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Expert Answers: June 2014

by QP Staff

Driving service quality ... Evaluating equipment...

Expert Answers: May 2014

by QP Staff

Starting a career in quality ... Testing traceability...

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....

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

A Place to Call Home

by Leonard, Denis; Zajicek, Gary

Builder leverages quality toolbox, culture to construct house for "Extreme Makeover" TV show....

Innovation Imperative: Innovation Toolbox

by Merrill, Peter

There is a core set of tools from which innovators can choose. Generally, innovators should select one primary tool and perhaps one secondary tool to use in each stage of the innovation process....

Open Access

Career Corner: Switch Gears

by Westcott, Russell

Beat job boredom and burnout with reinvention....

Ready, Set, Go

by Lawson, Edward

Organizational progress is generally driven by the identification of goals and objectives. Strategic planning, which defines goals and objectives, is a formal process in organizations, regardless of size....

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....

Innovation Imperative: Getting a Jump Start

by Merrill, Peter

In last year’s July issue of QP, I wrote about what a career in innovation might look like. In this column, I want to provide you with some ways to get there....

Standards Outlook: Road to Revision

by Cressionnie, L.L. “Buddy"

The flagship aviation, space and defense quality management system (QMS) standard has started revision activities. AS9100 is the foundation standard of the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)....

Getting a Good Read

by Bruns, Todd; Bai, Rendong

The internet has forced libraries to focus on enhancing customer service through quality management. LibQUAL+ is a tool to evaluate library customer service and engage patrons as partners to close the gap between experienced and expected service....

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....

Mood Righting

by Thor, Scott

U.S. organizations face monumental challenges as a global economy has emerged. Arguably, the global economy is driving competitive forces to levels unimaginable only a few decades ago....

Statistics Roundtable: One Size Does Not Fit All

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

The need to improve is ever present in all endeavors and will continue to be so. We live in a dynamic world. As predicted in the second law of thermodynamic and entropy, the world will continue to change....

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....

Before the Fact

by Mehta, Bob

The FDA has ratcheted up its surveillance and inspection activities on the suppliers of food and dietary supplements. Growing concern over protection of America’s food chain has been voiced by the FDA’s commissioner of food and drugs....

Open Access

Career Corner: Trade Your Expertise

by Westcott, Russell T.

Most readers have an idea of what a mentor is. Perhaps you have received counsel or knowledge from an experienced mentor or mentored a person seeking your advice. But there is a lesser-known mentoring relationship—a peer-to-peer relationship....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Breaking It Down

by Ayulo, Alberto

A3 thinking is based on the plan-do-check-act cycle. This powerful way of thinking is transcribed on a piece of paper (the A3 report) a team of employees can use to produce a desired outcome for a proposed process....

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Lo Descomponemos

by Ayulo, Alberto

El pensamiento A3 está basado en el método de planificar-hacer-verificar-actuar. Esta potente forma de pensamiento se transcribe en un pedazo de papel que un equipo de empleados puede usar para producir un resultado deseado para un proceso propuesto....

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....

Open Access

One Good Idea: Put on Your Business Hat

by Raina, Vikas

During a software testing project, teams are consistently faced with constraints that may affect how business requirements are met, but as quality professionals, we have the ability to ensure any project is delivered with acceptable quality level (AQL)....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Good to Great

by Al-Sabbali, Wail A.

Quality systems audits provide a great opportunity for an organization to reinforce its strengths and minimize its weaknesses. Throughout the process, auditors play the major role in maximizing the value of the audit....

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: De lo Bueno a lo Mejor

by Al-Sabbali, Wail A.

Las auditorías de sistemas de calidad ofrecen una magnífica oportunidad a la organización para reforzar sus puntos fuertes y minimizar sus debilidades....

Innovation Imperative: Time for a Change

by Merrill, Peter

A quality manager’s career is far from predictable. It depends on the attitude of an organization’s leadership toward quality and, perhaps more importantly, leadership’s understanding of what quality is....

The Brand Named You

by Breitbarth, Wayne

An all-expense paid week in Cancun, Mexico. An extravagant home entertainment system. Professional sports team season tickets. And, of course, a gold watch. These are all expensive luxuries, but what do they have in common?...

Open Access

Statistics Roundtable: Words of Caution

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

Suppose you have a study with one identified response. Take QP’s salary survey, for instance, and the many predictors, such as age, sex, education, years of experience, type of employment and number of people supervised....

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....

Standards Outlook: Group Effort

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

When users think about AS9100, they typically think only of the AS9100 quality management system standard and not about the other products and services the International Aerospace Quality Group provides to the aviation, space and defense industry....

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....

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

Beyond the Basics

by Duffy, Grace; Laman, Scott A.; Mehta, Pradip; Ramu, Govind; Scriabina, Natalia; Wagoner, Keith

A movie sequel often can be as, if not more, captivating than the original. Essentially, a sequel builds on the original, continuing a journey with familiar characters and settings, developing ideas and unveiling more insight....

A Tangled Web

by Dougherty, Jim; Lengel, Wylene

In simple terms, software as a service is on-demand access to software via the internet. It seemingly eliminates the installation and testing of the software by the customer—or does it?...

Open Access

Email Matters

by Milton, Alec

It is commonly accepted that 80% of data within an organization is unstructured. Emails are considered a part of the definition of unstructured data. But with the right processes, it is possible to get email under control....

Innovation Imperative: Unplugged

by Merrill, Peter

Many people think technology drives innovation. In fact, the opposite is true....

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....

Practice Makes Perfect

by Rich, David

Significant problems can occur during full-scale production when new manufacturing processes are poorly conceived. Therefore, it is incumbent on R&D organizations to employ effective procedures that ensure sound manufacturing process development....

Open Access

Safe and Secure

by Scott, Bill; Krempley, Mark

Organizations everywhere are expected to do more with less in all areas of business. Safety and risk management are not necessarily immune when organizations must make difficult decisions about cuts in personnel and funding....

Expert Answers: January 2012

by QP Staff

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

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....

All Over the Map

by Merrill, Peter

Innovation can be rewarding, and it’s taking on greater importance worldwide. There’s no better proof of this than the recent World Economic Forum analysis of the innovative capability of countries from all parts of the globe....

Open Access

Volviendo a Fundamentos: Cambiando el 'Quien' en el 'Como'

by Thomas, Kenneth

Según Rodger Talbert en su artículo, "The Blame Game (El juego de la culpa)," "La gente puede llegar a estar tan preocupada en asignar a un culpable que pierde de vista la resolución a los problemas. Para determinar cómo resolver los problemas, primero te...

Open Access

Back to Basics: Turning 'Who' Into 'How'

by Thomas, Kenneth

When things go wrong, the goal should be to move away from trying to determine “who” was at fault and quickly transition into a problem-solving mindset of “how” to make things better....

Is Six Sigma Dead?

by Weeks, J. Bruce;

There are reports from the field about the death of Six Sigma. The word is that it has been overused, has not brought its expected benefits and that newer methodologies, such as the theory of constraints and systems thinking, are replacing it....

Growth Chart

by Olson, Diane J.; 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....

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....

Standards Outlook: How Will You Manage

by Schnoll, Les

While the required skill sets of quality and regulatory professionals constantly change, and capability upgrades must be ongoing to ensure success, it was hard to predict that branching out into project management would be the next hurdle....

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

LinkedIn or Lose Out

by Breitbarth, Wayne

WHICH OF THESE statements applies to your current situation? •I am tired of people asking me to join their LinkedIn network. • I have no idea what to do after I connect with someone....

Open Access

Career Corner: The World According to Moore

by Hutchins, Greg

Bill Saint-James is a 42-year-old electrical engineer. He has a master’s degree, several patents and a history of working with some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley. He left a well-known company to earn his start-up chops as head of engineering...

Standards Outlook: Hand in Hand

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

Beginning July 1, all aviation, space and defense (AS&D) quality management system (QMS) certification body audits were required to be conducted according to a newly released AS&D QMS standard....

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....

Open Access

What Have We Learned?

by Reid, R. Dan

In a general way, the disaster in Japan provides us with a good context to see what lessons can be learned from fundamental quality management science....

Open Access

Career Corner: Will You Be Ready?

by Westcott, Russell T.

In October 2002, I wrote a Career Corner column titled “Fired? Tired? Mired?” Even today, that’s the sense I get from the restlessness that I believe permeates today’s workforce. People are unemployed, and some have given up looking for jobs. People are...

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....

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....

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....

Open Access

Career Corner: Sell Yourself

by Westcott, Russell T.

Your personal body of knowledge (BoK) differs from your résumé. A résumé focuses more on your achievements: the situation you encountered, what you did about it and what results you obtained. Your personal BoK focuses on what you know, the skills...

Salary Survey 2010: Part 1, Section 13: Salary by Geographic Location

by Hansen, Max Christian

com 100 Table 1 includes results for: x Full- time employees, Part- time employees, x U. S. employees, x Canadian employees, International employees Where respondents work / Table 1 Count Percentage United States 5,053 93.25% Canada 310 5.72 Mexico 18 0....

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

Keep It Simple

by Dalal, Adil F.

In his book, My Life and Work, Henry Ford laid out the basics of the lean system. But, if he and others have been able to use elements of lean successfully, why does it seem so many lean and lean Six Sigma initiatives fail?...

Expert Answers: September 2010

by QP Staff

Soft-dollar savings ... crisis management's effect on quality....

Open Access


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....

What Do You Say?

by Krzykowski, Brett

With the help of an arsenal of lean tools, Boeing homed in on the root cause of its troubles, created equipment to address the issue and saw drastic improvements that earned it a bronze award at the 2009 International Team Excellence Awards....

Open Access

Career Corner: Ethical Excellence

by Westcott, Russell

As the first decade of the new millennium unfolds, opportunity abounds—and so does risk. We are confronted daily by a bombardment of news about undesirable human behavior. The ratio of bad news to good news weighs heavily on the average...

0410 One Good Idea Online Figure

by McCain, Cecelia

Phase 1: Analysis Site visit/ gap analysis Project management and quality planning Provider recruiting Phase 2: Pre- start Process improvement ( close the gaps) Provider credentialing/ scheduling Communication plan ( internal and external) Phase 3: Imple...

Open Access

Career Climb

by Kulisek, Diane G.; Whitacre, Teresa; Westcott, Russell T.; Lindborg, Hank; Hutchins, Greg

You don’t need to be jobless in today’s economy to feel stressed and apprehensive about your current situation. You don’t need to be reminded there aren’t any guarantees in today’s world....

Standards Outlook: Above and Beyond

by Gordon, Dale K.

Much has happened in the last year to aerospace industry quality management system standards, three of which were updated to account for ISO 9001:2008. They were also expanded to be more inclusive of broader market requirements....

Open Access

Career Corner: Leave a Legacy

by Wescott, Russell T.

In many management development programs, an instructor assigns a task: write a brief eulogy summarizing what you feel a business associate could or would say about you. Questions you could consider include: What impact have you strived to make in the...

Open Access

Salary Survey 2009: Holding Steady

by Conklin, Joseph D.

QP’s salary survey is interesting in good times, and even more so in lean times. My observations for the 2009 version fall into three categories: profiles of success, limits of the survey and questions readers might ask to reflect on career development....

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...

Managing Expectations

by Westcott, Russell T.

One condition is vital for initiating, implementing and sustaining a viable quality initiative: management support. Surprisingly, very few articles and books on quality even mention this need, let alone what to do if support isn’t there....

Score One for Improvement

by Leip, Terry

Five years ago, Intel’s IT organization decided to improve internal customer satisfaction and the efficiency of IT projects with a CMMI-based process improvement activity to develop standard processes for project management....

Progress Report

by He; Park; Hu; Knod; Yue

Six Sigma has been a hot topic discussed and implemented globally in the business world, nonprofit organizations and even governments. There is comparatively less research, however, into how to assess the maturity of Six Sigma implementation....

Standards Outlook: Revised AS&D Standards Take Flight

by Cressionnie, L.L. “Buddy”

The International Aerospace Quality Group has released the IAQG 9100:2009 aviation, space and defense standards in all three of its sectors....

Pyramid Power

by Creasy, Todd

The next evolutionary step for Six Sigma could be a method called 6TOC (pronounced “six-tock”) that combines principles of lean Six Sigma with the theory of constraints....

Open Access

Career Corner: Are You Recession Proofed?

by Manos, Anthony

An observation I have made over the years is that organizations seem to make cuts in two specific areas when economic times are tough. The first department cut is safety, and the second is quality....

Open Access

Career Corner: A Win-Win Situation

by Westcott, Russ

The ASQ Fellows Mentoring Program is a no-cost opportunity to sharpen your knowledge and skills and focus your management, consulting and career coaching experience on helping a person wants and appreciates guidance....

Open Access

Change That Sticks

by Spackman, Leon

Process improvement is gaining more attention as organizations face budget cuts, competition from developing markets overseas and a challenging economy....

Open Access

Human Touch

by Nelson, John; Lemarquis, Jean-Paul

“No job is so important, nor service so urgent, that we cannot take the time to perform our work safely.” Those familiar with the old Bell System will remember this safety creed. It helped guide many decisions in potentially dangerous situations....

Standards Outlook: Dynamic Duo

by Liebesman, Sandford

Lean and Six Sigma are two methods aimed at improving the quality of an organization’s operations and its financial results. Both concentrate on customer satisfaction and improved business performance....

Off the Ground

by Edmund, Mark

None of the 4,000 fasteners that were hand drilled into the fuselage of any C-17 cargo plane was misaligned or had gone missing. For years, Boeing has been building these top-notch planes. It just wanted to build them better....

Driven to Succeed

by Bullington, Kimball

Strategic planning is an important element in quality management, as evidenced by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria. A strategic plan is the aim of an organization that helps to reduce variation related to possible strategic outcomes....

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....

Open Access

Perspectives: Adapting to Troubled Times

by Nichols, Michael D.; Houry, Karim

Quality personnel should recognize the economic climate as an opportunity to demonstrate the impact quality can have. It’s up to them to adapt their skills, techniques, tools and leadership styles to help their companies navigate the troubled waters....

A DMAIC Makeover

by Stauffer, Rip

Define, measure, Analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) is the common roadmap for Six Sigma projects. But there are potential weaknesses in this roadmap that could be addressed with a simple, proven adjustment to DMAIC....

Standards Outlook: Automakers Shift Manual Into Another Gear

by Reid, R. Dan

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) published the second edition of the Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) and Control Plan Reference Manual this summer....

Open Access

Career Corner: Something Worth Catching

by Westcott, Russ

CAGS stands for capability + adaptability + growthability + sustainability. It’s a formula for success in any field....

Standards Outlook: Down With Silos

by Liebesman, Sandford

Businesses today have multiple management systems, including financial, quality and environmental. Unfortunately, these management systems usually do not talk to one another....

Building Blocks

by Armstrong, Michael

Like many other countries around the world, Canada offers a national quality award to recognize and encourage organizations to attain outstanding levels of quality performance....

Open Access

In the Know

by Ramu, Govindarajan

More and more organizations are choosing outsourcing as a necessary means of remaining competitive in the global economy. Quality professionals must consider building a body of knowledge completely dedicated to the subject of quality in outsourcing....

3.4 per Million: After the Low-Hanging Fruit

by Mader, Douglas P.

There are four major approaches for organization-wide improvement efforts that fall under the label “lean Six Sigma,” as evidenced by current practices at many industrial organizations, service organizations and consulting firms....

The Road to Improvement

by Baranzelli, John D.

Registration of public organizations to the ISO 9001 quality management standard can be difficult because of their complex operations and extensive documentation....

Open Access

Online Figure 1 Ramu

by Ramu, Govindarajan

Outsourcing BoK Expected cognition Perceived weight CMQ/ OE CQE CQA CSQE ( New) CRE CSSBB CSSGB CCT CBA CHA CQT CQPA CQIA CQI Project management 10 Project charter Create Create Apply Project estimation and tracking Analyze Apply Apply Apply Understand C...

Strength in Numbers

by Gardner, Leslie; Osburn, Terrence; Pearson, Tom

Finding resources to pursue quality improvement and organizational excellence is the greatest challenge confronting most organizations today, including universities and professional organizations....

Blurred Vision

by Wood, Douglas C.

Many quality professionals have noticed that business leaders still consider quality and business improvement to be separate topics. While this isn’t the case everywhere, it appears to have become more common....

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Logros y Resultados

by Westcott, Russell T.

When project objectives are set, the term “deliverables” is often used to specify those tangible things produced by the project. Two key factors, however, are often overlooked....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Outputs versus Outcomes

by Westcott, Russell T.

When project objectives are set, the term “deliverables” is often used to specify those tangible things produced by the project. Two key factors, however, are often overlooked....

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