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Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Pursuit of Happiness

by Chowdhary, Rai

Inspired by the plan-do-check-act cycle and define, measure, analyze, improve and control, this author developed a method that uses quality tools to help lead a more fulfilled life....

Elevating Excellence

by Gaskill, Tyler

Revamping its culture with a process mindset, eliminating fear of asking tough questions, training employees on quality tools and using a structured approach to planning and decision making helped Elevations Credit Union receive a Baldrige award....

Statistics Roundtable: Thinking of Linking

by Anderson-Cook, Christine

Results that come from statistical studies often hold the key to answering important business questions that can influence future choices made in a project....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Supplier Hugger or Engineer?

by Griffin, LaToya R.

The important dual role of supplier quality engineers is explained. They monitor the supply base, ensure suppliers are providing quality products, monitor supplier performance, evaluate corrective and preventive action responses, and perform audits....

3.4 per Million: Reality or Illusion?

by Kubiak, T.M.

Lately, I've felt like Howard Beale, the character in the 1976 movie “Network,” who has gone over the edge. I’ve been exposed to so much mediocre service quality, I’m at the brink of screaming one of Beale’s most famous lines in the movie....

Coming Together

by Zinsmeister, Daniel

Although quality initiatives have been undertaken longer than social responsibility ones, there are opportunities to merge the two. A study of 10 enterprises show quality and sustainability best practices overlap....

Online Table 3.4 per Million: Reality or Illusion?

by Kubiak, T.M.

Lately, I've felt like Howard Beale, the character in the 1976 movie “Network,” who has gone over the edge. I’ve been exposed to so much mediocre service quality, I’m at the brink of screaming one of Beale’s most famous lines in the movie....

Statistics Roundtable: The Significance of Power

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

The concept of “power” has long been overshadowed in statistical circles by its big brother, “significance.” Both parameters, chosen before a test, dictate the sample size and likelihood of making an erroneous conclusion when comparing two groups....

Open Access

Perspectives: Discovering the Right Path

by Sharma, Manoj; Sharma, Vardayini

At last year’s New York University spring graduation ceremony, Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, told graduates: “You won’t succeed all the time. Finding the right path in life, more often than not, involves some missteps.”...

Statistics Roundtable: Guiding Beacon

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

Quality professionals are often faced with solving major organizational problems such as: “Customers are complaining about the quality of our product and returning it”; or “Our major process is producing an unacceptable amount of defective product.”...

Small Changes, Big Results

by Harris, Chris; Audimoolam, Niran; Gudgel, Stephen A.

For a hitter in baseball, transitioning from one who relies on the big home run to win games to one who slaps out singles and doubles can be difficult. The same holds true for lean enterprise implementers....

Expert Answers: April 2015

by Salsbury, Bud; Sherman, Peter J.

My answer may seem lengthy, but I feel defining things is important. First, here is part of a memo I put together for one organization: ISO terminology and definitions—CAPA...

Open Access

Perspectives: Down a Black Hole

by de Macedo, Magáli

In the aftermath of the most expensive soccer event of all time—the 2014 World Cup, which cost approximately $14 billion—one question remains:...

Open Access

Walk the Line

by Bremer, Michael

Most organizations become more efficient after adopting an improvement methodology,1 but many fail to radically transform their competitive positions or significantly alter the way they engage their employees....

Lean Learning

by Krehbiel, Timothy C.; Ryan, Alfred W. Jr.; Miller, Dana P.

The economic downturn of 2008 placed many public universities in a financially unsustainable position....

Open Access

Perspectives: Well Rounded

by Barsalou, Matthew

The term “Renaissance man” is used to describe somebody “who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field.”...

Open Access

Total Quality's Leader

by Watson, Gregory H.

Remembering Armand V. Feigenbaum, integrator of quality into organizational management...

Measure for Measure: Defining Quality

by Holman, Charles E.

Considering customers, weights to ensure the best products....

Separate Steps

by Arter, Dennis

Mixing corrective and preventive actions results in ineffective use....

Open Access

Standards Outlook: Surprise Visit

by Schnoll, Les

Knowing how to effectively manage an unexpected regulatory audit or inspection and ensuring that your rights are clearly understood and protected will go a long way toward making the process less nerve-wracking....

Open Access

Rock Solid

by Creasy, Todd

The 6TOC improvement method employs elements of Six Sigma, lean and the theory of constraints (TOC) to zero in on process bottlenecks and eliminate waste and variation....

Open Access

Career Corner: Square Pegs, Round Holes

by Harkins, Ray

How to cultivate the skills and qualifications employers want...

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Lasting Impression

by Howze, Yvonne Simmons

A tribute to one woman’s quality role model—her grandmother...

Bank on It

by Monier-Vinard, Isabelle; Grant, Adrian

Credit Agricole Group's investment banking arm recently launched a lean Six Sigma initiative and identified its cash payments process as one area ripe for substantial improvement....

Expert Answers: October 2014

by Rico, David F.; Aston, Bill

Cost of quality of agile methods ... Employee qualification audits...

Open Access

Back to Basics: Use Your Head

by Echeverria, Luis

Put what you learned during certification prep to work. Plan up front how you will use the knowledge you gained. Try applying the knowledge acquired during the study period....

Strength in Numbers

by Clark, Peter

To refresh his résumé after a job loss, the author sought ASQ certifications because of their reputation for relevance and rigor....

Open Access

Brought Into Focus

by Liebesman, Sandford

For the first time, the word “risk” is being incorporated into the new version of ISO 9001. Using risk-based thinking and tools such as risk analysis and risk control matrixes can enhance an organization’s risk management approach...

Open Access

Innovation Imperative: Embracing Change

by Merrill, Peter

The revised ISO 9001 provides some great opportunities for innovators, but you must look carefully for those opportunities....

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

Quality in the First Person: Against the Grain

by Marinelli, Allan

When this scientist introduced the concept of open door studies in the pharmaceutical industry, he was met with ageism....

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.”...

Open Access

The Ripple Effect

by Schmidt, Megan

The 2013 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipients said their use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence was their catalyst for achieving strategic goals and higher levels of quality....

Open Access

Back to Basics Online Table 1: August 2014

by Bautista Smith, Janet

Online Table for "Checks and Balances," a technique to sync organizational vision and strategies....

Open Access

Back to Basics Online Figure 1: August 2014

by Bautista Smith, Janet

Figures for "Checks and Balances," a technique to sync organizational vision and strategies....

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....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Return to Roots

by Glover, Mike

Exposed to the manufacturing industry at a young age, the author reflects on career exploration and his eventual role in quality at his family's business....

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....

Standards Outlook: Consulting Quandaries

by Schnoll, Les

As a consultant, you sometimes must walk the fine line of being (appropriately) assertive and going too far, thus alienating your difficult clients. You must learn to deal with occasional idiosyncratic behaviors—thus, the consultant’s quandary....

Standards Outlook: Do You Really Understand?

by Russell, J.P.

The challenge for quality professionals for the next decade is to achieve a deeper understanding of our profession and its purpose....

Speaking in Code

by Kaiser, Randy

Manufacturers spend time and money creating products for market, yet all of that hard work can be wasted if coding errors affect product quality....

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

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....

Statistics Roundtable: Listening to Sentiment

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

What do you do if you just bought a new computer and it now makes some weird clicking sounds? Or if the airline lost your luggage, but representatives refuse to help recover it or provide compensation?...

Back in Service

by Chakravorty, Satya S.

Machines have evolved from prehistoric tools to sophisticated 21st century devices. Man has been and always will be fascinated by machines and will continue to dream about building something that does what everyone thinks is impossible....

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....

Expert Answers: January 2014

by QP Staff

Selecting KPIs ... Controlling multiple processes...

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

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....

Open Access

Words to Work By

by QP Staff

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

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....

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....

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

Standard Wise

by Combs, Oscar

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

Open Access

Expert Answers: August 2013

by QP Staff

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

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?...

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....

Reinventing Excellence

by Buckman, Jim; Buckman, Mary Beth

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

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

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....

Expert Answers: May 2013

by QP Staff

Lean case studies from IT organizations...

Open Access

Perspectives: Survey Overload

by Purdy, Derek

Some years ago, I was presented the bill at a restaurant. In addition to the itemized list of charges, the little billfold contained a customer comment card. “Wow,” I thought, “what a great idea. This place is really on the ball.”...

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....

Innovation Imperative: Seize the Opportunity

by Merrill, Peter

I bought a copy of the Scientific American and skimmed through the articles during my flight until I came to Michael Webber’s, “How to Make the Food System More Energy Efficient.” He had my attention....

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....

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 ...

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....

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....

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....

Measure for Measure: First Step Toward Disaster

by Grachanen, Christopher L.

Users who take it upon themselves to forego calibration without adequately evaluating the impact of their decision within a specific measurement application increase the likelihood of making a bad measurement-based decision....

Open Access

One Good Idea: Survey Fatigue

by Pecoraro, Joel

Who among us has not suffered the endless assault of satisfaction surveys? Society is surveyed out, but that doesn't mean the pursuit of meaningful customer feedback is a waste of time. It's just that the challenge is getting more difficult....

Innovation Imperative: A Question of Balance

by Merrill, Peter

Many people say that mentioning standards and innovation in the same breath is a contradiction in terms. Evidence from the real world says otherwise....

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....

Improving on Excellence

by Buckman, Jim; Buckman, Mary Beth

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

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?...

Open Access

Perspectives: Relying on the Basics

by Diepstra, Keith

It’s difficult to improve a process that isn’t running. Equipment reliability from a manufacturing equipment perspective is typically the purview of maintenance teams and may include watch-over by the engineering team....

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....

On the Right Course

by Nejati, Mehran; Ghasemi, Sasan

In today's competitive business environment, organizations do not always limit their concerns to those of shareholders and customers....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Quality Assurance at Home

by Moon, Lula

Quality assurance 5S principles—sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain—benefit my home life in the same ways that quality assurance principles benefit the workplace....

Online Tables Quality in the First Person

by Moon, Lula

com 1 Kayaking gear list / ONLINE TABLE 1 Day hiking gear list / ONLINE TABLE 2 Miscellaneous reminders list / ONLINE TABLE 3 Kayak with tie- down straps Paddle Spray skirt Personal flotation device with attached whistle and zip pocket for automobile key...

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....

Open Access

Perspectives: Theory of Evolution

by Gojanovic, Tony

Thumbing through W. Edward Deming’s timeless classic Out of the Crisis, it’s striking to see how the current economic crisis can be attributed to the factors he pointed out so many years ago as roadblocks to quality and productivity....

Quality Curriculum

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

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

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 (Taylor)

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

Insights from developing a quality management and continuous improvement curriculum can be applied in an operations management context to teach quality principles to general management....

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....

Standards Outlook: Know Your Role

by West, John E. "Jack"

When an organization has stale quality management system processes in the face of dynamic—at times chaotic— uncertainty, the entire system may become irrelevant....

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....

Measure for Measure: Under the Microscope

by Bucher, Jay L.

Audits are chances to see where improvements can be made and to find areas that can be improved upon. If you approach an audit with the right mindset, it can be a great opportunity for all parties involved....

Open Access

Back to Basics: An Eye for Design

by Cole, Brandon

Six Sigma often comes under scrutiny because some organization leaders believe it stifles innovation. One fundamental misconception companies using Six Sigma often have is that it only focuses on process improvement....

Ford's Focus

by Levinson, William A.

“Triple bottom line” refers to the measurement of a business’s impact on people, planet and profits. These metrics may seem aggressive, but Henry Ford proved their intelligent interpretation and application makes them synergistic and mutually supporting....

The Right Stuff

by Post, Theron; Schuman, Rosemary

The reality for many leaders is they are engaged in making decisions that affect everyone in the organization, but most of them have little evidence of whether decisions are being implemented as intended....

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