ASQ-LA Quality News
April 2012
In This Issue
ASQLA Leadership
Los Angeles Dodgers
MSQA Paper Presentation


This is the April Issue of the ASQ-LA Newsletter. Come to our April 11th Member Meeting @ Mattel in El Segundo. MUST RSVP to Chen Low 310-334-7044 or pager 310-353-8293 or e mail address to [email protected], no-later-than Noon on Monday, April 9, so he can get the list of attendees to Mattel
See you there!  


Harold Martinez
Newsletter Chair


Dr. Catherine L. Martin
"Risk Based Auditing

Please join the ASQLA Section 0700 for its monthly member meeting on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. The meeting be back at Mattel Conference Room in El Segundo. This meeting is an opportunity to network with other Quality professionals and to learn about current techniques & technologies. Our speaker this month is Dr. Catherine L. Martin.


The speaker's topic will be "Risk Based Auditing." Why risk based audit planning? The growing demands for better accountability from all types of organizations in both the public and private sectors has led to great pressures on the internal and external auditors to perform. The latest standards developed by the International Organization for Standards (ISO), namely the ISO 9000:2008 and AS9100C govern industry in design and development, manufacturing, testing, quality, risk, packaging, and shipping of products and services. One of the key changes in AS9100C Standard is the new requirement to implement a risk management process applicable to the product and organization covering: responsibility, criteria, mitigation and acceptance. The concept of risk is intertwined within the revised AS9100C standard.


Risk based audit approaches represent a major trend in current business and financial audit methodology. Developed during the 1990s in response to changes in the business economic communities, the risk based audit represents a new generation of audit approaches. Risk based audit approaches are based on risk analysis used to identify business risk that is commonly defined as a risk that a client cannot achieve its business objectives. The risk based audit represents a shift in thinking about how best to audit an entity but is rooted in ideas of risk evaluation and knowledge of the client advocated by the risk model. The shift from the traditional compliance approach to the risk based approach is a departure from the traditional quality audit methodology. With shrinking resources and increased customer pressure, quality professionals must streamline existing processes to reduce costs and resource time needed for compliance management and risk management. This presentation focuses on developing a risk based quality audit process that describes methods for streamlining the quality audit process and introduces concepts to assess risk and reduce costs. The risk data driven measurement system determines which products and processes get audited.


Dr. Catherine L. Martin holds a Bachelor of Arts in biology from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota, Master of Science Degree in Quality Systems Management from National Graduate School in Falmouth, Massachusetts and Doctor of Business Administration in Quality Systems Management from National Graduate School in Falmouth Massachusetts.

She is a senior member of the American Society of Quality (ASQ). Catherine was the ASQ Los Angeles Section Program Chair from 2005-2007, ASQLA Secretary from 2007-2008 and ASQLA Vice-Chair from 2008-2009. She is certified as a Quality Auditor (CQA) and Quality Engineer (CQE) by the American Society of Quality. She is trained as a RABQSA Lead AS9100 Auditor and is a Six Sigma Specialist.

Catherine's diverse background gives her a unique view of quality from several industries and an opportunity to study the best practices and winning strategies of other industries to improve performance. Her professional experience includes working or consulting in aerospace, biotechnology and healthcare. She has worked as a quality professional at Raytheon, Genzyme Genetics, Impath, and OncoCare, for which she was a co-owner. She received the Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Excellence in Quality Award in 2008.

Catherine is especially proud to be a graduate of the National Graduate School Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) Program in Quality Systems Management. Her dissertation project was to develop a forward-looking and risk-based approach to auditing. She created a risk management quality audit program and support tool for aerospace and defense companies.


The program will be located at Mattel in El Segundo. This meeting is an opportunity to network with other Quality Professionals, learn about quality related topics and earn 0.3 Recertification Units. Registration and networking starts at 5:30 PM. The meeting runs from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. Crackers, Cookies, Fruit, Coffee & Water will be provided at no charge. You MUST RSVP to Chen Low 310-334-7044 or pager 310-353-8293 or e mail address to [email protected]no-later-than Noon on Tuesday, April 9, so he can get the list of attendees for Mattel. 

Message from the Chair - Lane Parrott



Last month, Milton Krivokuca dazzled us with his presentation entitled, Leader and Employee Engagement for Organizational Excellence. Milt showed us a short video of K & N Management, who is the Austin Texas developer of "Rudy's Country Store" & Bar-B-Q and the creator of Mighty Fine Burgers.  The reason Milt was speaking to us about burgers, was because K & N was one of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winners.  


If you missed the meeting you can still read the K & N Management story at


Our April meeting will be back at Mattel.  Then in May we will return to Northrop Grumman.  Since we did not have a raffle in March, there will be a large number of items raffled off at the April Meeting.


Long time section Secretary Cymbeline Garcia just accepted a new position at Amgen in Thousand Oaks.  We all wish Cymbeline well in her new position.   


Is anyone interested in becoming the secretary for our section?


Are you looking for a job? Two positions were just recently posted on our webpage.


Did you know there are 9 Courses available at the World Conference? Check it out at  


We have several new faces on the Leadership Team, but we still need more help. Please demonstrate your willingness to help the section, by attending our Leader Team Meetings.  The more you know about how we operate, the better you can see how your talents can best help the section.


The next Leadership Team Meeting is 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 4th at the Extended Education Building at California State University Dominguez Hills. CSUDH is a large campus, so I suggest entering at Gate D from Victoria Street. Please contact me at 310-489-9018 or [email protected] and I will ensure there is a sandwich waiting for you at the meeting.



I look forward to seeing you at our April 11th Meeting!



Lane Parrott


Section 0700 Chair

ASQ Certification Exams


Application Deadline

April 13, 2012


Late Application

Fee ($50) Deadline

April 18, 2012


Exam Date

June 2, 2012




Quality Engineer(CQE)

Quality Auditor(CQA)

Six Sigma Green Belt (SSGB)

Software Quality Eng. (CSQE)

Quality Improvement Assoc (CQIA)

Calibration Technician(CCT)

Quality Process Analyst (CQPA)


Application Deadline

August 17, 2012


Late Application

Fee ($50) Deadline

August 22, 2012


Exam Date

October 6, 2012




Six Sigma Black Belt(SSBB)

Mgr of Qual/Org Excel (CMQ/OE)

Quality Inspector(CQI)

Quality Technician(CQT)

Biomedical Auditor(CBD)

Reliability Engineer(CRE)

HACCP Auditor(CHA)





for more information.


Cal State Dominguez Hills BSQA & MSQA Programs

sponsor certification preparation courses, See certification

page on


Is it time for recertification?

Send your package to Joe DeSimone,

Recertification Chair at

P.O. Box 1291, San Pedro, CA90731.




Time: 5:30 - 6:00 Networking & Dinner

6:00 - 8:00 Meeting


CSUDH Extended Education Bldg

1000 Victoria St., Carson, CA 90745

Contact: Lane Parrott, Chair

(310) 489-9018

[email protected],

Dates: 1st Wednesday of the Month




Officers & Committee Chairs of ASQ Los Angeles Section 700


CHAIR: Lane Parrott - (310) 489-9018 - [email protected]

VICE CHAIR: Andrea Reilly - 310-617-6764 - [email protected]

SECRETARY: Cymbeline Garcia (310) 891-0910  [email protected]

TREASURER: Jim Morrison -(310) 541-1417 - [email protected]

PAST CHAIR/Executive Advisory: Chen Low -(310) 334-7044 - [email protected]

Arrangements: Armen Yeghoian- 818-912-9272 - [email protected]

 Job Listing: Armen Yeghoian- 818-912-9272 - [email protected]

Website Chair: Lane Parrott - (310) 489-9018 - [email protected]

Membership: Lisa Uhrig - - 310-283-1197 [email protected]

 Education: Bill Trappen - (760)723-7718 -[email protected]

CSUDH Liaison: Milt Krivokuca - (949) 892-7994 - [email protected]

Certification: Joe DeSimone - (424) 772-6371 -[email protected]

Re-certification: Joe DeSimone - (424) 772-6371 - [email protected]

Newsletter: Harold Martinez - (310) 214-1606 -[email protected]

Awards and Recognition: Imre Fischer -(949)493-3914 - [email protected]

Quality Management Process (QMP): Andrea Reilly - 310-617-6764 - [email protected]

Financial Audit: Michael Schaffer - (310)895-0802  [email protected]

Simon Collier Quality Award:  Imre Fischer - (949) 493-3914 [email protected]

    Programs: Andrea Reilly - 310-617-6764 - [email protected]

Publicity & Advertising Chair: : Alan Wang - (310)383-2393 - [email protected]




















$28 tickets for $20 as long as supplies last



Tickets can be purchased at Member meetings, or

reserved through Jim Morrison at 310 541-1417,

Via e-mail at [email protected]







Presented to

Professor Trappen

California State University Dominguez Hills


In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of Course

QAS 511

Quality Function Management and TQM



Diana Griffin

Submitted: August, 2, 2011




Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle is simple enough to be used with any process yet thorough enough to obtain results.


The four simple words "plan" "do" "check" and "act," when combined and performed in a logical and organized manner, yield powerful results in process improvement. By definition, a process has established performance measures. A process is known to be a continuous series of actions meant to accomplish some result (Online Etymology Dictionary). Stated differently, a process is a systematic series of actions directed to some end ( Unabridged).

W. Edwards Deming introduced a method of process improvement known as the PDCA Cycle. Deming's PDCA Cycle is a systematic approach to improving performance measures. To ensure success, it is imperative to act on the areas identified for improvement. "Failure to act on identified causes of problems is even worse than not recognizing them in the first place." (Wilson, Dell, & Anderson, 1993, p. 102)

The PDCA Cycle is thorough in that it requires action based on the knowledge gained from the earlier phases in the Cycle. In this way, the PDCA Cycle includes built in process checks that secure improvements. PDCA is able to be adapted to any process because its goal is simple: improve the existing process. The PDCA Cycle is iterative in nature, allowing it to be repeated and applied any number of times for a given process, depending on the amount of process improvement required by the situation.



A plan is defined as "a detailed scheme, method, etc, for attaining an objective" (Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition). In its verb form, it is "the act of planning is to arrange a method or scheme beforehand" ( Unabridged). During the Plan phase of Deming's Cycle, the individual or team identifies the problem that will be addressed, determines the root cause of the problem, and defines a change that is aimed at improving the process, that is, create the action plan. While performing this phase, quality tools that categorize data and help determine root cause are used. These include, but are not limited to: process mapping, brainstorming, affinity diagrams, Pareto charts, and run charts.

The word "do" means to perform or complete a deed or action (Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition). During this second phase of the PDCA Cycle, the change defined in the Plan phase is implemented. The quality tools that are commonly used during this phase include network diagrams, flowcharts, and Gantt charts. These, combined with histograms, run charts, and control charts, allow the results to be monitored, leading into the next phase of the Cycle.

The word "check" is defined as "to prove to be right; correspond accurately" ( Unabridged) and "to examine, investigate, or make an inquiry into (facts, a product, etc) for accuracy, quality, or progress, esp rapidly or informally" (Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition).

The purpose of the Check phase is to review and evaluate the results of the changes made. During this phase, the individual or team conducting the process improvement must ask if the solution has had the intended effect, and if there are any unintended consequences. Quality tools used during this step are flowcharts, Pareto charts, control charts, and run charts.

The Act phase is where each iteration of the PDCA Cycle comes together. "One of the most prevalent reasons root cause analysis systems do not work is simply that the results are not utilized or applied." (Wilson et al, 1993, p. 102). To act is to engage in the process of doing ( Unabridged) or to carry out an action (Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition). During this phase, it is time to reflect on what has been learned so far and recommend changes. The purpose of this phase is to continue the improvement process where it is needed, and to standardize changes where they have been successful. Commonly, the quality tools used during this step include radar charts, affinity diagrams, and brainstorming.

Regardless of the tools used, it is important to focus on the goal of process improvement. "Before becoming enamored of the tools themselves, remember the purpose for which they are being used: to effectively identify problems and through the subsequent process of appropriate corrective and preventive action(s), eliminate their recurrence." (Wilson et al, 1993, p. 188)

Table 1 shows the tasks associated with each step in the PDCA Cycle and the quality tools that are commonly used during each step. The quality tools that can be used during each step are not limited to the tools listed here. For example, "SPC...may be used effectively at various phases of the PDCA cycle." (Amsden, Butler, & Amsden, 1998)



Table 1



 The goal of PDCA is process improvement. A quote commonly attributed to Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) states, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." The key to avoiding insanity, then, is to embrace process improvement. Process improvement is achieved by systematically identifying areas in the process to change, changing them, measuring the results, and repeating the previous steps until the desired level of change is achieved.

Continuous improvement is the driving force behind Deming's PDCA Cycle. The PDCA Cycle is an approach focused on determining what needs to be done, implementing changes, and determining if the changes have been effective or not. The key to success is to address the changes that should be made. "Having done all you should do, face the facts even if you don't like or agree with them." (Wilson et al, 1993, p. 102).

Since the goal of the PDCA Cycle is simply to improve the process in question, it is applicable to any process. PDCA can be used for new processes as well as existing processes. Figure 1 shows a flowchart for a simple process. Implementing the PDCA Cycle during any one of the process blocks will result in improvements to that process step, thereby causing incremental improvements to the entire process.

 Figure 1


 The PDCA Cycle is iterative.  PDCA is an effective tool because it does not seek to develop the ultimate process that will solve all problems.  Juran's Quality Handbook states that following the PDCA cycle "is more effective than adopting the perfectionist approach of concentrating exclusively on developing flawless plans." (Juran & Godfrey, 1999, p. 41.3). 

 Due to the iterative nature of the PDCA Cycle, small improvements can become large successes.  Teams implementing changes only need to focus on one step at a time, knowing that they will be able to return to the step as they gain knowledge.  This can be seen in Figure 2, which shows a graphical display of Deming's PDCA cycle.

The outputs of each step of the Cycle provide the inputs of the next step, disallowing gaps end ensuring spiral improvements. The cycle has no defined end, and is employed until the desired results are achieved. 


 Figure 2


 Businesses employ PDCA alongside other process improvement techniques with ease because of its flexibility. "Plan-do-check-act integrates well with other process improvement methodologies, such as lean and Six Sigma. Mesa Products, Inc. has built improvement processes built around these three methods." (Larson & Gray, 2011, p. 411)




Transport Canada (TC) uses PDCA to develop their Safety Management Systems (SMS). The Cycle alleviates the pressure of needing to develop a perfect process and focuses on continuous improvement. "According to TC, SMS is all about continuous improvement, thus its 'Plan, Do, Check, Act' refrain... in essence, implementers should accept that an initial SMS plan might not be perfect and commit to 'continuous improvement' -- and the safety culture as a work in progress." (Moody, 2008) Figure 3 shows the details of PDCA Cycle as typically implemented.






In conclusion, the fundamental goal of continuous improvement and iterative nature of Deming's PDCA cycle allow it to be a simple Cycle to follow, yet thorough enough to obtain results when used with any process, whether a simple process or a complex one.

Simple processes, such as making toast, or planning a vacation, used by individuals can benefit from the PDCA Cycle because it is simple to identify small changes and implement them. Complex processes, such as major manufacturing efforts or large construction projects, benefit from the PDCA Cycle because continuous spiral improvements at each process step equate to large improvements over the scope of the process.

Mirroring the scientific method, the PDCA Cycle provides a basis for the systematic pursuit of knowledge. By employing the steps in it, individuals and teams can create the results they desire by implementing the improvements necessary to achieve those results.






 Figure 2Figure 2Figure 2 

act. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from website:

act. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from website:

Amsden, R. T., Butler, H. E., & Amsden, D. M. (1998) SPC simplified: practical steps to quality (2nd ed). Portland, OR: Productivity, Inc.

Bulsuk, K. G. (2009, February 2). Taking the First Step with the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Cycle [Web log post]. Retrieved June 17, 2011 from

check. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from website:

check. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from website:

do. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from website:

Juran, J.M. & Godfrey, A. B. (Eds.). (1999). Juran's quality handbook (5th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Larson, W.E., & Gray, C.F. (2011). Project management: The managerial process (5th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Moody, E. (2008). Plan, Do, Check, Act. Overhaul & Maintenance. 14(4), 25

plan. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from website:

plan. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from website:

process. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from website:

process. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved July 24, 2011 from website:

Wilson, P. F., Dell, L. D., & Anderson, G. F. (1993). Root cause analysis: a tool for total quality management. Milwaukee, WI: ASQ.