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Expert Answers: June 2014

by QP Staff

Driving service quality ... Evaluating equipment...


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....


Need for Speed

by Spencer, Karen; Helfer, Steve

Organizations must focus on key indicators and achieve optimal performance levels. They must define quality as it relates to customers and modify quality to achieve and sustain quality levels that maximize supply chain performance and quality management....


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....


Innovation Imperative: Team Sports

by Merrill, Peter

The spikes in knowledge that have occurred throughout history all have leaders associated with them. The myth that surrounds these leaders is they all were lone geniuses. In truth, the most famous leaders worked with teams of highly skilled people....


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....


Open Access

Looping in Quality

by Awofala, Dele

The quality loop framework provides organizations with a structured approach to integrating quality throughout the product assembly process—from the workstation to the customer....


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....


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....


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?...


Open Access

Online Figures Keeping Current

by QP Staff

com 1 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 55% Quality metrics are not effectively measured. 0% 5 % 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 55% No plans. EQMS = enterprise quality management software EQMS adoption rates / ONLINE FIGURE 2 Top quality manag...


Open Access

One Good Idea: Bucket List

by Suedbeck, John G.

Categorize and control your risk management audit data....


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....


Expert Answers: December 2013

by Wagoner, Keith; Pylipow, Peter E.

Measuring customer experience ... SPC for low-volume assembly....


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....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Mind Your Metrics

by Hartmann, Thomas

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


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?...


Standards Outlook: Checking the Checkers

by Russell, J. P.

ISO 19011:2011—Guidelines for auditing management systems provides guidance for managing audit programs. Clause 5.6 provides guidance on improving an audit program, just as other departments in an organization are expected to continue to improve....


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

Perspectives: Getting It Right

by Kennedy, Bob

One of the surest ways to lose credibility is to issue some edict, mantra or slogan that is silly to the extreme. Consider the phrase, “Do it right the first time.” What a load of nonsense. Has anyone achieved such a feat—other than by accident?...


Open Access

Expert Answers: August 2013

by QP Staff

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


Open Access

Back to Basics: According to Plan

by Port, Jonathan

Regardless of the purpose, audits must be properly planned so they’re successful and valuable. Often, this crucial step receives scant attention. The audit process should be divided into three equal parts: planning, execution and follow-up....


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....


Open Access

Measuring Up

by Hankel, Amanda

What is, and what does it mean to your organization and your industry? What does continuous improvement mean for your country, region and community, now and in the future? These are questions that, until recently, hadn’t been answered on a global level....


Expert Answers: June 2013

by QP Staff

Auditee refuses nonconformance report ... Customer service quality in the banking industry...


Expert Answers: May 2013

by QP Staff

Lean case studies from IT organizations...


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?...


Statistics Roundtable: Getting Graphical

by Borror, Connie M., White, T. Kevin

A company has six manufacturing processes critical to its business success. Management recently required each area manager to provide quarterly reports on the performance of their particular process....


Open Access

Career Corner: Build Your Economic Case

by Westcott, Russell T.

Do you realize that one of the greatest means for professional development is attending a quality industry conference? But first, you need to get there....


Open Access

Know the Why

by Ramsay, Owen

One of the primary reasons improvement projects fail is a lack of alignment with an organization’s vision, mission, goals and objectives. In an attempt to avoid that issue, a government agency in Guyana deployed a multi-tool method for improvement....


Standards Outlook: Keeping Watch

by Russell, J.P.

Supply chain management is important to ensure organizations can compete in the global market. Organizations continue to focus on core competencies, resulting in greater dependence on high-quality materials and services from suppliers....


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....


Expert Answers: February 2013

by QP Staff

Root cause analysis...


Online Figures - Ramsay

by Ramsay, Owen

Year Verct( dys) # Rpts FinRpts InvTech #_ Staff 2003 296 31 13 1.00 216 2004 829 24 11 2.24 190 2005 309 22 12 1.65 210 2006 222 22 9 2.35 225 2007 171 17 5 3.58 247 Verct( dys) = verification of claims cycle time # rpts = number of reports for the boar...


Open Access

Career Corner: In Shape for Quality

by Conklin, Joseph D.

I first met A.H. when my personal growth shifted to a more horizontal direction. He has since gone solo, working as a self-employed personal trainer. When I learned he had gone solo, I wondered if his perspective on managing for quality had changed....


3.4 per Million: No Specification? No Problem

by Breyfogle, Forrest W. III

In a column earlier this year I referenced a nine-step approach for determining an organization’s long-lasting operational metrics and how to decide where to focus improvement efforts so the entire enterprise benefits....


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....


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....


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....


Making Contact

by Metz, Brian

For an organization to be able to truly understand how well it’s meeting customer expectations, more concrete, measureable metrics must be used....


Open Access

Back to Basics: Team Effort

by Cascella, Victor

By paying attention to these six critical success factors, process management teams can deliver value and earn a position of influence in any organization’s performance management and improvement efforts....


Pick Your Spots

by Sherman, Peter J.

In the rush to achieve results, lean Six Sigma programs can get derailed because projects are pushed through the organization, leading to the selection of the wrong projects and suboptimizing the entire enterprise’s goals....


Expert Answers: September 2012

by QP Staff

Sustaining excellence ... Blood bank error...


Standards Outlook: On the Lookout

by Russell, J.P.

Audit program managers have always dealt with risk in some manner. They’ve analyzed and evaluated risk, as well as monitored and reported it. Now, all of those activities are becoming a formal part of an audit program manager’s duties....


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....


In the Trenches

by Tiwari, Anshuman

Deploying a quality change program is something every organization needs to do sooner or later, whether it involves lean, Six Sigma, the Baldrige criteria, kaizen or any other improvement effort. But managing a change program is a double-edged sword....


Open Access

Back to Basics: The Big Picture

by Bautista Smith, Janet

Business competition is an unending race with multifaceted measurements of success. One success factor is productivity: the ratio of value added—such as service rendered or products produced—versus the associated cost....


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

Quality in the First Person: No Such Thing as Altruism?

by Davis, David

It was an argument that got people out of their chairs and yelling, a verbal war that pitted students’ basic moral principles against one another. The professor set the class up for this. At issue was the assertion that there’s no such thing as altruism....


In the Spotlight

by Keathley, Jane

Based on what we know about the skills needed for innovation management, what quality management functions, responsibilities and skills can be applied to manage innovation?...


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....


Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Pruebas Sólidas

by Suedbeck, John G.

Para evaluar eficazmente el riesgo, necesitamos tener una comprensión de la fiabilidad de las evidencias de auditoría obtenidas. Pero ¿cómo podemos evaluar la fiabilidad de las evidencias de auditoría?...


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....


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?...


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

Fair or Foul?

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

After Moneyball was published nine years ago, Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane was hailed as a genius for adopting analytics in baseball. His goal was to create a small-budget MLB team that could compete with big-spending teams in the American League....


Eradicating Inconsistency

by Udell, Mark; Buffington, Mike

When most people imagine the Orkin man, they visualize a uniformed technician driving a white truck from house to house. What’s probably not as widely known is that the technicians stop at many places other than homes....


Statistics Roundtable: Right Answer, Wrong Query

by Anderson-Cook, Christine

Recently, I was reminded of one of my favorite statistics-related quotes from John W. Tukey: “Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.”...


Standards Outlook: Complex Relationship

by Schnoll, Les

In addition to being required to master a multitude of global requirements, regulatory professionals must address other issues that impede their ability to function expeditiously....


Measure for Measure: On Solid Ground

by Bucher, Jay L.

There are a few fundamentals every calibration or metrology department should know to get moving in the right direction....


Taking the Wheel

by Goodman, John

Customer experience has become the mantra of senior management looking to enhance revenue and margins. In fact, more companies are trying to differentiate themselves not only on product quality but also on total customer experience....


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....


3.4 per Million: Know What You Want

by Carnell, Mike

Having learned Six Sigma in the 1980s now creates an interesting box to live in today. Six Sigma was a strategy to achieve the corporate vision of total customer satisfaction....


3.4 per Million: Inputs Into Action

by Breyfogle, Forrest W.

A year ago, I wrote about the nine-step Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) business management system and how it can be used to integrate voice of the customer (VOC) sources with other improvement efforts so an entire enterprise can benefit....


Heavy Mettle Victory

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

After 23 years of service, I retired from Heavymet. Heavymet is a colossus: 65,000 employees in 55 plants in six business units in six countries. I lived in interesting times there. Many asked how I felt about our progress in process management....


Standards Outlook: Know Your Future

by Reid, R. Dan

The future is a subject of great interest to quality practitioners. So let’s look for initiatives that may be right around the corner. Armed with the right information, you should be able to get a head start on the competition....


How Do You Compare?

by Gupta, Pradeep; Nandiwada, Siva

Organizations often are unable to leverage benchmarking as a process to deliver excellence in business performance. This could be due to a lack of understanding of benchmarking as a process or lack of clarity on where it could add business value....


Expert Answers: November 2011

by QP Staff

Proving quality's worth ... Proper control charting...


Online Tables Olson

by Olson, Diane; 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....


Open Access

Site Seeing

by Yu, Louis W.; Urkin, Esther; Lum, Steve; Kenett, Ron S.; Ben-Jacob, Ron

Assessing exposure to risk events and initiating proactive risk mitigation actions must be a priority of organizations worldwide. Fortunately, there’s a conceptual and methodical approach to conducting a risk-based quality audit....


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....


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....


Open Access

Reversing Course?

by Seibert, Jerry H.; and Schiemann, William A.

THE OUTSOURCING OF FUNCTIONS once performed by organizations’ internal departments has been increasing in quantity and scope....


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....


Open Access

Back to Basics: A Tool for Anyone

by Laman, Scott A.

The balanced scorecard is used to align business activities to an organization’s strategy and monitor organizational performance versus strategic goals. The scorecard traditionally contains information related to four categories: learning and growth...


3.4 per Million: Sum it Up

by Conklin, Joseph D.

The future of the quality profession is a perennially popular topic of conversation whenever my colleagues gather at the water cooler, the monthly section meeting or the annual ASQ conference....


Online Figures 3.4 per Million

by Conklin, Joseph D.

January- year 1 $ 126,164 95% 7% 0.18 0.50% 84% 0.11 February $ 130,096 95% 6% 0.10 0.50% 74% 0.16 March $ 127,458 96% 10% 0.12 0.40% 93% 0.18 april $ 131,163 96% 11% 0.08 0.60% 77% 0.11 May $ 128,204 96% 2% 0.11 0.70% 60% 0.16 June $ 128,856 96% 7% 0.01...


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....


No Surprises

by Boveington, Kurt

When it comes to supplier control, having the right information at the right time is key to making a sound decision....


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....


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...


Lessons in Loyalty

by Hayes, Bob E.

Business growth depends on improving customer loyalty behavior. Companies with higher customer loyalty usually experience faster business growth than companies with lower customer loyalty, research has shown....


Open Access

Career Corner: Call a SPADE a SPADE

by ReVelle, Jack B.

When you think about your career, what do you do? Do you just sort of mull it over and maybe write down a note or two? Or do you start by writing down what you want out of your professional life (your long-term objectives) and then consider what...


Online Figures Hayes

by Hayes, Bob E.

Wireless provider loyalty grid / Online Figure 2 Mob4Hire Mobile Network Award 5 S T A R Reliance Mobile Claro Idea Cellular Movistar Safaricom XL Telcel Rogers Wireless Mobilink Orange AT& T Mobility T- Mobil MTel TIGO TIGO Globe Zain Mobitel BSNL Sun C...


Online Sidebar Watson

by Watson, Robert Q., Leeson, Kenneth

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital’s first change activity focused on the front-end processes of getting a patient triaged and into a bed, as shown in the highlighted boxes in the emergency department (ED) process flow in Online Figure 1....


Expert Answers: March 2011

by QP Staff

Explaining rework verification ... Getting management involved ... Measurement confusion....


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...


The Bright Side of Failure

by Sheffrey, Tom

Nobody wants to be associated with a project that fell short of expectations. But, as any good quality professional knows, failed projects can provide a mechanism for continuous improvement....


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....


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....


Open Access

Happiness Helps

by Becker, Tom

Boredom and discontent in the workplace are serious business performance issues. In a recent international study of organizational effectiveness, two-thirds of the 28,000 respondents said they were less than fully engaged by their work and organization....



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