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Open Access

On the Horizon

by Gaskill, Tyler

Experts share their ideas about what challenges and opportunities lie ahead. Their insights included using data to solve previously unsolvable problems and better connect people and processes, thus gaining knowledge of customers’ personalized needs....

To Measure Is to Know

by Leister, Susan; Tran, Suzanne;

Quality is often perceived as a qualitative attribute—“I know it when I see it”—rather than expressed as a quantitative one....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Deconstructing Risk

by Kumar Khare, Ashwani

Ten tips can help reduce procurement risk in an engineering, procurement and construction project....

Lab Without a Mask

by Niemann, Craig

For those of you who have served in any branch of the military, you probably had a time when you were “spit-polishing” the building so when the inspector came in, everything shined. There is a better way to do business....

Open Access

One Good Idea: Don’t Risk It

by Niles, Kim

Learn a four-step method for proper risk management. The benefits of conducting proper risk management easily justify why organizations must ramp up their assessment efforts, and this author’s model can make it an ongoing project....

Statistics Roundtable: Reliability Upsizing

by Doganaksoy, Necip; Hahn, Gerald J.; Meeker, William Q.

In many reliability evaluations, the units placed on life test are reduced-size versions of the actual product. This is often the result of practical limitations such as available test facilities....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Contextual Divide

by van Kemenade, Everard

Effective quality management will differ depending on the context of an organization and determine its approach to leadership. Learn why different circumstances require organizations to use different quality approaches....

Open Access

Career Corner: Clocking Out

by Wrestler, Denise

Providing employees a more flexible work-life balance can improve their satisfaction and efficiency. More job candidates are seeking organizations that frown on working past 5 p.m. and provide options for employees to work from home....

Expert Answers: November 2015

by Cogan, Ken; Laman, Scott A.

ISO 9001 .. Adhering to and cross-referencing multiple standards...

Innovation Imperative: Think Big

by Merrill, Peter

If we look at past trends, we may be able to predict future direction. However, complexity makes that increasingly difficult. So predicting the future of quality in this increasingly complex world won’t be easy....


by Marra, Ted; Bendell, Tony;

Two thought leaders discuss how leadership must play a role in making quality an organizational strategic imperative and understand how the past and present influence the future....

Open Access

Pop Culture

by Edmund, Mark

WHETHER OR NOT the general public realizes it, quality is all around us, the quality profession is quick to profess. Virtually every aspect of society has been (or should be) touched by some form of quality....

3.4 per Million: Shock Absorbers

by Snee, Ronald D.

Consumers misuse—and even abuse—products. Driving a car is a good example. The auto industry has responded by making changes to autos—reducing and sometimes eliminating the effects of these sources of variation in driver actions....

Much-Needed Structure

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

At the heart of Six Sigma is an approach to structured problem solving. DMAIC leads users through steps to determine the right scope for their problem, select the correct metrics to characterize the process to be improved and understand its performance....

Elevating Excellence

by Gaskill, Tyler

Revamping its culture with a process mindset, eliminating fear of asking tough questions, training employees on quality tools and using a structured approach to planning and decision making helped Elevations Credit Union receive a Baldrige award....

Open Access

The Road Ahead

by Munro, Roderick A.; Butler, David; Willadsen, Michael

Reviewing the FDIS version of ISO 9001:2015 after its release in early July, a team of ASQ Automotive Division members have considered how this could and will likely affect the pending release of the new ISO/TS 16949— scheduled for release in 2016....

Open Access

Super Supplier

by Namboodiripad, Vivek

How one organization created an audit program to improve supplier quality....

Statistics Roundtable: Thinking of Linking

by Anderson-Cook, Christine

Results that come from statistical studies often hold the key to answering important business questions that can influence future choices made in a project....

Expert Answers: October 2015

by Shah, Dilip A.; Salsbury, Bud; Aston, Bill

Root cause ... Internal audits ... Risk-based thinking...

Open Access

One Good Idea: It’s Elementary

by Barsalou, Matthew

A root cause investigation doesn't always result in a clear path to the root cause. To overcome this, you can follow separate lines of evidence to the point that they join together: a point of convergence called a consilience....

Open Access

Career Corner: Management vs. Punishment

by Lindborg, Henry J.

Many millennials seek workplaces with Darwinist cultures for high-level challenges. They don’t, however, expect long careers under such pressure, and organizations should determine whether they’ve focused enough on how their managers are managing staff....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Know Your Roots

by Gaskill, Tyler

Organizations must address their employees’ lack of expertise in root cause analysis. Making it a priority to deliberately practice and cultivate this skill provides organizations long-term, competitive advantages....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Pursuit of Happiness

by Chowdhary, Rai

Inspired by the plan-do-check-act cycle and define, measure, analyze, improve and control, this author developed a method that uses quality tools to help lead a more fulfilled life....

Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Conozca mejor sus Raíces

by Kachoui, David

Ventajas culturales del análisis de causa raíz....

Open Access

Keep Calm and Prepare for ISO 9001:2015

by Aston, Bill; Briggs, Susan; Cianfrani, Charles; Desai, Deann; Gluck, Allen; Palmes, Paul; Robitaille, Denise; West, John

This article is meant to calm your anxieties by helping you to understand five of the key changes in ISO 9001:2015, what they mean, what you must do to meet the new requirements and the resources available to you during the transition process....

A Hard Look at Software Quality

by Rodriguez, Moises; Piattini, Mario; Fernandez, Carlos Manuel

Software quality is a key challenge for organizations because of its impact on final costs. At the same time, software quality can be a competitive differentiator an organization can offer to its customers....

Like Father, Like Son

by Watson, Gregory H.

There's something unique and special about the contributions the Ishikawa family made to the global quality movement and its advancement in the development and applications of quality thinking and methods....

Amazing Audits

by Coleman Sr., Lance B.

A new approach that incorporates the Kano model can help you evaluate the performance of your quality audit programs....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Just Do It

by Townsley, Rick

Quality organizations don’t always need certifications. Some organizations understand what it takes to be successful without all of the policies, procedures, work instructions and reams of documentation....

Open Access

One Good Idea: See the Full Spectrum

by Krishnappa, Umesh

To eliminate faults from reappearing, fault data spectrum is a tool that can monitor the effectiveness of corrective actions on a continuous basis....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Who Cares?

by Purdy, Derek

Because quality professionals have the word “quality” in their job titles, their work is held to a higher standard. This author shares how he learned the importance of doing the job right the first time from his brother....

Statistics Roundtable: Blocking Benefits

by Borror, Connie M.

When conducting even a seemingly simple experiment—such as one with a single factor with several levels—significant care and consideration should go into the design setup....

Measure for Measure: Where Do You Fit?

by Grachanen, Christopher L.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Standard Occupation Classification system does not recognize job titles and descriptions for calibration technicians, calibration engineers or metrologists....

Expert Answers: September 2015

by Freeman, Robert; Ramu, Govind

Business success with ISO 9001 ... Selecting a consultant, registrar...

Online Figures Coleman

by Coleman B. Sr., Lance

com 1 The audit cycle / ONLINE FIGURE 1 Post- improvement rating applied to the Kano Model / ONLINE FIGURE 2 Data analysis Audit program manager Closure � Corrective action and earned value � Improvement � No action Goals and objectives � Corporate � Sit...

Open Access

Online Figures and Tables: One Good Idea

by Krishnappa, Umesh

To eliminate faults from reappearing, fault data spectrum is a tool that can monitor the effectiveness of corrective actions on a continuous basis....

All the Right Moves

by Jacko, Nancy; Kumar, Sumeet

In northeast Ontario, Canada, hospitals have historically been the prime providers of all facets of healthcare....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Supplier Hugger or Engineer?

by Griffin, LaToya R.

The important dual role of supplier quality engineers is explained. They monitor the supply base, ensure suppliers are providing quality products, monitor supplier performance, evaluate corrective and preventive action responses, and perform audits....

Open Access

Standards Outlook: Systems That Go the Distance

by West, John E. "Jack"; Cianfrani, Charles A.

The final draft of ISO 9001:2015 is in the balloting process and is scheduled to be issued this year. Several concepts are expected to appear in the final version that can help improve organizational sustainability....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Sufficient Evidence

by Suedbeck, John

A U.S. Federal Drug Administration standard on quality risk management provides guidance for applying quality risk management to supplier evaluation systems....

Statistics Roundtable: Are the Data the Data?

by Hare, Lynne B.

An argument broke out over a large set of production data. Can you imagine such a thing? At issue were some large financial implications. Who you gonna call? A statistician, of course. That’s how I got involved....

3.4 per Million: Reality or Illusion?

by Kubiak, T.M.

Lately, I've felt like Howard Beale, the character in the 1976 movie “Network,” who has gone over the edge. I’ve been exposed to so much mediocre service quality, I’m at the brink of screaming one of Beale’s most famous lines in the movie....

Expert Answers: August 2015

by Shah, Dilip A.; Aston, Bill; Devos, Denis J.

TQM in ISO 9001 internal audit ... ISO 9001 and TS 16949 ... Laboratory data...

Coming Together

by Zinsmeister, Daniel

Although quality initiatives have been undertaken longer than social responsibility ones, there are opportunities to merge the two. A study of 10 enterprises show quality and sustainability best practices overlap....

Open Access

Under Construction

by Merrill, Peter

Organizational restructuring can enable employees to be creative by adopting a project approach, implementing self-managed teams and allowing diverse people to collaborate and experiment together....

Creative by Design

by Parendo, Perry

Although many people don’t consider its structured approach as enhancing creativity, it’s important to acknowledge DoE as an unexpected and valuable source of creativity. DoE is 50% more efficient than alternative test methods if you use a half-fraction d...

Online Table 3.4 per Million: Reality or Illusion?

by Kubiak, T.M.

Lately, I've felt like Howard Beale, the character in the 1976 movie “Network,” who has gone over the edge. I’ve been exposed to so much mediocre service quality, I’m at the brink of screaming one of Beale’s most famous lines in the movie....

Open Access

Career Corner: An Honest Effect

by Whitacre, Teresa

In your career, it is better to experience a lesser reward for your own merits than rising to the top by standing on the shoulders of your peers. Integrity and ethics are fundamentals of long-remembered careers....

Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Evidencia Suficiente

by Suedbeck, John

Cómo aplicar la gestión del riesgo a las evaluaciones de los proveedoress....

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....

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....

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....

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

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....

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....

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....

Open Access

Volviendo a los Fundamentos: Prueba de Fundamentación

by Mitchell, Joseph Paul

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

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....

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

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....

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....

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 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

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

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....

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...

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