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All the Right Moves

by Jacko, Nancy; Kumar, Sumeet

In northeast Ontario, Canada, hospitals have historically been the prime providers of all facets of healthcare....


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....


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....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Situation Control

by Levinson, William A.

The law of the situation is the idea that employees prefer direction from tasks instead of people. Despite someone having the formal authority to give orders, gaining employees’ willing cooperation is better achieved through the law of the situation....


Passion Project

by Foo, Luke T.

During my visit, I met with members of the organization’s management team: Angela Zammit, marketing specialist; Fan-Chia Tao, director of R&D; Brian Johnson, senior product specialist; Liz Crew, product specialist; and Dan Damon, process engineer. All of ...


Open Access

Continuing Education and Development Directory

by QP Staff

So if you.re feeling stuck, stagnant or dispirited, look into amping up your smarts with some of the best training, education and certification opportunities available today. Not only will you be helping to ensure your employability, you.ll increase you...


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.”...


Assessing the Landscape

by Ramsay, Owen

To achieve organizational change, the entire workforce must be included and engaged in the efforts. The first step is to take a close look at the organization’s business environment....


Like Abilities

by Liu, Shu

Beyond providing quality products and services, organizations must gain trust by engaging customers on social media and cultivating trust agents. An organization can no longer ignore customer complaints because customers are just one Google search away fr...


Open Access

What's Your Next Move?

by Hansen, David

We want to solve problems, but how should we? Continuous improvement initiatives are deployed everywhere, and we use all types of improvement methods based on the scientific method to identify and solve problems, and resolve conflict and issues....


Open Access

One Good Idea: The Statement Problem

by Kush, Max

Correcting a poorly performing process starts with understanding the gap between what is and what should be occurring in the process. By answering the five Ws, a problem statement can investigate and resolve the gap quickly and at the lowest cost....


Open Access

ASQ's 2015 Software Showcase and Directory

by QP Staff

QP 2015 Software Showcase and Directory The right quality software solution can open up countless possibilities to leverage your data, solve complex problems or just help your organization operate more efficiently. com InfinityQS is the global authority...


Seeing Is Believing

by Young, Gregg;

The hardest part of cycle-time reduction is knowing where to start. Process flow charts and visual maps help teams picture a process, but they present data in numerical form. Graphs and charts are more effective because they show patterns more clearly....


Outside Influence

by O'Connor, Jim; Hayler, Eric; Ellis, Tim;

A South Carolina university and BMW summer camp taught students the real-world side of science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers and quality tool applications. Students also took part in a campus tour of USC Upstate and the BMW factory in G...


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....


Open Access

Process Primer

by Mendelssohn, Alan

Almost everything we do in life—personal and professional—involves a process. When we do it over and over, we have a repeatable process....


Open Access

Standards Outlook: Remove the Silos

by Liebesman, Sandford

The most significant and costly silos that exist in most organizations today are the ones representing finance and quality management....


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

ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement Sponsors and Exhibitors

by QP Staff

A Novartis Company Booth 501 American Quality Institute Booth 410 AQS Management Systems Booth 310 Assured Quality Inc. Booth 145 Baldrige Performance Excellence Program Booth 219 Bosch Engineering Booth 142 BSI Booth 307 BSI Supply Chain Solutions Booth...


Better Together

by Schonberger, Richard J.

Four decades ago, process improvement was in the doldrums. A global bright spot was Japan, which contributed an impressive menu of original, borrowed, and adapted concepts and practices. One set of practices has gone by evolving labels....


Inside Job

by Wagoner, Keith; Khan, Rizwan

Businesses sometimes have no choice but to seek advice and consultation from outside experts. One financial institution in Radnor, PA, assembled a team of internal experts and advisors....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Eight Simple Steps

by Sharma, Mohit

Collecting data is a critical and important step in putting a project together. In experience reviewing projects, I have seen Black Belts often make mistakes in collecting data. This affects the overall result....


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....


Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Ocho sencillos pasos

by Sharma, Mohit

Collecting data is a critical and important step in putting a project together. In experience reviewing projects, I have seen Black Belts often make mistakes in collecting data. This affects the overall result....


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

Standards Outlook: Not a Game

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

People seem to be divided into two camps regarding the new wording related to the subject of risk found in the draft of ISO 9001:2015....


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

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: El arte del Análisis de Causa Raíz

by Vidyasagar A

Root cause analysis reminds me of the intriguing mind of a child: Both use common questions that start with “what,” “how” or “why” in an attempt to understand something and uncover answers....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Identity Crisis

by Brooks, Chris

The longer I am involved in quality management and business growth consulting, the more I am convinced that a simple truth is often overlooked: Quality is not something we do. It is who we are....


Open Access

Back to Basics: The Art of Root Cause Analysis

by A, Vidyasagar;

Root cause analysis reminds me of the intriguing mind of a child: Both use common questions that start with “what,” “how” or “why” in an attempt to understand something and uncover answers....


Open Access

One Good Idea: FMEA to the Rescue

by Tate, Joe; Foraker, Wayne

Quality professionals in higher education have traditionally centered the quality discussion around curriculum instruction and the central role of faculty. spectrum at higher learning institutions....


Carried Away

by Fulton, Larry; Bastian, Nathan; Wilson, Ron

DFSS is a widely used algorithmic process that integrates quality as part of the new product design process that has been shown to improve the new product development performance....


Open Access

Roadmap to Savings

by Harlan, Jim; Arnason, Walt; Nichols, Jack; Arthur, Jay;

E-470 is the 75-mph toll road that runs along the eastern perimeter of the Denver metropolitan area. The road is financed, constructed, operated and governed by the E-470 Public Highway Authority....


Open Access

Total Quality's Leader

by Watson, Gregory H.

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


Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Pongalo todo sobre la mesa

by Goffnett, Sean

Stakeholder analysis and communication are critical to project success. It’s essential that the right communication reach the right people at the right time....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Putting It All on the Table

by Goffnett, Sean

Stakeholder analysis and communication are critical to project success. It’s essential that the right communication reach the right people at the right time....


Dissecting the Details

by Mehta, Bob

Risk mitigation has been a salient requirement for the design, development and manufacture of medical devices that are safe and effective. But the tools employed in the pursuit of effective risk management have varied significantly....


Narrow(er) Focus

by Kotterman, James R.

When teaching failure mode and effects analysis, I start by determining who in the class has participated in creating one. Typically, more than half of the students raise their hands. Next, I ask how useful or accurate their FMEAs were....


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....


3.4 per Million: Understanding the Data

by Breyfogle, Forrest W. III

At the end of business quarters, many people spend precious time and effort preparing to satisfy management’s need to know how the business is faring....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Lasting Impression

by Howze, Yvonne Simmons

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


Salary Survey 2014: Part 4, Section 30. Culture of Quality—Expanded Results

by Hansen, Max Christian

The way an organization embraces quality affects how it manufactures products and serves customers. But can an organization’s culture of quality (or lack thereof) affect employee satisfaction—specifically, toward their jobs and salaries?...


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Slow Burn

by Smith, Scott

Despite twists and turns, a passion for quality never cooled....


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....


Open Access

Multipronged Approach

by Patil, Prashant Ramakant; Mishra, Nandkumar

In the last few decades, several improvement frameworks and practices have evolved to help organizations extinguish burning business issues. These frameworks and practices are not always enough when implemented alone....


Finding Harmony

by Kennedy, Bob

Creating a universally accepted definition of quality can help in achieving quality globally to make this the century of quality....


Grant-Online Figures Tables

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...


Take Care of Your 'Ugly Baby'

by Bush, Gwen

Identifying symptoms of a dysfunctional quality management system, understanding possible causes and implementing corrective actions can help organizations address their biggest problems....


Defining Your Role

by Russell, J.P.

With titles such as quality engineer, technician, auditor, quality manager, supply quality engineer, Black Belt and software quality engineer, quality professionals’ roles within organizations are generally invisible to those on the outside....


Getting It Right the First Time

by Vashisht, Sagar; Kumar, Krishan; Gaba, Narender

A tier-one automotive shock absorber supplier faced dwindling productivity because of a high rework rate. It applied Shainin methods, including component search and paired comparison, to identify the cause, reduce rework and save money....


Open Access

Step It Up

by Grigg, Alfred; Hirt, Michael; Laman, Scott A.; Marmon, Jerry; and McShane Vaughn, Mary

SITTING IS THE new smoking. The more you sit and stagnate, some doctors say, the poorer the outlook is on your health and even life expectancy—regardless of how fit you think you are....


Open Access

Career Corner: Making the Jump

by ReVelle, Jack

Should you quit your day job and become a consultant?...


Expert Answers: September 2014

by QP Staff

Leadership, culture and quality ... Traceability in calibration validation...


Onward and Upward

by Thomas, Donna

Operational excellence has been a long-time focus for Xerox, the international document management corporation. Before joining Xerox, Affiliated Computer Services shared that same focus....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Road Warrior

by Coleman, Lance

Why conferences are your secret career weapon....


Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Controles y Equilibrios

by Bautista Smith, Janet

Spanish translation of August 2014 Back to Basics column describing how to integrate organizational vision and strategy....


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

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

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

One Good Idea: Steer Your Career

by Goffnett, Sean

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


3.4 per Million: Conducting FMEAs for Results

by Kubiak, T.M.

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


Expert Answers: June 2014

by QP Staff

Driving service quality ... Evaluating equipment...


Open Access

No Weak Links

by Bailey, Bill D.; Alter, Howard

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


Virtual Voices

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

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


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Pay It Forward

by Ramu, Govind

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


Open Access

Catching Fire

by Liu, Shu

Teams can use the seven creativity strategies and their related tools to develop creativity to solve quality improvement problems....


Safety in the Skies

by Odigie, Michael; Martin, Royce A.; Courbat, Michael; Sinn, John W.

Embracing the notion of continuous improvement, the aviation industry is endeavoring to redefine and fine-tune the way safety is managed....


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....


At Your Fingertips

by Cartia, Robert A.

Troubleshooting is defined as a form of problem solving most often applied to the repair of failed products or processes. It is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem so it can be solved and so the product or process can operate again....


Open Access

Learning From Experience

by Behling, David

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


Open Access

A Pathway for Patients

by Dean, Mark L.

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


Open Access

Back to Basics: Calculated Risk

by Sherman, Peter J.

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


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....


Choose Wisely

by Sharma, Mohit

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


Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Riesgo Calculado

by Sherman, Peter J.

Equilibrar el coste del riesgo y la incertidumbre....


3.4 per Million: The ‘Initiative’ Olympic Games

by Carnell, Mike

It seems that the business world has experienced a fairly rapid transition in focus to “innovation” as the next initiative or the next big thing. Meanwhile, leadership teams wander the vast Serengeti Plain of performance improvement....


Open Access

Breaking Down Barriers

by Liu, Shu

To leverage the benefits and prepare for the challenges big data present, quality professionals must change their mindset, get more data, upgrade their skills and expand their roles in the big data universe....


Open Access

Fresh Perspective

by Radziwill, Nicole M.; Owens, Tracy;

The relationships among technology, innovation and quality are based on creating new value and sustaining the ability to continue creating it. Leveraging these relationships can help in releasing your creative spirit....


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....


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

Career Corner: Switch Gears

by Westcott, Russell

Beat job boredom and burnout with reinvention....


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....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Career Traveler

by Hermenitt, Chris

Determination helps machine operator soar to the top....


Open Access

At Your Service

by Schmidt, Megan

Servant leadership is a timeless concept that is especially relevant for quality organizations because of its relationship with continuous improvement. Organizations benefit from servant leadership because it creates more effective and innovative teams....


Show of Hands

by Liu, Shu

“How many think this process is capable of meeting the specification?” Students sitting in a basic quality class in Asia were asked this question while they looked at a long-term normal process variation curve well within the specification range....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Mind Your Metrics

by Hartmann, Thomas

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


Open Access

Perspectives: Action Required

by Veenstra, Cindy P.; Walters, Glenn

IN ITS EFFORT to advance ideas, research and practice in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce, ASQ’s Education Division co-sponsored the third annual Advancing the STEM Agenda Conference earlier this year....


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

Quality in the First Person: Get a Job

by Cote, Murray

Professor encourages students to seek certification....


Statistics Roundtable: Balancing Priorities

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.;

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


Innovation Imperative: The People Principle

by Merrill, Peter

Successful innovation does have a secret sauce—people. For successful innovation, we need to involve everyone in our organization....


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?...


Dig Deeper

by Chadha, Rajeev

Sort,store, shine, standardize and sustain (5S) is a lean process for creating and maintaining an organized, clean, safe and high-performing workplace....



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