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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

Career Corner: Survival Instincts

by Westcott, Russell T.

While there are several possible root causes of unemployment, one of the easiest to remedy involves updating individual knowledge, skills and experience. Are you running yet or are you still asleep?...


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Saying Goodbye to Dad

by Mazur, Glenn

How one family used analytic hierarchy process to evaluate the choices and agree on the best solution for end-of-life care for a family member....


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....


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

Standards Outlook: Change Ahead

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

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


Open Access

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....


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....


Open Access

Career Corner: Switch Gears

by Westcott, Russell

Beat job boredom and burnout with reinvention....


The Service Quality Platform

by Swersey, Arthur J.

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


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 2. Salary by U.S. Regions and Canadian Provinces

by Hansen, Max Christian

Average salaries of quality professionals vary widely by state or province. In the United States, the highest-paying region provides salaries 9.2% higher than the national average, while the lowest-paying region comes in at 9.3% below that average....


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

Quality in the First Person: Get a Job

by Cote, Murray

Professor encourages students to seek certification....


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....


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....


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

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....


Standards Outlook: World View

by Liebesman, Sandford

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


Open Access

Paving the Way

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.; Borror, Connie M.

Data and information are at the heart of good investigations and decision making, but are all kinds of data the same? What are the major categories and types of questions to ask to collect and analyze data?...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Winning Them Over

by Becker, Jr., Steve

You’re the new quality manager. You meet the management team and it seems committed to quality and fulfilling regulatory requirements. You’re relieved. Obtaining buy-in is half the battle....


Tool Time

by Liu, Shu

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


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....


Open Access

Lessons in Labeling

by Braswell, Nina; Koroseta, Jill; Grogan, Amy

What kind of care would you want for a loved one fighting cancer? This is the question the experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America ask themselves every day and motivates employees to create a culture where continuous improvement becomes a habit....


Open Access

Don't Lose Patients

by Creasy, Todd; Ramey, Sarah

Clinch Valley Medical Center—a for-profit, 175-bed hospital operating in western Virginia and part of a healthcare organization with operations in 18 states—has been undertaking lean Six Sigma initiatives for approximately three years....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Keeping It Continuous

by Nicholas, Mary

My journey into quality is a story that I’ve told a few hundred times because it’s become a part of my outreach to customers in beginning the relationship-building process. I am the founder of an accreditation organization for the healthcare industry....


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....


Measure for Measure: What If?

by Bucher, Jay L.

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


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 2: Salary by U.S. Regions and Canadian Provinces

by Hansen, Max Christian

South Carolina 1.4% 96.8 North Carolina 3.6% 95.3 Tennessee 2.1% 89.6 Kentucky 1.3% 89.9 WV 0.3% 92.9 Virginia 2.9% 95.8 Maryland 2.1% 123.4 Delaware 0.4% 108.2 D. C. 0.1% 144.4 New Jersey 2.1% 128.6 Connecticut 1.7% 132.7 RI 0.3% 125.5 MA 3.5% 121.4 Mai...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 12: Salary by Industry

by Hansen, Max Christian

Transportation and aerospace products 12.8 80,965 24.7 79,706 other products 5.3 78,625 4.7 78,111 Service sector 28.5% $ 90,449 42.8 $ 93,453 Construction services 5.4 90,114 7.0% 85,600 Consulting and other professional, scientific and technical servic...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 2, Section 23: Base Earnings by Education and Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

1 28,000 28,000 Certified manager of quality/ organizational excellence 20,000 275,000 86,193 9 112,391 100,000 Certified quality auditor 12,000 180,000 56,553 17 87,066 96,521 Certified quality engineer 12,000 214,245 71,048 10 96,625 82,500 Certified q...


Lasting Impression

by Stauffer, Rip; Owens, Debra

A recent paper found that quality initiatives have made significant contributions to three primary indicators of economic well-being: gross domestic product, corporate tax revenues and employment....


Healthy Returns

by Kennedy, Denise; Caselli, Richard J.; Berry, Leonard L.

The future of any enterprise depends on the quality of its customer service. All organizations—even those manufacturing products—are service organizations because all create value for customers by performing services....


A Service Framework

by Tyagi, Rajesh; Piccotti, Jen

To help service quality professionals negotiate the unique challenges they encounter, the ASQ Service Quality Division envisaged the Service Quality Body of Knowledge as an umbrella framework....


Open Access

Hearing Aids

by Brandt, D. Randall

Today, hundreds of organizations regularly conduct surveys and focus groups, solicit comments and complaints, scour social media and gather data from other sources....


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....


Follow the Signs

by Palmer, Brien

Many change models have been proposed, but one stands out: the transtheoretical model, also known as the health behavior change model. The model originates from directly observing how people really did or didn’t change in response to urgent medical needs....


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....


Open Access

Learning to Fish

by Bullington, Kimball

The career excellence diagram, a modified version of the fishbone diagram, can be used to create desired results in career development by identifying causes that will ultimately lead to success....


The Audit Answer

by Estrada, Angel; Sinn, John W.

Graduate students at Bowling Green State University studied the Quality Systems Educational Collaboration, a program that addresses workforce and technical assistance needs for organizations, and disclosed areas for improvement using Six Sigma methods....


Open Access

Up and Away

by Owens, Tracy; Fritz, Caroline

Do you want to quickly test your creativity? Take a sheet of paper and draw a big circle on it. Draw a dot on the paper. This exercise is part of a test given to children entering kindergarten to find out their baseline levels of creativity....


Open Access

Career Corner: Waiting for the Phone to Ring?

by Westcott, Russell T.

Whether you're employed or unemployed, if you are waiting for the phone to ring or for an email to arrive inviting you to explore a new job opportunity, you are awaiting a miracle. And we all know how often a miracle occurs....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Character and Passion

by Stephens, Duane

When the entire goal of the pharmaceutical industry is to improve, prolong or possibly save lives, the character and passion we exhibit every day are just as critical as the specialized skills and training that brought us here....


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....


Innovation Imperative: The Greater Good

by Merrill, Peter

Innovation can provide solutions to many social problems, but it can also be the cause of those problems. The financial sector is a good example of an area in which both sides of the social responsibility coin are evident....


Open Access

One Size Fits All

by Krzykowski, Brett; Hankel, Amanda

There’s a reason why simple tools endure: They work, regardless of the situation. That’s a characteristic shared by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence....


Online Figure Baldrige

by QP Staff

com 1 Patient first pillars / online Figure 1 Quality of care Customer service Fiscal and operations Human resources Mission: To provide quality healthcare to all we serve. Values: Integrity, compassion, accountability, vision and excellence Vision: To ...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Creative Combination

by Force, Scott

I have been facilitating lean Six Sigma projects and coaching other belts through their projects since 2002. Combining tools is a technique I use with teams when potential root cause analysis through a fishbone diagram does not show any obvious direction....


Rethinking Design

by Gattiker, Thomas

Design thinking offers several tools and concepts that can complement problem-solving approaches normally taught and used by quality professionals....


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....


Wasted Words

by Patra, Pradeep; Paul, Avijit

Lean tools are embedded with elements that encourage effective communication. Whether it’s color-coded work spaces or transparent parts bins, these tools foster an environment in which cycle times are reduced while raising quality....


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....


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....


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....


Open Access

Career Corner: Dust Yourself Off, Dive Back In

by Westcott, Russell T.

Don’t just sit there waiting for the phone to ring. You’re a professional. If you envision losing your job, or it’s already happened, refocus your approach. You are capable of reinventing yourself....


Tribal Quest

by Dew, John

The continuing abundance of news stories about quality failures in the manufacturing, food, pharmaceutical, healthcare and education sectors is a reminder that award-winning organizations are islands in a sea of quality indifference....


Salary Survey 2011: Part 1, Section 12: Salary by Industry

by Hansen, Max Christian

Nonelectronic measuring, analyzing and controlling instruments ( NAICS code 339): Balances, blood testing apparatus, Bunsen burners, centrifuges, distilling apparatus, laboratory incubators, SPonSoreD by Salary by industrial classification / Table 1 Unit...


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....


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....


Open Access

Healthy Skepticism

by Grenuk, Julie

It’s important not to underestimate the intense, personal nature of change as each employee in the healthcare industry transitions from the familiar paper-driven world to an entirely electronic one....


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....


Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: An Eye for Design

by Cole, Brandon

Seis Sigma a menudo viene bajo escrutinio debido a que algunos líderes de la organización creen que ahoga la innovación....


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....


A Change in Focus

by Lokas, Karim

It is ironic that the life-sciences industry’s approach to quality management systems has been lagging rather than leading due to a fundamental focus on compliance with regulation versus a holistic process for improving quality....


Open Access

Certification at Work

by Roberson, Russell L.; McKaig, Brian

Organizations face difficult decisions every day: where to invest, how to focus employees and how to drive a competitive advantage in their markets. A decision to launch employee training cannot be taken lightly....


Expert Answers: July 2011

by QP Staff

Calibration labs adjust ... Making your measurement system fit....


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...


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....


On the Clock

by Watson, Robert Q.; Leeson, Ken

Whatever the business, customers expect timely and efficient service. They expect their phone calls to be answered in two or fewer rings. They loath waiting in long lines and want transactions handled as quickly as possible....


If You Build It, They Will Come

by Levett, James M.; Andringa, Dale J.; Roberts, Peter W.

After decades of rising healthcare costs and individual stakeholder initiatives to cut expenses, annual medical cost trends continue to outpace all other employer economic indicators. The current economic crisis and federal healthcare reform discussions...


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...


Shining on the World Stage

by Harding, Paul

With nearly 30 billion people turning their eyes to South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the South African Quality Institute (SAQI) took steps to help ensure those eyes would see the best South Africa had to offer....


Statistics Roundtable: Further Explanation

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

The purpose of a roundtable is to facilitate discussion. Here, we want to facilitate discussion on statistical engineering....


Salary Survey 2010: Part 1, Sect. 12: Salary by Industry

by Hansen, Max Christian

Salary by industrial classification / Table 1 United States Canada Percentage Average salary Percentage Average salary Manufacturing sector 69.5% $ 82,909 66.9% $ 72,726 Chemicals and related products 8.8 90,106 7.9 87,847 Computers and electronic produc...


Salary Survey 2010: Part 1, Section 2: Salary by U.S. Regions and Canadian Provinces

by Hansen, Max Christian

In the United States and Canada, average salaries of quality professionals varied widely by region or province. The lowest-paying region in the United States was home to quality professionals with salaries 9.3% less than the national average....


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...


Expert Answers: October 2010

by QP Staff

Assessing your audit ... control charts and process capability ... keeping lab instruments in check....


Open Access

Career Corner: Curbing Career Fears

by Lindborg, Henry J.

Books on careers usually contain some advice on strategic thinking. They counsel getting the big picture, sometimes by applying the tools and techniques of business planning. This can be done, for example, by conducting a strengths, weaknesses...


Open Access

Jersey Score

by Krzykowski, Brett

For most, it takes years to reach a point at which an organization can expect to be seriously considered for the Baldrige award. But that didn’t deter New Jersey-based healthcare provider AtlantiCare, one of five award recipients for 2009....


Open Access

Career Corner: Words of Wisdom

by Whitacre, Teresa

The deadline for this column coincided with my son’s high school graduation. The advice I gave him about starting his career is applicable to everyone, no matter the stage of their career....


Measure for Measure: Well Equipped

by Doty, Stephen; Caldwell, Del

If you're experiencing consistent customer dissatisfaction with your product, it's possible your measurement information may be of such poor quality that it prevents you from making sound decisions related to your product or service....


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....


Statistics Roundtable: Closing the Gap

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

The philosopher Thomas Kuhn showed that a way of thinking (a paradigm) lasts until the problems no longer adequately addressed by the paradigm are so important that a new paradigm is needed to deal with that list of unsolved problems....


Open Access

Career Corner: Lesson Learned

by Lindborg, Henry J.

In fall 2009, when I remarked to university educators that a particular decision-making tool was widely used at Toyota, their response was respectful interest. When I did the same this February, a similar group laughed derisively at the comment...


Open Access

One Good Idea: What's the Plan?

by McCain, Cecelia

Launching a project without a plan is a blueprint for disaster. So, when ER-One needed to transition the management of newly acquired hospital emergency departments to its organization, it turned to advanced implementation quality planning....


Open Access

Perspectives: TPS Troubles

by Leggett, Steven C.

It’s only natural to link the TPS to Toyota’s safety problems. But is the system the problem? And should organizations that employ a version of the TPS be concerned about their systems?...


Breaking From the Pack

by Watson, Gregory H.

Russ Ackoff's life story is instructive for quality professionals as they trace the development of systems thinking during its 60-year migration....


Measure for Measure: Out of Sync

by Bucher, Jay L.

During the holidays, when children everywhere wonder whether they’ll have presents or coal waiting for them on Christmas morning, my thoughts always turn to the concept of good and bad—or, more broadly, to the idea of perception....


Window of Opportunity

by Chadha, Rajeev; Kalra, Jay

By employing lean Six Sigma, a supplier for one of the Big Three automakers met its goals and developed technology that is projected to be applicable to any and every automobile—from two-door coupes to full-size vans—within five years....


Open Access

Get the Whole Picture

by Sherman, Peter

Most Americans have experienced our healthcare system directly. For the last three years, I’ve acted as my father’s primary caregiver. In this role, I’ve seen firsthand the shortcomings of our healthcare system in many ways....


In It for the Long Haul

by Edmund, Mark

When organizations experience rapid growth, the most important part of the business—the customer—can sometimes get lost in the shuffle....



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