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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?...


Choose Wisely

by Sharma, Mohit

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


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

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

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....


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

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

Quality in the First Person: Quality Couple

by Mouradian, George

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


Open Access

Expert Answers: August 2013

by QP Staff

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


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....


Reinventing Excellence

by Buckman, Jim; Buckman, Mary Beth

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


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....


Tool Time

by Liu, Shu

“Does everybody know what time it is? It’s ‘Tool Time’!” On “Home Improvement,” one of the most watched TV sitcoms in the U.S. in the 1990s, Tim and his assistant, Al, demonstrated to their television audience what tools they had and how to use them....


Open Access

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.”...


Get Them in the Game

by Walker, Carlotta S.

The key to developing a high-performance, quality-oriented workforce is maintaining a high level of employee engagement....


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....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Pursuing Excellence

by Scullin, Brian

This is the story of my journey from lackadaisical and passive performance to data-driven dominance during my collegiate football career as a punter....


Law and Order

by Schrunk, David G.

The laws created and enforced by government are among the most important works of humankind. They address the most significant societal problems and have a direct impact on human rights, living standards and the quality of life of every person....


Shift Into High Gear

by Hankel, Amanda

When customers of tgestiona began expressing dissatisfaction about the its inefficient service and delivery processes, it began a transport optimization project that earned gold-level status in the 2012 ASQ International Team Excellence Award process....


Open Access

Perspectives: Added Structure

by Trotter, A. Mark; Calabrese, Rick; Huang, Li-Chung; Krumenaker, Alice; Palm, Ulo

Global good manufacturing practices (GMP) and regulatory guidelines ensure the “safety, identity, strength, quality (and) purity of drug(s).” Manufacturing and quality control testing of approved drugs fall under these GMP regulations....


Expert Answers: September 2012

by QP Staff

Sustaining excellence ... Blood bank error...


Rethinking Treatment

by Muzenjak, Diane; Carboneau, Clark; Galagan, Robert

Changing and improving complex processes in healthcare settings are no easy tasks. They require a systems approach using a variety of quality improvement methods and tools....


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....


Standards Outlook: Group Effort

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

When users think about AS9100, they typically think only of the AS9100 quality management system standard and not about the other products and services the International Aerospace Quality Group provides to the aviation, space and defense industry....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Designing for Accuracy

by Navetta, J.L.

For this column, I used regression analysis and design of experiments (DoE) to create a model for predicting production rates in a paper stock cutting facility....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Solid Proof

by Suedbeck, John G.

In general, the audit process is similar across most industries. To effectively evaluate risk, we need an understanding of the reliability of the audit evidence obtained. But how do we best assess the reliability of audit evidence?...


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....


Expert Answers: May 2012

by QP Staff

Defining quality ... Consolidating certifications ......


Open Access

Back to Basics: Team Advantage

by Cascella, Victor

Process management teams provide a framework through which complex, cross-functional processes can be assessed and optimized. By focusing on these seven activities, process management teams can provide the value they are uniquely positioned to deliver....


Open Access

Perspectives: Taken for Granted

by Kennedy, Bob

The ISO 9000 series is Quality 101, and as quality practitioners, we should never forget it....


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....


Online Conklin: Baker’s Loaf

by Conklin, Joseph D.; Mazu, Michael J.

When recounting Plant Able’s successful struggle to implement process management, we compared it to raising children. That sums up the story when implementation is in your home plant....


Online Conklin: The Road More Traveled

by Conklin, Joseph D.; Mazu, Michael J.

After being part of a great team that implemented process management at Plant Able in the XYZ division of Heavymet, I took the show on the road to our sister facility Plant Baker....


Open Access

Perspectives: Perfection Is Possible

by Godfrey, A. Blanton

Bob Galvin did more to change the way we manage quality in the United States today than any other executive leader. We will truly miss him, his ideas and his leadership....


A Decade of Distinction

by Thompson, Matias Gadda; Rosanó, Verónica

In the first six months of 2010, Telefónica Group launched 60 simultaneous quality improvement projects. These 60 projects represent nearly 30% of the total number of improvement projects conducted in the company during the last decade....


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

Perspectives: Salvaging Baldrige

by Hubbard, Dean; Klute, Paul

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is in trouble. It was in trouble before its federal funding was threatened. And it’s because the program has gotten away from its roots....


Growth Chart

by Olson, Diane J.; Sinn, John W.;

Globalization, as well as demands from people, business and technology, require organizations to deliver high-quality performance to remain competitive. Quality methods can allow alignment with rapidly changing and increasing customer expectations....


Supporting Role

by Stimson, William A.

The ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q9000 Series of Quality Management Standards consists of three component standards. Taken together, the standards are components because they form a complete tactical approach to quality management....


HU Goes There

by Harrington, H. James; Fulbright, Ron; Zusman, Alla

After you've identified the root cause of a problem, what tool do you use to fix it? Enter a problem-correcting tool called the harmful/useful (HU) diagram....


Standards Outlook: Hand in Hand

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

Beginning July 1, all aviation, space and defense (AS&D) quality management system (QMS) certification body audits were required to be conducted according to a newly released AS&D QMS standard....


Quality in the First Person: Introverts: Get Out!

by Purdy, Derek

Networking. We all know we should do it. Most of us have repeatedly been told the key to getting good jobs, achieving goals and having a happy life is building a network. And yet, if you’re an introvert, the prospect of heading into a group of strangers...


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....


Results May Not Vary

by Johnson, Louis; McNeilly, Kirk

Controlling manufacturing processes so that products meet customer specifications is difficult. In such situations, factorial experimentation can be the key to understanding the impact of each process input on the process outputs....


Climb to the Top

by QP Staff

Who said it’s lonely at the top? For only the second time since the Baldrige program began in 1988, seven organizations were recognized last year with the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence—the Baldrige Award....


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....


Open Access

The Way to Engage

by Parks, Kirsten; Connor, Timothy

To be successful in today’s competitive global economy, more and more companies rely on suppliers and expect them to be on top in the areas of quality, cost and delivery....


Open Access

For Starbucks, It's in the Bag

by Johnson, Louis; Burrows, Sarah

When voice-of-the-customer data showed Starbucks Coffee Co. needed to improve the packaging of its one-pound coffee product, it set out to learn the effects of process parameters on the key packaging quality characteristics....


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...


3.4 per Million: We Are Different

by Carnell, Mike

A few months ago, I was speaking with a prospective client about continuous improvement, and I mentioned another organization that I helped. “I can see how it worked for them,” he said. “But, we are different.”...


Loud and Clear

by Aquino, Glynis; Nichols, Michael D.; Houry, Karim

An company's use of metrics to drive and measure success can help it maintain a leadership position in its industry. A commitment to applying performance management tools has increased efficiencies, reduced cost and improved customer satisfaction scores....


Know More, Do More

by Chang, Nancy S.Q.; Gagliardi, Frank A.

If organizations want to take advantage of a changing landscape dotted with new opportunities, products and services, they need to make a substantial investment in educating and retaining a competent labor force....


Salary Survey 2010: The Complete Report

by QP Staff

experience by gender / FIGURE 2 More than 20 years 10.1- 20 years 6.1- 10 years 3.1- 6 years $ 6,000 Male Years of experience in quality profession Years of experience in quality profession Female $ 4,000 $ 2,000 0 $ 2,000 $ 4,000 $ 6,000 1- 3 years Less...


Open Access

Tip of the Iceberg

by Ellifson, Valerie

HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS KNOW it’s not enough to treat a patients’ conditions and send them on their way. Often, the patient’s condition and symptoms are simply the tip of the iceberg. Many other factors—including human behaviors and societal conditions...


Dealing With Disconnect

by Conklin, Joseph D., Mazu, Michael J.

"Tips" was retiring. He was smiling, and with good reason. I was not, and with equally good reason. As the company’s senior auditor, his leaving meant things would never quite be the same....


Measure for Measure: Calibration Evaluation

by Shah, Dilip

What do you do when a supplier does not have accreditation to the required quality standard? How about when the particular test or calibration item is not covered under the scope of accreditation?...


Open Access

Sustainable Future

by Scriabina, Natalia; Cort, Gary

The new international standard ISO 9004:2009—managing for the sustained success of an organization—a quality management approach, brings quality management to a new area of sustained success. The standard adds a new term, sustained success...


Top This

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

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


Making the Connection

by ReVelle, Jack B.

Connectivity can refer to the predecessor-successor relationship existing between two or more tools for continuous improvement. The output from one tool, such as a Pareto analysis, can become the input to another, such as cause and effect analysis....


Open Access

Reviving Healthcare

by Kenney, Charles

As a child in rural Connecticut, Don Berwick often was awakened in the dead of night by the piercing ring of a telephone coming from down the hall....


Now What?

by Carboneau, Clark; Banks, Jon; Armijo, Tony; Zondlo, John A.

This is the story of one organization’s efforts to develop and implement a dissemination process that would consistently spread its improvement solutions across all facets of the organization....


Open Access

Bull's-eye

by Murphy, William H.

All companies want to build a stronger brand by ensuring customer satisfaction. Along the way, of course, the companies want to make a profit....


Waste Management

by Prevette, Steven

With the assistance of statistical process control and other quality methods, Fluor Hanford helped ensure all tasks were carried out safely during what has been called the world’s largest environmental cleanup project....


High Marks

by Esqueda, Paul; D'Allegro, Mary Lou

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


Open Access

Where to Start

by Hayes, Bob E.; Goodden, Randall; Atkinson, Ron; Murdock, Frank; Smith, Don

Companies are viewing the Toyota situation as a cautionary tale rife with lessons that can benefit all organizations. To help drive those lessons home, QP recruited five quality experts, each of whom broke down one aspect of the fallout....


Open Access

Under Scrutiny

by Paradies, Mark

For years, quality practitioners have been taught to find root causes of problems by using a set of tools based on the theory of cause and effect. Many users of these techniques, however, find that some problems keep happening....


Open Access

Distinguished Service Medal

by Edmund, Mark

The two DSMs awarded by the ASQ Board of Directors last year are: Manu K. Vora: " For his self- less service as a long- term enabler and champion of quality around the world; For sharing quality principles and best practices for the benefit of the qualit...


High Priority

by Caruso, Bob; Hamilton, Marc

ASQ DEFINES voice of the customer (VOC) as “the expressed requirements and expectations of customers relative to products or services, as documented and disseminated to the providing organization’s members.”...


Standards Outlook: Above and Beyond

by Gordon, Dale K.

Much has happened in the last year to aerospace industry quality management system standards, three of which were updated to account for ISO 9001:2008. They were also expanded to be more inclusive of broader market requirements....


Measure for Measure: High Risk, No Reward

by Grachanen, Christopher L.

The pressure to reduce calibration costs may put inspection, measurement and test equipment (IM&TE) users at odds with a company’s ISO 9001 requirements, as well as good laboratory shop practices....


Open Access

Building a Consensus

by Laman, Scott

A new tool, the consensus chart, can drive improvement activities identified during the development or operation of a quality system process....


Open Access

Danger Zones

by Tiwari, Anshuman

I’ve often been asked to identify the toughest questions in the Baldrige criteria. Which questions make or break an assessment? What answers does an examiner seek that aren’t explicitly asked for in the criteria? What questions are the hidden jewels?...


Open Access

Watershed Moment

by Krzykowski, Brett

Cargill Corn Milling North America approached its Baldrige site visit in 2008 with the same level of preparation any organization would, but with the unique perspective that comes with rebuilding your operation after surviving a natural disaster....


World of Confusion

by Schnoll, Les

U.S. manufacturers of medical devices must comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements and also face the challenge of labeling in multiple languages if they want to sell their products in the global marketplace....


Open Access

Gimme Five

by Harkins, Ray

By integrating 5S into the culture of your lab, you will see landmark improvements in the performance of those who work there, while setting an example of excellence for your entire organization to follow....


Progress Report

by He; Park; Hu; Knod; Yue

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


Dare to Care

by Godyn, Janusz

Healthcare is the third-largest area in the Standard & Poor’s 500, behind only financial services and IT. Considering the amount of knowledge, labor and materials devoted to the industry, there's no doubt healthcare is a major economic force in society....


A Frank Discussion

by Palmer, Brien

The Pittsburgh section has been an ASQ stalwart. It was one of a handful sections that co-founded ASQ in the 1940s. Because of the concentration of manufacturing in the area, Pittsburgh has always been home to many ASQ members—and a hotspot for quality....


Riding the Storm Out

by QP Staff

Virtually everyone and every organization has been touched in some way by today’s turbulent economy. Smaller budgets, unexpected layoffs and workplace shake-ups have become commonplace....


A Lean Six Sigma Breakthrough

by Jing, Gary G.

The relationship between lean and Six Sigma may appear to be simple, but in practice it may be more challenging because there are so many ways to piece the two together....


Keeping Score

by Benjamin, Steve

Like most of you, I’ve seen the “latest, greatest thing” introduced in organizations — repeatedly. We observe initial excitement for the new strategy, bursts of employee training, spotty implementation and eventual abandonment of the new approach....


Off the Ground

by Edmund, Mark

None of the 4,000 fasteners that were hand drilled into the fuselage of any C-17 cargo plane was misaligned or had gone missing. For years, Boeing has been building these top-notch planes. It just wanted to build them better....


Open Access

Contacts That Count

by Daniels, Susan E.

A team dedicated to improving member contact rates at Healthways Inc. pulled just about everything from its lean Six Sigma toolbox while working on a project and was recognized in ASQ’s International Team Excellence Award competition....


The Quality Professional as Organizational Gardener

by Dew, John

Many quality professionals understand that the answers to these questions require the ability to envision their organizations as living entities, existing within their understanding of systems theory. We work with organizations and people, not on organiza...


Standards Outlook: Automakers Shift Manual Into Another Gear

by Reid, R. Dan

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) published the second edition of the Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) and Control Plan Reference Manual this summer....


Smooth Approach

by Morris, Jon

Traditional internal audits fulfill a need for companies with fresh ISO 9001 implementations. But for organizations with mature systems, an innovative approach called an appreciative internal quality audit can take them beyond compliance to excellence....


Open Access

Futures Study

by QP Staff

Forces of Change From All ASQ Futures Studies Table 1 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 Changing values Partnering Quality must deliver bottom- line results Globalization Globalization Globalization Learning systems Management systems will increasingly absorb the...


Starting From Scratch

by Radziwill, Nicole; Olson, Diane; Vollmar, Andrew; Lippert, Ted; Mattis, Ted; Van Dewark, Kevin; Sinn, John W.

Graduate students studying quality developed the Quality Systems Development Roadmap to help organizations do this, using application templates from the Lean Six Sigma Quality Transformation Toolkit. However, new companies, organizations without an enterp...


Expert Answers: August 2008

by QP Staff

Flushing out flatness ... Corrective vs. preventive actions....


Standards Outlook: Ensuring Supplier Quality

by Schnoll, Les

I've worked in the medical device and pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries, and I've concluded that when it comes to quality, the medical device world is at least 20 years ahead of its drug-world cousin....


Open Access

Small Business, Big Feat

by Adrian, Nicole

Efforts to continuously improve employee and customer satisfaction, and business practices led PRO-TEC to a Baldrige award. The company has incorporated many best management practices, including lean manufacturing and continuous improvement, and relied on...


Strength in Numbers

by Gardner, Leslie; Osburn, Terrence; Pearson, Tom

Finding resources to pursue quality improvement and organizational excellence is the greatest challenge confronting most organizations today, including universities and professional organizations....


Two Are Better Than One

by Nanda, Vivek "Vic"

Management need and my personal curiosity recently led me to take a closer look at the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). My work pointed out similarities and differences between SOX and ISO 9001....


Open Access

Back to Basics: A Call for Improvement

by Coifman, Harry

It’s a common perception that customer phone support is a resource-draining operation. This misconception results in many call center cost reduction projects but few process improvement initiatives. Basic tools can be used to improve a call center....


Map Quest

by Cox, Tracy

Raytheon Six Sigma is a proprietary six-step process that Raytheon Co., a defense and aerospace systems supplier, has embedded into its culture. It was developed by an internal team that was guided by the company’s top leadership....


Better Safe Than Sorry

by Goodden, Randall L.

Last year’s record number of product recalls, especially recalls of children’s toys, drew worldwide attention to product safety and defective products. The recall stories topped newscasts and made headlines in newspapers coast to coast....


Open Access

Eyes on the Dashboard at Mercy Health System

by Daniels, Susan E.

Patient satisfaction has been a component of Mercy Health System’s dashboard system for about six years, so when emergency department satisfaction into the red zone in late 2005, it immediately set off an alarm....


A Gold Medal Solution

by Adrian, Nicole

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



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