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Open Access

Back to Basics: Substantiation Test

by Mitchell, Joseph Paul

Hypothesis testing is one of many Six Sigma tools used for process improvement. Recently, it was part of a manufacturer's define, measure, analyze, improve and control investigation concerning a suspected variance of mechanical properties in steel tubing....


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

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Prueba de Fundamentación

by Mitchell, Joseph Paul

Las Pruebas de hipótesis ofrecen soluciones objetivas, basadas en la estadística....


Measure for Measure: Estimating Uncertainty

by Shah, Dilip

Estimating measurement uncertainty for calibration laboratories can still be a significant effort to support metrological traceability. For certain test and calibration disciplines, the documented unbroken chain may not be directly traceable to SI units....


What’s Your Theory?

by Bennett, Brandon; Provost, Lloyd

A driver diagram is an applicable tool for many contexts, from improving process reliability to redesigning a service to creating new products to generating enhanced user experience....


Statistics Roundtable: The Significance of Power

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

The concept of “power” has long been overshadowed in statistical circles by its big brother, “significance.” Both parameters, chosen before a test, dictate the sample size and likelihood of making an erroneous conclusion when comparing two groups....


Turning on the Light Bulb

by Dew, John Robert

Quality professionals are often challenged to help managers and employees embrace an understanding of quality that is more about management principles, systems theory and the broad concept of performance excellence....


Open Access

Open to Change

by Reid, R. Dan

ISO 9001, the international consensus standard for quality management systems (QMS), has long been the core supplier of QMS requirements for several large sectors, including automotive, aerospace and medical devices....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Substandard Training

by Nelson, T. Dan

After receiving improper training, this author experienced painful initial encounters with an ISO standard. Later in his career, he learned a more logical, process-based approach to implementing the standard that made his life easier....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Agile Quality

by Johnstone, Jim

Twelve software-development principles can create more product value in less time. Agile software development can be applied to organizations looking to replace rigid, document-heavy development processes that are cumbersome and bureaucratic....


Open Access

Career Corner: Behind the Interviewing Curtain

by Conklin, Joseph D.

Learn effective interviewing techniques from an experienced manager. When trying to land a promotion or new job, consider how you can rehearse for the interview, what referrals are appropriate and how to distinguish yourself from the other applicants....


Standards Outlook: On-Time Departure

by Cressionnie, L.L. "Buddy"

The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) recently announced that the AS9100:2016 series of standards is on track to be released for sector publication in April 2016....


Expert Answers: July 2015

by Merrill, Peter; Walfish, Steven

Integrating quality, innovation ... Switching standards...


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...


Standards Outlook: Disappearing Act

by Schnoll, Les

In the United States and most of the rest of the world, customer service has all but disappeared. The ISO 10000 series, which relates to customer satisfaction, can be used to maintain and improve an organization’s customer processes....


Change in Flow

by Patel, Raj C.

“The customer deserves to receive exactly what we have promised to produce,” Philip B. Crosby wrote in his classic work, Quality is Free. But how do organizations ensure this happens?...


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

Quality in the First Person: Become the Change

by Stevenson, Jesse

A quality director noticed quality wasn't understood or used to address problems within the organization. Following a four-step model to educate the staff on quality tools, he helped lead a cultural change to see quality as shared responsibility....


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

Back to Basics: 1+1 = Zero Defects

by Hermenitt, Chris

Control plans, in conjunction with process failure mode and effects analysis, can be used to prevent problems and save organizations money by identifying prevention controls and ensuring their successful implementation....


Open Access

Career Corner: Kindling the Flame

by Harkins, Ray

A primary goal of ASQ’s certification program is to encourage the continual growth of quality professionals through career-long learning, and now more than ever, online learning content is just a click away, making recertification easier than ever....


Statistics Roundtable: Guiding Beacon

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

Quality professionals are often faced with solving major organizational problems such as: “Customers are complaining about the quality of our product and returning it”; or “Our major process is producing an unacceptable amount of defective product.”...


Expert Answers: June 2015

by Reid, R. Dan; Aston, Bill; Shah, Dilip

Requirements in ISO/TS 16949 ... Ramifications of postponing an audit ... The role of an audit observer...


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....


Open Access

Standards Outlook: Innovation and ISO 9001:2015

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

Should innovation be included in ISO 9001 2015? This question has become pertinent to quality professionals because the recently distributed ISO/DIS 9001 has included this word and concept as a QMS requirement for the first time....


Open Access

Blank-Slate State

by Wrestler, Denise

When creating a quality management system (QMS) from scratch, quality professionals can forget the fundamentals, creating a complex QMS that the organization doesn’t need. Basics are essential in transitioning from an empty canvas to a QMS masterpiece....


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...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Why Ask Why?

by Chadha, Rajeev

Identifying latent causes early can prevent other organizational issues. Although intensive investigation and what may seem like a tedious amount of evidence collection may be required, these steps are imperative to proceed with corrective action....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Funny Business?

by Weinberg, Ken

When the general public thinks of auditors, they might imagine some stereotypical, humorless civil servant on a power trip. Fortunately, a quality auditing career can be quite fun....


Innovation Imperative: A Brief History of Quality

by Merrill, Peter

To become reacquainted with the fundamentals on how quality and innovation work in tandem and understanding how these powers must be harnessed together, it’s helpful to occasionally look back at where we’ve been and where we’re headed....


Measuring Confidence

by Shah, Dilip

When a product is manufactured to a specification, it’s measured for compliance at various stages of the process. Learn how confidence in the reported results of physical measurements is derived from the accuracy of the measurement device....


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....


Statistics Roundtable: A Different Take

by Borror, Connie M.

I still find p-values to be one of the more difficult topics to explain. One definition of a p-value is the probability of obtaining a value of the test statistic that's as large as or larger than the test statistic value obtained from your experiment....


Expert Answers: May 2015

by Cogan, Ken; Wagoner, Keith

When we discuss customer defections, we should assume that there was previously a long-term relationship between your organization and your customer (similar to when a citizen defects from his or her country)....


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....


3.4 per Million: MSA in Two Dimensions

by Conklin, Joseph D.

Introducing measurement system analysis (MSA) with single variable examples is good for communicating basic concepts of the subject....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Tell Me What I Don't Know

by Pope, Larry M.

A few years ago, I took over a compliance department with a management mandate to: “Tell me what I don’t know.”...


On Top of Your Game

by Wawrzyniak, Linda

Have you ever been up close to watch the world’s greatest skiers race down a mountain or one of the top golfers on the 18th green at the Masters Golf Tournament? Maybe you’ve sat in the front row at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as cars stream by?...


Open Access

Back to Basics: In the Beginning ...

by Nelson, Dan

The 2015 version of ISO 9001 is expected to clarify the requirements to apply a process approach to quality management. A common question arises from those new to the process approach: “Where does a process begin and where does it end?”...


Open Access

Ahead in the Count

by Seaman, Julie; Allen, I. Elaine

In the very near future—perhaps as soon as this year or next—Matt Kemp, the prodigious young San Diego Padres center fielder, will match up against Sandy Koufax when he was in his prime as one of the most dominant left-handers in the 1960s....


Quality Bulldogs

by Weinberg, Ken

I learned about quality in sports by accident. In 2002, my boss and I were talking about family and after-hours fun. I mentioned I was thinking about getting involved in coaching recreational soccer....


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

Career Corner: New Responsibilities

by Lindborg, Henry

Charismatic leaders and highly successful companies benefit from a halo effect. People tend to believe they have specific positive qualities or skills because they make a good impression....


No Finish Line

by Lotfi, Ray

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is an excellent risk management tool for evaluating and forecasting the possibility of a failure mode during the life of a product or process....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Some Sage Advice

by Spooner, Art

For several years, I’ve had an Albert Einstein quote written on the whiteboard in my office: “If I only had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”...


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....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Fishing for an Answer

by Barsalou, Matthew

The selection of the correct statistical test is a critical element when conducting statistical analysis--plugging numbers into the wrong test will deliver the wrong answer....


Statistics Roundtable: Impactful Presentations

by Anderson-Cook, Christine M.

Recently, I found myself in an all-day meeting, presenting and listening to other presentations that summarized findings from many studies. Most of the talks had a similar mandate....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Weighing the Risk

by Ripley-Blin, Jane

Almost a year ago, I decided to make a bold career move--to begin a job search while in the quality position I had been in for the past 18 years....


Innovation Imperative: Lead Role

by Merrill, Peter

Last year in this column, I wrote about the innovation leader’s job from a team perspective. Now let’s focus on three personal attributes for innovation leaders: entrepreneurship, being an explorer and the ability to move fast....


Measure for Measure: The Measuring Device Revolution

by Shah, Dilip A.

The Annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is inspiring, with a lot of focus on innovation. I’ve attended the show for the last four years. It is one way to get a first look at what consumer products will be available in the future....


Standards Outlook: The Party's Over (Almost)

by Dunmire, Thea

In 1967, Willie Nelson released an LP called “The Party’s Over.” In the title song, Nelson laments, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over. They say that, ‘All good things must end.’’...


Being Smart About Parts

by Stevens, Nathaniel T.; Steiner, Stefan H.; MacKay, R. Jock

It was lunchtime, I was hungry, and so, of course, the phone rang. “Hey, it’s John from the foundry. How are you? We haven’t talked in a while.” John is a process engineer in a casting and machining plant that is a supplier to automotive OEMs....


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

Career Corner: Commodity or Contributor?

by Christopher, Rosemarie

According to Gallup, 70% of us are disengaged at work, costing U.S. organizations half a trillion (not a typo) dollars a year. If you are reading this column, you are most likely one of the 30% of U.S. workers who are proactively engaged in their work....


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....


Expert Answers: March 2015

by Palmes, Paul; Aston, Bill

Far too many organizations still employ a system best described as a bolt-on QMS. QMS output is reported to top management as a separate entity through management review, often as an annual progress report in which objectives—while certainly supporting bu...


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

Career Corner: Termination Talk

by Whitacre, Teresa

Whether it’s for performance reasons or because of an organizational decision to reduce staff, letting someone go is never easy....


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....


3.4 per Million: Proactive Benefits Calculations

by Carnell, MIke

In the late 1990s, Six Sigma was hot. Everybody wanted to be a consultant, and everybody claimed to have been the consultant that GE used to attain its amazing results....


Expert Answers: February 2015

by Dunmire, Thea; Cianfrani, Charles A.

A common misconception is that an audit program is the same as simply completing internal audits. An audit program consists of the arrangements made to complete all of the individual audits needed to achieve a specific purpose. Communicating audit finding...


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....


Capturing Cash

by Aldowaisan, Tariq A.; Abu-Latifa; Hytham

Most Six Sigma applications pertain to increasing the efficiency of a key process by focusing on decreasing operating expenses and consequently increasing the bottom line. Few applications address an organization’s top line or revenue generation function....


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

Career Corner: Leverage LinkedIn

by Conklin, Joseph D.

When the author started noticing email messages from LinkedIn about requests to connect and endorse. He set up a basic profile and scanned the LinkedIn website, and discovered a digital wilderness that is easy to get lost in....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Building Blocks

by Burton, Sharon

Planning, controlling and improving. These three managerial tools were initially introduced to me while I worked during high school as a clerk at a large pharmacy in the late 1970s in Albany, GA....


Innovation Imperative: The Business of Innovation

by Merrill, Peter

Using ISO 9001:2015 to build innovation into your business strategy....


Open Access

One Good Idea: Concerning the CUSUM

by Shper, Vladimir

It is well known that the cumulative sum technique is one of the most widely used for data analysis. The technique is usually recommended for monitoring the changes in process characteristics....


Expert Answers: January 2015

by Laman, Scott A.; Reid, R. Dan

Understanding control charts ... ISO 9001:2015 and the automotive industry...


Statistics Roundtable: EVOP: An Underused Technology

by Hare, Lynne B.

EVOP? An acronym for a new zero defects automotive program called “every vehicle operates perfectly”? No. “Each variable obfuscates production”? No. Well, what is it?...


Standards Outlook: Fake Out

by Gordon, Dale K.

Keep counterfeits at bay via your quality management system....


Measure for Measure: Defining Quality

by Holman, Charles E.

Considering customers, weights to ensure the best products....


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....


Separate Steps

by Arter, Dennis

Mixing corrective and preventive actions results in ineffective use....


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....


Whole New World

by Conklin, Joseph D.

Seasoned quality professionals rethink Deming’s 14 points for a new generation....


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....


Open Access

Salary Survey 2014: Satisfaction Not Guaranteed?

by Hansen, Max Christian

Are you happy with your salary? When we asked that question in this year’s QP Salary Survey, 61% of respondents answered in the affirmative. Another 10.7% were neutral and noncommittal, while 28.3% said they were dissatisfied....


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....


Expert Answers: December 2014

by Barnett, Andy; Ramu, Govind

Pharmaceutical standards ... Clarifying ISO notes...


Open Access

Career Corner: Square Pegs, Round Holes

by Harkins, Ray

How to cultivate the skills and qualifications employers want...


Open Access

Back to Basics: Know the Drill

by Sharma, Mohit

A tool to dig down to critical-to-quality factors....


Standards Outlook: Surprise Visit

by Schnoll, Les

Knowing how to effectively manage an unexpected regulatory audit or inspection and ensuring that your rights are clearly understood and protected will go a long way toward making the process less nerve-wracking....


Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Lasting Impression

by Howze, Yvonne Simmons

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


Open Access

Perspectives: U.S. Secretary of Quality?

by Weeden, Marcia M.

There is no denying that President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress continue to receive low approval ratings. What causes this dissatisfaction depends on who you ask, who does the asking and what both sides are trying to achieve....


Open Access

Salary Survey 2014: Introduction. Making Cents of Dollars

by Hansen, Max Christian

The 2014 QP Salary Survey was sent out to 60,559 persons throughout the world. There were 7,618 individual responses, which translates into a response rate of 12.6%. Some responses were deleted from the data set because they were incomplete....


Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 1. Salary by Job Title

by Hansen, Max Christian

The vast majority of the quality professionals who responded to QP’s annual salary survey are full-time employees of an organization other them themselves. We define full time as working an average of 36 hours or more per week....



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