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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....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Quality Helps Kick Cancer

by Roberson, Russell L.

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


Statistics Roundtable: Complaint Department

by Hare, Lynne B.

PERHAPS YOU KNOW what goes on in most corporate complaint departments. Given euphemistic names such as “consumer affairs” and “consumer response,” their business is still the same....


Risky Business

by Singer, Donald

In highly regulated industries that manufacture pharmaceuticals, foods and cosmetics, quality control scientists have been known to perform sampling and testing to determine the acceptability of finished products. Throughout the last decade,...


Put JIB on the Job

by Hannon, Christine; Grossman, Steven

An organization implemented a proven training program that improved quality and efficiency plantwide during the recession, positioning it to perform at higher levels when demand increased after the economy recovered....


Perspectives: Wake Up and Smell the Cookies

by Diepstra, G. Keith

MY RECENT TRANSITION from the automotive sector to a company in the food industry held some unusual surprises: • The overall equipment effectiveness, capabilities and yields were shockingly low in the food industry....


The First Step

by Gonnering, Russell S., M.D.

In his penetrating and perturbing 2009 New Yorker article, Atul Gawande explored the huge cost differential between care in McAllen, TX, and care at other spots in the country with similar demographics and medical sophistication. His conclusion was that...


Open Access

Organize How You Innovate

by Scriabina, Natalia

It is difficult to underestimate the role of innovation in the success of an organization. ISO 9004:2009 redefines the role of improvements and innovations within a quality management system....


Walking the Talk

by Krzykowski, Brett

Frequent service interruptions led Argentina-based Telefónica Group to establish a project that increased the reliability of its network and, in the process, garner gold honors at the 2010 ASQ International Team Excellence Award competition....


Open Access

Getting on Track

by Bowers, Dorothy P.; West, John E. “Jack”

ISO 26000 is here. Are you ready? Maybe the better question is: Do you care? You should. ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility has been touted as the new standard that can help manage social responsibility issues at your organization....


Perspectives: Regain Your Footing

by Weisbrod, Stu

The presence of warning signs that quality may be slipping doesn’t mean an organization is doomed. Instead, it can be redeemed with a three-step approach to reinvigorate quality....


Open Access

Leveling the Playing Field

by Wawrzyniak, Linda

I would never have guessed I had something to offer professional athletes from a quality professional’s perspective. I was proven wrong, however, after a little experiment with a simple quality tool....


Best of Both Worlds

by Granowicz, Gene

Combine flowcharts and turtle diagrams to simplify the presentation of information and clarify process interactions, making employee training and quality management system auditing easier....


Expert Answers: April 2011

by QP Staff

Size matters when remedying poor quality ... Examining process capability indexes....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Stakeholder Management 101

by Kangas, Philip J.

Stakeholder buy-in is an essential factor of any successful project, including Lean and Six Sigma process improvement efforts. A leading cause of project failure, however, is inattention to those stakeholders who have the greatest influence over...


Go With the Flow

by Theiss, Brandon R.

In an effort to implement lean Six Sigma initiatives, many companies forget that data flow and material flow are two sides of the same coin. This starves the Six Sigma methods of data, which causes the enterprise to run at a suboptimal level....


A Lean Transformation

by Adrian, Nicole

Sacred Heart Hospital CEO Steve Ronstrom first learned about lean while working on boats in Alaska. There, they didn’t waste a thing—they wouldn’t even throw away a piece of rope. When he later returned home and worked in a hospital, he observed...


Don't Leave Learning to Chance

by Howard, John C.

Whether in a college statistics course or a refresher session in a statistical quality control course, it is important for students to understand probability distributions. Fortunately, a simple in-class exercise can achieve that end....


Open Access

Refresh and Revitalize

by Kelley, Lynn

Textron would be the first to admit it was stuck in a rut. In particular, two of its business units, Avco Lycoming and E-Z-GO, were trapped in 1950s management styles. Both units had limited new product development and a less-than-engaged workforce....


Doomed to Fail

by Caffrey, Noel G.; Medina, Candace G.

Ben looked around his new office, happy to still have a job but apprehensive about his new position. He had just been reassigned after his boss’s boss, the CEO, decided the continuous improvement initiative he had been leading was just not working out....


Standards Outlook: Benefit Without a Doubt

by Bucher, Jay

In the typical executive reward system, bonuses are based, in part, on implementing creative solutions to complex problems rather than using standardization. for strategic advantage....


Flush with Success

by Grossi, Peter C.

While implementing ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and lean, I’ve worked with a number of companies that use oils and other biotoxic materials. With increasing attention on the environment—through legislation and social pressure—safely disposing...


Open Access

Keep It Simple

by Dalal, Adil F.

In his book, My Life and Work, Henry Ford laid out the basics of the lean system. But, if he and others have been able to use elements of lean successfully, why does it seem so many lean and lean Six Sigma initiatives fail?...


Standards Outlook: The Bottom Line

by Liebesman, Sandford

Quality and environmental managers need to understand the language of finance and the effect of operations on the bottom line, while financial managers need to know how quality and environmental managers can help improve results....



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