined not to be just another car dealership, PPL leaders looked outside the industry to...


Emotional Intelligence and Six Sigma

by Milivojevich, Andrew

Emotional intelligence (EI), the ability to perceive, assess, and manage one's own emotions and the emotions of others, is vital to a project team environment and fits well with Six Sigma methodology. When time is limited, Six Sigma Black Belts must...


Statistics Roundtable: The Hidden Laboratory

by Hare, Lynne B.

Ralph is a research scientist with 20 years of experience. Most of the products he developed have gone by the wayside. That doesn't frustrate Ralph. What frustrates him is the increased pressure to churn out new products in record time....


Open Access

Make Healthcare Lean

by Manos, Anthony; Sattler, Mark; Alukal, George

The principles of lean manufacturing are as applicable to healthcare as they are to the automobile industry. However, unlike manufacturing, healthcare management structures are not usually hierarchical, and hospitals generally are not-for-profit. Value...


Statistical Engineering: A Case Study

by Steiner, Stefan; MacKay, Jock

The statistical engineering algorithm can be used to reduce variation in manufacturing and assembly processes, and is particularly useful in improvement systems such as Six Sigma. A case study illustrates how a team used the SE algorithm to reduce...


Open Access

Simple Tools for Complex Systems

by Thiraviam, Amar Raja

Complex problems don't always require complex solutions. Pareto analysis and process mapping are examples of simple tools that can reduce the defects of a complex manufacturing process. A high-tech manufacturer of electromechanical devices put these...


Open Access

Oklahoma School District Goes Over the Top

by Daniels, Susan E.

In 2005, the Jenks Public Schools in Oklahoma became one of only seven organizations to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for education since the category was instituted in 2001. Its data revealed that JPS was already ranked among the best...


Selling Quality Ideas to Management

by Palmer, Brien

Many great ideas fall by the wayside because management does not accept them. This may be because the idea must compete with other priorities or the owner doesn't do enough to sell the idea to management. Three effective ways to enhance an idea are to...


Advancing From Compliance To Performance

by Bottoroff, Dean L.

Poor ethics has recently been recognized as a controllable factor that can either make or break and organization. If organizations would practice ethics as a logic-based discipline and quality problem, they would reach higher levels of performance that...


Open Access

8 Dimensions of Excellence

by Lawton, Robin

Despite a stated desire to be customer focused, most companies tend to measure process performance more intensely than the outcomes customers experience. The 8 Dimensions of Excellence expand and balance the definition of success, beginning with the...


Open Access

Lean Lessons: All About Lean

by Alukal, George

Lately, lean has been receiving a lot of attention from quality professionals, management and the media. After getting its start in manufacturing, it has now migrated to nonshop floor activities in sales, customer service, accounting, HR......


Open Access

Engaging Physicians in Lean Six Sigma

by Caldwell, Chip; Brexler, Jim; Gillem, Tom

Healthcare is one of the most difficult industries in which to install a quality system because of the confusing role of physicians, yet few process changes can be fully optimized without engaging physicians. One reason physicians resist change is that...


Feigenbaum's Enduring Influence

by Watson, Gregory

Armand V. Feigenbaum was one of the first engineers to recognize financial performance as an indicator of poor quality. Together with W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran, he established the intellectual framework for quality as a discipline worthy of...


Prepare Students For Technical Careers

by Heinrich, George; Jordan, Karen; Smalley, Audrey; Boast, Steve

In a global comparison, U.S. high school students are not competitive in mathematics, and relatively few pursue engineering or other technical disciplines when they enter college. A survey conducted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers showed gaps...


Seven Steps To Measure Supplier Performance

by Gordon, Sherry

Most organizations use some type of supplier performance measure, yet few are satisfied with their supplier assessment capabilities and results. Quality professionals are under increasing pressure to avoid supplier problems and retain high performers....


Open Access

A Recipe For Excellence

by Daniels, Susan E.

The roots of the Bama Companies' 2004 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award go back to a Texas kitchen in 1927. Today the third-generation family owned business makes frozen baked goods for fast food and casual dining restaurants using the same...


Back to the Future at Ford

by Smith, Larry R.

The U.S. automotive industry, and U.S. industry in general, have seen significant change over the past thirty years, and the results haven’t always been positive. While specific details differ, Ford Motor Company's experience with the major system...


Training : It's Not Always the Answer

by Stetar, Bill

Employers need employees who perform well, and while training is one way to achieve this goal, it isn't the only way. A training needs analysis assesses current performance and defines desired performance, with the gap between the two states...


Better Processes = Better E-Commerce

by Reijers, Hajo A.; Jansen-Vullers, Monique H.

Successful e-commerce (EC) requires customer and supplier interaction to be seamlessly integrated with existing business processes. Quality professionals must keep this in mind when redesigning business processes, particularly in the service industry....


Quality Attitudes Start in Childhood

by Dedhia, Navin S.

My beliefs and behavior have had four major influences: my parents' teachings, stringent requirements during elementary and middle school years, the basic principles of my religion and IBM's corporate culture....


Make No Mistake

by Smith III, Edwin B.

Mistake proofing tools provide low cost, effective defect prevention and operator feedback. They can stop mistakes from being made or make mistakes obvious at a glance....


A Roadmap For Change

by DeFeo, Joseph A.; Barnard, William W.

This excerpt is from the book Juran Institute's Six Sigma Breakthrough and Beyond. The book is available from Quality Press, item P1089. Copyright restrictions do not allow its individual sale or its placement on My ASQ....


Develop a Process Based Management System

by Broomfield, John R.

An ISO 9001 team charged with developing a process based quality management system needs a thorough understanding of the company's current business management system in order to avoid conflict and unnecessary paperwork. While the QMS development team...


Open Access

Can the Gurus' Concepts Cure Healthcare?

by Nielsen, Don M.; Merry, Martin D.; Schyve, Paul M.; Bisognano, Maureen

Representatives of the movement for quality in healthcare present the views of four quality gurus as they apply to managing cost and improving the quality of healthcare. Don M. Nielsen says Philip Crosby's emphasis on prevention and zero defects has led...


Open Access

Two Hospitals Prescribe Performance Excellence

by Johnson, Kristen

Florida's Baptist Hospital Inc. (BHI) and Saint Luke's Hospital (SLH) in Kansas City, Missouri were recipients of the 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the healthcare category. In addition to its new mission to provide world-class patient...


Quality in the First Person

by Allan, Jonathan; McNary, Lisa D.; Moser, Pete; Zilbershtein, Doron

Four quality professionals discuss how they used quality principles and tools to improve their personal lives. In Control Charts and Your Real Hourly Wage, Jonathan...


Open Access

Effective White-Collar Teams: The New Quality Imperative

by Guttman, Howard M.


In nonmanufacturing environments, quality has not had the impact that it has had in production environments because the input, process, output equation is less visible and more difficult to measure. In today’s competitive environment,...


Make Work Cells Work for You

by Schonberger, Richard J.

The standard practice of dispersing production processes among geographically separate shops creates a potential for quality problems. These problems and their root causes are lost between intra-shop inventories and the number of potential flow...


Climbing Mount Sustainability

by Anderson, Ray

This year marks an anniversary of sorts for Interface Inc., which produces about 40% of the world’s commercial carpet tiles. Ten years ago, I challenged my company to a new way of thinking: to embrace a new paradigm...



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