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Expert Answers: July 2014

by QP Staff

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


Statistics Roundtable: Don’t Be Discrete

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

When planning an analysis, the type and quality of data will have the biggest impact on the robustness and validity of the results....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Steer Your Career

by Goffnett, Sean

An individual development plan (IDP) focuses on developing a quality talent pool by allowing each individual to create a systematic strategy to improve skills and overall performance....


First Things First

by Arendall, C. Steven; Tiger, Andrew A.; Westbrook, Kevin W.;

Quality management literature has devoted considerable effort to the task of understanding and measuring process capability. Process capability is defined as the best distribution a process can produce given its present design at a given point in time....


Open Access

Making Connections

by Brown, Marshall

Whether you’re searching for a job or not, building a network of professional connections is important for career development....


Open Access

Blog Boom

by Calfa, Jimena; Graban, Mark; Hunter, John; Stepniowski, Jennifer J.; and Zrymiak, Daniel

Back in the late 1990s—well before 140-character Tweets, before Facebook posts and before LinkedIn discussions—there was the blog. Register at any number of blogging sites and you could set up your own personal or professional website....


3.4 per Million: Conducting FMEAs for Results

by Kubiak, T.M.

Today’s world is fraught with risk. A failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is a prevention-based, risk management tool. Its real value is reflected in its use as a long-term, living document....


Insurance Policy

by Minckler, William

Using a quality-centric approach, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in 2012 embarked on an initiative to create an enterprise content management system to manage, safeguard and accelerate the use of key informational assets....


Open Access

No Weak Links

by Bailey, Bill D.; Alter, Howard

A global telecommunications organization decided to use the lean tool value stream mapping, along with the eight rights and seven supply chain wastes to better understand its complete supply chain and to help avoid suboptimization....


Virtual Voices

by Wigent, Dave; Sinn, John W.; Adams, Mike

Social services departments in seven Ohio counties and a university banded together to serve an influx of applicants and improve service by implementing a virtual call center....


Open Access

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....


Measure For Measure: Pass or Fail

by Grachanen, Christopher L.

The calibration certificate—commonly referred to as a calibration report—is the documented evidence that a piece of test equipment was, at some point, determined to be within or out of its intended operating specifications....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Pay It Forward

by Ramu, Govind

Helping professionals on their ASQ certification journeys and improving their careers gives this ASQ member a sense of fulfillment....


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....


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....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Well Rounded

by Winney, Brice

Manage your personal and professional worlds....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Take Note

by Hart, Vicki

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


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....


Expert Answers: April 2014

by QP Staff

Coordinate measuring machine profile capability ......


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....


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....


Measure for Measure: Assessing Performance

by Grachanen, Christopher L.

For many calibration and testing laboratories, routine proficiency testing is a requirement for obtaining and maintaining accreditation status....


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

Learning From Experience

by Behling, David

Seven thought leaders offer their take on lean’s impact, opportunities and challenges....


Open Access

A Pathway for Patients

by Dean, Mark L.

The clear success of lean in other sectors has stimulated its adoption in healthcare. Reaping its benefits are a growing number of progressive healthcare organizations, including the Mayo Clinic, ThedaCare, Jewish Hospital and Virginia Mason....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Calculated Risk

by Sherman, Peter J.

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


Measure for Measure: The Right Number

by Shah, Dilip

Taking measurements during the calibration process consumes time, and time is money. How many measurements do you need to ensure confidence in the calibration?...


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....


Statistics Roundtable: Assessing Analytical Equipment Accuracy

by Hare, Lynne B.

Much ink and training time have been devoted to measurement systems analysis (MSA)—the adopted child of Six Sigma—and other statistical training programs that continue to add great value through improvements in quality and productivity....


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....


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....


Expert Answers: January 2014

by QP Staff

Selecting KPIs ... Controlling multiple processes...


Standards Outlook: Common Ground

by Gordon, Dale K.

Accreditation by a recognized accreditation board ensures the impartiality and competence of the certification board (CB), and fosters confidence and acceptance of the CB’s certifications by end users in public and private sectors....


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....


Expert Answers: December 2013

by Wagoner, Keith; Pylipow, Peter E.

Measuring customer experience ... SPC for low-volume assembly....


The Service Quality Platform

by Swersey, Arthur J.

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


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

Perspectives: Be a Trendsetter

by Kraft, Debra

Quality professionals should consider expanding their networking efforts into the business realm. Why? Our organizations expect us not only to eliminate the costs of poor quality, but also help optimize profitability....


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 16. Salary by Highest Level of Education

by Hansen, Max Christian

Year after year, the QP Salary Survey shows that education pays off in higher salaries for quality professionals. The two most advanced degrees, the master’s degree and doctorate, seem to pay especially large dividends....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 12. Salary by Industry

by Hansen, Max Christian

Year after year, respondents from North America are more likely to work in the manufacturing sector than the service sector. But, also perennially, the workers in service industries bring home, on average, bigger paychecks....


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 3. Salary by Number of Years of Experience in the Quality Field

by Hansen, Max Christian

Over the 27 years QP has been conducting its salary survey, results have consistently shown that quality professionals are rewarded for their years in the profession....


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

Inside Job

by Seibert, Jerry H.; Schiemann, William A.

The relationship between business performance and internal service quality is well documented, as are changes in internal service levels over time and the impact of outsourcing on internal service quality....


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

One Good Idea: Mind Your Metrics

by Hartmann, Thomas

Add customer value to your overall equipment effectiveness formula....


Expert Answers: November 2013

by Laman, Scott A.

Sampling plans for reliability testing...


Open Access

Career Corner: Know Your Worth

by Christopher, Rosemarie

Successful professionals know what they want and how to get it....


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....


Expert Answers: October 2013

by QP Staff

Handling incoming inspections ... identifying special processes during an audit...


Get There Faster

by Andell, Jonathon L.

While traditional value stream maps, 5S workplace organization and spaghetti diagrams are crucial tools for the lean practitioner, they do not lend themselves readily to quantifying waste associated with transporting things throughout a facility....


Statistics Roundtable: Balancing Priorities

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.;

We live in a complex world in which getting exactly what we want is often difficult or impossible. The notion of a trade-off is something we are forced to confront almost daily....


Open Access

Quality vs. Safety

by Ghaleiw, Mustafa

In the oil and gas industries, quality can no longer be viewed as a nice-to-have feature. Today, quality must be considered a top priority to ensure safety throughout an organization’s operations and processes...


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....


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....


So Many Variables, So Few Observations

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

Colapsing variables in a factor analysis can have dangerous implications, and it also can be difficult to interpret the resulting factors. But what if you have no choice?...


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

Career Corner: The Gift of Growth

by ReVelle, Jack

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


Open Access

Expert Answers: August 2013

by QP Staff

Correction vs. corrective action ... Identifying and eliminating waste...


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....


3.4 per Million: Operational Definitions

by Kubiak, T.M.

If your organization is like most when it comes to data collection or metric development, little thought is actually given to these processes. I mean, after all, how difficult can it really be?...


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....


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....


Raising the Bar

by Bertels, Thomas; Buthmann, Arne

Many large organizations have invested in operational excellence initiatives. Some organizations are motivated by potential cost savings, while others are looking for culture change or a common language for solving problems....


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....


Measure for Measure: Into the Unknown

by Shah, Dilip

For estimation of measurement uncertainty, both Type A and B uncertainty contributors may need to be considered, depending on the parameter that is being estimated....


Reinventing Excellence

by Buckman, Jim; Buckman, Mary Beth

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


Full View

by Richardson, Robb

As quality professionals, we are comfortable in discussing both the health of a process and how to improve it using the tools of our trade. Yet, when it comes to applying those same approaches to our own performances, many of us are far less comfortable....


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....


Take Charge

by Stepanovich Paul L.; Hopkins, Pamela J.

The horseshoe nail proverb is remembered for illustrating how a seemingly inconsequential issue can lead to dire consequences. In the thought experiment that follows, the nail becomes a metaphor for failures of managers to understand variation....


Statistics Roundtable: Wanderlust and Memory

by Hare, Lynne B.

Pop quiz. Question one: How do you derive Shewhart (X-bar and R, or X-bar and S) control chart limits?...


Open Access

Expert Answers: July 2013

by QP Staff

Micrometers ... Quality indicators ......


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....


Standards Outlook: Road to Revision

by Cressionnie, L.L. “Buddy"

The flagship aviation, space and defense quality management system (QMS) standard has started revision activities. AS9100 is the foundation standard of the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)....


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....


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

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....


Expert Answers: June 2013

by QP Staff

Auditee refuses nonconformance report ... Customer service quality in the banking industry...


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...


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

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....


Standards Outlook: Confidence Game

by Gordon, Dale K.

For the second time in my 55 years on this Earth, we are seeing a crisis of confidence. This stems from many factors, including the devastating recession of 2008 to 2009 and the slow and painful global economic recovery we are witnessing....


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....


Before the Fact

by Mehta, Bob

The FDA has ratcheted up its surveillance and inspection activities on the suppliers of food and dietary supplements. Growing concern over protection of America’s food chain has been voiced by the FDA’s commissioner of food and drugs....


Open Access

Perspectives: The Unending Search

by Stuke, Kurt

Recently, Stephen K. Hacker wrote that “many of our organizations remain mired in their current states, frozen in old mindsets.”...


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....


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.”...


Statistics Roundtable: Group Effort

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

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


Open Access

Online Figures - Vanicek

by Vanicek, Vera

daily volume Total time ( hours) Drug receiving/ reconciliation 0: 51: 00 0: 51: 00 Injectables ( RT) 0: 01: 09 25 0: 28: 45 Pump receiving 0: 01: 32 9 0: 13: 48 Pump assigning ( existing) 0: 01: 43 7 0: 12: 01 Pump assigning ( NP) 0: 07: 00 1 0: 07: 00 ...


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

Career Corner: In Shape for Quality

by Conklin, Joseph D.

I first met A.H. when my personal growth shifted to a more horizontal direction. He has since gone solo, working as a self-employed personal trainer. When I learned he had gone solo, I wondered if his perspective on managing for quality had changed....


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....



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