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Open Access

A Place to Call Home

by Leonard, Denis; Zajicek, Gary

Builder leverages quality toolbox, culture to construct house for "Extreme Makeover" TV show....


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....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Take Note

by Hart, Vicki

Tips to perfect your note-taking techniques....


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....


Innovation Imperative: Innovation Toolbox

by Merrill, Peter

There is a core set of tools from which innovators can choose. Generally, innovators should select one primary tool and perhaps one secondary tool to use in each stage of the innovation process....


Standards Outlook: Into the Future

by Reid, R. Dan

During the past 30 years or so, there has been a lot of content in this column and in QP dealing with management system standards (MSS). Well, get ready. ISO MSSs as you know them are about to change, starting as soon as next year....


Open Access

Standards Outlook: Change Ahead

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

The revision of ISO 9001:2008 brings opportunities and challenges....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Calculated Risk

by Sherman, Peter J.

A formula for balancing the cost of risk and uncertainty....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Super Powers

by Schmidt, Megan

In honor of National Engineers Week, QP took a closer look at what makes engineers and the profession super by asking the global engineering community to weigh in with its thoughts....


Hoist Help

by Chadha, Rajeev

Overall equipment effectiveness and waterfall analysis are proven continuous improvement analysis tools that have been used in the manufacturing world for many years....


Choose Wisely

by Sharma, Mohit

How to select the right metrics to ensure process improvement success....


Open Access

Breaking Down Barriers

by Liu, Shu

To leverage the benefits and prepare for the challenges big data present, quality professionals must change their mindset, get more data, upgrade their skills and expand their roles in the big data universe....


Open Access

Fresh Perspective

by Radziwill, Nicole M.; Owens, Tracy;

The relationships among technology, innovation and quality are based on creating new value and sustaining the ability to continue creating it. Leveraging these relationships can help in releasing your creative spirit....


Innovation Imperative: The New Revolution

by Merrill, Peter

3-D printing is one of the most exciting new technologies since the transistor of the last century, and since the steam engine two centuries before that....


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

Career Corner: Putting Pen to Paper

by Conklin, Joseph D.

Task management tips for the digitally unhip....


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....


Expert Answers: January 2014

by QP Staff

Selecting KPIs ... Controlling multiple processes...


Open Access

2013 QP Salary Survey Webcast Powerpoint Presentation

by Hansen, Max Christian

View a PowerPoint presentation to accompany the webcast summarizing and discussing the 2013 QP Salary Survey, featuring author Max Christian Hansen....


Open Access

Career Corner: Switch Gears

by Westcott, Russell

Beat job boredom and burnout with reinvention....


Open Access

Salary Survey 2013: Read Their Minds

by Hansen, Max Christian

The quality profession is helping the world economy pull out of its long slump. And the professionals who responded to this year’s QP Salary Survey seem to be experiencing their own recovery—be it ever so slight....


Open Access

Words to Work By

by QP Staff

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


Statistics Roundtable: Providing Better Insights

by Doganaksoy, Necip; Hahn, Gerald J.; and Meeker, William Q.

In an earlier Statistics Roundtable column, we advocated for the use of degradation testing (that is, monitoring change in a quality or performance characteristic) instead of time to failure....


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....


Measure for Measure: Careful Comparison

by Bucher, Jay L.

Starting a calibration program from the ground floor can be a daunting task. But it also can help an organization realize it has taken only the first steps in ensuring a quality program....


Innovation Imperative: Changing Tides

by Merrill, Peter

We are currently in a perfect storm for global change. The global marketplace is changing and advances with technology are dramatically changing the way we complete even the simplest tasks. We are responding to change by innovating....


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....


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

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

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?...


Open Access

Expert Answers: September 2013

by QP Staff

Centralizing quality ... ISO 9001 cost of implementation...


Open Access

Career Corner: The Gift of Growth

by ReVelle, Jack

For both mentors and mentees, mentorship is an invaluable experience....


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?...


Open Access

Back to Basics: According to Plan

by Port, Jonathan

Regardless of the purpose, audits must be properly planned so they’re successful and valuable. Often, this crucial step receives scant attention. The audit process should be divided into three equal parts: planning, execution and follow-up....


Dig Deeper

by Chadha, Rajeev

Sort,store, shine, standardize and sustain (5S) is a lean process for creating and maintaining an organized, clean, safe and high-performing workplace....


Open Access

Measuring Up

by Hankel, Amanda

What is, and what does it mean to your organization and your industry? What does continuous improvement mean for your country, region and community, now and in the future? These are questions that, until recently, hadn’t been answered on a global level....


Reinventing Excellence

by Buckman, Jim; Buckman, Mary Beth

How Corning used quality to maintain its legacy of innovation for 160 years....


Open Access

Feeling Connected

by Port, Jonathan D.

Each of us desires to be heard and understood, affirmed, blessed, safe, touched, chosen and included. Understanding these desires in each person can lead to high-performing work relationships, motivated employees and better quality....


Open Access

Career Corner: An Age-old Problem

by Conklin, Joseph D.

When coaching younger generations in the workforce, one size does not fit all. Career Corner columnist Joseph Conklin provides tips for navigating a multigenerational workforce....


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

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....


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....


Expert Answers: May 2013

by QP Staff

Lean case studies from IT organizations...


Standards Outlook: World View

by Liebesman, Sandford

The global economy has provided organizations with many opportunities that didn’t exist even 10 years ago. On the other hand, the internet and extensive outsourcing have “flattened” the Earth, presenting organizations with many new risks....


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?...


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....


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: March 2013

by QP Staff

Supplier audits ... Requiring ISO certification...


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....


Measure for Measure: Verifying the Art

by Niemann, Craig

Measurement may be considered a science and an art. It is a science in that it is based upon the laws of physics and math. Some consider it an art because elements of human judgment are needed to translate measurement from abstract to real application....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Form by Design

by Coleman, Lance B.

Filling out simple forms should be easy, right? Yet, how many of us have had the experience in which a simple and easy-to-follow form took more than one time to fill out 100% correctly?...


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....


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....


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...


Open Access

One Good Idea: Ultimate Originality

by Sundararajan, K.

When developing products for a new market, innovative ideas are essential. A tool that can be used to spark innovative new product ideas is the ideate, define, design and validate (IDDV) method....


Statistics Roundtable: Follow the Rules

by Hare, Lynne B.

Despite appearances to the contrary, I am not old enough to have participated in the first discussions of control chart rules....


Measure for Measure: What If?

by Bucher, Jay L.

There are no requirements that call for traceable calibration to the National Institute of Standards and Technology or any other National Metrology Institute (NMI). Nor are there any requirements for other countries to be traceable to their NMIs....


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....


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

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....


Expert Answers: December 2012

by QP Staff

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


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

Back to Basics: To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?

by Berardinelli, Carl F.

Define, measure, analyze, improve and control is a structured problem-solving method. Each phase builds on the previous one, with the goal of implementing long-term solutions to problems. Most problem-solving efforts benefit from a disciplined method....


Standards Outlook: From the Trenches

by Liebesman, Sandford

ISO 9001 and the COSO internal control guidance document used by financial organizations that must comply with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act don’t have a lot in common, but one thing they share is the need to update the current version....


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.”...


Innovation Imperative: Open to Suggestions

by Merrill, Peter

Open market innovation intrigues people because it appears to run counter to accepted business practices. It discounts secrecy, recognizes we lack knowledge in our own organizations and depends on ideas from outside for success....


Expert Answers: November 2012

by QP Staff

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


Open Access

Career Corner: Show Your Softer Side

by Christopher, Rosemarie

There has been little attention and importance placed on softer skills. But more companies are realizing that while an individual’s hard skills will move them ahead quickly, it is the dearth of soft skills that can derail an individual’s advancement....


Statistics Roundtable: Weighing Your Options

by Anderson-Cook, Christine; Lu, Lu

When we are faced with choosing the best solution for a problem, most of us are very good at picking the right solution if there’s only a single quantitative objective over which to optimize....


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....


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....


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....


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

Change Ability

by Hacker, Stephen K.

Building on the creative spirit of each individual joined with others is at the heart of transforming organizations so they don’t just weather forces of change, but also capitalize on the immense energy inherent in the surge....


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....


Expert Answers: August 2012

by QP Staff

Innovation issues ... SPC vs. SQC ......


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

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

Back to Basics: Smart Charting

by Sherman, Peter J.

Control charts are at the foundation of Six Sigma. They serve as the primary tool to filter out the probable noise (inherent variation or common cause) from the potential signals (nonrandom variation or special cause)....


Open Access

Statistics Roundtable: Words of Caution

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

Suppose you have a study with one identified response. Take QP’s salary survey, for instance, and the many predictors, such as age, sex, education, years of experience, type of employment and number of people supervised....


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....


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?...


Standards Outlook: Ingraining Innovation

by Reid, R. Dan

The concept of innovation has been around for a while, but it has grown and evolved to become an issue of significant, if not critical, importance to organizations....


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....


Valuable Resource

by Zimmerman, Andrea

Talent development is addressed in three key components of sustainability management systems: international standards, social responsibility (SR) reporting and performance excellence frameworks....


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....


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....


Statistics Roundtable: On Overlapping

by Borror, Connie M.

While teaching a workshop for a small manufacturing firm, two of the participants approached me to discuss what seemed to be a simple problem they had encountered at work....


Standards Outlook: Revised Thinking

by Liebesman, Sandford

COSO developed the internal control integrated framework in 1992 in response to the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s. COSO is now 20 years old and is due for an upgrade to incorporate changes in the financial environment....


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....


A Tangled Web

by Dougherty, Jim; Lengel, Wylene

In simple terms, software as a service is on-demand access to software via the internet. It seemingly eliminates the installation and testing of the software by the customer—or does it?...


Open Access

Email Matters

by Milton, Alec

It is commonly accepted that 80% of data within an organization is unstructured. Emails are considered a part of the definition of unstructured data. But with the right processes, it is possible to get email under control....



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