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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...

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.”...

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

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....

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....

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....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 2. Salary by U.S. Regions and Canadian Provinces

by Hansen, Max Christian

In the U.S. Pacific region—which is comprised of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska—quality professionals are paid an average of $97,988, which is 10.9% higher than the average for the United States....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 3. Salary by Number of Years of Experience in Quality Field

by Hansen, Max Christian

Year after year, the QP Salary Survey shows two things about its respondents: They tend to stay in the quality profession, and they reap rewards for having more and more experience....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 4. Salary by ASQ and Exemplar Global Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

In the United States and Canada, more than 20% of respondents to the QP Salary Survey said they hold ASQ’s certified quality auditor certification. Nearly as popular is the certified quality engineer certification, held by 19.2% of respondents....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 5. Salary by Six Sigma Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

If any Six Sigma training is at all valuable—and it is—more Six Sigma training provides even more value. In the United States, those who have completed any level of Six Sigma training outearn those without Six Sigma by a hefty $17,033....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 6. Salary by Number of Work Hours

by Hansen, Max Christian

Quality professionals in the United States tend to work long hours. They do this, it seems, because a longer week brings, on average, a fatter paycheck. In Canada, the stair-step pattern of more pay for more hours is less consistent....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 7. Salary by Nonexempt vs. Exempt Status

by Hansen, Max Christian

Exempt quality professionals—those who are not paid for overtime—typically earn more than those who do. Exempt employees in the United States earn an average of $93,491 a year....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 8. Salary by Number of Years in Current Position

by Hansen, Max Christian

Experience in the quality profession is a fairly good predictor of salary (see “Section 3. Salary by Number of Years of Experience in the Quality Field”), but the number of years a professional has been in his or her current position is not....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 9. Salary by Number of Years in Current Position and in the Quality Field

by Hansen, Max Christian

As reported in section 8, there seems to be little correlation between the pay of quality professionals and the time they have been in their position within the same organization. This fact has shown itself year after year in the annual QP Salary Survey....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 10. Salary by Number of Employees Overseen

by Hansen, Max Christian

In the United States and Canada, more than half of the quality professionals who responded to the QP Salary Survey oversee the work of other employees....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 11. Salary by Division Size, Organization Size and Headquarters Location

by Hansen, Max Christian

Larger paychecks come from larger organizations, as the QP Salary Survey has shown each year. This correlation also holds true the size of the division the respondent is assigned within the organization....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 12. Salary by Industry

by Hansen, Max Christian

Do you work for an organization that makes physical objects or one that provides services? If it’s a service organization, the QP Salary Survey shows that you probably make more money....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 13. Salary by Geographic Location—U.S. and Canada

by Hansen, Max Christian

Section 2 of this report showed U.S. salaries by region as well as Canadian salaries by province. In this section, we zoom in on individual states in the United States and metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 14. Salary by Organization’s Quality Infrastructure

by Hansen, Max Christian

Each year, QP asks those professionals who are members of their organizations’ quality departments to share whether the size of their departments have been reduced, grown or stayed the same size during the past year....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 15. Salary by Extent of Quality Responsibilities

by Hansen, Max Christian

Do you perform a mix of work that includes duties that relate to quality and others that don’t? If you do, you probably earn more than quality professionals whose work isn’t so mixed....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 16. Salary by Highest Level of Education

by Hansen, Max Christian

Most of the quality professionals who respond to the QP Salary Survey have education beyond a two-year associate degree. Results show that 79% of respondents in the United States meet this description....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 17. Salary by Highest Level of Education and Years of Experience in Quality

by Hansen, Max Christian

Quality professionals who combine formal education with experience in quality seem to give their employers the most value, and in turn, they receive commensurate rewards....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 18. Salary by Exemplar Global Certification

by Hansen, Max Christian

Worldwide, 19.6% of the surveyed quality professionals have at least one Exemplar Global certification. This is up from last year’s tally of 14.2%. Canadian and U.S. respondents held 62 of the 72 certifications listed in the salary survey....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 19. Salary by Gender and Age

by Hansen, Max Christian

In the United States, there continues to be an earnings gap between men and women. This gap is at its widest among quality professionals between 46 and 55 years of age. This is a difference of 13%....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 1, Section 20. Size of Raise and Additional Annual Payments

by Hansen, Max Christian

After reaching an all-time high in 2009, the percentage of North American quality professionals not expecting raises in salary has continued to drop, except for 2012. This year, as Figure 1 shows, the number dropped below 15%....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 2, Section 22. Base Earnings by Years of Experience

by Hansen, Max Christian

For quality professionals who work as employees of organizations, there’s an obvious reward for accruing years of experience in the quality profession, as section 3 demonstrates....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 2, Section 23. Base Earnings by Education and Training

by Hansen, Max Christian

The self-employed consultants who respond to the QP Salary Survey are, of course, a smaller group than the full-time regular workers. This year in the United States, 44 consultants reported working part-time, and there were 66 full-time consultants....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 3, Section 25. Introduction to International Results

by Hansen, Max Christian

Traditionally, the vast majority of the QP Salary Survey’s respondents live and work in North America. Last year, for example, more than 98% of survey responses came from the United States or Canada....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 3, Section 26. China Results

by Hansen, Max Christian

This was the first year in which the QP Salary Survey was translated into Chinese. Invitations to take the translated, targeted survey were emailed to 271 ASQ members. Of the 78 responses, 56 were complete and usable....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 3, Section 27. India Results

by Hansen, Max Christian

To encourage participation in the QP Salary Survey beyond North America, the number of questions in the targeted questionnaires to ASQ members in China, India and Mexico were pared down to make it easier to take the survey....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 3, Section 28. Mexico Results

by Hansen, Max Christian

Table 1, which provides employment status for respondents in Mexico, shows an unusual mix. Worldwide, 94.6% of QP Salary Survey respondents are full-time, regular employees. For respondents in China and India, results were similar....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 3, Section 29. Other International Results

by Hansen, Max Christian

We’ve reviewed salaries for quality professionals in North America, including Mexico, as well as China and India. Now it’s time to review data supplied from respondents in the 77 other countries represented in the 2014 QP Salary Survey results....

Salary Survey 2014: Part 4, Section 30. Culture of Quality—Expanded Results

by Hansen, Max Christian

The way an organization embraces quality affects how it manufactures products and serves customers. But can an organization’s culture of quality (or lack thereof) affect employee satisfaction—specifically, toward their jobs and salaries?...

Innovation Imperative: Pillars of Progress

by Merrill, Peter

A look at how global competitiveness relates to quality and innovation....

Open Access

One Good Idea: Full Circle

by Weeden, Marcia M.

Why you must systematically review and revise your standard operating procedures....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Slow Burn

by Smith, Scott

Despite twists and turns, a passion for quality never cooled....

Open Access

Standards Outlook: Catch My Draft

by Reid, R. Dan

Dissecting the ISO 9001:2015 draft international standard....

Expert Answers: November 2014

by Ramu, Govind; Aston, Bill

Evaluating repeatability ... Lead auditor qualification...

Statistics Roundtable: Timely Reliability Assessment

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

Often, we must demonstrate long-term product or component reliability within a relatively short time window. For example, it is not uncommon to need to assess 10-year reliability from a six-month duration test program....

The System Is the Solution

by Schultz, John R.

Organizations function as systems—collections of interdependent processes, events and resources. Failure to embrace systems thinking can cause serious consequences for an organization....

Bank on It

by Monier-Vinard, Isabelle; Grant, Adrian

Credit Agricole Group's investment banking arm recently launched a lean Six Sigma initiative and identified its cash payments process as one area ripe for substantial improvement....

Open Access

Multipronged Approach

by Patil, Prashant Ramakant; Mishra, Nandkumar

In the last few decades, several improvement frameworks and practices have evolved to help organizations extinguish burning business issues. These frameworks and practices are not always enough when implemented alone....

Finding Harmony

by Kennedy, Bob

Creating a universally accepted definition of quality can help in achieving quality globally to make this the century of quality....

Open Access

Career Corner: The Pizza Paradigm

by Wrestler, Denise

Nothing fills training room seats faster than appetite appeal....

Expert Answers: October 2014

by Rico, David F.; Aston, Bill

Cost of quality of agile methods ... Employee qualification audits...

Take Care of Your 'Ugly Baby'

by Bush, Gwen

Identifying symptoms of a dysfunctional quality management system, understanding possible causes and implementing corrective actions can help organizations address their biggest problems....

Open Access

Quality in the First Person: Alternative Route

by Johnson, Stephen

An unexpected detour on the career path led probation agent to quality career....

Defining Your Role

by Russell, J.P.

With titles such as quality engineer, technician, auditor, quality manager, supply quality engineer, Black Belt and software quality engineer, quality professionals’ roles within organizations are generally invisible to those on the outside....

Statistics Roundtable: Divide and Conquer

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

In his best-selling book, Malcolm Gladwell presents examples in which benefits for many desirable attributes don’t follow the assumed ever-increasing pattern, but rather can be described by an “inverted U-shaped curve.”...

Open Access

Perspectives: Traversing a Data Jungle

by Vaidya, Jigish

The definition of data, simply put, is facts and statistics collected for reference or analysis. Even more important, however, is thinking about how to make data work for you....

Open Access

Career Corner: PR Savvy

by Lindborg, Henry

What quality professionals can learn from the public relations playbook....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Use Your Head

by Echeverria, Luis

Put what you learned during certification prep to work. Plan up front how you will use the knowledge you gained. Try applying the knowledge acquired during the study period....

Getting It Right the First Time

by Vashisht, Sagar; Kumar, Krishan; Gaba, Narender

A tier-one automotive shock absorber supplier faced dwindling productivity because of a high rework rate. It applied Shainin methods, including component search and paired comparison, to identify the cause, reduce rework and save money....

Strength in Numbers

by Clark, Peter

To refresh his résumé after a job loss, the author sought ASQ certifications because of their reputation for relevance and rigor....

Open Access

Step It Up

by Grigg, Alfred; Hirt, Michael; Laman, Scott A.; Marmon, Jerry; and McShane Vaughn, Mary

SITTING IS THE new smoking. The more you sit and stagnate, some doctors say, the poorer the outlook is on your health and even life expectancy—regardless of how fit you think you are....

Volviendo a Los Fundamentos: Utilice Su Cabeza

by Echeverria, Luis

Put what you learned during certification prep to work. Plan up front how you will use the knowledge you gained. Try applying the knowledge acquired during the study period....

Open Access

Standards Outlook: Missing in Action

by Dunmire, Thea

Many of those reviewing the current draft of the revisions to ISO 9001—Quality management systems—Requirements, and ISO 14001—Environmental management systems—Requirements, are asking, “Where have all the documents gone?”...

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