As the year 2005 draws to a close I am pleased to see that the 2005 Deming Conference and the 2005 Section’s Annual Conference were so well received. It would appear that these conferences are the lifeblood of the sections events. This years events were exceptional and if you missed them, you missed some great programs.
In keeping with our objectives, the Deming Conference (December Atlantic City) is already set for 2006. Although the actual program details are not complete the Conference is set for the week of December 4 through December 8, 2006 and is returning to the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City. Those of you that attended in 2005 I am sure will agree this is a first class location and one of the most educational Conferences offered anywhere.
Check the Web site for the slate of officers for the 2006 – 2007 year. It’s hard to believe that we are scheduled to hold elections already, but we are.
Please remember, if you are interested in any of our committees we are always open to new executive board members and need your support.
We are already working on the 2006 58th Annual Metropolitan (OTT) Section Conference and are planned on returning to the Rutgers Campus in Newark New Jersey, if all goes as anticipated. We are looking for volunteers to work on mailing lists, publicity, registration, and arrangements. If you would like to work on the committee please let me know. You can reach me at Chair@Metro-asq.org. Anyone wishing to present or exhibit at the 2006 Annual Metropolitan Section should also let me know.
As I stated in my previous messages, it is a privileged to serve as chair of the Metro section. Without your support or input we may not be addressing your concerns or needs as members. So feel free to contact any board member, or me, we need your input.
This is the first update to the 2005 2006 chair messages to the section.
Summer is over and the sections annual conference is complete, so what’s up for the coming year? Two important events are pending, the Deming Conference (December Atlantic City) and a daytime section meeting. Please click the links for information on these important events. The general section meeting is two presentations, each about 45 minutes, with time for questions. A buffet dinner will be served based on advanced registration. Keeping with last year’s theme, there will be no charge if you pre-register.
Turnout is one measure by which we plan future events so the daytime meeting is important if the members support it. We have only had a few daytime meetings in the last few years, so let us know if you want them.
We are already working on the 2006 Annual OTT Section Conference and have planned on returning to Rutgers, if all goes as anticipated. We are looking for volunteers to work on mailing lists, publicity, registration, and arrangements. If you would like to work on the committee please let me know. You can reach me at Chair@Metro-asq.org
Anyone wishing to present or exhibit at the 2006 conference should also let me know.
So what else is up!! We are planning to have a survey to see what type of meetings the members are most interested in, I ask, that when you receive the survey, please respond. However you don’t need to wait for the survey, if you want or have, a request for the section let me know what it is. Remember you are also welcome to attend a board meeting, check the schedule and register with:
Mr. William I. Martin
Customized Management Systems, Ltd.
18-65 211 St Suite 2F
Bayside, NY 11360-1814
By Phone/Fax: (718) 631-2375
For the first time in the history of ASQ, headquarters is reaching out to the leaders of the sections and divisions and held the first “Member Value Leadership Summit” in Milwaukee on October 17th and 18th 2005. I would say that a majority of the sections and division where represented and many ideas for the future direction of ASQ where presented. It will be interesting to see what direction and progress Headquarters makes based on the results of the summit. I will provide further details as ASQ Headquarters moves forward with the initiatives. They are planning a formal update at the next World Quality Conference scheduled for May 2006 in Milwaukee.
As I stated in my first message, it is a privileged to serve as chair of the Metro section. Without your support or input we may not be addressing your concerns or needs as members. So feel free to contact any board member, or me, we need your input.
In 1980 a revolution started. Quality became a management issue and corporations were vying with one another to stress the importance of quality in their organization. Today these voices are few and far between. What happened?
On June 24th, 1980, NBC aired an 90 minute white paper called, “If Japan Can … Why Can’t We?”(Crawford-Mason, Frank, Lockhart, & Dobyns, 1980). C. S. Kilian a biography of W. Edwards Deming stated that Claire Crawford-Mason wrote “In the 1970s, Americans had found two easy targets to blame for their economic woes: inflation and high energy costs. . . . Other people interviewed pointed to the adversarial relationship between government and industry”. Mrs. Crawford-Mason went on to describe that while 14 million households viewed the program (a reasonable number for a documentary, according to her), the show became the most requested program of all time. She stated, “One reason this program has generated so much continued interest is because of the powerful, relevant message of one man who was featured in the documentary: Dr. W. Edwards Deming”(Kilian, 1992).
For one and a half decades the interest grew in intensity, leveled off, and may be in a decline at this time. In a way this is reflected in the membership levels of ASQ and the section. One can speculate on the reason for this decline and we propose to do so below. However, the importance of the change is in how it impacts us, the quality professionals.
Quality is King
While quality was being emphasized, quality professionals became as recognized in the organization as other contributors such as finance, marketing, etc. Job titles tended to reflect this increased importance with many more vice presidents for quality appearing in organizations than existed before. Some departments grew rapidly. Salaries were in line with what other significant corporate contributors were earning. The increase in staff levels may have even led to shortages which in turn would help increase starting salaries.
The period of emphasis on quality coincided with (and probably contributed to) economic prosperity. At the turn of this century, increasing economic prosperity stopped. The impact was that executives started to look at areas that they considered to be non-contributors to the organization with a view of making these areas contribute or get rid of them. For a number of reasons, this resulted in a de-emphasis of many aspects that contributed to quality in the past. It translates into fewer quality professionals.
What happened? In my opinion it is the conflict with two methods to check quality: inspection and process control.
Inspection versus Process Control
Inspection dates from ancient times. For example, the code of Hammurabi (c. 1730 BC) specified commercial transactions and had rules for checking (inspection) and enforcing these codes. Dr. Juran often pointed to the Egyptian inspectors. The Byzantines had an officer of the court called a Logothete whose task it was to inspect workplaces to see that they conformed to standards. The method of assuring conformance was inspection. We still do it today. Inspection probably worked well as long as one talks about crafts where the whole product is made by one person. However, with the advance of technology and newer production methods, the age of the single craftsman is receding and inspection no longer as effective in both cost and output.
In the 1920’s Dr. Walter Shewhart formulated a method that met the needs of modern production. It is process control. The emphasis in process control is not on the product but on the process that produces the product. By making the process fail safe, only good output is created. This saves the cost of scrapping or reworking bad output and leads to greater customer satisfaction which in turn often leads to more sales and profits.
Until the 1980’s the bulk of quality operations in the USA used the inspection method. Key in this process was MIL-STD-105, Sampling Procedure and Tables for Inspection by Attributes, now called ANSI/ASQ Z1.4-2003: Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes. The emphasis was the acceptances of a lot of output with a small risk of rejection of good items on the part of the producer and a larger risk of accepting bad items on the part of the customer. Relatively few process control systems existed.
The Japanese, on the other hand, specialized in process control which Deming taught them in 1950. As a result, they were capturing markets with better products at lower cost. Once American Management recognized this, they too wanted process control. The NBC White Paper of 1980 gave them this information and process control became a standard method.
Top Management’s Role
Deming, Juran, and others kept emphasizing the need for top management’s active involvement in achieving quality. The key was that top management needed to make their policies support quality not hinder it. The concept of single source suppliers saved many companies a fortune as well as creating better, more uniform output.
The problem was that the rapid growth of the quality profession led to a number of untrained or partially trained individuals who needed a quick fix. The European Union supported a method called ISO 9000. While this method permitted process control, it did not emphasize it, in fact it was an option. The emphasis of this process was and is on inspection, now renamed auditing.
Entropy: Sliding Back
Apparently, we moved from emphasis inspection before 1980 to process control until the latter part of 1990’s then back to the emphasis on inspection. Can this be a reason for what I see as the decline in the number of quality professionals, the change in management attitudes, and the return to the status quo of pre 1980? Is there the equivalent of Gresham’s Law in quality: old methods replace the modern? Does the death of Deming and Crosby followed by the retirement of Juran leave us with no one to whom top management listens? Can we recapture the spirit of quality as a sound business policy? Your editor invites your comments.
Crawford-Mason, C., Frank, R., Lockhart, R., & Dobyns, L. (1980). If Japan can. . .why can’t we? Dobyns, Lloyd. New York, NBC. Ref Type: Video Recording
Kilian, C. S. (1992). The world of W. Edwards Deming. (2nd. ed.) Knoxville, TN: SPC Press.
Certification is a valuable way to further your career in quality, by affirming your commitment to quality and obtaining recognition for your knowledge. Through certification, members enhance their knowledge, their career and their self-esteem by advancing themselves within their organization and realizing their salary goals. Get the recognition you deserve for what you know and can contribute!
You can learn more about the various certification programs offered by ASQ at the website http://www.asq.org/certification/. Registration is convenient and simple online. Exams can be taken at any of multiple locations for your further convenience. If you are interested in learning more about preparation for these exams, contact Russ Ferretti via email at email@example.com or by phone at 212-672-1222.
Congratulations are in order to the latest Metropolitan Section members who have passed certification exams, as follows:
CQA: Certified Quality Auditor
Ruddie D. MacDonald
Roxanne I. Lewis
David Lloyd Fuller
Glenda Ann Coulter
Irene Wei Sun
Sabine D. Joseph
Kelly D. Jones
Thefania M. Lynardakis
James Thomas Mackenzie
CQE: Certified Quality Engineer
Man King Fong June 2005
James Robert Richardson Jr.
Martin R. Riehm
CQIA: Certified Quality Improvement Associate
Denesha J. Kelly
Thomas J. Pritchard
Andrew A. Wilson
Yon Ha Kim
CQM: Certified Quality Manager
George E. Dimopoulos
CSSBB: Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
Richard K. Meyer
Rushabh J. Shah
Matthias Groh March 2005
Donia M. Piersaint
Hi to all the current and past members, and those who are visiting our site:
The new fiscal year of 2005-2006 for ASQ has begun and as the new Chair I am honored to serve the ASQ NY/NJ Metropolitan Section. Our Section has many volunteers on our Executive Committee willing to devote their time and expertise supporting our Section’s growth and continued service to you our Section Members. I thank them all:
The objectives of this Section have not changed and remain a conduit for advancement of the theory and practice of Quality, and the allied arts and sciences, and the maintenance of high professional standing among our members and the community.
I am a Senior Member of ASQ and have been an active member in the NY/NJ Metropolitan Section since I moved to New York six years ago. I was one of the founding members of the ASQ Design and Construction Division and served as a regional chair for a number of years with that division.
I am happy to report that our Section has over 700 members; I am sad to say that I have meet only small percentage of our members. Your executive board truly works diligently to advance the goals of ASQ and the section, and we look forward to this year with hope of meeting you at our events.
Our two biggest programs each year are the Deming Conference (December Atlantic City) and the Annual Section Conference normally refereed to as either the September Conference or the Qtt Conference (September 16, 2005 Rutgers University, Newark Campus). We look forward to providing a very informative and interesting program each year at these events. If you have ideas for programs and/or speakers for future programs or meetings, please contact me. As with any volunteer organization we are always looking for new members to step up and support the sections activities. To be involved is simple just call any of the executive board members and volunteer.
Did you know volunteers earn re-certification credits? If you have taken any of the ASQ certification exams, to maintain your certification after three years you may take the test again or attend our section meetings and conferences and obtain re-certification credits so you don’t have to do the retest.
If you are reading this, you have found our Web page. The executive meetings and general section meeting schedules are posted. Why not attend? It’s easy to register right on line and most of our meetings are free of any charge to members who register in advance. If there is a fee, it will be posted.
If you are new to the section or have never had the time to attend a Section Meeting or Executive Committee meeting chances are you don’t know what happens. You can find information pertaining to upcoming meetings, tours, educational courses, job openings, and other information of interest right here on our website.
Thank you all for your continued support and lets make this another banner year for ASQ NY/NJ Metro.
Congratulations the following members who recently passed their certification examination:
Glenda Ann Coulter – Certified Quality Auditor
Irene Wei Sun – Certified Quality Auditor
Sabine D. Joseph – Certified Quality Auditor
Kelly D. Jones – Certified Quality Auditor
Thefania M. Lynardakis – Certified Quality Auditor
James Thomas Mackenzie – Certified Quality Auditor
Bennett Weber – Certified Software Quality Engineer
Walter A. Shewhart, the originator of modern methods for quality, wrote, “For our present purpose a phenomenon will be said to be controlled when, through the use of past experience, we can predict, at least within limits, how the phenomenon may be expected to vary in the future.” (Shewhart, 1931, p. 6)
His definition of “control” was that if a phenomenon, such as the error rate in a call center, was consistent within the upper and lower control limit, it was in control. As long as the process remained unchanged, the phenomenon would continue to generate the same range of errors in the future as it has in the past. If the range of errors is too high for management to tolerate, they, management, must change the process. The workers cannot do any better than the process lets them. To exhort workers to improve without giving the a way of doing this is futile. As Myron Tribus stated in his paper, “Managing to Survive in a Competitive world” (Tribus, 1992, p. 30),”The workers work in the system, the managers should work on the system to improve it with their help.”
Many people think of quality control as an inspection system of output. Workers think of quality control as big brother watching and pouncing if a mistake is detected. Unfortunately these conditions exist and are extremely counterproductive. True quality control looks at the process and determines whether the process is still operating as intended or not. If it has drifted (as evidenced by a special cause of variation) it needs to be brought back into the predictable limits.
One can work with a predictable system to improve it. Improvement efforts on an unpredictable or chaotic system may solve one problem but cause a host of others. Usually, such efforts cause more grief than they solve.
It is unfortunate that the image of quality control degenerated into a perceived police action and so lost its original meaning of cost effective predictable process. One can only hope that as a profession, we re-discover the benefits of true quality control.
Shewhart, W. A. (1931). Economic control of quality of manufactured product. Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Company.
Tribus, M. (1992). Quality First: Selected Papers on Quality & Productivity Improvement. (Fourth ed.) Alexandria, VA: National Institute for Engineering Management and Systems.