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Quality Tools, Process Variability and Zero-defect

1. Write a justification for implementing ONE of the following Quality Tools in an organization you are or have been employed at. What are the benefits? What are some important elements to make the tool successful? How would you try to implement this in your organization?
Fishbone Diagrams
Control Charts / SPC
Benchmarking

2. What can be done to reduce process variability? Is the process optimal, if you have proved the process is consistent?

3. The text describes 1960's zero-defect campaign. What were the issues with this program? How does this differ from a six-sigma approach?

Solution Preview

Hi,

1. Write a justification for implementing ONE of the following Quality Tools in an organization you are or have been employed at. What are the benefits?

Let's go with benchmarking. You will need to use your place of employment.

A Benchmark is a standard, used for comparison. For example, the NASDAQ may be used as a benchmark against which the performance of a technology stock is compared (benchmark.InvestorWords.com). Thus, benchmarking is discovering what is the best performance being achieved, whether in your company, by a competitor, or by an entirely different industry (benchmarking.sixsigma.com). Therefore, it is the right quality tool for any type of business, today.

Benefits:

Since benchmarking is an improvement tool this is the main benefit; it leads to improved behavior. In other words, this is achieved whereby a company measures its performance or process against other companies' best practices, determines how those companies achieved their performance levels, and uses the information to improve its own performance.

Benchmarking is a continuous process whereby an enterprise measures and compares all its functions, systems and practices against strong competitors, identifying quality gaps in the organization, and striving to achieve competitive advantage locally and globally (benchmarking.sixsigma.com).

SAMPLE BENCHMARKING PROCESS: LIBRARY

For administrative measures, such as minimum number of staff, you would benchmark your own institution against current national public library surveys (see below an example of how to use ALA's public library survey for this purpose).

ALA publishes its own annual public library survey, through its Public Library Association (PLA, a division of ALA), the Public Library Data Service (PLDS) Statistical Report, which is conducted on a random sampling of nearly 1,000 public libraries all over the US, all of various sizes and locations. This report may be available in your own local public library.

According to the 2006 edition, the branch circulation for the 17 branches of the Fozzie Bear Public Library is reported as being 12,002,278 (see the tables in Section IV. Annual Use Figures), and you have 121.7 librarians (see the tables in Section III. Library Resources and Per Capita Measures). This is similar to the circulation reported by the following libraries, reported below, along with their number of librarians (does NOT include "Other Staff" - paraprofessionals, including clerks, pages, and technical assistants):

SIMILAR CIRCULATION

New York Public Libraries, the Branch Librs.
New York, 84 branches
Branch Circulation: 13,507,137
429.6 librarians

Queens Borough Public Library
New York, 62 branches
Branch Circulation: 16,472,564
333 librarians

SIMILAR CIRCULATION, SIMILAR NUMBER OF BRANCHES

Columbus Metropolitan Library
Ohio, 20 branches
Branch Circulation: 14,124,390
113.3 librarians

Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Indiana, 22 branches
Branch Circulation: 11,674,776
130 librarians

SIMILAR NUMBER OF BRANCHES, DIFFERENT CIRCULATION

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania, 18 branches
103.5 ...

Solution Summary

By example, this solutioun justifies a quality tool and discusses how to reduce process varability as welll as the 1960's zero-defect campaign. Supplemented with two articles on qulaity control and process variability.

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