Global State of Quality Research

 Sustaining Edge Solutions, Inc. Newsletter

Performance Improvement Solutions for Your Business                               September 2013


This Month
* Global State of Quality
* Changes to 14001 EMS
* Internal Audit Process
* In the News
* Training Courses



Phoenix ASQ Chapter General Session Meeting Sept 12, 2013. Cost of Poor Quality-Walter Tighe, Speaker
ASQ Audit Division and Quality Management Division Conference  Oct 10-11, 2013 Tucson, AZ.  We are a Silver Sponsor and Exhibitor of this Conference.  See you there!      

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Our newsletters provide information on business management systems.  These systems include ISO 9001 QMS, AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense, ISO/TS 16949 Automotive, ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 13485 Medical Devices, ISO 14001 Environmental, and others.  Subjects include performance improvement methods such as Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

If you have any questions regarding the content or have a subject of interest for a future newsletter, please let us know.  


Global State of Quality Research 2013             


The American Society for Quality (ASQ) Global State of Quality Research just published a groundbreaking initiative that identifies quality successes and opportunities from around the world. This unprecedented worldwide research has taken nearly a year and a half to complete, with more than 2,000 survey responses from organizations in more than 22 countries.

During hundreds of conversations and dozens of projects, it was found that there are still unanswered questions that quality leaders struggle with on a daily basis. “What is the best governance and management structure for quality to maximize the impact on outcomes?” “What measures of quality should an organization use to drive value?” “How should quality be supported by an organization?” and “How can we affect the culture of quality to make it change the way we work?”

The structure of this Discoveries report is organized into four sections, each related to one of the core themes and associated questions above. Each section then provides a rich set of supporting information describing the aggregate and significant variances. The themes are:

1) Quality Governance and Management: Organizations that have executive leadership directly govern or manage the quality process are 30 percent more likely to view quality as a continuous improvement activity or method to manage organization-wide performance as compared to the average. This section highlights the quality practices and factors that influence the governance and management methods, planning, strategy, and implementation of quality.

2) Outcomes and Measures: Manufacturing-based, compared to service-focused, organizations, are nearly twice as likely to use quality measures to drive higher performance by promoting challenging goals, as part of variable performance compensation, and to support predictive analytics. This section highlights the methods and factors that influence the selection and application of quality measures.

3) Competencies and Training: Organizations that govern quality with a centralized group are roughly 30 percent more likely to provide quality training to staff than organizations where a senior executive governs the quality process. This section highlights quality-related training in terms of what type of training is provided, who receives the training, and how training is provided.

4) Culture: Only 68 percent of all organizations share information on product or service quality with customers. The connection between quality and the customer is a key element to the definition, activities, and ultimately the culture of an organization. This section highlights several key quality practices that influence the overall culture of an organization.

In addition to these core themes, the following three statements represent several key explanatory factors that are used extensively throughout the analysis and are highly related to the variability in the application of quality practices.

A) There are significant differences in the use and application of quality practices between manufacturing-focused and service-based organizations. This includes governance and management models, the availability of and use of metrics, quality management frameworks and certifications, and training. In general, manufacturing organizations are more likely to utilize mature quality practices.


B) There is a common notion that larger organizations (based on annual revenue) tend to use more mature quality practices than counterparts in smaller organizations. Although this statement is true for several practices, in general the size of an organization has a much smaller impact on variability than an organization’s specific c industry on the application of mature quality practices.

C)There is no significant indication that the use of quality practices generally differs by region. A few variations do exist but are typically related to size, industry, or other unidentified factors.


Based on the content of this world-wide research study, we will provide extended information to our readers in our next monthly newsletter regarding the results found aligned with the four section structure. ASQ members can download this report from the ASQ Website.   


Study results: 52% for Service vs. 78% Manufacturing. Manufacturing organizations are 1.5 times more likely to use ISO Standards as a quality framework.   


Future Changes to Environmental Standard           


The Technical Committee 207/SC 1/WG5 has released a Committee Draft of the proposed changes to ISO 14001. This action is in line with the schedule for release of the new standard in January 2015. This draft will be open for comments (members only) over the next 2 months and further changes may occur based on the comments submitted.

The proposed structure will reflect a new approach and alignment with the 9001 revision that is following a similar timeline. The draft format reflects the following sections:


4.  Content of the organization

5.  Leadership

6.  Planning

7.  Support

8.  Operation 

9.  Performance Evaluation

10.  Improvement   


Within each of these sections sub-clauses address specific requirements that organizations will need to address. The standard specifies requirements for an environmental management system that can enable an organization to achieve environmental performance improvement by developing and implementing a policy, establishing environmental objectives and systematic processes which consider the context of the organization.


This would include applicable legal requirements and voluntary obligations, and information about its significant aspects, establishing operational controls, and evaluating performance and taking actions, as necessary, to improve and demonstrate conformity to the requirements of the standard.


As more information becomes available regarding this we will inform you and provide the details of the transition timeline. 


Internal Audit Process           


Internal audits are an essential management tool to be used for verifying objective evidence of processes, to assess how successfully processes have been implemented, and to provide evidence concerning reduction and elimination of problem areas.

For the benefit of the organization, quality auditing should not only report non-conformances and corrective actions, but also highlight areas of good practice. In this way other departments may share information and amend their working practices as a result, also contributing to continual improvement.  

When scheduling internal audits, consider other aspects such as: What’s been the past performance history? Are there new employees, equipment or management? How effective is the training system? What do past audit results indicate? How critical is that area?

An important part of audit preparation is to review the applicable documents for the area to be audited. This review will acquaint you with the process, identify responsibilities, determine requirements, discover deliverables, and indicate the process objectives.

Before the Audit


According to clause 6.3.1 of ISO 19011:2011, the audit guidance standard, the relevant management system documentation should be reviewed in order to:  

  • gather information to prepare audit activities and applicable work documents (e.g., checklists);
  • establish an overview of the extent of the system documentation to detect possible gaps.

The documentation to be reviewed should include management system documents and records, as well as previous audit reports. The review should take into account the size, nature, and complexity of the management system and organization, and the audit objectives and scope.    


During the Audit      


In addition to reviewing documents prior to the audit, documents will also be reviewed during the audit. According to clause 6.4.3 of ISO 19011, the auditee’s relevant documentation should be reviewed to:   

  •  determine the conformity of the system, as far as documented, with audit criteria;
  • gather information to support the audit activities.  

If adequate documentation cannot be provided within the time frame given in the audit plan, the audit team leader should inform both the person managing the audit program and the auditee. Depending on the audit objectives and scope, a decision should be made to continue or suspend the audit until the documentation concerns are resolved.   


Conducting the Audit Review  


According to Annex B2 in ISO 19011, the review should consider if information in the provided documents is:  

  • Complete (expected content is contained in the document)
  • Correct (conforms to reliable sources such as standards)
  • Consistent (within the document and with related documents)
  • Current (the content is up-to-date)  

Check to see if the reviewed documents cover the audit scope and provide sufficient information to support the audit objectives.   


The bottom line is that internal auditing is a cornerstone of the QMS.  Auditing is a vital tool to identify and improve the effectiveness of the Quality Management System. With the advent of the process based approach to auditing its value and importance is significantly raised.     


In the News      
The ASQ Joint Audit Division and Quality Management Division Conference will be held in Tucson, Arizona (our home state) on October 10-11, 2013. You can view the program and four tracks of presentations at this web page. You can register for the conference at this web page.

We are a Silver Sponsor of this Conference and will be Exhibiting!

Drop by our booth for free quality swag, process improvement information, and discounts on our all our training courses and business improvement methods. We look forward to seeing our clients and newsletter readers!


SAE and Aero Engine Makers Work on Quality Standards  


SAE International’s Aerospace Council has announced the launch of a new technical committee known as ‘G-22 Aerospace Engine Supplier Quality Committee’. Creation of this new technical committee follows initial efforts by GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, and Snecma to benchmark supplier quality requirements.


The goal is to propose a set of common, industry-wide standards that will remove variability and waste, and enable the aerospace supply chain to be leaner and more competitive. The Engine Supply Chain has strong commonality across all value streams, and hence the opportunity for standardization has mutual benefit to the end user and the industry as a whole. The new committee is seen as a platform to drive this approach.

For more information visit the SAE website.

Best Practices for Open Innovation  

APQC, the nonprofit leader in benchmarking and best practices research, has released a new report-Open Innovation: Enhancing Idea Generation Through Collaboration-that outlines what several leading organizations are doing to more effectively tap multiple sources of innovation and expand their idea-generating capacity.


 The study, which was conducted in partnership with Project Management Institute (PMI), identified 11 open innovation best practices across four areas-strategies, roles, processes, and measurement/improvement.

To read more about the study visit the APQC website.

Training Courses

To see the course description, schedule, and on-line registration click on the course title below. We deliver onsite training for all these courses and customized training to fit your specific needs.  We offer group discounts.  


View all our Courses

View Our Web Based E-Training Courses   

ISO 9001 Quality Management

Understanding and Implementing ISO9001:2008

ISO 9001:2008 Process Based Internal Auditor 

Documenting Your Management System

AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense

Understanding and Implementing AS9100C (9110 &9120) Aviation, Space and Defense

AS9100C:2009 Process Based Internal Auditor

Documenting Your Management System 

ISO/TS 16949 Automotive

Understanding and Implementing ISO/TS16949:2009 Automotive

ISO/TS16949:2009 Process Based Internal Auditor
Documenting Your Management System 

ISO 14001 Environmental

Understanding and Implementing ISO14001:2004 Environmental
ISO14001:2004 Process Based Internal Auditor

Lean Enterprise and CI 

5S Five Pillars of a Lean Workplace Organization
Continuous Process Improvement
Lean Six Sigma
8 Disciplines (8D) of Problem Solving

ISO 13485 Medical Devices

Understanding and Implementing ISO 13485:2003 Medical Devices
ISO 13485 Process Based Internal Auditor 

ISO 27001 Information Security

Understanding and Implementing ISO 27001:2005 Information Security
ISO 27001 Process Based Internal Auditor 

All courses can be delivered at your company. Don’t see a course, location, or date that fits your needs?

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