Our own Eric Gasper was featured on Quality Digest’s latest “Gauging Quality” episode and talks about gage R&R.
Any data that is in measurement form, such as time to complete a task, can be converted to a capability index, provided at least one specification exists. So the recipe for a capability study is:
- Define what you will measure.
- Measure it consistently.
- Create a control chart such as an individuals and moving range chart from the data and ensure that the process is predictable. Most quality and patient safety departments already have done these three items.
- Determine the upper and/or lower specification limit.
- Calculate the capability values. Software can greatly aid in performing the calculations and determining the percent of data expected beyond your limit.
The math is not complex. Two common capability indices are typically computed: Ppk and Cpk. For more on these indices, and responses to frequently asked questions about capability, visit this article in our Quality Advisor.
Controlling an organization’s documents and their revisions is essential to the maintenance of quality, but sometimes the task of maintaining these documents and assuring their security seems overwhelming. Document control is more successful if it’s simple and intuitive. That’s where a software solution can help. Document control software acts as a single repository for all of an organization’s documents. It is used to securely store documents and keep an audit trail of when changes are made and by whom for traceability purposes. Here’s a walk-through example of a process for electronic document control:
- A document is generated that outlines procedure for handling a specific process.
- Document is uploaded and saved with specific rights assigned as to who can add, change, and approve the content, as well as others that may simply need to view the document. Different rights can be assigned depending on the department or group’s requirements within the organization.
- When changes to the document are requested, emails are forwarded automatically to alert other users that the document is being submitted for revision. The users are then able to approve the document, reject it with comments as to why, or simply ask for additional information. Most systems can be set so that this process is completed within a specific period of time.
- Once all the approvals are received, the document is assigned a revision number and is finalized in the system for view by others.
- Intervals can be established so that each user must approve the document on a prescribed period to ensure the document’s relevance over time.
For a more thorough discussion of document control, see this February article in Quality magazine.
Here is a question for you to consider this month. Which professional organizations do you belong to?
Plus, see the results of last month’s poll.
While new year’s resolutions may already be long forgotten by many, those who are committed to personal goals continue to try to keep on the path to reach these goals early in the year. Good news: PQ Systems can help!
As we know from commercial applications of charting techniques, it is always far easier to garner information from numbers when they are illustrated visually, in charts or graphs. Even photos can help clarify meanings: A Melbourne, Australia, suburb trained volunteers to measure litter on the streets, giving them photos to support understanding of operational definitions of litter. (One cigarette butt in the gutter was not considered litter; two or more, or those on the sidewalk, were.)
So we have some ideas about supporting your personal goals for 2014 with visual use of data—a specialty of PQ Systems.
Charting data related to weight loss is commonplace, of course. Services such as Livestrong.com or Fitbit help to keep a running chart of weights entered daily, over a period of weeks, months, or years. Even crude hand-drawn charts make the point and demonstrate trends of weight loss or gain.
David remembers Thomas Berry, one of the most eminent cultural historians of our time.
Winners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Quality Gamebox are Nick Holden (Hohman Plating); Karwani Nyakairu (AKN Investments); Colan LaCroix (Pine Tree Castings); Chris McIntyre (Devro, Australia); Rod Innes (Paul Fabrications, Derby, England). Congratulations! For this month’s quiz, and a chance to win a copy of Quality Gamebox, submit your response by February 27 to be entered in the drawing.
Improving medical coding: The American Medical Association is bringing more transparency to the process of updating Current Procedural Terminology, or CPT codes.
Keynotes announced: The ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement will take place in Dallas on May 5-7. Conference theme is “The Global Impact of Quality.”
Myths of big data: With burgeoning attention to “big data,” this article lists common myths related to the growth of data in businesses.
Quality by Design: Life Science Training Institute is offering this training for pharmaceutical manufacturing professionals.
Nassim Taleb, Distinguished Professor of Risk Enginnering at New York University School of Engineering, suggests that the notion of standard deviation should be retired, or at least eliminated in statistical investigations.
“The notion of standard deviation has confused hordes of scientists; it is time to retire it from common use and replace it with the more effective one of mean deviation. Standard deviation, STD, should be left to mathematicians, physicists and mathematical statisticians deriving limit theorems. There is no scientific reason to use it in statistical investigations in the age of the computer, as it does more harm than good—particularly with the growing class of people in social science mechanistically applying statistical tools to scientific problems.” http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25401
While standard deviation is part of the fundamental thinking of statisticians, can the term be replaced with something more useful? He allows that the term should be left to mathematicians, physicists and mathematical statisticians.
What is your reaction to this possibility? Does it do “more harm than good” in statistical investigations? While Taleb addresses his comments to social science in particular, it’s clear that his assertions apply to a broad range of statistical research.
Let us hear your responses to Professor Taleb’s suggestion.