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First Things First

by Arendall, C. Steven; Tiger, Andrew A.; Westbrook, Kevin W.;

Quality management literature has devoted considerable effort to the task of understanding and measuring process capability. Process capability is defined as the best distribution a process can produce given its present design at a given point in time....


Innovation Imperative: Making Choices

by Merrill, Peter

When you think about how to steer your career, it’s important not to steer too hard. Life presents many opportunities, and if you are trying to force your way through, you will miss the opportunities that come your way....


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....


Plan of Attack

by Machado, H.F.

Every importaant business project has a logical starting set of conditions, followed by a set of events that lead to a logical completion of defined objectives....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Mix It Up

by Barsalou, Matthew

Combine exploratory data analysis and strong inference to generate and verify hypotheses....


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....


Expert Answers: January 2014

by QP Staff

Selecting KPIs ... Controlling multiple processes...


Expert Answers: December 2013

by Wagoner, Keith; Pylipow, Peter E.

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


2013 Salary Survey: Part 2, Section 23. Base Earnings by Education and Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

The independent consultants who respond to QP’s Salary Survey are, of course, a smaller group than the regular employees. This year in the United States, 62 consultants reported working part-time and 109 full-time....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 18. Salary by Exemplar Global Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

Worldwide, 14.2% of the surveyed quality professionals have at least one Exemplar Global certification. Canadian and U.S. respondents held 49 of the 72 certifications listed as choices in the salary survey, which are divided into two tables....


2013 Salary Survey: Part 1, Section 4. Salary by ASQ and Exemplar Global Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

In North America, 58.2% of respondents to QP’s salary survey held at least one ASQ certification. As Table 1 shows, the two certifications held by most respondents are certified quality auditor (23.9% of respondents) and certified quality engineer (22%)....


Open Access

Words to Work By

by QP Staff

Readers shared their favorite quality quotes and reflected on the wisdom of the words....


Expert Answers: November 2013

by Laman, Scott A.

Sampling plans for reliability testing...


Reinventing Excellence

by Buckman, Jim; Buckman, Mary Beth

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


Statistics Roundtable: Wanderlust and Memory

by Hare, Lynne B.

Pop quiz. Question one: How do you derive Shewhart (X-bar and R, or X-bar and S) control chart limits?...


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....


Parts of the Process

by Aguirre-Torres, Victor; López-Alvarez, Maria Teresa

Repeatability and reproducibility studies are based on the concept of variance components estimation. This is a remarkable achievement of statistical science because people usually think in terms of means and trends, not variation around a mean....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: It's a Process

by Jennings, John

I have been a Type 2 diabetic for 40 years—about as long as I’ve been in the quality field. Currently, there is no cure for diabetes. But it can be managed....


What Makes You Tick?

by Machado, H.F. Ken

Uncoordinated internal operations create organizational inefficiencies, a lower level of customer service and unnecessary delays in management decisions, resulting in increased costs....


Open Access

Balancing Act

by Montgomery, Eda Ross; Neway, Justin

With common quality methods and standards in place, manufacturing organizations share a daunting challenge: an increased volume of electronic and paper-based data collected during process development and manufacturing....


Heart of the Matter

by Aba, Eli Kofi; Hayden, Michael A.

The goal of most processes in the manufacturing and service industries is to produce products or services that exhibit little to no variation. Variation is defined as “where no two items or services are exactly the same.”...


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

Apples to Oranges?

by Surak, John G.;

Consumers around the world demand safe food. Through the years, retailers and food companies have pushed their suppliers to have food safety systems and improve on them. The drive started with suppliers being required to have third-party good GMP audits....


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....


Why Certify?

by Laman, Scott A.; Korkuch, Dana; Kohler, Rene; Drobnick, Rudy; Kramer, Robin; Gardner, Pete; DiPuppo, Janet G.; Krothapalli, Sowmya;

These stories are told by people at different stages of their careers. One of the things they have in common, however, is they’ve carefully considered the costs and benefits of ASQ certification....


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 4: Salary by ASQ and RABQSA International Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

Percentage of respondents holding aSQ certifications / Table 1 2012 2010 2008 Certified quality auditor 22.9% 24.1% 24.2% Certified quality engineer 20.4 23.7 21.6 Certified manager of quality/ organizational excellence 12.6 13.7 12.6 Certified Six Sigma...


Salary Survey 2012: Part 1, Section 18: Salary by RABQSA International Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

Part 1. Regular Employee Results Section 18. Salary by RABQSA International Certification Details on RABQSA Certifications Salary by RABQSA certifications for U. S. respondents / Table 1 Aged care professional APIQ auditor AS9100 aerospace experience aud...


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...


Expert Answers: December 2012

by QP Staff

A better supplier scorecard ... Inspecting your suppliers ......


Innovation Imperative: A Question of Balance

by Merrill, Peter

Many people say that mentioning standards and innovation in the same breath is a contradiction in terms. Evidence from the real world says otherwise....


Expert Answers: August 2012

by QP Staff

Innovation issues ... SPC vs. SQC ......


Statistics Roundtable: Go With the Flow

by Hare, Lynne B.

Years ago, while on my way to conduct a statistical process control short course at a local ASQ meeting, I was stopped by a man who told me he had attended my short course the previous year and got a lot out of it....


Open Access

Perspectives: Theory of Evolution

by Gojanovic, Tony

Thumbing through W. Edward Deming’s timeless classic Out of the Crisis, it’s striking to see how the current economic crisis can be attributed to the factors he pointed out so many years ago as roadblocks to quality and productivity....


Get on Board

by El Tigani, Omer Abdel Aziz

Although it is difficult to find a universally accepted definition of what it actually means, quality management is still the dream of every organization on the planet—or at least it should be....


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....


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....


Lead On

by Liu, Shu; Ruegg, Stephen

In today's business environment, any organization that wishes to exceed customer expectations and stay competitive needs effective supplier management. Emotional intelligence plays an important role in dealing with suppliers....


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....


Expert Answers: January 2012

by QP Staff

Cost-of-quality reporting ... Auditing options ......


Salary Survey 2011: Part 2, Section 23: Consultant Education and Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

Base earnings for U. S. self- employed consultants / Table 1 ( conTinueD) Minimum Maximum Standard deviation Count Average Median Part- time All consultants $ 10,000 $ 450,000 $ 82,437 87 $ 74,648 $ 54,000 Highest level of education High school diploma 6...


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: A Bad Sign

by Moeeni, Farhad

I kept my head down as I played hopscotch with the puddles on the mall parking lot. I started the engine, wiped some fog from the windows and started to back out, looking behind for cars. Suddenly—what was that?...


Salary Survey 2011: Part 1, Section 18: Salary by RABQSA International Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

QP 161 SponSored by QP Salary Survey 2 0 1 1 Salary by raBQSa certifications for U. S. respondents / Table 1 ( conTinued) Food safety auditor Food safety lead auditor HACCP practitioner auditor HACCP practitioner associate auditor Heavy vehicle accredita...


Salary Survey 2011: Part 1, Section 4: Salary by ASQ and RABQSA International Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

com 48 Part 1. Regular Employee Results Section 4. Salary by ASQ and RABQSA International Certification Certification Is Golden Salary by number of ASQ certifications held by U. S. respondents / Figure 1 85,015 86,165 88,821 91,114 94,463 96,041 112,586 ...


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....


Reaching Out

by Blumenthal, Cynthia

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Middlesex, Jeffery Eugenides describes life at Ford Motor Co. in the 1920s, detailing how unskilled workers tried to match the calculated pace of assembly lines and a manufacturer that made almost every part itself....


Risky Business

by Singer, Donald

In highly regulated industries that manufacture pharmaceuticals, foods and cosmetics, quality control scientists have been known to perform sampling and testing to determine the acceptability of finished products. Throughout the last decade,...


Perspectives: Wake Up and Smell the Cookies

by Diepstra, G. Keith

MY RECENT TRANSITION from the automotive sector to a company in the food industry held some unusual surprises: • The overall equipment effectiveness, capabilities and yields were shockingly low in the food industry....


Statistics Roundtable: Proper Blending

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

Since we proposed the idea and theory behind statistical engineering, we’re often asked: “Is it just another term for traditional applied statistics?” That’s a legitimate question....


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....


Know Your Limits

by Henderson, Robert K.

In more than 27 years of working with a variety of manufacturing concerns, it is still surprising to observe how many manufacturing operations people possess such limited understanding of the myriad limits they adhere to each and every day....


Expert Answers: May 2011

by QP Staff

Calculating limits for three processes....


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....


Perspectives: Regain Your Footing

by Weisbrod, Stu

The presence of warning signs that quality may be slipping doesn’t mean an organization is doomed. Instead, it can be redeemed with a three-step approach to reinvigorate quality....


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....


Standards Outlook: Revisionist History

by Liebesman, Sandford

The latest version of ISO 9001 was published in December 2008. Since then, ISO/TC 176 has created a task group to consider concepts for inclusion in the next revision, which is scheduled for publication in 2015....


Quality in the First Person: A Winding Career Path

by Behr, Tim

Career paths can sometimes alter quite unexpectedly. Some people take great care in steering their career development, only to learn that factors beyond their control can have a greater influence on life....


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....


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....


Salary Survey 2010: Part 1, Sect. 18: Salary by RABQSA International Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

QMS = quality management system Salary by QMS certifications / TablE 1 QMS associate auditor QMS auditor QMS business improvement auditor QMS lead auditor QMS principal auditor QMS provisional auditor United States analyst . QMS = quality management sys...


Salary Survey 2010: Part 2, Section 23: Base Earnings by Education and Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

1 20,000 20,000 Associate degree 50,000 175,000 62,915 3 108,333 100,000 bachelor.s degree 2,000 245,000 63,407 32 56,466 23,250 Master.s degree 2,000 225,000 53,048 41 48,486 30,000 Doctorate 23,000 210,000 70,289 11 85,091 55,000 Highest level of Six S...


Open Access

Salary Survey 2010: Not Out of the Question

by Hansen, Max Christian

Every year, QP’s Salary Survey sparks countless questions for quality professionals and gets them thinking about their careers and personal development: How do I compare with others? What can I do get ahead? Are things getting better out there?...


Salary Survey 2010: Part 1, Section 1: Salary by Job Title

by Hansen, Max Christian

The vast majority of respondents to this year’s salary survey was regular, full or part-time employees—that is, they work for a single company or organization. Part 1 of this report, comprised of sections 1-20, covers these respondents....


Salary Survey 2010: Part 1, Section 4: Salary by ASQ and RABQSA International Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

For four straight years, the number of survey respondents not holding any ASQ certifications has fallen. This year, 59.1% of respondents reported that they have one or more ASQ certifications, and 24.9% said they hold two or more certifications....


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

Perspectives: Warning! Warning!

by Weisbrod, Stu

There are five warning signs that are indicators of a change in corporate attitudes toward quality. Some of these can occur naturally over time as corporations become enamored with their progress....


Statistics Roundtable: A Sample Plan

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M., Lu, Lu

Often, there are situations in which you might want to draw a representative sample from a finite population to characterize some aspects of its distribution....


More Than Words

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

Mr. Lenz, the CEO of Acme Film was very excited—and contagiously so. “My whole career,” he exclaimed, “has been a rehearsal for this one big moment. The company and my work are riding on whether 3-D photos succeed!”...


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?...


Statistics Roundtable: The Statistical Engineer

by Mason, Robert L., and Young, John C.

Many engineers working in processing industries often are overwhelmed by the amount of data available to them. Until recently, most industries collected only a small amount of information on their processes....


Past Is Prologue

by van Kemenade, Everard

Although it’s tempting to look ahead, it’s wise to look back and learn from the past. This axiom holds true for quality management, which is why the history of the discipline is worth closer examination....


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....


Statistics Roundtable: Tried and True

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

A review of past Statistics Roundtable columns reveals that statisticians and quality professionals are always looking for better ways to increase the breadth and effectiveness of the use of statistical thinking and methods....


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....


Statistics Roundtable: Detection Decisions

by Mason, Robert L.; Young, John C.

A potential outlier is an observation located a considerable distance from the main data swarm. The inclusion of such outlying observations in a data analysis can produce erroneous estimates of means, variances and the correlations between variables....


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....


Customer Focus Sparks Invention

by Ellifson, Valerie

To reduce customer complaints and remain profitable, Littelfuse’s facility in the Philippines designed a voice of the customer (VOC) project. The executive team or project champion and project sponsor help the team set goals and expectations, and provide ...


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....


0210 Standards Online Only

by Schnoll, Les

Manufacturing approves or manages release of drawings for each phase of the product development process ( PDP) per the drawing release procedure . Change control defined by the preproduction design change or production design change procedure Make and b...


Quality in the First Person: Accidental Destiny

by Harding, Paul

John Ruskin once said, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.”1 How many of us who work in quality came into the profession by accident? I, for one, can raise my hand. I started my career as an apprentice tool...


Test Run

by Ramu, Govind

In 2008, 14,906 people took ASQ certification exams, and 9,394 of these people—or 63%—passed. So how can you avoid being one of the certification exam takers who will not pass this year?...


Salary Survey 2009: Part 1, Section 18: Salary by RABQSA International Certification

by QP Staff

In all, 13.3% of the surveyed quality professionals have at least one RABQSA International certification. Respondents held 31 of the 37 certifications listed in the salary survey....


Salary Survey 2009: The Complete Report

by QP Staff

52 section 6 Salary by Number of Work Hours Online section 7 Salary by Nonexempt vs. exempt Status Online section 8 Salary by Number of Years in Current Position Online section 9 Salary by Number of Years in Current Position and in the Quality Field Onli...


Salary Survey 2009: Part 1, Section 4: Salary by ASQ and RABQSA International Certification

by QP Staff

In all, 57.8% of those surveyed have at least one ASQ certification, and 13.3% have at least one RABQSA International certification....


Aerial Coverage

by Clifford, Jim

To harmonize requirements across the supply chain for the management of the Department of Defense aviation CSIs, a standards publication group has reconciled final industry comments and is preparing to publish a new aviation, space and defense standard....


Open Access

Career Corner: Out of Quality, Out of Business

by Kulisek, Diane

Being lean used to be associated with poverty and starvation. Today, being lean refers to profitability and fitness, especially in business. Cutting corporate fat, or non-essentials, has become as important for organizational health as slimming down is...


Statistics Roundtable: A Remedy Using Residuals

by Mason, Robert L.; Young, John C.

It is common in industrial processes for input variables to be closely associated with output variables. You may frequently encounter two process variables tied together. For example, consider temperature and pressure....


Open Access

Tune Up

by Allen, I. Elaine; Davenport, Thomas H.

Six Sigma has many meanings. In its simplest context, Six Sigma can be defined statistically as the attempt to achieve near-perfection by having no more than 3.4 errors per million opportunities, or being 99.997% correct (or defect-free)....


Get Your Checkup

by ASQ Lean Six Sigma Hospital Study Advisory Committee

For nearly 20 years, lean and Six Sigma improvement initiatives have been in the quality spotlight, helping thousands of organizations in the United States and elsewhere. But, are hospitals truly embracing the lean and Six Sigma movement?...


Open Access

Don't Just Talk the Talk

by Adrian, Nicole

Many companies and organizations talk big about knowing the best way other businesses and groups can work to drive continuous and process improvement. Often, these businesses don’t take their own advice. Once in a while, however, a group comes along...


Online Figures Jing

by Jing, Gary G.

QP 2 Pure bonding / online Figure 5 Part one Part one Part two Part two Left distance Right distance Step one Step two Heat DMAIC Mind- set / online Figure 4 30- 50 10- 15 4- 8 KPIVs 8- 10 KPIVs Critical KPIVs 3- 6 Key leverage KPIVs Inputs variables Mea...


Expert Answers: May 2009

by QP Staff

Design deviation ... Choosing your chart ... Studying sigma shift...


Take a Bite Out of Inefficiency

by Nuhfer, Dina; and Walters, Thomas

Providing consistent and effective service or product requires a consistent and effective framework for implementing, maintaining and improving tactical and strategic operations. Dentistry is no different....


Standards Outlook: Major Upgrades

by Reid, R. Dan

The new fourth edition of the Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Reference Manual, which was released last year, is a significant upgrade from the third edition published in 2001....


Statistics Roundtable: Grab the Brass Ring

by Snee, Ronald D.

Remember going to the amusement park and riding the carousel or merry-go-round? During the ride, there was sometimes a brass ring you could grab from a dispenser.It took some dexterity to snatch the ring from the dispenser as the carousel rotated....



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