ASQ - Six Sigma Forum

Sharyn Mlinar, quality engineer, Boeing

Sharyn Mlinar, an ASQ member since 1982, is a quality engineer with the Boeing Co. in Philadelphia, and a Boeing Co. associate technical fellow in statistics and numerical methods. Other roles she has held in her more than 34 year-career include sales engineer and division quality manager.

At the International Conference on ISO 9000 held in March 2009 in Orlando, FL, Mlinar received the 2008 Leadership in Lean Six Sigma award. She is also a judge for the Delaware State Quality Award.

Her ASQ publications include two articles:
• “Team Sponsorship Methods Are Vital to Team Success.”
• “What’s Key? Tool Approaches for Determining Key Characteristics.”
Additionally, Mlinar participates in five to six conferences per year as a session speaker and moderator. She  has taught courses on leadership, statistics, process improvement and root cause analysis, project management, facilitation, team evolution and team behaviors.

Mlinar holds a bachelor’s of science degree in mathematics and physics, and a master’s degree in quality assurance. She is currently working toward a doctorate in applied management and decision science.

Mlinar recently answered questions about Six Sigma and the importance of quality.

What do you think is most important in implementing a Six Sigma project?
Customer visibility and bottom-line impact.

Why do you think Six Sigma is important?
Statistics allow for informed decision making with less data and testing than traditional engineering methods.

Why do you think quality is important?
Without it, things don’t work properly, don’t last as long, aren’t as aesthetically pleasing and don’t please the end user.

What is your favorite benefit of quality?
Customer loyalty.

Why did you choose to go into the quality field?
It chose me.

What is your best advice to someone new to quality?
Study your butt off—learn what is new and what works, apply the scientific method to your research and do not be swayed or impressed with quality de jour. Write your own book.


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