March 2001

Vol. 3, No. 3

Here's this month's issue of Quality eLine, a newsletter from PQ Systems, Inc. that provides industry news, case studies, quality tips, and information about software products and training services.

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In this issue, you will find:

Beyond Excel: Seminar teaches easy SPC charting from current data
This new PQ Systems seminar has met the needs of its participants by showing how data residing in Excel, Oracle, Access, and other database programs can be charted without the need for data re-entry or re-formatting. To learn more, go to beyondexcel.htm.

Depending on statistics: Not always a good idea, says author
Decisions about everything from buying a car to looking for a new job may be affected by statistics that are used to predict unemployment rates and consumer confidence, as well as other indicators of economic stability. Can you count on these statistics? Not always, according to Bob Ackman writing on Go to Dependingonstatistics.htm.

Quality Quiz: Another quiz from Professor Cleary--and last month's winners!
Winners of last month's quiz (and a copy of Quality Gamebox) are: Anthony Gingello (Southco Inc.); Nancy Graves (Natural Balance); Sandra L. Harper (Blackhawk Automotive Plastics, Inc.); Lorri McDaniel (Kalkaska Screw Products); Kathy Stockton (Spectrum Control, Inc.); Larry Tobey (Akron Procelain & Plastics Co.); Billy Towe (GE Appliances); John Wheeler (Sandia National Labs); Tom Winningham (Electronic Stamping Corp.); and Michael Zawrotuk (Graham Packaging Co.). Congratulations!

And now for March's question. After you have read the question, click on the response that you think is correct. As in previous quizzes, if you answer correctly, you can register to win a free copy of Quality Gamebox.

The new owner of Best Friend Pet Grooming, Alonga Leesh, wants to initiate process improvement through data collection and analysis that focuses on customer satisfaction. The implication is that high Cpk values, after all, are related to customer satisfaction, although you will be hard pressed to impress these customers with those values.

Alonga has collected data based on perceived attitudes of the pets that visit for grooming services, as measured by tail wagging and satisfied purring as they enter the shop. So far, Alonga has found that since she instituted a system of providing treats to every pet visitor, these metrics have reflected improvements in attitude. Some of her pets have objected to the precision of her measurement system, since it involves evaluating the angle of tail wagging and decibels of sound emitted in a purr, but she has worked out these difficulties and is ready to determine the capability of her system.

In order to determine the Cpk of her data, Alonga has created control charts that demonstrate the system's stability. Her process is clearly in control, in spite of the earlier special causes that ensued when large dogs growled as she measured their tail wags. An optical measurement system assures less hands-on measurement, and everyone seems much happier. Alonga determined minimum number of purrs as well as minimum number of tail wags that are acceptable, and she used these as the lower specification limit for the data. What other information does Alonga need to have before determining her system's Cpk values?

a. segregation of data related to canine satisfaction and feline happiness;
b. influence of human intervention on the animal data;
c. normalcy of data distribution pattern;
d. normalcy of pet owner behavior patterns;
e. she cannot pursue capability analysis since her data reflects one-sided spec limits.

Data in everyday life: The original stats season is upon us: Are you ready?
Many statisticians cut their teeth not on Statistics 101, but on data related to RBIs, HRs, strike-outs, and base hits. Kids and grownups both still collect those cards with all the numbers. Here's another way to look at some of the data that's coming your way even before the first ball is thrown in April. Go to chartsyoucanuse.htm.
Six Sigma and more: Changing the culture means understanding change itself
This month, David Schwinn re-examines the process of change in organizations, and offers the research of Rosabeth Kanter. Go to sixsigmaandmore.htm.



Copyright 2001 by PQ Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.