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September 26, 2017 | Author: Jean Carlos Josuel Ayasta Cornejo | Category: Iso 9000, Supply Chain Management, Nursing, Calibration, Metrology
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Putting Best Practices to Work

www.qualityprogress.com | July 2016



Career Climb How project management can power your certification preparation p. 16


Plus: Why total quality management is alive and well p. 36

Leaders must commit to ISO 9001:2015 p. 54

Overcome obstacles and make a difference with knowledge-building opportunities from ASQ. Advancing your level of quality and continuous improvement expertise does not need to be a long and difficult journey when you leverage the top professional resources available through ASQ. Become the Expert Get unlimited access to exclusive content including hot topics, tools, standards, case studies, and more through ASQ’s online Knowledge Center. Connect and Learn from Peers Ask questions and exchange ideas with other likeminded professionals through online communities while you build valuable relationships and establish yourself as a contributor. Stay Current Find out what’s new, what’s popular, and what’s recommended in the world of quality and continuous improvement with relevant content that’s updated regularly.

Contact ASQ [email protected]


CALL 800-248-1946

Speak with a Customer Care representative and learn how ASQ can help you reach new heights as a quality and continuous improvement professional.

The Stepping Stones for Getting Started Find more information about the online Knowledge Center, connecting with peers and staying current now.

Visit www.asq.org/NewHeights

What’s online in the ASQ Knowledge Center? CASE STUDY

Making the Case for Quality May 2016

Process Management Approach Reduces Scrap, Saves Alcoa Millions by Janet Jacobsen

At a Glance . . . • A team at Alcoa Power and Propulsion sought to improve product quality, reduce waste and inefficiency, and cut costs. • To achieve these goals, the team developed and implemented a structured process management approach across the business unit. • By defining and then standardizing key processes, the unit minimized variation, shared best practices, and sustained improvements. • The project improved customer satisfaction, reduced costs of poor quality, and saved millions of dollars. • The team was named a finalist in ASQ’s 2015 International Team Excellence Awards competition.


As Alcoa Power and Propulsion sought to minimize manufacturing process waste, inefficiency, and related expenses, two key findings caught the attention of the business unit’s executive leadership team. Customer satisfaction surveys revealed 60 percent of respondents held an unfavorable or neutral opinion of the unit, while at the same time, internal quality measures revealed the business unit recorded the highest levels of scrap in the organization for the year. The findings represented a significant opportunity, but improvement would require rapid deployment in a methodical, deliberate, and sustainable manner.

About Alcoa Power and Propulsion Alcoa Power and Propulsion (APP), a unit of New York City-based Alcoa Inc., is divided into three segments: structural castings and special products, industrial gas turbine airfoils, and aerospace airfoils. This business unit serves the defense, energy, aerospace, and industrial markets, where its products are used in military and commercial aircraft engines as well as power-generation turbines. Additional products and services include molds, hot isostatic pressings, specialty coatings and tools, as well as machinery. APP operates 25 production facilities around the world, employing more than 9,000 people.

Working to Improve Processes The APP leadership team discovered scrap and rework issues were resulting in high customer claims and delivery issues, therefore they sought solutions for significant reductions to scrap levels to improve delivery, rework, and customer satisfaction. In the past, substantial scrap level decreases were thought to be unattainable because casting is a particularly complex process (see the sidebar, The Investment Casting Process, for more details) with many sources of variation. In late 2011, APP’s quality focus shifted toward sustainable and continuous process improvement, particularly at nine of the unit’s super alloy foundries (five in the United States, three in Western Europe, and one in Japan). While these foundries were the starting point for the initiative because they recorded the highest levels of scrap, the ultimate goal for APP was to create a sustainable solution for deployment at the plant level by mid-2012. The right solution would need to capture and


Page 1 of 5

Process Management Approach Reduces Scrap, Saves Alcoa Millions


A team at Alcoa Power and Propulsion developed and implemented a structured process management approach, defining and then standardizing key processes to minimize variation. See how the team improved customer satisfaction and reduced the costs of poor quality, saving millions of dollars.

Supply Chain Management Trends This report presents the results of a 2015 survey focusing on supply chain management priorities, performance, and trends. Survey findings are based on the responses of 95 participants from a variety of company sizes and regions representing 34 industries.

WEBCAST Making Change in Complex Organizations
 George Strodtbeck, author of Making Change in Complex Organizations, shares his transformation management process that leverages S-curves, the Kano model, and project management in successfully implementing real change.

Access this month’s featured content and more web exclusives in the ASQ Knowledge Center at asq.org/knowledge-center/featured.html.






Contents Putting Best Practices to Work | July 2016 | www.qualityprogress.com




A Quick Study Using project management techniques—including the prioritization matrix and Bloom’s Taxonomy—can assist you in building a comprehensive study plan as you prepare for professional certification exams.

by Kristy Kistner


Clear Pathway The reasons why professional certifications have become a necessity to demonstrate your value to your organization and advance your career.

by Randall Britto and John DeLalla


Pulling It All Together Learn some of what it takes to design professional certifications and prepare for the comprehensive exams, and what it means to achieve these special recognitions.

by Jim Spichiger



Dead or Alive

Despite rumors of its demise, research shows that the total quality management concept is alive and well, and continues to help organizations win over customers.

by Victor E. Sower, Kenneth W. Green Jr. and Pamela J. Zelbst



• Don’t Forget


An additional figure to illustrate this month’s Back to Basics column, “Remember Your Internal Voice,” p. 64.

• Volviendo a los Fundamentos

Back to Basics translated into Spanish.

• Read All About It

Get the latest Quality News Today headlines.

• Salary Survey Opens

Find a link to QP’s 30th annual salary survey, being conducted the entire month of July.



10 12 15 58 60


• Nothing stopped W. Edwards Deming. • ASQ: 70 years strong.


Expert Answers


• Condition control for storage, assembly areas.

Quality Progress/ASQ 600 N. Plankinton Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53203 Telephone Fax 800-248-1946 414-272-1734 414-272-8575

Keeping Current

• Quelling queue concerns. • Team excellence award recipients.


Mr. Pareto Head


Follow protocol of first initial and full last name followed by @asq.org (for example, [email protected]).

QP Toolbox

Article Submissions

Quality Progress is a peer-reviewed publication with 85% of its feature articles written by quality professionals. For information about submitting an article, call Valerie Ellifson at 800-248-1946 x2139, or email [email protected]

QP Reviews

COLUMNS 5 42 47

Author Guidelines

Up Front


Quality in the First Person

Innovation Imperative


Career Corner

Lesson plan. New technology will necessitate new types of jobs.

Measure for Measure The nuances of metrics in technical writing.


Explaining quality to outsiders.

Analyzing risk before switching jobs.


Standards Outlook


One Good Idea




Determining the sample size for incoming inspections.

Photocopying Authorization

Revision inspires rethinking of quality management.

A new method to deal with deviation. BONUS

Back to Basics

Using the VOC matrix within your organization.


Article photocopies are available from ASQ at 800-248-1946. To purchase bulk reprints (more than 100), contact Barbara Mitrovic at ASQ, 800-248-1946. For microform, contact ProQuest Information and Learning, 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, 800-5210600 x2888, international 734-761-4700, www.il.proquest.com.

p. 56


Know your supply chain front to back to make better decisions.

Quality Progress (ISSN 0033-524X) is published monthly by the American Society for Quality, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203. Editorial and advertising offices: 414-272-8575. Periodicals postage paid at Milwaukee, WI, and at additional mailing offices. Institutional subscriptions are held in the name of a company, corporation, government agency or library. Requests for back issues must be prepaid and are based on availability: ASQ members $17 per copy; nonmembers $25 per copy. Canadian GST #128717618, Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #40030175. Canada Post: Return undeliverables to 2835 Kew Drive, Windsor, ON N8T 3B7. Prices are subject to change without prior notification. © 2016 by ASQ. No claim for missing issues will be accepted after three months following the month of publication of the issue for domestic addresses and six months for Canadian and international addresses. Postmaster: Please send address changes to the American Society for Quality, PO Box 3005, Milwaukee, WI 53201-3005. Printed in USA.

QP • www.qualityprogress.com

Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use or the internal or personal use of specific clients is granted by Quality Progress provided the fee of $1 per copy is paid to ASQ or the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, 978-750-8400. Copying for other purposes requires the express permission of Quality Progress. For permission, write Quality Progress, PO Box 3005, Milwaukee, WI 53201-3005, call 414-272-8575 x7406, fax 414-272-1734 or email [email protected]

Photocopies, Reprints And Microform

ASQ’s Vision: By making quality a global priority, an organizational imperative and a personal ethic, the American Society for Quality becomes the community for everyone who seeks quality technology, concepts or tools to improve themselves and their world.


To learn more about the manuscript review process, helpful hints before submitting a manuscript and QP’s 2016 editorial planner, click on “Author Guidelines” at www. qualityprogress.com under “Tools and Resources.“

Membership and Subscriptions

For 70 years, ASQ has been the worldwide provider of information and learning opportunities related to quality. In addition, ASQ membership offers information, networking, certification and educational opportunities to help quality professionals obtain practical solutions to the many problems they face each day. Subscriptions to Quality Progress are one of the many benefits of ASQ membership. To join, call 800-248-1946 or see information and an application on p. 49.

List Rentals

Orders for ASQ’s member and nonmember buyer lists can be purchased by contacting Michael Costantino at the Infogroup/Edith Roman List Management Co., 402-836-6626 or fax 845-620-1885.




Lesson Plan Kick-start your career with certifications LAST MONTH, I visited Washington, D.C., to attend my industry association’s premier event, Association Media & Publishing’s Annual Conference. While there, I attended the association’s Excel Awards, which honors the best work from the association publishing world. Receiving an Excel Award is one of the greatest achievements you can attain in this profession, and that feather in your cap can add great credibility to your résumé and LinkedIn profile. On top of that, there’s a plaque that you can proudly display in your office. The award leaves no doubt that you’re a winner. Associations, in general, have their own respective award or recognition programs, and ASQ is no exception. The difference with ASQ, though, is that you get something






COPY EDITOR Susan E. Daniels



more valuable and sustaining than a shiny plaque—you get knowledge. And with knowl-

Sandy Wyss

edge comes power. That is what ASQ certifications are meant to do.


Earning ASQ certifications can be challenging. I’ve heard from readers who were discouraged and stressed, or who simply gave up after trying and failing a couple of times. Failing isn’t fun, especially when you feel you should know the subject matter like the back of your hand. This month, we’ve got your back. In “A Quick Study,” p. 16, learn about how project management techniques can be put to use in building a study plan to help you pass a certification exam. In particular, using a prioritization matrix, Bloom’s Taxonomy and a work breakdown structure can be great tools to organize and focus on the material you must know. Author Kristy Kistner writes that this extra effort can pay big dividends at the end of the study process, just like it did for her. “Being adequately prepared helped me overcome test anxiety and feel comfortable on exam day.” Two other feature articles in this issue make the case for pursuing certifications: In “Clear Pathway,” p. 22, the authors answer commonly asked questions for those who may be hesitant about investing time and effort into these career-advancing opportunities.

Cathy Milquet



MEDIA SALES Naylor LLC Lou Brandow Krys D’Antonio Nicholas Manis Norbert Musial Erin Pande




In “Pulling It All Together,” p. 28, the author covers many of the ins and outs of profes-

Phone: 414-272-8575 Fax: 414-272-1734

sional certifications—in particular, ASQ’s offerings—and the payoff that waits for those


individuals who achieve these special recognitions.

Phone: 866-277-5666

ASQ ADMINISTRATION In related news, ASQ recently announced plans to transition its certification testing to a computer-based process. So starting in September, no more paper and pencils—just computers. The change will allow for quicker results, enhanced security, additional testing days and something that’s always music to the ears of quality professionals: a more streamlined process. Visit http://asq.org/cbt to study up on more details about this exciting development. QP

. QP


William J. Troy

Senior Leadership Andrew Baines Michael Barry Kalleen Bruch Lynelle Korte Brian J. LeHouillier Dick Palmersheim Shontra Powell

To promote discussion of issues in the field of quality and ensure coverage of all responsible points of view, Quality Progress publishes articles representing conflicting and minority views. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of ASQ or Quality Progress. Use of the ASQ logo in advertisements does not necessarily constitute endorsement of that particular product or service by ASQ.

July 2016 • QP


LOGON Seen&Heard Lasting legacy


I loved reading about W. Edwards Deming in “Always Applicable” (June 2016, pp. 46-53). He was a man who changed a country, but remained mostly unknown even into the 1980s. Good ideas with positive messages are sometimes ignored or challenged, and it’s common for someone to say, “That’s not applicable here.” Joint Forces That didn’t stop Deming from spreading his ideas, even when the Western world would not listen to him. Those who continue listening to him have stayed in business after all these years. Cherry Trinidad Surrey, British Columbia


Putting Best Practices to Work

www.qualityprogress.com | June 2016

Change Your Quality System, Change Your Culture

after I retired from the U.S. military. I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge and sharing it with future generations. More power to ASQ in sustaining the strength of the nation. Happy 70th anniversary! Miguel Otero Huntsville, AL

p. 22



Improvement efforts at Joint Commission linked to culture change p. 14



Capability model for next-level performance p. 38 Showing evidence of risk-based thinking p. 61

“Always Applicable” was an interesting and useful article, especially for those unfamiliar with W. Edwards Deming. For those who are familiar with his life and teachings, there are many interesting questions this article did not discuss, such as: Why are Deming’s ideas not required reading for today’s business leaders? Why has attention to his ideas steadily decreased over the last 20 years? Why is a new generation of CEOs seemingly uninterested in his work? Which of Deming’s principles have become obsolete in today’s environment? Which ideas should be renewed or removed? Vladimir Shper Moscow, Russia

Birthday wishes In response to ASQ’s 70th anniversary (“Trivia Time,” May 2016, pp.18-25): I became an ASQ member in April, but I’ve been reading ASQ articles since 2007


Tune In

QP • www.qualityprogress.com

I became an ASQ member in 2014 and have been focused on reading most of ASQ’s articles about quality. After I sat for the certified quality technician exam and didn’t pass, I started losing hope that I would become certified. But I’ve reversed my psychology, and I’m studying harder. I know ASQ will help me achieve my goal of becoming a quality lover. More power to ASQ, and happy 70th anniversary. Virginia Wilson South Bend, IN

How should you approach employees about change initiatives to gain their buy-in? Watch ASQ TV’s latest episode to find out, and also learn about a tool that can make meetings more effective and curb personality clashes. Visit http://videos.asq.org to access the full video library.

ASQ’s excellent track record was captured in “Trivia Time.” This is awesome for a global organization that propagates quality, and advocates quality of life and social responsibility with no borders. Girish Trehan Ontario, Canada


Relevant classification “Beyond Tried and True” (May 2016, pp. 42-49) was a great article. Thanks for writing it, Lance. The supplier risk classification form has helped me see how to address this in my own organization. I like the way this piece was written. It’s concise, clear and relevant to the newly revised ISO 9001 standard. John Abson Frimley, United Kingdom

Find the latest news, quips and targeted content from QP staff.

Director of Knowledge Products Seiche Sanders: @ASQ_Seiche

Associate Editor Mark Edmund: @ASQ_Mark Assistant Editor Tyler Gaskill: @ASQ_Tyler Contributing Editor Lynsey Hart: @ASQ_Lynsey [email protected] www.facebook.com/ groups/43461176682



ONLINE [email protected]




Receive Career Advice and Job Postings

Career Connection is a new monthly enewsletter that features articles, videos and other resources that can help you grow your professional quality career and improve your workplace. Career Connection also will deliver the latest quality-related job postings to your inbox and help your organization find top talent. To subscribe, visit http://tinyurl. com/asq-career-connection.

Our Experts Want Your Quality Questions

If you’re struggling with a difficult quality problem, our experts can help. Send your questions to [email protected] or submit them at http://tinyurl.com/qpexpertanswers, and a subject matter expert will provide a solution.


Cecilia Kimberlin, Kimberlin LLC (retired – Abbott)


Patricia La Londe, CareFusion


Eric Hayler, BMW Manufacturing


G. Geoffrey Vining, Virginia Tech, Department of Statistics


William J. Troy, ASQ


Each month at www.qualityprogress.com, visitors can take an informal survey. Here are the results from last month‘s Quick Poll: What is the most critical factor in a successful change management initiative? 34% 16%



Ensuring the changes can be sustained. Gaining staff buy-in. Involving all key stakeholders. Understanding an organization’s culture.

Visit www.qualityprogress.com for the latest question: What is most important for career advancement in quality? • Attaining certifications. • Networking. • Keeping up with industry trends and news. • Attending conferences or training seminars.


Recent headlines from ASQ’s global news service Honda Rethinks Henry Ford’s Assembly Line When Henry Ford pioneered the assembly line, he reasoned that assemblers could work faster if they didn’t have to keep track of multiple tasks and the correct order of installation. Honda Motor Co. is challenging those assumptions as it reinvents mass production for its Civic model. It introduced a new assembly approach that requires each worker to handle as many jobs as five workers would handle on a traditional Honda line. (http://tinyurl.com/rethinking-assembly-lines) Robot Invasion Hasn’t Happened—Yet The robots are coming—but not in numbers that would imperil most Americans’ jobs. Most economists doubt the gloomy predictions of mass unemployment. True, robots enjoy some advantages over humans; they can work 24 hours a day and don’t earn fringe benefits. Still, the economists have history on their side. It’s all happened before. (http://tinyurl.com/no-robot-invasion)


Donald Brecken, Ferris State University Heather L. Crawford, Apollo Endosurgery Raymond R. Crawford, Parsons Brinckerhoff Ha C. Dao, Emerson Climate Technologies Inc. Benito Flores, Universidad de Monterrey Edwin G. Landauer, Clackamas Community College David B. Levy, Boyce Technologies Inc. Austin S. Lin, Google Luis G. Morales, Damiler Trucks North America Mark Moyer, CAMLS Sylvester (Bud) M. Newton, Jr., Alcoa Daniella A. Picciotti, Bechtel Steven J. Schuelka, SJS Consulting Jason Spiegler, Camstar Systems Inc. Sunil Thawani, Quality Indeed Consulting FZE Allen Wong, Abbott


Administrative Committee

Brady Boggs, Randy Brull, Jane Campanizzi, Larry Haugh, Jim Jaquess, Gary MacLean, R. Dan Reid, Richard Stump

Technical Reviewers

Naveen Agarwal, Suresh Anaganti, Andy Barnett, Matthew Barsalou, David Bonyuet, David Burger, Bernie Carpenter, L.N. Prabhu Chandrasekaran, Ken Cogan, Linda Cubalchini-Travis, Ahmad Elshennawy, Mark Gavoor, Kunita Gear, Daniel Gold, T. Gourishankar, Roberto Guzman, Ellen Hardy, Lynne Hare, Ray Klotz, T.M. Kubiak, William LaFollette, Pradip Mehta, Arind Parthasarathy, Larry Picciano, Gene Placzkowski, Tony Polito, Peter Pylipow, Imran Ahmad Rana, John Richards, James Rooney, Brian Scullin, Abhijit Sengupta, Amitava Sengupta, Mohit Sharma, A.V. Srinivas, Joe Tunner, Manu Vora, Keith Wagoner, Jack Westfall, Doron Zilbershtein

WANT THE LATEST QUALITY-RELATED NEWS AND ANALYSIS? The QNT Weekly enewsletter, available exclusively to ASQ members, delivers it every Friday. Subscribe now at http://email.asq.org/subscribe/qntwk.

July 2016 • QP





























Our Primers contain study material for the current ASQ bodies of knowledge plus sample questions and answers. The Primers may be taken into the exam. The completeness of our materials makes them the most widely used texts for Certification Training.


Quality Council of Indiana offers detailed solutions to all questions presented in the corresponding Primer.


QCI offers user-friendly interactive software to assist students preparing for ASQ examinations. Each CD contains 1000 total questions. Examinations are timed and summarized graphically. A help file provides explanations and references. The CDs run on Windows XP and newer.



Mail Orders Information Fax Orders Quality Council 812-533-4215 812-533-4216 of Indiana Telephone Orders Order Department 800-660-4215 602 W. Paris Ave. Internet Orders W. Terre Haute, IN 47885-1124 www.qualitycouncil.com



Juran’s Quality Handbook

Implementing Six Sigma

CSSYB Primer

by Juran & De Feo The essential quality reference for most ASQ exams

by Forrest W. Breyfogle, III A great CSSBB reference

by Wortman and others The lastest ASQ exam.

En Español


Spanish Green Belt

Quality Dictionary

The Spanish version of the CSSGB Primer.

by Tracy Omdahl

LSS Primer The Lean Six Sigma Primer is written to a QCI BoK. There are more case studies and lean content than in any other QCI products. 400 questions are included. A solution text is also available.

ISO 9001 Internal Auditing Primer by Greg Wies & Bert Scali

A book for training internal auditors to the ISO 9001: 2015 expectations. An instructor CD is available.

Reliability & Maintenance Analyst CD by Bryan Dodson

Solve your Weibull, reliability, warranty, Bayesian & Maintenance, prediction & estimation problems.

Measurement Analyst CD Performs all measurements required in the AIAG manual. Contains ANOVA methods and excellent graphs. Site and global license available!!!

Used by Chrysler, ITT, FedEx, Ford, TRW, GM, HP, U.S. Postal Service

More than 2500 definitions. Great for any ASQ certification.

RAM Dictionary by Tracy Omdahl

Contains 2800 definitions. Helpful for Reliability and Quality Engineers.

ISO 9001: 2015 Pocket Primer by Wies & Wortman

A condensed version of the new standard with author comments.

Quality System Handbook by Edenborough


Details the selection, organization, and writing of quality documents. The disk contains procedures and work instructions.

EXPERTANSWE Condition control

Q: For shelf-life materials that have temperature and humidity requirements for storage, do you have to use the same temperature and humidity controls after the material is removed from storage and used in assembly areas? Monica Landry Sun Valley, CA A: The general answer is yes, but there are several things to consider. For shelf-life material, if any environmental conditions are critical, the storage area is assumed to be controlled for those conditions. A controller can create and maintain specified temperatures and relative humidity (RH) levels, and a data logger can monitor these factors at scheduled intervals to verify the conditions were constant. Monitoring equipment must be calibrated and traceable to the International System of Units through the U.S. Metric Program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. A laboratory that is accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard can help your organization meet this metrological traceability requirement.1 If your storage area is not controlled after the material is removed—depending on the volume of storage—it may be more difficult to achieve the controlled temperature and RH conditions after another batch of environmentally sensitive material is acquired for storage. During an audit assessment, it’s your organization’s responsibility to prove that required environmental conditions were maintained at all times, including time in storage. Without time-stamped data that’s logged with a traceable instrument, it’s difficult to prove environmental conditions were maintained, including a user’s intention to not maintain the storage conditions when material was not stored. This also includes the amount of time needed to reach a specified temperature and RH condition because you also must consider factors in

10 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

stabilization from ambient conditions. It also is prudent to include records for time and date of storage, and any removals of sensitive material that can be compared with the temperature and RH data logs for compliance verifications. Dilip A. Shah President, E = mc3 Solutions Medina, OH REFERENCE

chain in an organization. This is a brief answer to a broad question, and I want to emphasize that you should consult with your third-party registrar. It is well-suited to help you understand your specific implications for these two quality systems. Keith Wagoner Certified quality engineer Wilmington, NC

1. International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission, ISO/IEC 17025:2005— General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.


ISO 9001 revision and AS9100

Safe and statistically sound

Q: How will ISO 9001’s 2015 revision affect AS9100, because this standard already incorporates all current ISO 9001 requirements? Versie Adams San Lorenzo, CA

Q: I work at a seafood production facility that processes individually quick-frozen sea scallops. We measure shell defects (shell pieces attached to the scallops) by drawing a sample from a continuous-flow conveyor belt, counting the shell defects and rejecting the lot if we find defects in two consecutive samples. Considering this process—which isn’t statistically sound—what is the best method of control that could be applied to the process to ensure we can take action in a timely manner? Visualize our process as one in which the scallops resemble thousands of marbles travelling on a conveyor belt, and a few might have shell pieces on them. Jeff MacIntosh Lockeport, Nova Scotia

A: This question is best suited for—and dependent on—your third-party registrar, and what I provide can be only directional: The final answer must come from your “trusted advisor” for your quality system. With that said, a couple major differences are highlighted on the International Organization for Standardization’s website, such as the area of structure and risk-based thinking.1 The new structure has moved from five sections to seven. This allows ISO 9001:2015 to be more user friendly for certified organizations that are using multiple management systems. The other main difference is how risk-based thinking is applied. Risk-based thinking was always part of ISO 9001. But previously, the idea was that risk-based thinking was part of what organizations did intrinsically. Now, however, the expectation is that all risks must be considered. After reading several articles on the topic, I walked away feeling like a failure mode and effects analysis event will be a part of the documentation of the entire supply

1. International Organization for Standardization, “ISO 9001: Moving from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015,” ISO.org, http://tinyurl.com/from-2008-to-2015.

A: While the process described is not statistically derived, it raises three questions that must be answered before instituting a new process: 1. How large is the sample you’re currently gathering and possibly rejecting? 2. Based on past data, what percentage of your samples are you rejecting, or what percentage of defective products do you think you have? 3. What is the population size? This could be the approximate number of scallops


on the belt per unit of time—such as 15 minutes, one hour, four hours or 24 hours—and how many samples are taken per time unit? Using sampling for attributes based on the Handbook of Sampling for Auditing and Accounting (McGraw-Hill, 1974) and a statistical sample size calculator,1 we were able to create the following example: If your production facility processes 5,000 pounds of scallops per hour and there are, on average, 20 scallops per pound (or 100,000 scallops processed per hour), and you believe 2% or less of your scallops have shells (are defective): 1. You want to be 95% sure that the occurrence of shells is less than ±2%.

2. You want the precision of your estimate to be ±2%. You would need a random sample of 188 scallops per hour to be 95% certain that you are estimating the true incidence of shells with ±2% precision. If 188 out of 100,000 are too many tests to conduct or begin taking too long, there are many ways to personalize the process to your facility to minimize loss. The test also would be based on a batch size that’s specific to the facility if different processing steps have varying failure rates. Taking a random sample from a continuous conveyor over a fixed time also can be daunting. We would recommend starting at a random place in the batch


and taking a systematic sample from that point on. Statistically speaking, this is a well-documented technique. Julia E. Seaman Pharmacogenomics doctoral student University of California-San Francisco I. Elaine Allen Professor of biostatistics University of California-San Francisco REFERENCE 1. “Statistical Sample Size Calculator,” Cognet QC Systems, cogentqc.com/tools-resources/statistical-calculator.

BIBLIOGRAPHY “Skaginn Completes Frozen Scallop Processing Line for Eastern Fisheries,” Undercurrent News, May 6, 2015, http:// tinyurl.com/scallop-processing. “Scallop Program,” Tichon Seafood Corp., http://tinyurl.com/ scallop-program.





Visit globalstateofquality.org to download “Discoveries 2016.”

Global State of Quality 2 Research The ASQ Global State of Quality is the only research that creates a baseline of fundamental quality and continuous improvement practices around the world. The findings and analyses provide a guide for businesses to improve organizational performances.

Read “Discoveries 2016” today. TRAINING





July 2016 • QP 11


Queue Quandaries


Customer-experience implications when lines get too long and hamper business Most of the time, people don’t like waiting in lines. Whether stagnant at supermarket check-outs, halted at highway on-ramps

nies needed to provide service to keep queues moving.3 In most settings where businesses serve large volumes of cus-

during rush hour or—as thousands of U.S. air travelers recently ex-

tomers in person, much comes down to the type of line businesses

perienced—stalled at airport security screening checkpoints, long

organize to maintain order and move the service process forward:

lines are usually stressful and aggravating if you have places to go,

several parallel lines for customers to choose from or one long,

people to meet and work to do.

serpentine line that everyone waits in.

Americans spend about 37 billion hours each year waiting in

The systems each have advantages and disadvantages. Multiple

lines. Some spend the equivalent of a year or two of their lives

parallel lines require more employees to handle customers. Serpen-

waiting in lines, other research suggests.2

tine lines require more floor space where the line can form, mean-


Is there anything that can be done to address this very real customer-experience issue, which can—to name a few concerns—

ing it doesn’t work in all business designs.4 Essentially, if both systems work efficiently, the mean wait time

damage an organization’s reputation, hurt individual and group

is about the same. However, Richard Larson, a professor who stud-

productivity, and harm customer retention efforts?

ies queuing theory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

For the airlines and airports dealing with a crush of travelers

in Cambridge, and other queue researchers argue that the single,

and a shortage of U.S. Transportation and Security Administration

serpentine line has a more important advantage: It seems socially

(TSA) workers, a slew of solutions have been suggested: waiving

fairer because customers who arrive first are always served first.5

checked-bag fees so screeners don’t need to peruse as many carry-on items; lowering the enrollment cost for precheck programs to

Managing customer expectations

divert more travelers through these shorter lines; deploying more

Aside from line logistics, handling what goes on inside the minds

dogs to assist in screening; and getting airlines to help with work

of waiting customers can have a huge impact on how the custom-

not directly related to security, such as moving bins to speed TSA

ers perceive wait times and react to what’s happening—or not

checks of carry-on items.


For other organizations, however, most queue quandaries come

Enter $52 billion entertainment giant Walt Disney Corp., which

down to reorganizing and instituting better line systems and struc-

operates eight theme parks around the world that attract millions

tures, managing customer expectations, and understanding the

of visitors each year. Disney knows how to handle crowds and has

science and psychology of lines and wait times.

designed queues that are entertaining and create anticipation for rides—keeping most people from constantly checking the clock.

Organization and structure

“In my book, they’re No. 1 in the psychology and in the phys-

In the early 20th century, A.K. Erlang, a Danish engineer, developed

ics of queues,” said Larson, who is also known in some circles as

the first mathematical models of how lines worked to help a phone

“Dr. Queue.” Disney designs lines so successfully that parents with

company figure out how many phone lines and operators the central

young children can happily stand in line for an hour for a four-min-

switchboard needed to

ute ride—a pretty remark-

keep customers from wait-

able feat, Larson said. The

ing too long. Erlang used

capacity of the line and

probability and statistics

the ride, too, are carefully

to model how bottlenecks

calculated to balance cus-

form as customers arrive,

tomer satisfaction with

and how quickly compa-


12 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

E NT Disney also is known as a master of applied queuing psychology— that is, it overestimates wait times so visitors are pleasantly surprised when they hop on rides seemingly ahead of schedule.7 To placate those air travelers stuck in long security lines and take their minds off the frustration of waiting, some airports have deployed circus entertainers and therapy ponies, and provided live music and free snacks. Larson said those offerings could easily backfire. “It works for Disney in the amusement parks,” he said. Passengers who miss flights due to long checkpoint lines may end up being more furious “because they’ll feel like they were being distracted from what’s really important—getting on the plane,” he said.8

Technology solutions Perhaps airports, airlines and other organizations could take a cue on queues from some technology-based solutions now available: • Disney reportedly invested $1 billion into its “My Disney Experience” planning system, which uses a smartphone app and MagicBand bracelets with embedded radio-frequency identification chips that visitors use to schedule ride times, character meet-and-greets, parade viewing and dining.9 • Professional line service companies are popping up in some major cities for those who feel inpatient or too busy to wait for tickets at box offices, seats at restaurants or just-released electronic games at stores. For example, you can hire SOLD (Same Ole’ Line Dudes) via its website or app so one of its line sitters can hold your place in a line. The first hour costs $25 and each additional 30 minutes cost $10. • Organizations such as QLess and Wavetec developed electronic queue management systems to help businesses organize, engage and measure waiting and enhance the customer experience. That means using technology to allow customers to reserve spots in line and manage customer flow within stores.

Worthwhile waiting? There will always be customers waiting in lines somewhere. Some organizations may not have the means to hire more employees, invest in technology or partner with experts to find ways to quell queues.


Who’s Who in

NAME: Paulo Sampaio.

RESIDENCE: Braga, Portugal.

EDUCATION: Doctorate in industrial engineering from the University of Minho in Braga.

CURRENT JOB: Professor of quality and organizational excellence at the University of Minho. INTRODUCTION TO QUALITY: In the third year of his industrial engineering graduate program, Sampaio took a quality management course from Tavares de Oliveira. From the beginning of the course, he decided quality would become his professional field. PREVIOUS POSITIONS: Project manager at the Portuguese Association of Certification and visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. ASQ ACTIVITIES: Member of the Quality Management Journal editorial board; country counselor for Portugal; member of membership committee; member of the Influential Voices group of bloggers; member of the Feigenbaum medal committee; member of the Global Advisory Board; and liaison to the voice of the costumer committee. PUBLISHED WORKS: Sampaio has had about 200 papers published in international and national journals, conference proceedings, books and technical reports. He also recently coauthored Quality in the 21st Century: Perspectives from ASQ Feigenbaum Medal Winners (Springer International Publishing, 2016). RECENT HONORS: Received Best Paper Award in the student technical paper competition at ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement in 2006; received best doctoral thesis in the field of quality from the Portuguese Association for Quality in 2008; named one of QP’s “40 New Voices of Quality Under 40” in 2011; ASQ’s Feigenbaum Medalist in 2012; and nominated as an associate member of the International Academy for Quality in 2014.

For some organizations, however, long lines may actually be en-

PERSONAL: Wife, Carolina; two children—Pedro, 6, and Carolina, 2.

hancing their reputations and increasing product appeal. Think about the first day a must-have gadget or hot concert ticket goes on sale,

FAVORITE WAYS TO RELAX: Traveling, watching cinema, reading and mountain biking.

or an exclusive restaurant that doesn’t take reservations opens.

QUALITY QUOTE: A better world with quality.

(continues on p. 14)

July 2016 • QP 13



TWO TEAMS ACHIEVE SILVER-LEVEL STATUS AT ASQ WCQI COMPETITION Two teams from Jabil Circuit—one from Shanghai and one from Singapore—were awarded silver-level status as part of the ASQ International Team Excellence Awards Process for their work in increasing efficiencies and financial savings. ASQ announced the silver-level award winners—along with two bronze-level teams—at

its World Conference on Quality and Improvement in May in Milwaukee. A total of 36 teams from nine countries competed for gold, silver and bronze status. No teams in this year’s awards process earned gold status. The Jabil Circuit, Shanghai team used Six Sigma tools to shorten order response time to increase customer satisfaction and efficiencies. The successful project also resulted in significant annual cost savings. The Jabil Circuit, Singapore team leveraged lean and Six Sigma tools to decrease material handling costs. As a result, the team reduced warehouse process cycle time by 61%, reduced operating cost by 22% MEMBERS OF THE Jabil Circuit, Shanghai team celebrate its and increased warehouse space silver-level team excellence award. by 92%. Teams awarded bronze-level status were: • Molinos Rio de la Plata, Loading Like Tetris Team, Buenos Aires, Argentina. • Telefonica-Argentina, Complaint Busters Team, Buenos Aires. Nearly 3,000 people attended this year’s conference. Next year’s event is scheduled for May 1-3, 2017, in Charlotte, NC. For more information, visit http://asq. MEMBERS OF THE Jabil Circuit, Singapore team celebrate its silver-level award. org/wcqi.

THIRTY-FOUR ORGANIZATIONS submitted applications for the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award: 21 healthcare organizations, four education organizations, four nonprofits, three small businesses and two service businesses. Baldrige examiners will evaluate the award applicants throughout the summer before conducting site visits. Recipients will be selected in November and receive their awards in the spring of 2017. THE 21ST INTERNATIONAL Conference of the Israel Society for Quality will be Nov. 15-17 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Watch for updates on the scheduled presentations and lectures by visiting www. en.quality2016.co.il. THE AMERICAN PRODUCTION and Inventory Control Society will host its annual conference Sept. 25-27 in Washington, D.C. More than 70 presenters will speak on supply chain, operations and logistics management topics, including strategy, risk and resilience, sales and operations planning, and leadership. For more information, visit www.apics.org/ annual-conference/home.

Queue concerns (continued from p. 13) Waiting for something can increase

This waiting culture, obviously, can’t

its value, according to Ayelet Fishbach,

apply to airports and airlines because their

a behavioral science professor, and this

long lines are delaying customers from the

increase can cause customers to be more

service they’ve already paid for: a plane ride.

patient. In other words, it makes something

—compiled by Mark Edmund,

worth waiting for. The waiting culture cre-

associate editor

ated around this demand could be a signal


of quality for some and can increase the

1. Alex Stone, “Why Waiting Is Torture,” New York Times, Aug. 18, 2012, http://tinyurl.com/nytimes-lines-torture. 2. Anna Swanson, “What Really Drives You Crazy About Waiting in Line (It Actually Isn’t the Wait at All),” Washington

product or service’s value or a organization’s reputation.10

14 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

Post, Nov. 27, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/wash-post-crazylines. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid 6. Ibid. 7. Stone, “Why Waiting Is Torture,” see reference 1. 8. Harriet Baskas, “When It Comes to Fixing TSA Security Lines, Everyone’s Got an Idea,” NBC News.com, May 20, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/nbc-tsa-fixes. 9. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, “How Disney Manages Its Legendary Lines,” Fox Travel News, June 3, 2016, http://tinyurl. com/fox-disney-lines. 10. Bourree Lam, “The Logic of Long Lines,” The Atlantic, Jan. 28, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/atlantic-lines-logic.

Mr. Pareto Head



MEMBER HONORED Robin Dudash was awarded ASQ’s Performance Award and Recognition Innovation Bronze Award for her work on ASQ webinar-based education programs. Dudash, a senior member of ASQ, is president of Innovative Quality Products and Systems Inc. in Lyndora, PA, where she oversees DUDASH all quality assurance webinar courses. She also oversees the ASQ Pittsburgh Section’s webinar-based training programs.

C-SUITE geriatric primary care nurse practitioner at the University of Texas, Medical Branch School of Nursing, Galveston, TX. She is employed as a telemetry nurse at Seton Medical Center Hays in Kyle, TX, and as a palliative nurse at Home Therapy of Austin.

PACT ANNOUNCED The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) formed an alliance that allows ANAB to administer the NAME accreditation program. For more information about the pact, visit http://anab.org.

NEW STATISTICS BOOK A new ASQ Quality Press book features a collection of 90 Statistics Roundtable columns previously published in QP. Statistical Roundtables, edited by Christine Anderson-Cook and Lu Lu, is broken into nine chapters on topics such as statistical engineering, data quality and measurement, data collection and key statistical tools. The 480-page book costs $60 for ASQ members and $99 for nonmembers. For more details, visit http://tinyurl.com/stats-roundtables.

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED The Healthcare Division awarded its $2,000 Nightingale Scholarship to Heidi Kook-Willis of Austin, TX, for her outstanding commitment to pursuing quality improvement in the healthcare field. Kook-Willis is working toward her graduate degree as an adult

CASE STUDY ADDED A new case study profiles a U.S. Department of Defense lab that became the first of its kind to achieve ISO 17025 accreditation for its work in analyzing chemical warfare agents. Visit http://tinyurl.com/asq-casestudy-cwa to read it.

ASQ, CEO SHOW COLLABORATE ON EXEC INTERVIEWS ASQ has partnered with the CEO TV Show, a nationally syndicated program, to develop a series of interviews and facilitate conversations with leading business executives to offer insights on the role and importance of quality in the 21st century. The focus will be on how quality has transformed from a back-end compliance activity to a front-end competitive differentiator. Earlier this year, five CEOs were interviewed about their perspectives on quality: David Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell; Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of the American Association of Retired Persons; Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity and Kayak; Ralph de la Vega, vice chair of AT&T Inc. and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions and AT&T International; and Charles Lanktree, president and CEO of Eggland’s Best. ASQ and the CEO TV Show also facilitated a virtual audio roundtable that included: Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean; Dan Hesse, former CEO of Sprint; and Kip Tindell, CEO of the Container Store. Read an article based on the transcript of the roundtable at http://tinyurl.com/forbesceo-roundtable. Watch for updates on the ASQ-CEO TV Show initiative at http://videos. asq.org and http://videos.ceoshow.com.

July 2016 • QP 15

A Quick Use a project management approach to prepare for exams by Kristy Kistner PURSUING ASQ CERTIFICATIONS can send people through a common preparation process: They read all the certification material available on ASQ’s website, ensure they understand the body of knowledge (BoK) and draw up plans to pass the exam. To pass an exam, you must have an organized In 50 Words study plan and apply your efforts to BoK topics Or Less you feel are your weaknesses. • By using project management techniques, Because preparing for a certification exam is a those taking certification exams can create project, using project management tools, such as more effective and comprehensive study plans. a work breakdown structure (WBS), can help you • Using a prioritization organize your study method. matrix and Bloom’s Taxonomy helps individuals Creating a prioritization matrix will focus your find areas of a body of knowledge on which to efforts, and developing an index of your study focus their studies, and helps them create more materials will provide you an easy reference guide effective open-book to use during an exam. reference materials.



July 2016 • QP 17

Work breakdown structure example WBS No. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.0 2.1

2.2 2.2.1 2.2.2 2.2.3 2.3 2.3.1 2.3.2 2.3.3 2.3.4

2.3.5 2.4 2.5 3.0

Item  Apply   Create résumé   Complete application  Submit Prepare for exam  Purchase and receive study materials and training courses: • Study item No. 1—Order from (list source) • Study item No. 2—Order from (list source) • Study item No. 3—Order from (list source) • Training course No. 1—Order from (list source) • Training course No. 2—Order from (list source) Review study materials  Study item No. 1 (Aim for reading 100 pages per week)    Chapters 1-8 (pp. 1-111)    Chapters 9-20 (pp. 112-205)    Chapter 21-Appendix J   Study item No. 2   Study item No. 3   Sections I-II (71 pages)   Sections III-IV (138 pages)   Sections V-VI (94 pages)   Sections VII-VIII, appendix (120 pages)   Complete training courses    Training course No. 1    Sections 1-2    Sections 3-4    Section 5 and post-course exam    Training course No. 2    Sign up for course    First half    Second half    Training course No. 3    Answer book (sections 2-6)    Answer book (sections 7-8)   Question bank    Subject No. 1 # of questions: % of exam: % scored of practice questions:    Subject No. 2 # of questions: % of exam: % scored of practice questions:    Subject No. 3 # of questions: % of exam: % scored of practice questions:    Subject No. 4 # of questions: % of exam: % scored of practice questions:    Subject No. 5 # of questions: % of exam: % scored of practice questions: Break   Electronic exam    Subject No. 1    Subject No. 2    Subject No. 3    Subject No. 4    Subject No. 5    Subject No. 6   Prepare materials to take to exam   Final review Take exam

18 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

Start July 2 July 2 Aug. 4 Aug. 10 July 2 July 2

/ TABLE 1 Finish Aug. 15 Aug. 4 Aug. 10 Aug. 15 Oct. 22 July 9

Creating a WBS A WBS is used for breaking down a project into easily manageable components (see Table 1). To organize your certification study plan, begin with the following steps: • Break the study plan into lowerlevel chunks of work: Determine the large chunks that must be completed for your study plan to succeed, and assign a number to each

July 9 July 9 July 9 July 9 July 16 July 23 July 23 July 23 July 30 Aug. 6 Aug. 6 Aug. 13 Aug. 13 Aug. 13 Aug. 20 Aug. 27 Sept. 3 Aug. 20 Sept. 3 Sept. 10 Sept. 24 Sept. 24 Oct. 1 Oct. 15 Oct. 15

Aug. 13 Aug. 6 July 16 July 16 July 23 July 30 Aug. 13 July 30 Aug. 6 Aug. 13 Aug. 13 Nov. 19 Aug. 27 Aug. 20 Aug. 27 Sept. 3 Sept. 17 Sept. 3 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Oct. 22 Oct. 1 Oct. 8 Oct. 22 Oct. 22

chunk. • Break down each component: Continue breaking down the tasks until you can estimate the amount of time you’ll need to complete each. • Determine timeframes for each task: Identify the planned start and completion date for each task. As your work progresses, revise planned dates to sustain a realistic schedule.

Focus on your weaknesses A BoK includes topic areas and subtext that identify specific content that may be on the exam. Focus your study efforts by creating a matrix and assigning a strength level to each topic based on your knowledge level. You can list the major sections,

Oct. 15

Oct. 22

or for a more detailed view, include subsections and descriptions of each. Table 2 shows an example of how a

Oct. 15

Oct. 22

Oct. 15

Oct. 22

Oct. 15

Oct. 22

Oct. 22 Oct. 29 Oct. 29

Oct. 29 Nov. 19 Nov. 5

Nov. 5

Nov. 12

Nov. 12

Nov. 23

els in your prioritization matrix and

Oct. 1 Nov. 23

Nov. 30 Nov. 30 Dec. 1

level for each topic. Topics requir-

prioritization matrix can help.

Consider Bloom’s Taxonomy ASQ uses the six levels of cognition of Bloom’s Taxonomy to indicate questions’ complexity for each BoK topic, and they’re listed from least to most complex (see Table 3, p. 20). You can determine the required level of preparation by including levusing them to gauge your strength


ing higher cognitive levels warrant more in-depth preparation. For topics with a cognitive level of “apply,” you must remember, understand and apply

judgment on) the concepts. ASQ’s certification handbooks include sample exam questions for each level of cognition such as:

that area’s concepts. In this topic, a question might

A lot of 500 units is submitted by a supplier whose

ask for a definition (remember) or a calculation (ap-

past history indicates that about 1% defectives

ply). For a topic with an “evaluate” level, you also

should be expected. A random sample of 30 units

will be expected to analyze and evaluate (make a

is collected from the lot. Which of the following

Prioritization matrix example Section Quality tools and techniques

Audit program management

/ TABLE 2 Level needed (taxonomy)

My level



Verification and validation

Define and distinguish between and use various methods of verifying and validating processes.


Process variation

Identify and distinguish between common and specialcause variation.


Business and financial impact

Identify, describe and analyze an audit program’s effect on the four cost-of-quality categories: prevention, appraisal, internal failure and external failure.



Examine and summarize audit program results, trends and changes in risk to provide input to management reviews.



Analyze audit results to standardize best practices and lessons learned across the organization.



Conflict resolution

Identify typical conflict situations (mild to vehement disagreements, auditee delaying tactics or interruptions) and determine appropriate techniques for resolving them, such as clarifying the question or request, reiterating ground rules, intervention by another authority or cool-down periods.



On-site audit resource management

Identify and apply techniques for managing audit teams, scheduling audit meetings and activities, or making logistical adjustments.



Audit follow-up, closure

Identify and apply various elements of and criteria for audit closure.



Audit performance

Identify and differentiate characteristics of objective evidence, such as observed, measured, confirmed or corroborated, and documented.



Define and apply the ASQ Code of Conduct, concepts of due diligence and due care with respect to confidentiality Professional conduct and and conflict of interest, and appropriate actions in consequences for auditors response to the discovery of illegal activities or unsafe conditions.



Identify elements such as audit purpose, data gathering techniques or tracing that quality audits have in common with environmental, safety, financial and other types of audits.



Define, differentiate and analyze various audit types by auditor-auditee relationship: first party, second party, third party, and internal and external.


Audit program management

Audit competencies

Audit process

Audit fundamentals Types of quality audits

Low Medium


July 2016 • QP 19


probability distributions could be best used to make

to determine which distribution is most appropriate

predictions about the lot?

to use.

A. Normal. B. Weibull.

Study materials index

C. Poisson.

Selecting and evaluating reference materials is an im-

D. Exponential.

portant part of preparing for a certification exam, and

This is an “evaluate” question because it requires

ASQ specifies a long list of references on its online cer-

candidates to use the information provided about the

tification pages. To decide which references you need,

lot and their knowledge of the various distributions

consider your knowledge, experience and what should be bolstered. The prioritization matrix will identify topics for you that need more focus.

Bloom’s Taxonomy levels of cognition / TABLE 3

ASQ allows you to bring reference materials to most certification exams.1 For these to be effective, however, information must be easy to locate. Highlighting



key topics and terms, and developing a cross-reference


Recall or recognize terms, definitions, facts, ideas, materials, patterns, sequences, methods or principles.

index that includes page numbers from each book will

Understand Apply Analyze



Read and understand descriptions, communications, reports, tables, diagrams, directions or regulations.

ensure you find information efficiently during an exam.

Apply your knowledge

Know how and when to use ideas, procedures, methods, formulas, principles or theories.

The preceding was the project management prepara-

Break information into its constituent parts to recognize their relationships to one another and how they are organized. Identify sublevel factors or salient data from a complex scenario.

tor exam. Being adequately prepared helped me over-

Make judgments about the value of proposed ideas or solutions by comparing the proposal to specific criteria or standards.

ence that helped boost my career by strengthening my

Put parts or elements together in such a way as to reveal pattern or structure that was not clearly there before. Identify which data or information from a complex set are appropriate to examine further or from which supported conclusions can be drawn.


Study material index example / TABLE 4 Study item No. 1

Study item No. 2

Study item No. 3

Subject No. 1

p. 15

p. 290

pp. 211, 217-224

Subject No. 2

p. 70

Subject No. 3

p. 12

p. 16

Subject No. 5 p. 33

Subject No. 7

p. 62

Subject No. 8

p. 81

20 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

While passing the exam was my goal, preparing for the exam was a professional development experiknowledge of unfamiliar BoK topics. QP

1. With the exception of the constructed response portion of the manager of quality/organizational excellence exam and the performance-based portion of the Master Black Belt exam, ASQ exams are open book. Personally generated materials and notes from training or refresher courses are allowed, assuming they meet certain ASQ criteria. Visit http://asq.org/ cert/faq/open-book-exam for details on acceptable exam-day reference materials.

Study item No. 4

ASQ, Certification Handbook, 2011, http://tinyurl.com/asq-cert-handbook. Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), fifth edition, 2013. ASQ, “Quality Auditor Certification—CQA—Body of Knowledge,” 2012, http:// tinyurl.com/quality-auditor-bok.

p. 245 pp. 114, 185

Subject No. 6

come test anxiety and feel comfortable on exam day.



Subject No. 4

tion method I used to pass ASQ’s certified quality audi-

p. 172 p. 309

p. 7

p. 142 p. 80

p. 61

p. 133

p. 113

KRISTY KISTNER is director of the office of quality at Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, TN. She earned a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Kistner is an ASQ-certified quality auditor and holds a project management professional certification from the Project Management Institute.

Take the QP Salary Survey Bucks. Spänn. Kupang. Khokha. Cockle. Whatever you call it, it’s still money. It’s what makes the world go ’round, some say. And for many, how much they make can mean all the world. That’s a big part of why we create the QP Salary Survey report every year. But it all starts with you. On July 1, the 2016 QP Salary Survey questionnaire opens for you to respond. The survey is completely anonymous and the results will be analyzed in group format only. Remember, the more people who take the survey, the more accurate the results will be. That’s why your participation is so important. We’ll publish the most current salary data for quality professionals

in the December issue of QP—just about the time for year-end reviews. Visit www.asq.org/2016-qp-salarysurvey and follow the link to the survey—which stays open for the entire month of July. After you’ve completed the questionnaire, you’ll be able to enter a drawing to win a $50 Amazon card. Consider it a thank you—or maybe gracias, merci, do jeh, daw-dyeh, or spasiba—for taking the survey and contributing to the report.


July 2016 • QP 21

Clear by Randall Britto and John DeLalla

In 50 Words Or Less

• A workforce comprised of industry-certified professionals can provide great advantages and benefits for employees and the entire organization. • Some still hesitate to pursue these opportunities. • The authors answer common questions about pursuing professional certifications and use examples from the software industry to illustrate their points.

Professional certifications help to advance your career and increase your value to your organization


Pathway “SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS,” he said. “That’s the how much more I will get per year if I earn this certification by the end of this week.” One of this article’s authors, teaching a Cisco-certified network associate (CCNA) certification exam prep class, stared back in amazement. “I know. I can’t believe it either,” he said. “They pay for my class tuition, they pay my salary to be here and they pay me more if I pass the exam. It’s such a great deal!” The student was blunter than most others who share their thoughts about the value of certification. Granted, not everyone has the same deal as this student: Some pay out of pocket, some attend on their own time and some don’t get a raise if they pass. Nevertheless, they all attended the certification exam prep class to stay current in their field, achieve a sense of accomplishment and be prepared should they need to find a new position.

July 2016 • QP 23

“So why do I need a certification?” “How will it benefit me?”

facturing organization, for example, a Linux software-re-

We’ve heard these questions more than once during

lated certification might not elevate your position unless

our careers. For some, these are valid inquiries, depend-

you’re already working in a network and system adminis-

ing on their employment situation. For those who work in

tration role.

IT fields, certifications can make a huge difference, for ex-

If you’re employed in a product reliability job, however,

ample. CIO Magazine even publishes an annual listing of

an ASQ reliability engineer certification would not only in-

top industry certifications.1

crease your knowledge, but it also could make you more

If you’re considering an industry certification and have

valuable to your employer by expanding your knowledge

reservations, here are some answers to common questions

and abilities to perhaps take on more responsibilities or

that may push you toward pursuing one—or more.

handle additional complex projects with your newly confirmed skills and knowledge.

What’s the ROI?

There are literally hundreds of certifications available,

The time and money spent to prepare for the certification

and they are a good source of revenue for the training orga-

must be weighed against the certification’s overall benefit.

nizations that offer them. Most professional organizations

Most of the in-demand certification exams cost between

provide some type of industry certification. The PMI, for

$200 and $600, depending on the exam provider. In many

example, has eight different certifications, with its PMP be-

cases, this expense does not include the cost of study mate-

ing the most popular.

rials needed to prepare for the exam or the cost of attending training courses on the certification topic.

In some situations, you may not have much of a choice on whether to pursue a certification—it may be required.

We recently asked about a specific certification, and the

Within the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) organiza-

authors suggested he research whether this would be valu-

tions, for example, Directive 8570, in transition to 8140,

able for him. The certification that interested him did not

Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program

score well on information provided on Indeed.com, the job

requires security-related certification for all technician, en-

search-engine website. At the time, only 59 organizations in

gineer and manager levels.2

the United States were looking for candidates holding this particular certification. To further explore this factor related to certification demand, we performed similar searches for more than a dozen certifications from a variety of fields. Next, we categorized the list by demand level: very high, high, medium and low.

Some of the certifications on this list include the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) security+, ISC2 certified authorization professional and ISC2 certified information systems security professional. Another factor to consider when deciding what certification to pursue relates to acknowledging your current situa-

The Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Manage-

tion and how it relates to your career goals and experience.

ment Professional (PMP) and ISC2’s information system se-

If you lack project management experience, but you would

curity professional certification, for example, were the most

like to move in that career direction, consider the CompTIA

demanded, followed by the International Council of Elec-

Project+ certification. This certification requires no prior

tronic Commerce Consultants’ (EC-Council) certified ethical

project management experience.

hacker, and Cisco and Microsoft certifications.

For a candidate with some project management experi-

In today’s dynamic job environment, you might consider

ence, consider taking the PMI’s associate project manage-

this return on investment (ROI) idea from another perspec-

ment certification, which requires 2,000 hours of project man-

tive: Your next organization may pay you more than the

agement experience over the past eight years.

exam cost when you negotiate your incoming salary. To

For an idea of what that means, 2,000 hours is equal to

further illustrate this point, passing a PMP certification

about one year (40 hours x 50 weeks) worth of relevant

that cost $500 in study books and time might land you

work. This same number of hours during the previous

$3,000 to $10,000 more in annual income when negotiating

eight years will equal 250 hours per year, or as little as

your next salary.

five hours of project management work per week. The next certification level, the PMP, requires 4,500 to 7,500

Which certification should I focus on?

hours of experience during the past eight years and refer-

Look for a certification that’s relevant to your needs as well

ences from supervisors to validate your experience.

as the needs of your organization. If you work for a manu-

24 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

Be sure to evaluate your present experience level so


Embrace the fact that you, not your employer, have the ultimate responsibility for your career development. you don’t have to retake an exam due to inexperience or

Starbucks, Chipotle, General Motors and Hilton Hotels,

lack of knowledge.

helping cover education and certification costs. There are also tax benefits for employers to help cover educa-

How would my organization benefit?

tional costs for employees.

A certain level of certified training can help an organiza-

Do your research to help present a clear and palat-

tion that is bidding for contracts from many DOD organi-

able plan to your organization to justify its investment

zations. As mentioned earlier, DOD Directive 8570 speci-

in your professional development that will also benefit

fies the information assurance certifications expected

your employer.

for technicians, engineers and managers.3 Just as countless organizations benefit from Interna-

Will a certificate help me long term?

tional Organization for Standardization (ISO), Capability

The father of one of the authors, John Britto, worked for

Maturity Model Integration (CMM-I) and Federal Avia-

a tire manufacturing firm for many years and later at a

tion Administration (FAA) certifications, they also can

construction firm from the 1950s to the early 1980s. He

benefit from employee-held certifications by bidding on

made a sufficient wage, provided his family a good life

higher contract labor categories. For example, employ-

and did this without any industry certifications.

ees can earn a $6,000 raise if they pass the Cisco CCNA

Since the 1980s, however, the working environment

certification, which can bump them into a higher labor

has changed dramatically, and rapid technology advanc-

category and pay rate.

es now demand constant training and retraining. In his

In their 2012 book, The Economics of Software Qual-

book, Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skill

ity, Capers Jones and Olivier Bonsignour discuss the

Crisis, Edward E. Gordon writes: “Without a doubt,

impact of professional certifications on quality. They

this is not your father’s or mother’s workplace anymore.

charted the percentage of full-time employees who have

Thirty years ago, 80% of American manufacturing work-

attained professional certifications against the level of

ers were unskilled. In today’s new Cyber-Mental Age, this

product quality.

has been reduced to 12%.”5

In organizations that produce lower-quality products,

In an October 2006 QP article, “Climbing the Career

fewer than 15% of all employees—including managers,

Ladder: It’s Up to You,” the authors advised: “Embrace

developers, maintainers, testers and those working in

the fact that you, not your employer, have the ultimate

quality assurance—hold a certification. By contrast,

responsibility for your career development.”6

firms that produce high-quality products tend to have 15 to 50% of full-time employees who hold certifications.4

In a 2014 ACM Communications article, Vinton Cerf, Google vice president and chief internet evangelist, reinforced this statement: “The old model of going to school

What if my organization won’t pay?

for a while, having a career (maybe at the same com-

While this may be true at some organizations, don’t make

pany) and then retiring is being replaced with a more

the fact that your organization won’t pay for a certifica-

continuous need for access to new knowledge and skills

tion the only reason for not enriching your knowledge

throughout a career.”7

and résumé. Today, most organizations are working against higher operational costs and tighter margins,

Do industry-specific certifications help?

and all too often, this causes an organization to reduce

In most instances, yes, industry-specific certifications

overhead expenditures, which occasionally includes cut-

should help. You’ve probably read in recent blogs and

backs in employee training and certifications.

magazine articles that a person holding a certification—

Recent trends, however, show employers, such as

with all other background experiences being equal—has

July 2016 • QP 25

Many certifications shown in this matrix are indepen-

an edge over another candidate without certifications. Select a certification that will solidify your overall foundation and not distract from your experience. If

dent of one another and don’t require a prior certification to progress, although there may be on-the-job requirements.

you are working at a software organization, for example,

ASQ’s quality auditor certification, for example, re-

consider Microsoft, Cisco or a relevant certifications in

quires eight years of audit experience. Some of that time

C#, Java and structured query language (SQL), which are

can be waived according to your level of education: one

widely used in the industry today. Obviously, many other

year for a tech school diploma, three years for a bach-

certifications aren’t mentioned in this article, so search

elor’s degree and up to five years for a master’s degree. The left-to-right order in Table 1 identifies the range

out the popular ones for your field. Definitely take credit for your experience. If you lack

of years required for each certification and the amount

the prerequisites, consider looking at lower-level certifica-

of professional experience needed for each level. A

tions and build your portfolio as you go. Table 1 shows ba-

novice-level exam may require no general or industry

sic certification paths from novice (beginner), through as-

work experience. On the right side of the matrix, the

sociate, professional and expert (recognized leader) levels.

expert level may require 10 or more years of validated

Certification path


Field of study

Certifying organization

Novice level (0-2 years)

Associate level (2-5 years)

Professional level (5-8 years)

Expert level (10+ years)

Project management

Project Management Institute (PMI)

CompTIA project+

PMI-certified associate project management

PMI project management professional

PMI program management professional (PgMP)

Information assurance

International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2)/ Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)

CompTIA security+

ISC2 systems securitycertified practitioner/ certified authorization professional

CompTIA advanced security cractitioner, ISC2-certified information systems security professional (CISSP)


Quality assurance


Quality ­improvement associate/quality process analyst/quality technician certifications

Calibration technician/HACCP auditor/ biomedical auditor certifications

Quality engineer/software quality engineer/ reliability engineer/ quality auditor certifications

Manager of quality/ organizational excellence certification

Six Sigma


Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification

Six Sigma Green Belt certification

Six Sigma Black Belt (BB) certification

Six Sigma Master BB certification


Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)

Lean bronze

Lean silver

Lean gold



Microsoft Office specialist/Microsoft technology associate

Microsoft-certified solutions associate

Microsoft-certified systems engineer

Microsoft-certified solutions developer



Cisco-certified entry networking technician/ certified calibration technician

Cisco-certified network associate/ Cisco-certified design associate

Cisco-certified design professional/Ciscocertified network professional

Cisco-certified design expert/Cisco-certified inter-network expert

Red Hat

Red Hat

CompTIA Linux+

Red Hat-certified ­system administrator

Red Hat-certified engineer

Red Hat-certified architect

Systems engineering

International Council on INCOSE associate systems engineering Systems Engineering ­professional (INCOSE)

INCOSE-certified systems engineering professional

ICOSE expert ­systems engineering ­professional

Virtual machines (VM)


VMWare-certified associate-data center visualization

VMWare-certified professional 5–data center virtualization

VMWare-certified professional 5–data center administration

VMWare-certified design expert



CompTIA cloud ­essentials

CompTIA cloud+

ISC2-certified cloud security professional

26 QP • www.qualityprogress.com


experience and proven leadership. For detailed information on a specific certification, search the internet for information on the certifying organization.

and graded exam completed at a formal testing facility that confirms your thorough understanding of the topic. Typically, the cutoff score for most certification exams is between 70 to 80%, although this can vary. Most certifying organizations also require members to adhere

Guaranteed job or more income?

to a professional code of ethics. This code is usually in

A certification is only one component of what you offer a

the form of written and understood rules and values

potential employer, but it could provide you an edge that

pertaining to certification audit policies, recertification

makes a difference when you’re competing with other

requirements, professional and personal conduct, and

equally qualified candidates.

proper client communication.

Will a certification get you more money? That’s also difficult to determine. QP publishes an annual salary sur-

Worth your while

vey that breaks down salary levels of quality profession-

Some of the benefits of possessing a certification might

als by job and geographic region, among other variables.

include gaining a personal competitive advantage, in-

That report is a good reference if you are looking for

creasing your credibility, gaining relevant and updated

more information pertaining to these questions.8

learning, increasing your earnings and advancing your

For example, a colleague received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1988, but much of the

career. You rarely hear someone say, “We didn’t hire him because he has too many certifications.”

technology he may have learned in the 1980s, such as

If you’re thinking about a certification, select the

the electron tube theory, may no longer be relevant. An-

most relevant one for your needs, then study and take

other colleague received a computer science degree in

the exam. It will be a valuable investment in your future.

1990 and learned everything about Ada, Fortran and Pas-

Go for it! QP

cal, which were essential programming languages at that time—but certainly aren’t as relevant now. In both cases, this prior knowledge is an excellent foundation. In today’s job market, however, some hiring managers may not see education or training from years ago as being vital to their firm’s overall success today. This is where certifications come in handy. Fair or not, you will be judged by your experience, presentation and personality, but the right certification certainly will add points to your overall portfolio. Any software industry-related certifications, for example,

REFERENCES AND NOTES 1. Rich Hein, “IT Certifications That Paid Off the Most in 2015,” CIO Magazine, Nov. 16, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/cio-certifications. 2. U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), DOD 8570.01-M Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, Dec. 19, 2005: http://iase.disa.mil. 3. Ibid. 4. Capers Jones and Olivier Bonsignour, The Economics of Software Quality, Addison-Wesley, 2012. 5. Edward E. Gordon, Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skills Crisis, Praeger, 2013. 6. H. Fred Walker and Justin Levesque, “Climbing the Career Ladder: It’s Up to You,” Quality Progress, October 2006, pp. 28-32. 7. Vinton G. Cerf, “Does Innovation Create or Destroy Jobs?” Communications of the ACM, December 2014, Vol. 57, No. 12, p. 7. 8. Max Christian Hansen, “Value of Certifications,” Quality Progress, December 2015, pp. 31-37.

will provide you validated, updated knowledge from reputable vendors such as Microsoft, Red Hat or Cisco that will bridge your prior knowledge with information relevant to an employer’s current needs. In addition, most certifications require continuous recertification units from job-related training, lectures, conferences and work experience that will further validate your experience. This is typically 40-contact hours per year, or one-week of training.

Is certificate and certification the same? The objectives of certificates and certification are different. A certificate is given to someone who has attended and completed a form of training. Certifications also have a training component, but there also is a monitored

RANDALL BRITTO is a Department of Army civilian and network lab manager in Sierra Vista, AZ. He has a master’s degree in information systems engineering from Western International University in Tempe, AZ, and an MBA from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. He is a senior member of ASQ and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a member of the Association for Computing Machinery and Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). Britto is an ASQ-certified software quality engineer and Six Sigma Green Belt, and holds other CompTIA Security+ and Project+ certifications. JOHN DELALLA is the director of continuing education for the University of Arizona in Sierra Vista. He holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and more than 20 industry certifications in IT, IT security and related fields. He is a member of ASQ, IEEE, CompTIA, the Information Systems Security Association, the University Professional and Continuing Education Association and other industry professional associations.

July 2016 • QP 27

Pulling It All

TOGETHER A look at what’s behind building and attaining professional certifications by Jim Spichiger In 50 Words Or Less

• Certifications can provide advantages to employers and quality professionals in the today’s business. • In addition to affirming an ongoing commitment to quality initiatives and methods, certifications can enhance career opportunities and sometimes are required for employment. • Credible certifications must evolve from bodies of knowledge that are regularly reviewed and updated.

COMPETITION IS a fact of life. To gain an edge in the business world, a workforce must be proficient in the principles and practices of quality. The best—and arguably, easiest—way to demonstrate this proficiency is through professional certification. Certifications are advantageous to individuals and employers alike because they validate that individual members of the workforce have the skills and knowledge to ensure the quality of products and services. Instead of simply adding up the advantages of achieving these formal recognitions, however, it’s important to first spell out what’s behind professional certifications, particularly ASQ’s offerings.


July 2016 • QP 29

Certifications and BoKs

tainment of knowledge. Most importantly, they can

ASQ defines certification as formal recognition that a

provide lifelong learning skills. Though people retain

person has demonstrated proficiency in and compre-

them for a lifetime, they are not required to continue

hension of a specified body of knowledge (BoK) at a

formal learning opportunities to maintain them. The

set point in time.1

down side of this? Specific knowledge attained while

BoK is defined as “the complete set of concepts,

earning degrees, especially technology-related ones,

terms and activities that make up a professional do-

may become obsolete or of limited use in the years

main, as determined by a relevant learned society or

that follow.

professional association.”2 In other words, the BoK establishes the scope of a professional certification.

Certification is the successful assessment of someone’s mastery of a defined BoK, and it demonstrates

The true value of a professional certification hap-

proof of work competence. Certifications assess un-

pens when its BoK is tightly controlled, updated regu-

derstanding of key topics established by subject mat-

larly and based on authenticated information. BoKs

ter experts in a given field. Many certifications require

are dynamic—constantly evolving to stay relevant as

proof of work experience and successful completion

technology advances and methods improve.

of educational requirements and a certification exam.

For professional certifications to remain relevant

Typically, professional certifications are limited to

and valued, the professional society, association or or-

a specific, predetermined length of time because, of

ganization must regularly review the BoK, as well as

course, the respective BoKs evolve.

the exam’s specifications and contents—that is, exam questions. These maintenance activities can be ex-

Individual benefits

pensive and time consuming for any organization, but

There are hundreds of certifications offered by many

that’s what maintains the value and integrity of profes-

professions. Professional certifications can add value

sional certifications. ASQ reviews each of its BoKs ev-

to individuals and employers because they:

ery five years.

• Demonstrate expertise.

The BoK for a professional certification also should

• Document proof of knowledge to a specified BoK.

be based on authenticated information because this

• Provide a mark of technical excellence.

helps remove bias. The BoK for each ASQ certification

• Demonstrate a commitment to a profession.

exam, for example, is not based on common knowl-

Certifications also can show individual initiative be-

edge that individuals can usually obtain through work

cause those who pursue them usually do so on their

experience, but rather on published information that

own volition.

has been validated by subject matter experts.

Any professional certifications that are credible and worth pursuing are provided by independent, external

Certificate, degree or certification?

third-party organizations. This arrangement reduces

Certifications differ from certificates and degrees. A

bias that may occur when a certification is issued in-

certificate is issued after a person completes an edu-

ternally by an employer.

cational experience such as a workshop or seminar.

Other benefits of professional certifications include:

Examples include a certificate of course attendance

Global respect: Third-party certifications from

or a certificate of course completion. While the value

known professional societies or organizations are usu-

of a certificate should not be diminished, possessing

ally internationally recognized credentials. That inter-

a certificate doesn’t necessarily imply knowledge and

national recognition component adds even more value

understanding of a particular subject.

and credibility to the certification and can be a source

A degree or diploma is defined as “an award conferred by a school, college or university signifying

of pride and confidence for those who attain the certification.

the recipient has satisfactorily completed a course of

Transferability: Many professional certifications

study.”3 Examples include diplomas issued after com-

can be transferred across industries because they are

pleting high school or degrees after college or graduate

independent of a specific industry. An ASQ quality


technician certification, for example, is an internation-

Degrees can demonstrate fortitude and the at-

30 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

ally recognized certification that provides credibility to


a person’s education, knowledge and skill set—regardless of whether he or she works in a manufacturing, healthcare or service industry. Marketability: Those who have gained certifications have a leg up on noncertified peers who may have comparable education, experience and skills. Certification can be a smart career investment because it can increase marketability and open opportunities within or outside someone’s workplace. Recognition: Individuals can expect to be rewarded for achieving a certification—either immediately in their careers or later. Rewards can include additional compensation (more details on that later), job advancement or other professional opportunities. Networking: A professional certification places the person in the company of other professionals with similar skills and knowledge. This, in turn, provides the chance to share experiences and build a professional network.

Beyond the individual The value of professional certifications goes beyond individual achievement and can provide significant benefits to employers. Professional certifications quickly and


ASQ offers these 19 professional certifications: 1. Auditor. 2. Biomedical auditor. 3. Calibration technician. 4. Engineer. 5. Hazard analysis and critical control point auditor. 6. Improvement associate.* 7. Inspector.* 8. Lean certification (through a partnership with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence and the Shingo Institute). 9. Manager of quality/organizational excellence. 10. Pharmaceutical good manufacturing practice professional. 11. Process analyst.* 12. Reliability engineer. 13. Six Sigma Yellow Belt.* 14. Six Sigma Green Belt.* 15. Six Sigma Black Belt. 16. Six Sigma Master Black Belt. 17. Software engineer. 18. Supplier quality professional. 19. Technician.* * denotes lifetime certifications

easily demonstrate employee competence and a knowledgeable workforce. This competence and knowledge

part of fulfilling other organizations’ contractual require-

in the workforce then can lead to higher productivity.

ments. Because certifications demonstrate and docu-

A highly qualified staff, therefore, can help organiza-

ment recognized expertise and worker competency, it is

tions achieve business objectives more easily and gain

possible some customers may require that the work be

a competitive edge.

performed or verified by certified professionals.

When employers are hiring, professional certifications

Certified professionals can definitely elevate an orga-

can lessen some of the unknown qualities of candidates

nization’s image and can put organizations in a position

because they provide quantifiable evidence of the candi-

to get more bang for their buck.

dates’ knowledge of a defined BoK. Many organizations may require certification for certain job positions.

ASQ certification

Organizations that value professional certifications

ASQ began developing and administering certifications

can experience greater employee loyalty because this

directly related to quality in 1968 with the quality engi-

support of certifications can increase morale. This is

neer certification, which remains one of its most popu-

achieved through a culture of acknowledgment, in-

lar. Since then, more than 200,000 ASQ certifications

vestment and reward. Last year’s QP Salary Survey,

have been issued, and approximately 35% of ASQ mem-

for example, reported that only 24% of employees are

bers hold at least one of its certifications.

satisfied with their jobs. When any ASQ certification

The certifications are based on ASQ’s extensive quali-

was added as a new requirement of a respondent’s job,

ty BoK, which resides within its 27 divisions, forums and

however, 80% of respondents are likely to be satisfied

special interest groups. The synergy of sections and divi-

in that job.4 Because of their advanced skills and lower

sions allows ASQ’s quality BoKs to evolve and expand.

turnover, certified employees can provide organizations a market differentiator. In some instances, having a certified team may be

ASQ’s certification exams are globally recognized and endorsed by more than 125 international organizations. Besides English, some ASQ certification exams

July 2016 • QP 31

are offered in several other languages including Span-


ish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese and Korean. Many ASQ certifications build from one another. An individual may start with the quality inspector cer-

ASQ offers several training options to help you prepare for your certification exam. ASQ also offers a wide variety of books to help you understand each certification’s body of knowledge. Training and books are unique for each exam. Visit http://asq. org/cert/prepare for more information on ways to prepare for a specific exam.

tification, for example, and enhance his or her career through additional certifications such as technician, engineer and manager of quality/organizational excellence. Those pursuing a mastery of Six Sigma, for example, can progress from Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification to Six Sigma Green Belt (GB), then Six Sigma Black Belt and ultimately to Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Figure 1 shows recommended sequences of ASQ

passed the certification exam. See the sidebar, “ASQ


Recertification,” p. 34, for particulars on ASQ’s rules.

Prerequisites and recertification

professional certification is a bother, but recertifica-

Often, there are prerequisites that must be met before

tion benefits individuals by expanding their knowledge

you’re allowed to sit for a professional certification

and honing their skill sets. For employers, recertifica-

exam. These prerequisites add further value to the cer-

tion ensures a workforce is constantly improving its

tification because they limit eligibility.

skills and furthering its knowledge.

Initially, you might think that having to maintain a

Continuing education units or recertification units

Prerequisites can be a certain level of education or years of experience within a profession, or a combina-

can be earned in many ways, such as:

tion of both. Prerequisites also could include profes-

• Professional development—attending training

sional references or proof of work. Six Sigma certifica-

courses and conferences, which enhances a person’s skill set and expands his or her capabilities.

tion, for example, may require proof of completing one

• Knowledge sharing—writing for publications, de-

or more projects.

livering presentations and instructing courses.

Many professional certifications require you to maintain your knowledge base to stay certified. Recer-

• Volunteering—service to a professional society,

tification verifies that individuals have maintained the

which also can polish organizational and leadership

same level of knowledge demonstrated when they first


ASQ certification path Technical



Type QA: Track:



Initial (vocational) certifications

Follow-on (professional) certifications















Conclusion: auditor

Conclusion: engineer, manager







Software eng.

Career track:


Conclusion: inspector

Conclusion: Conclusion: technician software engineer

1. This map does not specify a required order of acquisition of certifications. It is intended to provide a recommended order of certification based on the candidate’s chosen career path within quality assurance. 2. The CHA and CBA certifications do not necessarily build on the BoK of each other. They can be taken in either order, or one or both can be bypassed based on the career path of the test candidate. *certified supplier quality engineer—piloting 2017

32 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

BoK = body of knowledge CBA = certified biomedical auditor CCT = c  ertified calibration technician CHA = certified hazard analysis and critical control points auditor CMQ/OE = certified manager of quality/organizational excellence CQA = certified quality auditor CQE = certified quality engineer CQI = certified quality inspector CQIA = c  ertified quality improvement associate CQPA = c  ertified quality process analyst CQT = certified quality technician CRE = certified reliability engineer CSSYB = certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt CSSGB = certified Six Sigma Green Belt CSSBB = certified Six Sigma Black Belt CSQE = c  ertified supplier quality engineer


Quality certifications and salary differentials Job title


Calibration technician

Calibration technician


Average with certification ($U.S.)

Average without certification ($U.S.)

Salary premium ($U.S.)

Percentage premium






Manager of quality/organizational excellence





Quality engineer

Manager of quality/organizational excellence





Process/manufacturing/ project engineer

Manager of quality/organizational excellence






Quality auditor






Six Sigma Black Belt (BB)






Six Sigma BB





Six Sigma Green Belt (GB)

Six Sigma GB





Quality engineer

Quality engineer





Supplier quality engineer/ professional

Quality engineer





Process/manufacturing/ project engineer

Quality engineer





Reliability/safety engineer

Reliability engineer






Reliability engineer





Software quality engineer

Software quality engineer





All three methods—especially volunteering—create

preparation training is delivered three ways:

networking opportunities, which give individuals an-

1. Live, face-to-face and instructor led.

other way to seek knowledge, learn lessons or explore

2. Live, remote and online instructor led.

employment opportunities.

3. Web-based and self-paced. In addition, some ASQ sections and divisions pro-

Certification preparation

vide instructor-led certification preparatory courses,

The amount of time needed to prepare for a certifica-

offered in person or remotely through video-con-

tion exam depends on the person. At the onset, the

ferencing technology. There are many consultants,

person’s preparedness is a combination of his or her

educational training companies and educational or-

experience, skill set, education and formal training.

ganizations independent of ASQ that provide similar

In general, you can expect to spend 20 to 120 hours

resources, too.

preparing for an exam. In addition to studying and attending exam refresher courses, preparation could in-

Salary differential

clude gathering resource materials, identifying pages

ASQ’s reputation in the quality arena and the fact that

in those resources to reference, and highlighting pas-

ASQ’s certifications are recognized internationally are

sages and parts of text containing important informa-

two of the biggest reasons ASQ certifications have be-


come so valuable and sought after. But there’s another

ASQ offers many knowledge resources, several forms of certification preparation training courses and practice exams. See the sidebar, “Exam Preparation” for more details on where to find these resources. Each ASQ certification exam has its own webpage that provides a list of reference materials, sample exams and a list of training sources. ASQ exam certification


Starting in September, ASQ will begin transitioning its certification testing to a computer-based process. The change will allow for a more streamlined testing process, quicker results, enhanced security and additional testing days. For more information, visit http://asq.org/cbt.

July 2016 • QP 33



An ASQ certification that requires recertification lasts three years. Recertification can be achieved by retaking the particular exam or earning 18 recertification units (RU). RUs can be earned through 10 different activities. Each activity has a maximum number of units allowed, so RUs must be earned in two or more ways: 1. Professional development—conferences, workshops, seminars and webinars. Up to nine RUs can be earned through this type of activity. 2. Employment—up to 10.8 RUs. 3. Instructing—teaching courses (external from your employment). Up to 10.8 RUs. 4. Education—educational courses (for example, college or training courses). Up to nine RUs. 5. Meetings—attendance at professional society meetings (for example, ASQ section meetings). Up to nine RUs. 6. Committees—volunteer work with professional societies. Up to six RUs. 7. Certifications—other professional certifications, including other ASQ certifications earned. Up to six RUs. 8. Proctoring—proctoring ASQ exams. Up to seven RUs. 9. Electronic media—watching or listening to media (for example, CD-ROMs, DVDs and ASQ TV’s Standards Channel) related to a specific certification topic for at least 15 minutes. Up to 3.6 RUs. 10. Publishing and presenting—publication of books, magazine articles and speeches (external from your employment). Up to nine RUs. Presentations you deliver within your organization and work you perform as an instructor for internal courses are considered work-related and qualify as employment for RUs. RUs earned for service must be work-related. Volunteering for an ASQ section or division qualifies for RUs, for example, but volunteer work supporting religious organizations, schools, scouting and youth sports does not count toward professional recertification. ASQ uses two methods to recertify. Traditionally, ASQ recertification is done via a two-step process: Candidates send their recertification journal to their local ASQ section. After review and verification, the section forwards the journal to ASQ headquarters for final processing. Last year, ASQ began allowing people to recertify online. This method eliminates the section’s involvement and speeds the recertification process. Recertification journals can be submitted six months prior to the certification’s expiration date and up to one year after. All RUs must be earned during the three-year recertification period, and any units earned after a certification has expired are not counted toward the recertification. For more details on ASQ recertification, visit http://asq.org/cert/ recertification. —J.S.

34 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

clear reason: the difference a certification can have on a quality professional’s salary. As mentioned earlier, people with professional certifications can expect to earn more on average than noncertified professionals, as shown consistently in the QP’s annual salary survey. Table 1 (p. 33) shows an ASQ certification provides a distinct advantage to individuals who are certified versus those in comparable positions who aren’t. For example: • Calibration technicians with a quality technician certification earn 10% more on average than noncertified technicians. • Managers with a certified manager of quality/operational excellence earn 13.7% (about $12,500) more than those without this certification. • Certified quality auditors earn more than $8,000 more than noncertified auditors. The largest salary differential is a whopping 25% higher salary—about $16,500 more—for GBs who actually hold an ASQ GB certification. The lowest salary differential shown from the survey report indicates certified software quality engineers earn 3.4% more than the noncertified counterparts. In all instances, those who hold ASQ certifications, on average, are compensated at a higher level.5

Master your craft Professional certifications provide numerous benefits to individuals and their employers because they establish an individual as a master of his or her craft. Earning and maintaining professional certifications is crucial to professional growth and provides a competitive edge. In particular, ASQ certification is a mark of career excellence that affirms an ongoing commitment to quality initiatives and methods, provides enhanced career opportunities and, in some cases, could be required for employment. Professional certification is an investment in an individual’s career and in the future of his or her employer. QP REFERENCES 1. ASQ, “The Value of an ASQ Certification,” http://asq.org/cert. 2. Wikipedia, “Body of Knowledge,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/body_of_ knowledge. 3. The Free Dictionary, “Certificate,” www.thefreedictionary.com/certificate. 4. Max Christian Hansen, “Value of Certifications,” Quality Progress, December 2015, pp. 31-37. 5. Ibid.

JIM SPICHIGER is the business improvement officer at Park National Bank in Newark, OH. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University in Pennsylvania. An ASQ fellow, Spichiger is an ASQ-certified improvement associate, inspector, technician, auditor, engineer, manager of quality/organizational excellence, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He also holds a professional engineer’s license. He is the chair-elect for ASQ’s Inspection Division.

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• After World War II, total quality management (TQM) played a critical role in organizations adopting enterprisewide commitments to quality. • Some suggest the concept is obsolete, but recent research found TQM is alive and well, and its inclusiveness helps employees take part in meeting or exceeding customer needs.

by Victor E. Sower, Kenneth W. Green Jr. and Pamela J. Zelbst


THERE’S A NOTION some quality professionals have started propagating: The world is entering a quality era in which total quality management (TQM) is being replaced by more modern approaches to quality. We wanted to put this idea to the test, but before we did, we had to put TQM into a historical context. A framework for the history of quality in the United States as a series of revolutions was proposed several years ago.1 Walter Shewhart started the systematic approach to quality in the 1920s. This movement gained traction during the World War II era after quality became an imperative for arms manufacturers. Subsequently, quality in the United States declined as manufacturers found they could sell anything they had the capacity to produce to a world market devastated by war.

July 2016 • QP 37

The work of quality gurus such as W. Edwards

The systematic approach to quality also drew heav-

Deming, Joseph M. Juran and Armand V. Feigenbaum

ily on the Japanese concept of enterprisewide quality

helped start the second quality revolution, which be-

control. Over the years, perceptions of TQM shifted—

gan in the late 1950s in Japan and helped that country

from being the best thing that happened to quality

later emerge as an economic power.

management to an idea past its prime. For more than

The third quality revolution began in the United

20 years, many people proclaimed the demise of TQM,

States in the early 1970s. This was a reaction to strong

describing it as an irrelevant “management theory.”

competition from Japan and the work of Deming, Ju-

For example, Jamison Koehler referred to TQM as an

ran, Feigenbaum and Philip B. Crosby finally gaining

“outdated fad from the 1980s.”5 In the 1990s, Fortune


and Businessweek wrote about TQM, referring to it “as dead as a pet rock”6 and noting that organizations had

TQM—A fundamental concept

soured on it.7

After Feigenbaum introduced the idea of total qual-

Deming is often credited with being the developer

ity control in his book, Quality Control—Principles,

of many practices associated with TQM. But he didn’t

Practice, and Administration,2 and in his 1956 article,

use the term in his publications, such as Out of the Cri-

“Total Quality Control,”3 the TQM concept was born.

sis or The New Economics. And at a conference we

Feigenbaum wrote: “The underlying principle of

attended in Dallas in 1989, he said he didn’t know what

this total quality view—and its basic difference from all

TQM meant. Deming’s distance from TQM didn’t stop

other concepts—is that, to provide genuine effective-

organizations from implementing a form of it based on

ness, control must start with the design of the product

his teachings and crediting him with its development.

and end only when the product has been placed in the hands of a customer who remains satisfied.”


Many organizations developed their own approaches and labels, such as “world class manufacturing,” but

He clearly defined the roles of marketing, engineer-

all of these versions conform to ASQ’s definition: “A

ing, purchasing, supervision, operations, inspection

management approach to long-term success through

and shipping in this total quality concept. It was an

customer satisfaction. It is based on the participation of

enterprisewide approach in which all employees had

all members of an organization in improving processes,

a responsibility for quality: This eventually became

products, services and the culture they work in.”8

known as TQM.

No one best model

Overlap of TQM and other quality approaches / FIGURE 1

Having multiple approaches to TQM is useful. Authors James Evans and James Dean Jr. explained that a “one best model” for TQM might not work for some organizations’ cultures, and those that are successful usually develop approaches that fit their requirements. “Research shows that imitating the TQM efforts of one

Six Sigma

Lean manufacturing

successful organization may not lead to good results in another,” wrote Evans and Dean.9 The TQM concept also was expanded to include goals such as continuous process improvement,

TQM Customer focus Product design SPC ISO 9001

customer-driven quality, defect-free production, improvement of processes rather than criticism of people and data-based decision making.10 Unique TQM MBNQA

practices were divided into three dimensions: customer focus, product design and statistical process control (SPC).

TQM = total quality management SPC = statistical process control MBNQA = Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

38 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

Imprints of TQM are found in modern approaches to quality management, such as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) criteria, Six Sigma


and lean manufacturing. The Baldrige criteria clearly reflects the philosophy of TQM.11 The compatibility of TQM and Six

Survey results on key TQM practices over time / FIGURE 2

Sigma was demonstrated by Motorola—

Strongly agree

became one of the first MBNQA winners. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines lean manufacturing as a “systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste through continuous improvement and flowing the product at the pull of the

My organization uses SPC, PD and CF

which popularized Six Sigma—after it


customer in pursuit of perfection.”12 This can be viewed as combining TQM and the lean just-in-time (JIT) approach into one improvement program. Even ISO 9001 contains TQM elements. We believe TQM is an underlying concept in each of these

Strongly disagree

approaches (see Figure 1).

Is TQM passé? In a recent discussion on ASQ’s LinkedIn

TQM = total quality management SPC = statistical process control PD = product development CF = customer focus


2009 SPC


2012 CF

page, many users’ comments suggested TQM was replaced by modern systems, such as Six Sigma and quality management standards

TQM benefits

from the International Organization for Standardiza-

Our research focused on the benefits of several man-


agement practices and technologies with regard to

We researched how quality practices affect vari-

organizational performance, and TQM was among the

ous aspects of performance in U.S. manufacturing

practices investigated. The research showed TQM did

organizations, and we examined an extensive body of

not directly affect an organization’s performance, but

research to better understand and operationalize the

it had indirect effects, such as improving intermedi-

term “TQM.”

ary functions, logistical performance and marketing

In the early stages of our project, we found a mea-

performance. Our collected data were analyzed using

surement scale that assessed TQM’s three dimensions:

structural equation modeling, and it supported those

customer focus, product design and SPC.13 On some

significant positive relationships (see Figure 3, p. 40).

level, these areas are present in other approaches to quality (see Figure 1).

After viewing these results from a systems perspective, they made perfect sense. Customer satisfaction is

The scale’s developers used it to assess TQM use

the minimum goal of a TQM program. Therefore, prod-

in 1996. We used it to collect data in 200914 during the

ucts should be designed with the voice of the customer

U.S. economic recession, and in 2012,15 during a slight

(functionality) as the main driver, followed by manu-

recovery period. Using 13 questions, the survey asked


respondents whether they agreed or disagreed that their organizations used the key TQM dimensions.

To meet functionality and manufacturability goals, designers typically try to reduce the number of re-

We found no evidence that TQM was dead. Based

quired parts and minimize dependencies among parts.

on the results illustrated in Figure 2, we concluded that

After these goals are achieved, organizations can pro-

not only were the three TQM practices still used, but

duce better products that meet customers’ needs and

also that the use of product development and SPC had



SPC is used to control processes to minimize

July 2016 • QP 39


It’s not surprising that quality exerts a positive influence on performance. variation. This improves the ability to meet production schedules and decreases the number of defective products and returned goods, which creates more reliable delivery schedules. Higher quality products that are delivered on time increase marketing’s ability to make commitments to customers. More reliable delivery of high-quality products also results in increased customer satisfaction and retention, which improves an organization’s overall performance. It’s not surprising that quality exerts a positive influence on performance: Deming proposed the same idea in general terms in the Deming chain reaction (see Figure 4).16 TQM is far from passé. Its inclusiveness allows all aspects of an organization to be involved in meeting or exceeding customer needs, and they benefit from TQM’s effects. So, whether your organization uses TQM concepts based on philosophies of early quality leaders or methods such as SPC, Six Sigma, the MBNQA criteria or lean, the customer wins. If the customer wins, we all win. QP

REFERENCES 1. Victor E. Sower, Essentials of Quality With Cases and Experiential Exercises, Wiley, 2011, pp. 5-6. 2. Armand V. Feigenbaum, Quality Control—Principles, Practice, and Administration, McGraw-Hill, 1951. 3. Armand V. Feigenbaum, “Total Quality Control,” Harvard Business Review, Vol. 34, No. 6, 1956, pp. 93-101. 4. Ibid. 5. Jamison Koehler, “Total Quality Management and the Practice of Criminal Law,” Koehlerlaw.net, April 14, 2012, http://tinyurl.com/koehler-tqm. 6. J.A. Byrne, “Management Theory—Or Fad of the Month?” Businessweek, June 23, 1997, p. 47. 7. J. Mathews and P. Katel, “The Cost of Quality: Faced With Hard Times, Business Sours on Total Quality Management,” Newsweek, Sept. 7, 1990, pp. 48-49. 8. “The Quality Glossary,” ASQ.org, http://asq.org/glossary/t.html. 9. James R. Evans and James W. Dean Jr., Total Quality Management, Organization and Strategy, second edition, South-Western College, 1999, p. 43. 10. Barbara B. Flynn, Sadao Sakakibara and Roger G. Schroeder, “Relationship Between JIT and TQM: Practices and Performance,” Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 38, No. 5, 1995, pp. 1,325-1,360. 11. “Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award,” asq.org, http://tinyurl.com/ mbnqa-asq-overview. 12. “Lean and Continuous Improvement,” nist.gov, http://tinyurl.com/nistlean-manufacturing. 13. Flynn, “Relationship Between JIT and TQM: Practices and Performance,” see reference 10. 14. Jeremy Bellah, Pamela J. Zelbst and Kenneth W. Green Jr., “Unique TQM Practices and Logistics Performance,” International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2012, pp. 61-76. 15. Pamela J. Zelbst, Kenneth W. Green Jr., Victor E. Sower and Roger Abshire, “Impact of RFID and Information Sharing on JIT, TQM and Operational Performance,” Management Research Review, Vol. 37, No. 11, 2014, pp. 970-989. 16. W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis, MIT Press, 1982.

Indirect effect of TQM on performance / FIGURE 3 TQM

Logistics performance

Marketing performance

Organization performance

TQM = total quality management

Deming chain reaction Improve quality

Costs decrease

More jobs provided

40 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

KENNETH W. GREEN JR. is Lemay Professor of Management at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. He earned a doctorate in operations management from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.


Productivity improves

VICTOR E. SOWER is a distinguished professor emeritus of management at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. He earned a doctorate in operations management at the University of North Texas in Denton. An ASQ senior member, Sower is an ASQ-certified quality engineer. He is the author of Benchmarking for Hospitals (ASQ Quality Press, 2008) and several articles published in QP and Quality Management Journal.

Market share increases

Organization stays in business

PAMELA J. ZELBST is associate professor of supply chain management, director of the Center for Innovation and Technology Management and director of the Sower Business Technology Laboratory at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. She earned a doctorate in operations management at the University of Texas at Arlington. An ASQ member, Zelbst is certified as a project management professional by the Project Management Institute and is a certified radio frequency identification professional.

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videos.asq.org/asqstandards-channel CONFERENCES




The Global Voice of Quality




A World Without Work Technological advances axe jobs, requiring new skills A REPORT ON the future of jobs was

tions such as the smart factory, which is

true or false, and our instinct is a power-

published by the World Economic

operated by cyber-physical systems and

ful attribute. Chess players, for example,

Forum (WEF) in January, and it showed

controlled through virtual models. Robot-

feel threats from their opponents’ unex-

dramatic changes over the next five years

ics and AI are developing at incredible

pected moves. An artist can mix colors,

with regard to the nature and location of

speeds, meaning the jobs we perform

which stirs emotions. Instinct is some-

jobs.1 In his book, The Industries of the

in 2020 will be entirely different from

thing we don’t fully understand, but we

Future, author Alec Ross wrote that 10

today’s jobs.

know it is real. Good leaders have good

The idea of intelligent machines was

years from now, 65% of jobs will be roles

introduced in 1955. It was based on the

that don’t exist today. If your job contains quality control in

work of Alan Turing—who broke Germa-

instincts. People who excel in sports do so through instinct. There are challenges ahead for AI,

its title, start looking around fast. New

ny’s ciphers produced by its Enigma Ma-

such as gaining social intelligence and

businesses need skills such as creativity,

chine during World War II—the subject of

creative thinking. Theoretical physicist

complex problem solving and emotional

the 2014 movie, “The Imitation Game.”2

Stephen Hawking suggested humans


Turing also was among the first individu-

should never allocate moral responsibil-

als to propose the theory of computation,

ity to AI.7 We see it in science fiction,

entering the fourth industrial revolution

which deals with a computer program’s

but the point is that we shudder at the

(see Figure 1). This revolution is driven

efficiency in solving problems.3

thought of a world controlled by amoral

All of this is happening because we are

by advances in big data, smart technol-


ogy and artificial intelligence (AI). And

The dawn of AI

the 3-D printer shows how new tools are

AI developed slowly over the following

Expanding divides

making mass production and economies

decades, but after 2000, computing power

What does all of this mean to the world

of scale a thing of the past.

rapidly increased. Today, AI is present in

of work and the future of our careers?

Google searches4 and some voice recogni-

Work matters. It gives our lives meaning.

tion applications. More complex exam-

But if we eliminate our jobs, we increase

Big data analysis and the Internet of Things (IoT) are leading to innova-


ples have defeated human

Entering the fourth industrial revolution Revolution

professionals in games of


inequality. There’s evidence of this happening

chess and “Go.”6 AI is an

today. The gap is widening between

interesting blend of disci-

individuals with extreme wealth and

plines, such as computer

those living in poverty, and it’s creating

science, math, psychology,

significant social pressures.8




Steam, water and mechanical production equipment



Division of labor, electricity and mass production

still far more capable of

wasn’t a guarantee the work would be

fast, intuitive judgment

equally spread out.


Electronics, IT and automated production

because of one remark-


Cyber-physical systems




Source: Klause Schwab, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What It Means, How to Respond,” Weforum.org, Jan. 14, 2016, http://tinyurl. com/cybernetic-revolution.

42 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

linguistics, philosophy and neuroscience. Humans, however, are

In the 1930s, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by 2030 we would have three-hour work days.9 But there

Today’s wealthy nations are benefiting

able attribute—common

from this shift, and poor economies are

sense. This unique trait is

suffering. There is no law on the equality

based on the enormous

of benefits, and this is leading to political

body of knowledge and

tensions on a global scale.

experience a person carries. Nothing is simply

There’s increasing pressure on lowpaying jobs, and there will likely be “on

shoring” of work from India and China

and a willingness to

in the future.10 But these returning jobs

acquire new knowledge

won’t be the same as the ones that

that can be applied to

originally moved, reminding me of a line

tomorrow’s job market.

from the song “My Home Town” by Bruce

You must be cogni-

Springsteen: “Foreman says these jobs are

zant of which career

going boys and they ain’t coming back.”

paths will grow or

Middle-skill service jobs will be re-

decline. The WEF pre-

placed by AI globally. It’s predicted that

dicts jobs in engineer-

7 million jobs will be eliminated in five

ing and math will grow

years.11 For example, today’s typically

significantly, while

poor speech-recognition software used in

office and manufactur-

call centers will eventually become more

ing roles will decline

functional. But there are limitations for

(see Figure 2). Perhaps more importantly, we

AI’s applications.

Forecast of most in-demand skill sets / TABLE 1 2015


1. Complex problem solving

1. Complex problem solving

2. Coordinating with others

2. Critical thinking

3. People management

3. Creativity

4. Critical thinking

4. People management

5. Negotiation

5. Coordinating with others

6. Quality control

6. Emotional intelligence

7. Service orientation



Judgement and decision making

9. Active listening

Judgement and decision making

8. Service orientation 9. Negotiation

10. Creativity

10. Cognitive flexibility

should be aware of the

Limitations and knowledge

personal skill sets that will be in demand

2020. This reflects how AI will increasing-

I often visit a nice Japanese restaurant

by year 2020.

ly deal with data collection and analysis, and it signals a need to develop new skills

where I’m given an iPad instead of a menu. I pick my food, send my order to

Chart toppers

in our profession—especially with regard

the kitchen via Wi-Fi, and a smiling server

The WEF’s skill ratings show some inter-

to creativity.

eventually brings my meal. I do not see fine

esting trends from 2015 to 2020 (see Table

Straight away, I can hear someone say,

dining becoming a robotic experience in

1). It’s a bit like looking at a top-hits chart

“Well, creativity is a part of someone’s na-

which the meal arrives on a conveyer belt.

for music, and one chart-topping skill is

ture, not something that’s nurtured.” Not

To take advantage of these develop-

creativity—10th place in 2015 and third in

true. People are born creative, and it was

ments, people need skills, adaptability

2020. This is what employers will want in

“nurtured out” through their educational

their employees, which

Job-demand forecast


Architecture and engineering Computer and mathematical fields Management Business and financial operations Sales and related fields Installation and maintenance Construction and extraction Arts, design, entertainment, sports and media Manufacturing and production Office and administrative −6



also was reflected in a




Compound growth rate, 2015–2020 percentage Source: “The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” World Economic Forum, January 2016, http://tinyurl.com/futurejobsreport-wec.

Albert Einstein famously said, “No

2010 IBM CEO Study

problem can be solved from the same

and more recently by a

level of consciousness that created

2014 Pricewaterhouse-

it.”14 Creativity means finding solutions

Coopers CEO survey.13

through imagination and an unconven-

Another skill pre-

tional approach. This occurs if we have


dicted to climb in

freedom to think and can interact with

importance is emotional

new stimuli.

intelligence. Complex

Unfortunately, our daily work has

problem solving, how-

removed that from us, and we must step

ever, remained at No.

out of the box to become creative. We ex-

1 on both charts. All of

plore to learn and to meet people who are

these skills are attributes

different from ourselves. We have learned

of an innovator.

that through collaboration and collec-

Have you noticed 0


tive knowledge, it’s possible to produce

what’s missing from the

radical new solutions. People must be

2020 portion of the table?

willing to try out their radical solutions,

Quality control is in sixth

however, and be willing to fail.

place on the 2015 chart, but it falls off the list in

There is good news: CEOs are well aware of the need for creativity and

July 2016 • QP 43

INNOVATION IMPERATIVE innovation. Organizations are starting

ket. As a quality professional, it’s likely

to build concepts such as social in-

you could be a connector—that is, a

novation into their business strategies.

person who is good at finding conceptual

They know this is necessary to restore

solutions—and you are probably far more

stakeholder trust and to attract millen-

creative than you realize. QP

nials—vital to the future of business. So what does this mean for quality professionals’ careers? The digital economy is producing many opportunities for entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. In truth, eliminating nonessential work has enormous social benefits, and we can finally say goodbye to Taylorism. There are going to be many new R&D jobs, and engineering and new technologies will lead to new careers. Visit the Innovation Division website (http://asq.org/innovation-group) to learn more about creativity and innovation, and see where you fit in tomorrow’s job mar-

REFERENCES 1. World Economic Forum (WEF), “The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” WEF report, January 2016, http:// tinyurl.com/futurejobsreport-wec. 2. Wikipedia, “Alan Turing,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ alan_turing. 3. Wikipedia, “Theory of Computation,” https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/theory_of_computation. 4. Danny Sullivan, “Meet RankBrain: The Artificial Intelligence That’s Now Processing Google Search Results,” Searchengineland.com, Oct. 26, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/ google-ai-searchengine. 5. Mohammad Al-Raba Bah and Abdusamad Al-Marghilani, “Artificial Intelligence Technique for Speech Recognition Based on Neural Networks,” Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 331-336. 6. Danielle Muoio, “Why Go Is So Much Harder for AI to Beat Than Chess,” Techinsider.io, March 10, 2016, http://tinyurl. com/chess-go-ai. 7. Michael Sainato, “Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates Warn About Artificial Intelligence,” Observer.com, Aug. 19, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/hawking-ai-warning.

8. Anthony Reuben, “Gap Between Rich and Poor Keeps Growing,” BBC.com, May 21, 2015, www.bbc.com/news/ business-32824770. 9. Larry Elliott, “Economics: Whatever Happened to Keynes’ 15-Hour Working Week?” Theguardian.com, Aug. 31, 2008, www.theguardian.com/business/2008/sep/01/ economics. 10. WEF, “The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” see reference 1. 11. Ibid. 12. IBM, “Capitalizing on Complexity: Insights From the Global Chief Executive Officer Study,” report, 2010, http:// tinyurl.com/ibm-2010-ceo-study. 13. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, “Business Success Beyond the Short Term: CEOs Perspectives on Sustainability,“ report, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/pwc-17-ceo-survey. 14. “Albert Einstein Quotes,” Brainyquote.com, http://tinyurl. com/einstein-brainyquote.

PETER MERRILL is president of Quest Management Inc., an innovation consultancy based in Burlington, Ontario. Merrill is the author of several ASQ Quality Press books, including Innovation Never Stops (2015), Do It Right the Second Time, second edition (2009) and Innovation Generation (2008). He is a member of ASQ, previous chair of the ASQ Innovation Division and current chair of the ASQ Innovation Think Tank.


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44 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

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Learn more about the benefits of being a member. Visit asq.org/membership. TRAINING





The Value of Six Sigma Forum Membership When you become a valued member of the ASQ Six Sigma Forum, you join a distinguished group of problem solvers and analytical thinkers driven by a desire to achieve breakthrough improvements. Your membership not only exposes you to a remarkable network of individuals, but also links you to the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge and supporting resources and case studies. Lastly, you will stay plugged in to the Six Sigma community through monthly newsletters and members-only online communities. So don’t delay, call ASQ Customer Care at 1-800-248-1946 and ask to have the Six Sigma Forum added to your membership.

For more information, visit asq.org/sixsigma. TRAINING







Write It Right Understanding nuances of metrics in technical writing Editor’s note: This is part two of a

academics. Appendix B provides round-

and their sources. Conversion calcula-

two-part series exploring accuracy in

ing guidance and unit-conversion factors

tions require rigorous software valida-

measurement results. Part one appeared

for a broad set of measurement units.

tion, which is a time-consuming process.

in May 2016’s QP.

NIST published several similar technical

At best, conversion-calculation errors

guides, including the Metric Style Guide

can cause expensive mistakes. At worst,


for the News Media, which provides

their consequences can be a matter of

you’re writing laboratory documents,

condensed SI content to highlight com-

clarifying measurement results or

monly used measurement information. A

implementing measurement system best

convenient hub of SI style guidance also

Ground control to accuracy

practices. The proper use of measure-

is available on the NIST metric program’s

The 1999 crash of NASA’s $125 million

ment units and symbols in laboratory


NASA Mars climate orbital spacecraft

documents—such as calibration reports,

life and death.


Use a leading zero: For numbers

served as a wake-up call for potential

control charts, uncertainty tables or

less than one, a zero is written before

errors related to working with multiple

standard operating procedures—is criti-

the decimal point.5 This ensures a

measurement systems. The mishap oc-

cal to effectively communicate technical

quantity is appropriately interpreted

curred because the spacecraft entered

information. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was delegated the responsibility to interpret or modify the International System of Units (SI, also known as the metric system) for use in the United States. To accomplish this, NIST provides several SI resources to support sectors of science, technology, trade and commerce. It also serves as the U.S. technical representative to

the Mars atmosphere on a trajectory that

There are many resources that can help you avoid being responsible for inaccuracies in measurement reporting.

was too low.6 NASA later identified the root cause of the erroneous trajectory and velocity calculations: A contractor failed to use SI units of force (Newton, or N) as specified by NASA in the coding of a ground software file used in trajectory models. One corrective action that NASA recommended was to perform software audits to evaluate specification compliance on

the International Bureau of Weights and

and helps avoid consequences of a mis-

all data transferred between NASA and

Measures (BIPM) that defines the SI.

placed decimal point. Without a leading

the contractor.7

These publications are used to guide the

zero, a value like .25, for example, could

measurement unit style in technical and

be misinterpreted as 25, an error that

Language arts

documentary standards.

makes it 100 times greater in magni-

Several helpful conversion-factor resourc-

tude. Such an error could seriously

es have been made available on the NIST

and NIST SP 811 provide the legal inter-

harm a patient if the quantity represent-

metric program’s website.8 Caution is rec-

pretation of and guidelines for SI use in

ed a medication dose.

ommended to organizations developing

NIST Special Publication (SP) 330

the United States. NIST SP 811 also pro-

Avoid unit-conversion errors:

unit-conversion software or using online

vides detailed rules for SI writing style,

Using the SI reduces the number of

calculators for technical purposes. It’s

including a useful editorial checklist.1, 2

errors associated with measurement

important to conduct a rigorous valida-

conversions between U.S. customary

tion and verification analysis before using

Striving for zero errors

units and the SI. Eliminating conversions

unit-conversion software.

NIST SP 811 is written for technical audi-

altogether negates the need to document

ences, such as engineers, scientists and

which conversion factors are being used

Spelling and pronunciation of measurement units—This can be

July 2016 • QP 47

MEASURE FOR MEASURE Unit name translations

challenging. Advantages of the SI over

for “liter” in the United States also

the many other historic and customary

is capitalized as L to avoid misinter-

measurement unit systems is that the

preting “l” with the number one. A

SI provides a coherent set of interna-

period should not be used follow-

tionally accepted unit symbols that

ing a unit symbol or abbreviation.


can be used to communicate across all

For example, gram is represented

languages. Table 1 provides examples of

as “g” not “g.” Symbols of prefixes

how unit names are translated in several languages: In NIST SP 811, words are spelled in



English (U.S.)




that mean a million or more are





capitalized, and those that are less





than a million are lowercased. For example, M for mega (millions) and

Printing Office Style Manual (U.S. Gov-

“m” for milli (thousandths). U.S. customary units—After

follows Webster’s Third New Internation-

the SI was developed, many style

al Dictionary of the English Language

requirements were applied to non-SI

(Merriam-Webster, 1993). The spellings

measurement systems, including U.S.

“meter,” “liter” and “deka” are used rather

customary units—such as inch, foot,

than “metre,” “litre,” and “deca” as in

yard, mile, ounce, pound, gill or gallon.

the original BIPM English text of the SI

Although NIST does not publish a style


resource for U.S. customary units, ap-

The BIPM SI brochure is the definitive international reference on the SI.


pendix C of NIST’s Handbook 44, “General Tables of Units of Measurement,” is

The text is published in French and

a good resource for U.S. customary units

English, and has been translated into

used in trade and commerce, their rela-

many other languages.

tionships, and unit-conversion factors.10

Capitalization of units, symbols

Because the SI is critical as an in-

and prefixes—Unit names start with a

ternational standard, its use in product

lowercase letter except at the beginning

design, manufacturing, marketing and

of the sentence or title, such as “pascal,”

labeling is essential for the U.S. indus-

“becquerel,” “newton” or “tesla.” For

try’s success in the global marketplace.

degrees Celsius (symbol °C), the unit

NIST’s metric program encourages using

“degree” is lowercase. But the modifier

the SI in all facets of education, includ-

“Celsius” is capitalized because it’s a

ing honing workers’ skills.

person’s name. A space is left between

The successful voluntary transition

the numerical value and the unit symbol,

of the United States to the SI is a criti-

and values are not hyphenated. For

cal factor in the competitive economic

example: 20 °C and 10 kg are correct;

success of industry.11 Accuracy in

20°C, 20° C, 10-kg or 10kg are incorrect.

terminology use, measurement results

If a unit name is spelled out during use,

and measurement units is necessary to

normal grammar rules apply.

avoid the embarrassment of having oth-

Unit symbols are written in lower-

ers find your “black dots” (errors that

case letters (such as “m” for meter, “s”

can negatively affect interpretations of

for second or “kg” for kilogram). But

your results in scientific communica-

symbols for units derived from the name

tions). There are many resources that

of a person are capitalized—such as W

can help you avoid being responsible

for watt, V for volt, Pa for pascal or K

for inaccuracies in measurement re-

for kelvin. The recommended symbol

porting. QP

48 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

Unit symbol m

accordance with the U.S. Government ernment Publishing Office, 2008), which


Source: James R. Frysinger, “SI Crosses All Language Barriers,” Metricmethods.com, http://tinyurl.com/ si-crosses-language. Note: SI refers to the International System of Units, also known as the metric system.

REFERENCES AND NOTE 1. Barry N. Taylor and Ambler Thompson, eds., The International System of Units (SI)—Special Publication 330, 2008 edition, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), http://tinyurl.com/nistsp330. 2. Barry N. Taylor and Ambler Thompson, eds., Guide for the Use of International System of Units (SI)—NIST Special Publication 811, 2008 edition, NIST, http://tinyurl.com/ nist-sp811. 3. NIST, Metric Style Guide for the News Media, 1997, http:// tinyurl.com/metric-style-guide. 4. “Writing With SI (Metric) Units,” NIST.gov, http://tinyurl. com/si-writing. 5. Taylor, Guide for the Use of International System of Units (SI)—NIST Special Publication 811, see reference 2. 6. Robin Lloyd, “Metric Mishap Caused Loss of NASA Orbiter,” CNN.com, Sept. 30, 1999, http://tinyurl.com/ mars-metric. 7. “Mars Climate Orbiter Mishap Investigation Board Phase I Report,” NASA, Nov. 10, 1999, http://tinyurl.com/ nasa-orbiter-report. 8. “Unit Conversion,” NIST.gov, http://tinyurl.com/ nist-unit-conversion. 9. International Bureau of Weights and Measures, The International System of Units (SI), eighth edition, 2006, http:// tinyurl.com/bipm-si-brochure. 10. Tina Butcher, Steve Cook, Linda Crown and Rick Harshman, eds., Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighting and Measuring Devices— NIST Handbook 44, NIST, 2012. 11. If you have a question about metric system use, style or related publications, send it to [email protected]

ELIZABETH J. GENTRY is metric coordinator for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Office of Weights and Measures in Gaithersburg, MD. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. GEORGIA L. HARRIS is program leader at NIST, Office of Weights and Measures in Gaithersburg, MD. She earned a master’s degree in technical management from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Harris is a senior member of ASQ and the committee secretary of the Measurement Quality Division.

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In Layman’s Terms Explaining the quality profession to an outsider consequences of poor grades.

I WAS RECENTLY asked a question by

the controls and verification tools that

my son, who was about to enter his first

help ensure our processes are function-

“The data we collect let us know

year of university. “Dad, what is it you

ing correctly and producing acceptable

whether our organization is passing or

really do at work?” he asked, “and what

outputs. I help department leaders assess

failing so we can make adjustments as

degree did you get to become a quality

the accuracy of the data they use to make

necessary to get back on track. Part of


business decisions and track trends to

this data analysis includes identifying ar-

verify that operations are moving toward

eas that we can do better in by identifying

our organization’s goals.”

wasteful processes or process outcomes

I was happy my son wanted to know more about what I do, and his question sounded sincere. I also considered that he

That comment was met with a blank

that do not meet our expectations. “When a faulty process is discovered, I

was facing the hard decision about what

stare. He didn’t ask any questions, but I

he wanted to pursue in university and as

knew the facial expression all too well; he

lead the team members in charge of that

a career.

had no idea what I meant. I continued:

process through discussions to pinpoint

“The information that we use to un-

areas for improvement. We use different

What we do

derstand how our organization is doing

tools to help collect and organize our facts

“Well, I work with members from all areas

is much like a report card at school. You

and ideas to better plan our approach.

of our organization to ensure they have

know how well you are doing in a class

the tools they need to successfully do their

based on the grade that you are given for

Why is it important

job. I help update the systems that provide

the output of your work.

“Part of the pursuit for a healthy profit

guidance to efficiently and effectively

“The grades are set up on a scale so

margin comes from being able to know

execute our organization’s processes.

that you can see if you are passing or

when organizational processes are

That way, we can ensure our customers

failing; and at what level you are actu-

negatively affecting profits and identifying

receive a product that not only meets their

ally passing—A is excellent and D is just

challenges that cause an organization to

expectations, but also provides a delight-

barely passing. If your grades suffer that

go over budget. Many times, this is not ob-

ful experience.

means your output is becoming unaccept-

vious because we can get a little distract-

“I assist in auditing processes against

able. You have to decide whether to work

ed by daily routines and our own wasteful

standardized procedures and help develop

harder, get help to do better or suffer the

practices that are not necessarily the best approach to doing our jobs,” I said. My son’s expression changed and I could tell that he was beginning to understand the quality profession. He then asked, “So what kind of tools do you use?” I knew that explaining all the tools in The Quality Technician’s Handbook by Gary Griffith or The Quality Toolbox by Nancy Tague would entail a pretty lengthy conversation. I figured I would try connecting it back to a type of problem solving he understood. “The tools we use are more of a logical thinking guide. We take different approaches, depending on the situation and the scope of the potential impact.

50 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

I could tell that he was beginning to understand the quality profession.

The nodding of the head and body language gave me an indication that the information had registered and my son was ready to move on; our conversation needed to be over. As I reflected on the conversation, I could not help to chuckle to myself at the

“For instance, if your gaming system

what our data show us to be the cause.

is not letting you connect to the televi-

The tools also assist us in documenting

sion, you immediately check off on what

any corrective action procedures we

you know could be the reason: power

took, and challenge us to ensure that we

cord unplugged, HD cord disconnected

can prevent future occurrences of the

from system to television, game disc not

same, or similar, failures.

inserted, or correct channel or input not

“The goal for my work is to provide

selected. You are using the process of

guidance for continuous improvement.

elimination to determine what is causing

Our organization and its processes can

the situation.

always be better. In the business of mak-

“The tools we use document our

ing money, constantly striving to be better

process of elimination and puts it into a

provides a higher chance of increasing

format that we can reference to validate


original question and how thankful I was for the opportunity to share that moment with my son. Many of you may struggle to verbalize our vast and ubiquitous industry, but I hope you are never again blindsided with the question, “What is it you really do at work?” QP JUAN D. LOERA SR. is the quality manager for Mastertag in Montague, MI. Loera has a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Baker College in Flint, MI. An ASQ senior member, Loera is an ASQ-certified manager of quality/organizational excellence, quality auditor and technician.


Real-World Quality Improvement Visit ASQ® TV’s International Team Excellence Channel and find out more about real-world quality improvement. • Access recordings of quality impact sessions. • Learn from high-performing teams from around the world. • Learn techniques and strategies in a new way. TRAINING





July 2016 • QP




Look Before You Leap Analyze risk before accepting a new career opportunity IMAGINE TWO RECENT graduates aspir-

takes a riskier path. One decides to invest

Acknowledge your own work habits

ing to join the world of quality. One of the

in the slow-and-steady method, while the

when considering an organization’s work-

graduates starts out as a lab technician and

other opts for a higher-stakes, quicker-

place environment and structure. Some

works tirelessly to climb the corporate lad-

returns approach.

may find that it is more important to work

der at a prestigious organization.

Determining not only where you want

for a large organization with specific,

to go in your career, but also how you

outlined responsibilities. Others may find

conservative views and, just like his father

want to get there, is important to consider

more satisfaction working for a smaller

and his father before him, believes that

when given an opportunity to change

organization that allows them more op-

staying within the safety of one organiza-


portunity to explore different skills and be

He grew up under more traditional,

tion will eventually pay off. Despite some

Everyone considering a job change

a critical team player.

ups and downs during his time at the

should perform their own risk analysis

organization, he ultimately becomes the

by identifying the characteristics of the

ing whether to accept a new opportunity

vice president of quality.

opportunity and comparing them against

is to research the potential employer.

the current situation. Important factors

Reported earnings, mergers and acquisi-

entry-level position, decides to leave to

include salary and job title, as well as

tions, even word-of-mouth reviews are

join another, less-stable organization. He

things relevant to your overall happiness,

tools you can use to background check an

believes that success comes from taking

such as time commitments and physical


risks, and that moving to a seemingly bet-


The other graduate, exhausted by his

Reach out to contacts and connections on LinkedIn, use other social media tools

ter opportunity is worth the risk of leaving his current, unfulfilling position. After several years of job-hopping, gain-

One of the most crucial steps of decid-

Personalized approach

and dig out as much dirt on an organiza-

To begin a risk analysis, identify your

tion as you can before joining a new team.

ing experience and a robust background,

three most important factors and make

Simply viewing an organization’s orga-

he too became a vice president of quality.

the top two non-negotiable. In addition

nizational chart can tell an untold story. A

to flexibility, travel, commute, salary and

top-heavy chart with far more managers

title, also consider the work environment

than engineers may suggest an inefficient

Both graduates have successful careers. One decides to take a more conservative approach, while the other

and other benefits. Consider the immediate and long-term impact of each factor. Is

ment. Many years ago, a colleague of mine

it more important that the organiza-

accepted a director of quality assurance

tion has inexpensive health insur-

position at a prestigious organization on a

ance or tuition reimbursement? For

whim. Within her first week, she learned

the recent undergraduate considering graduate school,

that her dream job came with nightmare costs.

tuition reimbursement

Her specific location had received a

could overcome the

warning letter from the U.S. Food and

benefit of cheap

Drug Administration (FDA) identifying a

medical coverage.

mess that she would be responsible for

Five years, a master’s

cleaning up. In this instance, perform-

degree and a wife later, however, he may find that his priorities have shifted.

52 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

organization and a chaotic work environ-

ing a search on the FDA’s website would have given her the insight necessary to be prepared for her new job.

Within her first week, she learned that her dream job came with nightmare costs.

the tortoise found happiness in stability. The other vice president of quality, who quickly moved up the corporate ladder by hopping from lab technician to supervisor to manager to director to vice president, may have found that while his resume contained questionably short stints, it

management position for a lower-paying

grew incredibly quickly, and his happiness

Pursuit of happiness

position that’s lower on the corporate

ultimately came from taking risks.

In the November 2015 issue of QP, I wrote

food chain.

Whether you’re a tortoise or a hare,

Work-life balance is trending, and so

identifying your individual needs and as-

article highlighted the fact that 67% of U.S.

are employees’ inclinations to routinely

sessing those needs against your current

employees would prefer a job that offered

assess their current situation against other

situation is necessary when considering

more free time over one with higher pay.


any future opportunities. QP

an article about clocking in and out. The

The pressure that drives workforce com-

The first vice president of quality,

petition has been shifting more toward

who moved up slow and steady within

the work environment and less toward

his organization, may have found that

monetary compensation.

despite his changing needs, his organiza-

It is no longer unheard of for some-

tion offered him everything he needed to

one to trade in a high-paying, high-stress

maintain his work-life balance. Perhaps

DENISE WRESTLER is a senior quality engineer at Nypro Healthcare in Dallas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical and biomedical engineering from the University of California, Irvine. An ASQ member, Wrestler is an ASQ-certified quality auditor and engineer.

ASQ TV Lean and Six Sigma Channel ®

Find answers to your lean and Six Sigma questions on this open-access channel • Video tutorials • Lean and Six Sigma basics • Interviews with experts

Check out dozens of other specialty topic channels on ASQ TV at videos.asq.org.

July 2016 • QP




Leaders of Change A case for risk-based thinking and organizational transformation ISO 9001:2015 INCLUDED several

Leadership and commitment

for change wasn’t explained or com-

changes after last year’s revision, but the

Top management’s responsibility to

municated from C-level management

mandate for top management to demon-

demonstrate leadership and commitment

to the individuals who will be affected

strate leadership and commitment to the

can’t be delegated to a management rep-

by a change or expected to implement

quality management system (QMS)—as

resentative because ISO 9001:2015 no lon-

it. The establishment, implementation

described in subclauses 5.1.1 and 5.1.2—

ger requires the appointment of one such

and maintenance of a QMS are not

is an important one.

person. Yes, ISO 9001:2015 subclause 5.3

one-person activities. They require the

does require top management to assign

involvement of all management, process

responsibility and authority to relevant

owners and employees, as well as top

persons to ensure QMS requirements are

management’s involvement, leadership

communicated and understood.2 But it’s

and commitment.

For example, top management must: • Take responsibility for the effectiveness of the QMS. • Incorporate QMS requirements into the organization’s business processes. • Encourage the use of the process approach and risk-based thinking (RBT). • Directly engage persons (employees) to contribute to the effectiveness of the QMS and support this. • Ensure risks and opportunities that

important to know the primary responsibilities—to champion the effectiveness

Retooling your RBT

of the QMS, and encourage the use of the

Using the process approach and RBT are

process approach and RBT—remain with

hot topics for organizations implement-

top management.

ing ISO 9001 for the first time and others

The requirement for C-level manage-

transitioning to its revised requirements.

ment to demonstrate its commitment to

There’s nothing new about RBT. In fact,

may affect the QMS are identified and

the QMS’s continual improvement also is

ISO 19011:2011—Guidelines for audit-


identified in subclause 5.2.1D.

ing management systems highlighted

• Ensure the enhancement of customer satisfaction.1


Most people don’t like change. This can be particularly true if the need

the need for organizations to identify risk as associated with QMSs, environmental management systems, and occupational health and safety management. ISO 19011:2011 also included a reference to using risk-based auditing (RBA). RBT is ingrained in product and service planning processes for a majority of organizations. Although it may not be recognized as such, RBT is a natural part of the planning process. It includes the identification of resources such as personnel qualifications, equipment, facilities, manufacturing processes, material suppliers and control of outsourced services needed to meet specified requirements. RBT is integral to the standardization of processes and activities to minimize variation, which lower the risk of nonconformance. In this case, RBT would

54 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

be evidenced by ensuring the availability

for years. During the early 1990s, for

familiarity with risks associated with an

of controls—such as procedures or work

example, risk-based inspections (RBI)

industry, relevant industry standards,

instructions—to address an identified

were used in the oil and gas industry to

manufacturing processes and the product


establish testing and inspection (T&I) fre-

or service.

When you consider the QMS in its

quencies for process equipment. Equip-

The new requirements introduced by

entirety, RBT is evidenced in the iden-

ment inspection results included remain-

ISO 9001:2015 should encourage many

tification of the interrelated processes

ing life and T-min,5 calculations based

to rethink what we know about quality

that comprise the QMS and the risks

on D-meter, corrosometer or pit gauge

management. Quality professionals will need to retool their existing knowledge

The higher the level of risk and the lower an organization’s risk appetite, the more controls (procedures) are required to manage the risk. associated with each of its supporting

readings to determine whether process or

processes. RBT includes identifying a risk

utility-piping systems, pressure vessels,

that could prevent an expected output

tanks and other equipment continued to

from being achieved. Identified risk could

be fit for service.6

affect probability of the unavailability

RBI and RBT continue to be used to

of qualified or skilled personnel, materi-

reduce operational downtime by schedul-

als, defined manufacturing or product

ing and focusing T&Is based on identi-

requirements, or specified acceptance

fied risks. The higher the risk, the more


frequent the T&I intervals.

The higher the level of risk and the

This same method applies to the

lower an organization’s risk appetite, the

implementation and maintenance of a

more controls (procedures) are required

QMS. As opposed to inspections, audits

to manage the risk. Conversely, the lower

are used to assess the health of a QMS

the risk and higher the risk appetite, the

and its processes, and to identify a risk

fewer controls are necessary to address

that may adversely affect the effective-

the risk.4

ness of a QMS or product quality.7

Risk-based inspection and RBT

strategies have performance histories that

RBT is much more than a trending buzz-

have proven their value, and effectively

word. It’s a useful tool that has existed

using them depends on a practitioner’s

base to include new approaches for maintaining and auditing management systems. QP REFERENCES AND NOTES 1. International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO 9001:2015—Quality management systems—Requirements, subclause 5.1.1—Leadership and commitment. 2. ISO, ISO 9001:2015—Quality management systems— Requirements, subclause 5.3—Organizational roles, responsibilities and authorities. 3. ISO, ISO 9001:2015—Quality management systems—Requirements, subclause 5.2.1—Establishing the quality policy. 4. For more information about risk-based thinking, read Value Added Auditing (Quality Plus Engineering, 2014) and ISO: Risk Based Thinking (CERM Academy, 2016) by Greg Hutchins. 5. A T-min calculation is used to determine the minimum wall thickness, as well as hoop stress, for piping or pressure vessels based on known internal pressure, material strength and outside diameter. This calculation is sometimes used in conjunction with Barlow’s formula. For more details, visit http://tinyurl.com/ barlows-formula. 6. A D-meter is an ultrasonic device used to measure the wall thickness of steel. These measurements are also referred to as UT wall-thickness readings. Corrosometer probes and instruments determine metal loss from corrosion or erosion. In locations where it is not possible to use a D-meter due to material surface roughness, a pit gauge can be used to measure actual pitting depth. These readings are more subjective and may vary based on the experience of the technician taking the readings. 7. You can find additional information about risk-based inspections in the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) RPs 580 and 581, Risk-Based Inspection Methodology (API, April 2016).

RBT is integral to RBI and RBA: These


Receive the latest ISO 9001:2015 news by subscribing to ASQ’s monthly Standards Connection enewsletter at asq.org/standardsconnection. It offers exclusive content and expert advice on your burning standards questions.

BILL ASTON is the managing director of Aston Technical Consulting Services LLC in Coldspring, TX. He is an ASQ senior member, ASQcertified quality auditor, Exemplar Global principal auditor, and a Professional Evaluation and Certification Board-certified lead auditor and trainer. Aston is a member of American Petroleum Institute’s Quality Subcommittee 18 and U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 176. He is a regular contributor QP’s Expert Answers department and ASQ’s Ask the Experts blog.

July 2016 • QP 55

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56 QP • www.qualityprogress.com


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July 2016 • QP 57

Power take-off

QPTOOLBOX the output shaft to be rotated if the driven

ensure low position noise and drift.

Twin Disc has announced the release of the

equipment becomes jammed.

Each encoder module undergoes an

hydraulically-actuated HP1200, a heavy-du-

• Email: [email protected]

accuracy test involving a five-dimensional

ty power take-off. It’s ideal for applications

• Visit: www.twindisc.com.

test for wobble as well as axial and radial

such as driving pumps, grinders, crushers,

guideway accuracies. Therefore, two qual-

Bearing modules

duty drills.

Heidenhain has released a product family

each module. The first certificate docu-

that is a merger of Heidenhain bearing and

ments the system accuracy and the second

angle encoder technologies. Resulting in

one documents the guideway accuracy.

the MRP 2000, 5000 and 8000 (as well as

• Visit: www.heidenhain.us.

customer-specific variants), these modules

• Call: 847-490-1191.

It features auxiliary drive pump towers with 400 hp maximum capacity per tower,

dredgers, clippers, shredders and heavy-

ity inspection certificates are enclosed with

contain bearing sets not conventionally available, and are able to be integrated

Load cell testing

with various encoder types to yield stiff

Load Cell Central has introduced a tester

modules that are easy to install.

that offers economical and versatile load

The angle encoder modules represent a

used by different skill levels and the cost

sion rotary axes used in metrology, calibra-

has a low impact on the budget.

tion devices, automation technology, micro

determine if the cell has been overloaded,

Key features of the MRP series bear-

has been shock loaded, has water damage

ing include a high guideway accuracy

or metal fatigue. The SST1 features a real-

combined with high rigidity, a low starting

time reading in a percentage of full scale,

torque and a constant continuous torque.

allowing the user to test without removing

sions due to the fact that the bearing raceway is machined directly onto the shaft. Bearing loads up to 300 Newtons are possible while still maintaining the system accuracy. The encoders fulfill the requireor 550 hp maximum for both. They are ro-

ments for motion

tatable by 0°, 45° and 90°, either clockwise

feedback applica-

or counter-clockwise, to allow for clearance

tions. Incremen-

in installation. Optional speed ratios are

tal or absolute

available. Pads and splines are interchange-

encoders can be

able to accommodate varying pump sizes.

used as required, with resolutions

brake has been added as a standard

up to 29 bits. The

feature. A mechanical brake release allows

encoders also

58 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

The SST1 can provide results that help

machining and the semiconductor industry.

Value was placed on compact dimen-

A spring applied, hydraulically-released

cell testing equipment. The SST1 can be

merging of the key requirements for preci-

the load cell from its installation. This tester will check resistance within +0.5%. The SST1 is housed in a compact and portable enclosure. This tester performs bridge testing, resistance testing, full scale output and zero balance testing. The menu navigation of the SST1 is user friendly. It supports four or six wire load cells. • Call: 800-562-3235. • Visit: www.800loadcel. com. •

orange neon power indicators help users

Power adaptor

know that power is being safely delivered.

Conntek’s Generator Y adapter is designed

It has a maximum power of 7500W.

to adapt a single power source into two

• Call: 414-482-0800.

Each time a bag is handled, the qual-

sources safely. The helps spread power

• Visit: www.conntek.com.

ity and readability of the tag could be

evenly from a generator power source.

compromised by smearing, scratching or

Tag reader system

two 15/20A sources. It stays flexible in

Cognex has announced its Airport Baggage

The 30A Generator Y adapter connects

Handling Identification solution (ABH-ID), an image-based au-

offers the ability to accurately read damaged tags. The Cognex ABH-ID solution incorpo-

tomatic tag reader system. The

rates DataMan fixed-mount image-based

Cognex ABH-ID solution uses

barcode readers. Image-based readers

airline industry-recognized tech-

have a solid-state design requiring low

nology that reads codes that are

maintenance. The solution also features

traditionally difficult to decode

Xpand technology that provides the flex-

and offers read rates at critical

ibility to fit into space-constricted environ-

junctions, such as transfer lines,

ments. Xpand technology offers improved

where tags frequently sustain

redundancy and increased field of view,

damage from the airplane load-

which simplifies installation and reduces

ing and unloading process.

overall system cost.

This solution is important because the new International cold weather and is heat resistant up to

Air Transport Association Resolution 753,

221° F. The adapter’s bright yellow cord

going into effect June 2018, will require

makes it easily visible, especially in low

all member airlines to demonstrate the

light environments.

acquisition and delivery of baggage at

The adapter’s clear connectors with

exposure to weather. The ABH-ID solution

three points: load, transfer and arrival.

• Call: 855-426-4639. • Visit: www.cognex.com.

GOT A QUALITY PRODUCT? Send your product description and photo to [email protected]

July 2016 • QP 59

QPREVIEWS Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service John A. Goodman, Amacom, 2014, 256

beg the customers to give feedback and

bureaucratic and add layers of work, is

complaints so the organization can learn

a proven approach that minimizes loss


and improves competitiveness. This book

Section three covers the issues

intends to provide that approach by outlin-

involved in implementing the customer

ing a complete project and program cycle

Goodman is a pio-

experience framework. The organization

from start to finish.

neer in customer

must expertly meld technology with the

experience, stem-

customer experience processes. The au-

portfolio management as defined by the

ming from his

thor lists the main failings of the customer


days 40 years ago

experience effort such as improper use

• Developing the organizational portfolio.

at General Motors

of technology, not empowering customer

• Creating the organizational portfolio

and when he

service employees and a lack of savvy

co-led the White

leadership. Every chapter concludes with

House Office of

getting started questions and key take-

Consumer Affairs

aways that add to a reader's fast learning.

study. His findings

I recommend the book to all leaders who

pp., $24.95 (book).

and recommendations implemented in

want to grow their organizations.

many organizations including Coca Cola,

management system implementation plan. • Implementing organizational portfolio management. • Practical applications of project change management.

Bill Baker

Toyota and General Electric. In fact, the

The book examines the four phases of

Santa Fe, NM

Toyota national manager of customer care

The coverage of the process includes checklists, implementation activities, hints, required and desired inputs and outputs,

Effective Portfolio Management Systems

excellent illustrations, and charts and

Section one discusses the customer and

Christopher F. Voehl, H. James Harrington

information into a few pages.

the implications of the customer experi-

and William S. Ruggles, CRC Press, 2015,

ence. It has three chapters that help to set

190 pp., $29.95 (book).

wrote the foreword to the book. The book is divided into three sections.

diagrams. The authors packed a lot of Any organization that has a significant number of projects or programs to moni-

expectations, and it describes the four-part

The “portfolio”

tor and manage will gain some benefit and

framework for setting and fulfilling those

referred to in the

insight into making that effort successful.

expectations. In this section, he also

title is not fiscal

Following the authors’ suggested activities

defines ways to measure the dollar impact

assets, but an

will take a lot of commitment, but the

so that management will understand and


likelihood of a positive outcome is greatly

support the customer experience frame-

projects and pro-


work. Four steps are discussed with good

grams. However,

Marc A. Feldman

explanations of the detailed calculations.

the goal for both


Section two sets out to help design the complete customer experience and starts with mapping the current state and then

is the same. You don’t want to fail and waste, or

Configuration Management for Senior Managers

delves deeply into how to maximize the

lose irretrievable resources while getting

Frank B. Watts, Elsevier, Butterwort-

four-part framework. Goodman suggests

the most return in the shortest time. If

Heinemann 2015, 180 pp., $100 (book).

maximizing the customer service function

you plan to learn from your failures—by

This book is a gem in terms of lessons

by training and empowering employees to

definition—you’ll require some failures

learned, policies to follow, and follies to

solve problems rather than referring the

to improve. Better to use a management

be aware of and avoid. It represents an

customer to someone else. His idea is to

system that, while it may seem to be

accumulation of knowledge from the

60 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

author’s many years of experience. The

something valuable in the book, and it is

5. Verify the process map.

book starts out rather quickly and seem-

a useful and valuable read for most levels

6. Apply improvement techniques.

ingly jumps into issues and practices right

of experience.

7. Create internal controls, tools and

from the start, while in reality the book is

Frank Pokrop

a solid collection of continuous learning

San Diego

and timely insights that are captured for

metrics. 8. Test and rework. 9. Implement the change.

14 chapters, an

The Power of Business Process Improvement: 10 Simple Steps to Increase Effectiveness, Efficiency and Adaptability

index, a list of

Susan Page, Amacom, 2015, 384 pp.,

to-use methods and tools. The concept

figures and a

$37.95 (book, second edition).

and method to analyze the impact of pro-

the reader. The book is comprised of

10. Drive continuous improvement. The book contains two case studies that demonstrate the overall change process. Each chapter give examples of easy-

preface. A list

This book is

cess change is extensively covered in this

of policies and

written for both

book. This is something that is seldom

critical practices

current practitio-

addressed in other books about process

appear through-

ners of process

improvement. At the end of each chapter

out the book.


are self-assessing knowledge checks for

They are shown

and readers

each step. And, as with all steps, planning

in bold, and support the author's writings

about to embark

is essential. The book covers this subject

and observations. This feature alone is

on improving

in great detail.

substantial and worth more than the

their organiza-

price of the book. The author challenges

tions' processes.

reader apply the suggested methods. Es-

the reader in several ways, and the book

The book en-

pecially useful are estimating methods for

Tables, tools and practices help the

works best for more experienced readers

capsulates a well-planned roadmap for

each of the steps in the process improve-

who have worked in manufacturing or

developing objectives, plans and practices

ment plan.

have worked with bills of material in most

that will produce viable process im-

any industry. If there is a shortcoming,

provements. As a producer, consumer or

this book should provide an easily digest-

it is the level of sophistication that the

advisor, we have all likely experienced a

ible menu to sample prior to tackling a

author assumes about the reader.

bloated, ineffective, inefficient and inflex-

more sophisticated lean Six Sigma proj-

ible process. The author discusses nine

ect. Developing a continuous improve-

common occurrences.

ment mindset ensures that the process

The book has many high points, including a frank discussion about product safety and how product failures should be

Page suggests a four-part acid test for

addressed. Another high point is chapter

examining your business processes. She

12, which deals with change manage-

asserts that you need not be an expert on

ment, related processes and the metrics

the ins and outs of total quality manage-

for managing this challenging area.

ment, reengineering or business process

No matter what topic the author is discussing, he centralizes each subject

management. A roadmap, and the journey

Reading and applying knowledge from

continues to deliver the gains achieved. Russell T. Westcott Old Saybrook, CT


that unfolds, is captured in 10 steps:

around the four “raw materials” of prod-

1. Develop the process inventory.

Innovating Lean Six Sigma

uct manufacturing: money, tools, people

2. Establish the foundation.

Kimberly Watson-Hemphill and Kristine

and product. The book is well written,

3. Draw the process map.

Nissen Bradley, McGraw-Hill Education,

concise and clear. Most everyone will find

4. Estimate time and cost.

2016, 304 pp., $35 (book).

July 2016 • QP


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Quality Council of Indiana

8, 9





Dealing With Deviation Bringing the SBAR method to manufacturing DEVIATIONS ARE an expected part of

rubric, each step of the SBAR format,

nected at time of discovery. Staff was

manufacturing.1 Regardless of the prod-

along with a fictional example, is de-

re-educated on maintenance process. The

uct being made, deviations will occur

scribed as follows:

associated SOP was modified to require

and must be routinely documented and investigated.2 For many organizations, it is an ongo-

Situation: Summarize the deviation event in one to three sentences. For example, “Freezer temperature log

dual sign-off on all steps in the maintenance process. Freezer will be restocked with normal supply.”

ing challenge to ensure that employees

for equipment 1234 revealed a 12-hour gap

At our organization, we began imple-

are consistently reporting these inci-

in the recording between May 4, 2016, and

menting SBAR by training employees in a

dents. While there are myriad mecha-

May 5, 2016.”

classroom format as well as with written

nisms available to document deviation investigation processes, there’s one concept frequently used in hospital settings

Background: State the policy or procedure that is relevant to the deviation. For example, “As per standard operat-

assignments. The training resulted in a more detailed and streamlined documentation across deviations and authors. Standardized formatting also led to

that can be applied to the manufacturing

ing procedure (SOP) all equipment must


be continuously temperature-monitored

a more efficient review of deviation oc-

for excursions and data assessed weekly

curances because information was more

for impact.”

easily located within individual reports.

The situation, background, assessment and recommendation (SBAR) method,

Assessment: Describe in sequential

The SBAR method allows all roles in-

more recently to clinical healthcare

format pertinent details discovered during

volved in a process to easily incorporate a

processes, is a standardized, clear and

the event investigation.

thorough technique of conducting, evalu-

derived from the U.S. Navy and applied

concise method to capture and report

For example, “The quality department

ating and documenting an investigation

information.3 While not typically used in

performed a routine review of tempera-

and also helps determine the impact of

current good manufacturing practices

ture logs on May 5, 2016, and found a gap

the deviation, while promoting efficiency

(cGMP) settings, incorporating this

in the recording between May 4, 2016, and

in the process. QP

format in our cGMP environment has

May 5, 2016.

promoted a focused uniformity and ef-

During the investigation, the reviewer

ficiency within documentation, investiga-

discovered that the temperature monitor-

tion and approval that is reproducible

ing sensor was disconnected from the

across deviations and authors.

port. Review of the maintenance logs

The SBAR technique guides the author

indicated that the freezer underwent

through four steps to document the

routine maintenance on May 4, 2016.

investigation in a standardized, stream-

Maintenance steps include disconnect

lined approach, while compartmental-

sensor, clean immediate area and recon-

izing deviation details into important and

nect sensor.

distinctive sections. This is in contrast to

The involved staff recalled discon-

an unguided, free-text approach, where

necting the sensor and cleaning the area,

event details can vary by author and may

but not performing the reconnection. All

be overlooked during documentation and

contents of the freezer were discarded at

investigation. Cumulatively, the SBAR

the time of investigation.”

elements guide the author to synthesize

Recommendation: State what actions

corrective and preventive actions where

will occur or have already occurred as


next steps to prevent event recurrence.

To gain a better understanding of this

REFERENCES 1. David Elder and Peter Smith, “Regulation and Compliance: Deviation Investigations,” Pharmaceutical Technology, Vol. 36, No. 4, 2012, pp. 22-22. 2. “Written Procedures; deviations,” Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Section 211.100. 3. J. Compton, K. Copeland, S. Flanders, C. Cassity, M. Spetman, Y. Xiao and D. Kennerly, “Implementing SBAR Across a Large Multihospital Health System,” Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, Vol. 38, No. 6, 2012, pp. 261-268. JOHN CARPENTER is a quality assurance manager at Duke University’s Translational Research Institute in Durham, NC. He holds a master’s degree in biotechnology from American University in Washington, D.C. Carpenter is an ASQ member and ASQ-certified quality auditor. SALLY MCCOLLUM is a project coordinator at Duke University’s Translational Research Institute in Durham, NC. She holds a doctorate in pharmacy from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.

For example, “The sensor was recon-

July 2016 • QP 63



Remember Your Internal Voice Use the voice of the customer matrix within the organization EVER SINCE THE development of the

focus on a single customer and supplier

Kano theory and model in the 1980s, the

relationship or, in the best case, a few

focus on the voice of the customer (VOC)

customers but only one supplier—typi-

VOC matrix, however, it turned out that

has significantly increased. External

cally the area where the improvement

what production truly needs is not the

client needs are now a large force behind

project is taking place. However, as

complete BOM, but the list of the compo-

process improvements and changes, but

noted earlier, everyone in the organiza-

nents needed to plan its activities. With

internal client needs still don’t receive

tion is a customer or supplier.

this revelation, engineering is able to pro-

the attention they deserve. The voice

A tool that can help your organization

of the internal customer often remains

ensure everyone’s needs are being con-


sidered is the VOC matrix (see Figure 1).

We are so absorbed by daily activities

The VOC matrix contains all the

be approved by the final customer. During the discussion to complete the

vide a preliminary BOM before receiving approval from the final customer.


and issues that we forget everyone in

inputs that every functional area needs

The output of the VOC matrix also can

the organization is either a customer or

to carry out its tasks. These needs can be

be used to perform further analysis.

supplier to someone else in the organiza-

information, data, documents, products

Depending on the required level of detail,

tion. As such, we have needs and our

or services. Even if the client defines

the needs listed in the matrix can have

colleagues have expectations, which can

the needs, a positive discussion within

associated priorities, targets and metrics.

sometimes lead to frustration.

the organization about the details of the

If required, the difference between

requirements can bring an improved

the request from the customer and the

The right strategy

awareness for all the involved parties—

supplier’s ability to meet the demand

Many are familiar with the ancient Latin

regarding supplier constraints and the

can calculate the organization’s process

saying, divide et impera, or divide and

actual VOC.


conquer. In this case, the right strategy

For example, production must plan its

The rows and the columns of the ma-

is just the opposite. Organizations must

activities to highlight potential bottle-

trix also can be used to develop a process

work together to define strengths and

necks. To do so, production must have

map, or a value stream map, to highlight


a complete bill of materials (BOM) from

the process inputs and outputs related

engineering as soon as possible. Before

to the various suppliers and customers

ternal VOC analysis. Typically, improve-

engineering can provide a complete

(See Online Figure 1 on this column’s

ment activities are limited because they

BOM, however, all of its documents must

webpage at www.qualityprogress.com).

To find these areas, perform an in-

Considering that everyone—em-

Voice of the customer matrix VOC matrix





a complex system, we can say that the customer is right only when he or she

Customer Sales

ployees and customers—are gears in

provides the right requests. The role of Quality


the supplier also is to help the client understand his or her actual needs. QP


Engineering Production Quality Shipping VOC = voice of the customer

64 QP • www.qualityprogress.com

THOMAS SPAGNOLATTI is an engineering supervisor at Cameron in Calico, Italy. Spagnolatti has his associate degree in industrial engineering from the Istituto Tecnico Indsutriale Statele “E. Mattei” Sondrio in Italy. An ASQ member, Spagnolatti is an ASQcertified Six Sigma Black Belt.

Pencils Down! ASQ Is Moving to a Computer-Based Certification Process Last year more than 15,000 quality-minded people throughout the world took a certification test through ASQ. In order for us to continue to improve our certification process, we are moving our paper-based testing to the computer. This change allows for a more streamlined testing process, quicker results, enhanced security, and additional testing days. Beginning in October 2016, ASQ will start to transition our paper-based certification process to a computer-based process.

The facts: • Testing is offered in a secure, proctored testing center at a personal computer workstation. • Increase in testing locations from 350 to 8,000 locations worldwide. • Computer-based testing centers are reviewed and approved to ensure test-takers receive the best, fairest experience possible.

For more information, visit asq.org/cbt. TRAINING





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