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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

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: Smart Charting

by Sherman, Peter J.

Control charts are at the foundation of Six Sigma. They serve as the primary tool to filter out the probable noise (inherent variation or common cause) from the potential signals (nonrandom variation or special cause)....


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....


3.4 per Million: Insight or Folly?

by Breyfogle, Forrest W.

In lean Six Sigma, much training effort is spent on conveying the importance of having a measurement system so that consistent and correct decisions are made relative to assessing part quality and process attributes....


It Doesn't Add Up

by Sloan, M. Daniel

Bewildered economists offer many theories as to what ultimately led to today’s financial woes. Analysts attempt to untangle how so many factors and variables—banks, mortgages and government oversight—contributed to the mess....


Open Access

Building From the Basics

by Rooney, James J.; Kubiak, T.M; Westcott, Russ; Reid, R. Dan; Wagoner, Keith; Pylipow, Peter E.; Plsek, Paul

Quality control is about models, methods, measuring and managing. It’s about uncovering a problem and finding the solution. It’s about using the right techniques at the right time to make things better....


Quality Glossary

by Nelsen, Dave

Five years after it published its first glossary of quality terms, ASQ has revised that glossary with updated definitions and new entries, many from the lean glossary published in 2005. This reference of terms, acronyms, and prominent figures in the...


Control Charting at the 30,000-Foot-Level, Part 3

by Forrest Breyfogle III

In my November 2003 "3.4 per Million" column (p. 67), I described a traditional and a 30,000-foot-level procedure for creating control charts and making process capability/performance metric assessments for a continuous response....


Quality in the First Person: Old Ideas Find a New Industry

by Hilgendorf, Alex

I work in the software industry. My world changes quickly, and it can be hard to keep up. As the software industry is still quite young, many of its employees are not yet as indoctrinated into the quality world as are people in other industries....


Quality in the First Person: Dead Man's Shoes

by Davis, Peter

The responsibility for quality assurance is sometimes bestowed upon reluctant recipients who don't really understand quality. However, basic quality assurance factors don't change between business sectors. The real issue is to get people to listen and...


Quality in the First Person: Quality Shots

by Fernandez, Heriberto

Quality tools that are vital to process management can be used in almost every field of activity, including sports. A player's performance in a basketball game is subject to variation that must be controlled and reduced. An example focusing on...


Control Charting at the 30,000-Foot-Level, Part 2

by Forrest Breyfogle III

In my November 2003 "3.4 per Million" column (p. 67), I described a traditional and a 30,000-foot-level procedure for creating control charts and making process capability/performance assessments for a continuous response....


Stoplight Charts (With SPC Inside)

by Prevette, Steven

Many balanced scorecards use stoplight charts to track defects. Colors for the chart are set by comparing current results with target thresholds. Software that automates the process results in an operation that is quick and efficient, but which may be...


Open Access

Quality Glossary


A handy reference is provided of quality terms, acronyms, and key people in the history of quality. Information is derived from a variety of sources and compiled by the editorial staff of the American Society for...


Teaching the Role of SPC in Industrial Statistics

by Liberatore, Ralph L.

In discussions concerning statistical process control (SPC) and industrial statistics, the two are often treated as separate disciplines, related only through the commonality of statistical principles. It is important to understand that in practice, a...


University, Inc.

by Karapetrovic, Stanislav; Rajamani, Divakar; Willborn, Walter W.

Institutions of higher education can increase their competitiveness and product value by applying synchronization, zero-defect, and quality control techniques. Supporting such techniques is a systems view in which student education, courses, and...


The Red Bead Experiment for Educators

by Turner, Ron

In education, tests for ranking and competency should follow designs that take into account the effects of variation. A red bead experiment adapted from manufacturing to the educational environment can help teachers see the role of total quality in...


Early SQC: A Historical Supplement

by Juran, J.M.

The Hawthorne Works of AT&T's Western Electric Company was the site of early applications of statistics to inspection problems. Probability theory at AT&T can be traced to 1903, and its first application to inspection occurred in 1916. By 1922, A. P....


How to Teach Others to Apply Statistical Thinking

by Britz, Galen; Emerling, Don; Hare, Lynne; Hoerl, Roger; Shade, Janice

An interactive session on statistical thinking involved realistic scenarios worked on by teams of conference attendees and a panel of experts. Unlike statistical methods, statistical thinking is a learning and action philosophy. It is based on...


Charting New Territory

by Welsh, Frank

Health care applications of flowcharts, cause-and-effect (fishbone) diagrams, and control charts were developed by a team of nurses and a surgeon in an outpatient surgery facility. Flowcharts identified the movement of patients through the facility,...



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