ASQ-LA Quality News
June 2014
ASQ-LA Issue Contains:
June 11 Member Meeting
Message from the Chair
ASQ-LA New & Renewing Members
Los Angeles Section Dodger Night
SImon Collier Award call for Nominations
ASQ Certification Exam offerings and Dates
MSQA and BSQA Course Offerings
MSQA Student Term Paper
ASQ-LA Leadership Team




Welcome to the June Edition of the ASQ-LA Newsletter. We are looking forward to seeing you at our June 11th  Member  Meeting which will be at Phenomenex in Torrance. If you plan to attend the meeting, YOU MUST RSVP to: Chen Low 310-334-7044, pager 310-353-8293 or e-mail [email protected], no-later-than Noon on Monday, June 9th, so that he can provide  the list of attendees to Phenomenex Security.

ASQ-LA Leadership is looking forward to your attendance  at this month's program.  Press here for a pdf version of the June Newsletter. 

William (Bill) Trappen                                                            Harold Martinez

   Newsletter Editor                                                           Newsletter Production 







Vern Goodwalt


Aligning Supplier Quality with ASQ Quality Tools and Lean Six Sigma Methodologies





  Please join the ASQLA Section 0700 for its monthly member meeting on Wednesday, June 11. The meeting will be at  Phenomenex in Torrance. This meeting is an opportunity to network with other Quality professionals and to learn about   current techniques & technologies. Our guest speaker this month, Vern Goodwalt will speak on "Aligning Supplier Quality with ASQ Quality Tools and Lean Six Sigma Methodologies"


In today's global economy, most organizations know they can't go at it alone. To build products and services that customers demand, businesses must forge   partnerships with each other. So how do you ensure you're adding the right partners to your supply chain process? Include quality in the equation. Supplier scorecards help establish supplier targets and measure progress in pricing, quality and delivery all in the name of   continuous improvement.


 Vern Goodwalt has had thirty five years progressive growth in high tech manufacturing as Materials Mgr., Plant Mgr., Operations Mgr., Division Director, and Corporate VP plus, ten years' experience in performance excellence consulting with non-profits, manufacturers, education, and nine years as a Sr. Consultant to the Department of Navy in Lean Operations Management. Within this, direct experience in the application of Lean Six Sigma, ISO 9001, ASQ ITEA high   performance teams, Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, Shingo Process, and other   quality   approaches. Vern is a twice winner of the California Baldrige Award. Additionally, Vern is an Adjunct Instructor in Lean Six Sigma, and Lean Operations Management for the University of California Riverside Extension Division.




- Certificate in Nonprofit Excellence, Harvard School of Business

- Certificate in Advanced Management, UC Riverside, Graduate School of Management

- Majored in Business Management, U of Minnesota

- Minored in Mechanical Engineering, Moorhead State

- Navy Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt




- California Council for Excellence Past Board Member - California Baldrige Awards Program                                                    

- Past Certified CAPE Sr. Examiner

- Current CTEA Team Excellence Lead Team Judge and past Council Chair.

- Past ASQ ITEA Team Judge

- American Society for Quality Senior Member

- Measurement Science Conference Program Chair and Executive Vice President


The program will be held at 2nd Floor Main Conference Room at Phenomenex, 2341 West 205th Street, Torrance, CA 90501. 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, Coffee and Water will be provided at no charge.  


You MUST RSVP to Chen Low 310-334-7044, pager 310-353-8293 or e-mail [email protected], no-later-than Noon on Monday, June 9th, so he can provide the list of attendees to Phenomenex Security.








Message from the Chair - Catherine Martin







"Quality is Free" - Philip B. Crosby


Philip B. Crosby was the corporate vice president of ITT for 14 years. In 1979, he founded Philip   Crosby     Associates in Winter Park, Florida. Mr. Crosby consulted, spoke and wrote about the strategic quality issues throughout his professional life. Philip Crosby was a Fellow with ASQ and past President of ASQ.


Crosby believed that quality was a significant part of the company and senior managers must take charge of it. He believed the quality professionals must become more knowledgeable and communicative about the business. Crosby states that corporate management must make the cost of quality a part of the   financial system of their company.


ASQ Los Angeles May 2014 Highlights include the following:


Membership: Leadership and professional achievement do not go unnoticed by ASQ. ASQ Senior membership rewards members with enhanced benefit selections. You may apply for Senior membership   status if you meet the following criteria;


Been an ASQ Full member in good standing for one year,

Have 10 years of professional experience,

Meet one of four professional criteria outlined on the Senior membership application.


Senior Benefit Options: A choice of one of the extra benefit options below is included with Senior member dues;   
Select one journal of your choice,

   Select two divisions of your choice,

   Select one additional section of your choice.


Certification: ASQ certification is a formal recognition by ASQ that an individual has demonstrated a proficiency within, and comprehension of, a specific body of knowledge. Nearly 150,000 certifications have been issued to dedicated professionals worldwide.


ASQ Los Angeles offers certifications throughout the year. Watch for the next set of certification courses on our website at Invest in your career and your future with an ASQ certification.


Leadership Team Committee Update: The next LT meeting is scheduled for June 4, 2014. This meeting will be devoted to our new volunteers for the Section. There will be a short presentation on the benefits of volunteering for ASQ with cake and refreshments afterwards. Check our website for details.


Upcoming Conferences and Events: ASQ Los Angeles New Volunteer Reception on June 4, 2014. ASQ Los Angeles presents its annual Quality Day Conference in November 2014.


Social Media Communities: Make new connections to develop your career and your network. It's easy to connect. ASQLA recently enhanced our online social communities. As some of you know, ASQ LA social media sites are a social network that's open to our members. Social media communities have discussion boards, forums, blogs, and more. I encourage you to look at LinkedIn and Face book for ASQ Los Angeles.




ASQ-Los Angeles
Section 0700
New and Renewal Members 



Ted TorosianCompliance OfficerElegant Fire Place
Craig V. Robertson Senior Principal Engineer
Elisabeth E. Neely Regulatory AffairsSt. Jude Medical
Mike BlumenthalSoftware Quality Engineer
Nancy S. WidjajaQA
Eric D. CookseyQuality Assurance Specialist
Michael D. Prendergast
Allison NomuraUCLA Health-Brentwood Annex
Vijarn PantoomvanichSr. Quality Engineer
Melissa Arteaga
Jean Laguatan
Vanessa L.Stewart Jackson
Kathleen Lloyd
Lars Schuller
Ernesto OrtegaProduction Manager
Peter B. Vancouvering
Emmy SolorzanoDocument Control ManagerGordon Laboratories, Inc
Matt GurrolaDirector, Quality AssuranceGordon Laboratories Inc.
Rafael MartinezSignal Inspector LeaderLos Angeles County METRO
























Tickets are $28 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]




Call for Nominations

Simon Collier Quality Award
American Society for Quality
Los Angeles Section 0700

Do you know people who are leaders in promoting quality concepts, people who have made a difference in the quality culture or performance of their industries, companies, or in the world at large?

Tell us about them now!
The Los Angeles Section would like to recognize their contributions with the Simon Collier Quality Award in October 2014. This is a nationally recognized award given in honor of one of the early movers and shakers of ASQ and the Los Angeles Section.

PURP0SE OF AWARD is to honor, encourage, and/or specifically identify outstanding individual or group leadership, accomplishment and ingenuity in organizing, promoting, operating, or improving Quality Systems and Programs in areas such as Industry, Government, Education, Business, Health or Service Organizations, which fit the professional objectives of the American Society for Quality.

The nominee's achievements may have resulted from outstanding ability and success in management, training, advis-ing and writings in the field of Quality or in appropriately related works of design, manufacture, reliability, maintaina-bility, safety, liability, etc. of product or service systems. The award is not intended to honor traditional classroom teaching.

Deadline for Nomination: June 30, 2014.

For additional information and Nomination Form please contact:

Jim Morrison, ASQ Fellow
Chair, Simon Collier Quality Award Committee
7284 Berry Hill Drive
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-4402
Phone/Fax: 310 541-1417
E-mail: [email protected] 


Other Contacts: Bill Trappen at [email protected]
                           Imre Fischer at [email protected] 




ASQ Certification Exams


Application Deadline

October 17, 2014


Late Application

Fee ($50) Deadline

October 22, 2014


Exam Date

December 6, 2014




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 15, 2014


Late Application

Fee ($50) Deadline

August 20, 2014


 Exam Date

October 4, 2014


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



ASQ Certification Preparation Courses


The LA Section sponsors courses to prepare members for passing certification exams.


Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) 7 Saturdays, August 9, 2014 to September 27, 2014 (No Class Labor Day Weekend)


Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE) 7 Saturdays, August 9, 2014 to September 27, 2014 (No Class Labor Day Weekend)


See ASQ Certification Tab for details







































































SQA - Internet Program Schedule - Subject to Occasional Changes

FALL 2014


                First Day of Class       Last Day To Register                  Last Day of Class

                                  Sept 2                                        August 29                                    Dec 2                           


Course                           Title                                                                                                Instructor




QAS 510.41          Advance Probability/Statistic (3 units)                            John Miller ([email protected])

CN: 42490             Requires 1 semester of college calculus


QAS 511.41          Quality Function Management & TQM                          William Trappen ([email protected])

CN: 42492             (3 units)              


QAS 511.42          Quality Function Management & TQM                          Bhavan (Bob) Mehta ([email protected])

CN: 42493(3 units) QAS 511.41 must have 30 Students before students can enroll in QAS 511.42


QAS 513.41          Sta Quality Control Samplg (3 units )                            Dan Dunahay ([email protected])

CN: 42495            Requires completion of QAS510


QAS 514.41          Advanced Experimental Design (3 units)                      Dan Dunahay ([email protected])

CN: 42496            Requires completion of QAS510


QAS 515.41          Human Factors in Quality Assurance                            Jim Clauson ([email protected])

CN: 42506(3 units)


QAS 515.42          Human Factors in Quality Assurance                            David Vu ([email protected])

CN: 42510(3 units) QAS 515.41 must have 25 Students before students can enroll in QAS 515.42


QAS 518.41          Quality Project Management                                        William Trappen ([email protected])

CN: 42511(3 units) Completion of QAS 511 is recommended


QAS 523.41          Software Reliability (3 units)                                         Catherine French ([email protected])

CN: 42515             Requires completion of QAS512([email protected])


QAS 525.41          ISO 9000 and Audit Function (3 units)                          Robert Spencer ([email protected])

CN: 42520             Requires completion of QAS511


QAS 530.41          Statistical Quality Control for Service                            Pam Dunahay([email protected])

CN: 42522(3 units)([email protected])


QAS 531.41          Customer Satisfaction & Quality Assurance                 Robert Spencer ([email protected])

CN: 42512(3 units)


QAS 531.42          Customer Satisfaction & Quality Assurance                 James Capawana ([email protected])

CN: 42513(3 units) QAS 531.41 must have 25 Students before students can enroll in QAS 531.42


QAS 532.41          Quality Assurance for the Service Delivery Process     Keith Fulton ([email protected])

CN: 42524             Completion of QAS 511 is recommended


QAS 598.41          Directed Research (3 units)                                          Milton Krivokuca ([email protected])

CN: 42529            Must have 18 units of QAS course work completed and the GWAR before enrolling in this course


QAS 599.41         Thesis/Project (3 units)                                                  Milton Krivokuca ([email protected])

CN: 42532            Requires completion of QAS598S,Staff  Must have 18 units of QAS course Work, and the GWAR completed


QAS 600.41         Graduation Continuation Course                                   Milton Krivokuca ([email protected])

CN: 42535(0 units)Staff




To enroll contact the Extended Education Registration office, please call (310) 243-3741, fax (310) 516-3971, or by email at [email protected].

QAS course fees for fall 2014 are $XXX.00 per unit or $XXX.00 per three unit course.

QAS 600.41 course fee is $150.00


First Day                                  Last Day                                                     Last Day

 of Class                                 To Register                                                    of Class

  Oct. 7                                        Oct. 3                                                           Dec. 2

Course                                                   Title                                                    Instructor

QAS 495.41                            Mathematics for Quality Assurance                  John Miller ([email protected])

CN: 42587(1 unit)






For On-Line, On-Site or On-Campus NBQA 701, NBQA 702, NBQA 703, NBQA 704, NBQA 705, NBQA 706, NBQA 707, NBQA 708,

NBQA 709, and NBQA 7010. Please contact the MSQA program coordinator, Dr. Milton Krivokuca at (310) 243-3352 or by email

at [email protected].

To enroll once opened contact the Extended Education Registration office, please call (310) 243-3741, fax (310) 516-3971, or by email at

 [email protected].



BSQA - California State On Line

Section 55 - Internet Program Schedule -Subject to Occasional Changes -

2014 Summer Session II




First Day                                  Last Day                                                     Last Day

 of Class                                 To Register                                                   of Class

                                              July 1                                     June 27                                                      Aug. 12


Course                                                     Title                                                                                     Instructor

QAS 325.55                              Technical Communications (4Units)                               Keith Fulton ([email protected])

CN: 30387                                 Prerequisite: ENG 110 and THE 120


QAS 445.55                              System Failure Analysis(3 units)                                     Craig Carpenter ([email protected])

CR: 30367

Prerequisites may be waived at the discretion of Dr. Milton Krivokuca, academic advisor and program coordinator

BSQA students need to contact Cal State online at 1 (800) 992-7886 to find out which course section you will be enrolling in for summer 2014.

To reach the Extended Education Registration office - please call (310) 243-3741, fax (310) 516-3971, or by email at [email protected].




Choosing the Best Process Improvement Tool


George J. Papcun


California State University - Dominguez Hills


Professor William Trappen

Spring 2014


Thesis Statement: The six sigma methodology is not appropriate for every situation. Select the right tool for your particular process improvement needs (DMAIC, PDSA, Lean, etc.)


Several tools exist for managing process improvement efforts. One of the most widely-recognized is Six   Sigma, which has been used successfully by companies such as Motorola, GE, and Allied Signal for many years to significantly reduce costs and increase stakeholder value. This methodology, however, requires significant planning, time, and expertise in order to be successful. As a result, Six Sigma may not represent the most appropriate solution for all process improvement problems. Several other methodologies exist which may be more appropriate in many cases. The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of several alternate methods. Specifically, four of the more common methods (Six Sigma, PDSA, Lean, and the Theory of Constraints) will be examined with the goal of aiding the reader in making the best possible selection for their process improvement needs.


There are several drivers for process improvement. Deming (1986) identified a need for constant improvement of the systems associated with production and service deliverables. This was formalized as one of his famous 14 Points for Management. Specifically, in Point 5, Deming recognizes that "the quality desired starts with the intent, which is fixed by management" (Deming, 1986, p. 49). This intent is then translated into the plans which will ensure quality throughout design, manufacturing, test, and delivery of a product which meets the customer's intended quality requirements. Juran and Gryna (1993) suggest that "the process of quality improvement plays a dominant role in reducing costs." In addition, "the costs associated with poor quality are due to both sporadic and chronic quality problems" (Juran & Gryna, 1993, pp. 40-41). These two types of problems are further defined in terms of their impact on the status quo and their differing methods of resolution. Sporadic problems occur suddenly and typically require more immediate attention than chronic problems, which are observed over a longer period of time. Chronic problems are best-suited for one of the process improvement methodologies being reviewed in this study (Juran & Gryna, 1993).


The Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycle has its roots in the Shewhart Cycle, which was developed in 1939. This cycle contains three elements: Specification, Production, and Inspection. Shewhart related these to the scientific   method of making a hypothesis, carrying out an experiment, and testing the hypothesis. Deming later revised this concept to include a fourth element and in 1951 it became known in Japan as the Deming Wheel. The wheel initially consisted of: Design, Production, Sales, and Research. Later, this was changed to PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act). By the 1980s, the letters were changed again to PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) because Deming felt that Check implied something was being held back. The PDCA/PDSA cycle stresses the importance of establishing standards to prevent recurrence of error. The standards need to be stabilized and constantly modified (Moen & Norman, 2006).


Six Sigma combines the best ideas from several quality tools (some newer, some more than 50 years old) to produce an optimal continuous improvement methodology. This set of tools, combined with a highly-disciplined approach, and history of proven business success, has made it one of the most widely-recognized continuous improvement methodologies. In the 1980s, Motorola, then under the leadership of CEO Bob Galvin, developed Six Sigma through a combination of process capability and production specifications to drive continuous improvements (Folaron, 2003). Within four years of implementing Six Sigma, the company saved $2.2 billion (Yang, 2010). After winning the Malcolm Baldrige Award in 1988, Motorola began to share these concepts with other organizations (Folaron, 2003).


The concept of Lean has its origins in Japan with Toyota in the 1940s. Specifically, Taiichi Ohno began     working on the Toyota Production system during this time and continued developing its concepts into the late 1980s. This system was focused on maintaining a continuous flow of product which did not rely on large production runs for efficiency. Instead, Toyota recognized that only a fraction of the total time and effort required to produce a product added value for the customer. This approach was different from western automakers, who combined interchangeable parts, standard work, and a moving assembly line to achieve high volume production with minimal product change overs (Melton, 2005). In the 1990s, the term Lean was associated with the operations of Toyota and other Japanese auto manufacturers.  


The Theory of Constraints (TOC) originated as a management philosophy in 1979 with the introduction of Optimized Production Timetables scheduling software. Over the years, TOC has evolved into a set of integrated management tools encompassing the areas of logistics/production, performance management, and problem solving/thinking.   Several studies have confirmed that manufacturing systems which employ TOC techniques produce greater output with reduced inventory, lead time, and the standard deviation of cycle time. TOC has been applied by a number of Fortune 500 companies, including: 3M, Amazon, Boeing, Delta Airlines, and the Ford Motor Company. Even with its proven success, however, TOC is not as widely utilized as other techniques (Watson, Blackstone, &   Gardiner, 2007).


Sokovic, Pavletic, and Pipan (2010) suggest that "application of the PDCA cycle has been found more effective than adopting "the right first time" approach." The use of PDCA implies continuously seeking out better improvement methods. The cycle enables both temporary and permanent corrective actions. The former is aimed at short-term fixes while the latter drives towards root cause analysis, correction, and sustaining of processes. The PDCA concept of continuous improvement becomes imbedded in an organization's culture. The most important part of the cycle is the Act portion because the cycle is complete at that point and another iteration of improvement can begin, if necessary. Of the four processes being compared here, PDCA is the easiest to utilize, is accessible to a large portion of an organization, and can be most easily integrated into an organization's culture (Sokovic, Pavletic, &     Pipan, 2010).


Six Sigma is primarily intended to provide a reduction in process variation. The assumption here is that improvement in the outcome of the entire process will result through a reduction in variation of multiple elements of the process. Six Sigma utilizes a five-phased, structured approach to problem solving known as DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control). The Define phase addresses an understanding of the process to be improved, identifies the associated customers, their problems, key characteristics which they value, and process output conditions. The Measure phase addresses the categorization of key characteristics, verifies the measurement system or systems to be used, and begins the collection of data. During the Analyze phase, data obtained during the Measure phase is converted into useful information which offers insights into the process being studied. The causes of defects are also understood during this phase. The Improve phase is used to develop and implement potential solutions. This is an iterative step in which more changes may be identified, implemented, and reviewed. Finally, in the Control phase, the new process is made permanent and is sustained through additional monitoring to ensure no additional changes are required (Nave, 2002). DMAIC is integral to the Six Sigma methodology (Sokovic, Pavletic, & Pipan, 2010). Not only does it provide the rigor of a managed project approach, it also allows control via gating, where each stage is completed before the next one is initiated. Application of the Six Sigma methodology results in a secondary effect of improved quality because a reduction in variation is achieved through refinement of process elements via identification of mistakes and the reduction or elimination of opportunities for mistakes (Nave, 2002).  


The primary focus of Lean is removal of waste from the process. Waste is anything which does not add value for the customer. This can encompass numerous forms and is commonly referred to as muda by the Japanese. Lean is typically focused on first identifying the features that create value, then determining the sequence of activities called the value stream. An internal and external perspective is utilized for determination of process features that add value. Value is essentially something that the customer is willing to pay for in order to receive a product or service. Process features can be things such as how the product will meet the customer's needs, at the price they are willing to pay, and at the time they desire it. Once determined, the activities are then made to flow. Customer demand is leveraged to pull product through the process. Improvement activities are aimed at achieving and maintaining an uninterrupted movement of product or services within the overall process. Work in queue, processing material in batches, and transportation represent significant inhibitors to flow. As non-value activities (those which a customer would not be willing to pay for) are identified, they are removed from the process.


Reducing waste and improving flow results in a secondary effect of improving quality since material spends less time in the process and therefore has less of an opportunity to be damaged or become obsolete (Nave, 2002).


The Theory of Constraints (TOC) is focused on the improvement of systems. By concentrating only on that portion of the process which slows the speed of product through the overall process, TOC improves efficiency by   removing this constraining element. TOC consists of five main steps. The first is associated with identification of the constraint. The second is exploitation of the constraint by improvement of the process to achieve its full capacity without expensive changes or upgrades. Next, the remaining steps in the process are subordinated by matching their speed or capacity to the constraint. If the process is still not operating at a satisfactory level, more significant changes may be required. This is referred to as elevating the constraint and may necessitate an expenditure of capital in order to ensure that it is eliminated. Once the constraint is removed and the process is reevaluated, a new constraint is identified and the process is repeated. This methodology produces positive results in terms of cycle time reduction and quality. Once the constraint is removed, variation is reduced and quality is improved. Advantages of TOC include the fact that its participants do not require a thorough knowledge of data analysis and that the effort can be localized with minimal involvement of the workforce (Nave, 2002).


Nave (2002) notes that Six Sigma, Lean, and TOC assume that the product or service design is essentially correct and is the most economical, customer needs are being satisfied with the design, customer functional requirements are being fulfilled by the current product configuration, and that the management structure supports change. In addition, there are obstacles to the methodologies in terms of the fact that they don't address management theory as a primary issue, they don't address the organization's policies or values, and they don't address how managers are measured or rewarded for process improvements. Nave (2002) goes on to suggest that selection of an appropriate methodology should include the use of a model that identifies a hierarchy of cause and effect relationships. The first step is a selection of the methodology's core emphasis, such as variation reduction, waste reduction, or constraint   reduction. An organization's culture must also be taken into consideration. Six Sigma is an ideal starting point for organizations that value data gathering and analysis activities. Organizations which value   visual change and shorter turnaround times would benefit the most from Lean. If a systems approach is valued along with minimal resource utilization, Theory of Constraints would be the best approach (Nave, 2002). Overall, the values of the selected program need to be understood and matched to those of the organization. 


Snee(2004) suggests that not all organizations can implement Six Sigma because they may not have the budget to support enterprise-wide initiatives, they may be hesitant to embark on a large-scale improvement project, or they simply may not have enough individuals with the appropriate expertise. For these organizations, Six Sigma can still be utilized through implementation of three fundamental steps. The first is a selection of two or three areas for initiation of Six Sigma. Once experience with the outcome of this initial implementation is realized, the methodology can then be expanded to adjacent areas. Finally, the improvement efforts can be integrated throughout the entire organization as a system. Using this gradual method of Six Sigma implementation creates an environment in which it becomes integrated throughout the organization and a formal initiative is no longer needed (Snee, 2004).

Ashkenas(2012) points out thatSix Sigma, Lean, and other continuous improvement initiatives can actually be hazardous to an organization's overall health, depending on how they are implemented. While contiimprovement once drove Japan's economy, within the year prior to May 2012, their major electronics firms were     routinely upstaged by competing firms in China, South Korea, and other areas to the point where they lost a total of $21 billion. This, combined with several widely-publicized quality problems and recalls, resulted in a loss of market share. In the United States, 3M had to "loosen its sigma methodology" in order to maintain their former levels of     innovation. Even with these outcomes, continuous improvement is still extremely valuable to organizations when it is utilized in a more careful manner. Customizing how and where continuous improvement is applied eliminates the potential for a "one size fits all" implementation strategy. An improvement project appropriate for a manufacturing organization may not align with a research and development department. Also, questions should be asked around whether processes should be improved, eliminated, or disrupted. Doing so will challenge the current process to ensure it is adding value before applying improvements. Finally, an assessment of how continuous improvement efforts will impact the organization's culture should be explored (Ashkenas, 2012).

PDSA, Six Sigma, Lean, and the Theory of Constraints each offer their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, depending on the needs of an organization. Regardless of which methodology is selected, however, steps should first be taken to understand the organization's culture and to challenge the need for process improvement. Once these questions have been addressed, a selection of one or more of the methods can be undertaken. Of the four methodologies reviewed, PDSA is the most accessible from a learning perspective, the easiest to apply, and the easiest to integrate into an organization's culture. Six Sigma provides a rigorous project-oriented approach to continuous     improvement, provides for stage gates to ensure clear progression, and is best-suited in situations where a reduction in process variation is the desired outcome. Lean and TOC are both well-suited for reducing process cycle times through the elimination of waste and exploitation of the weakest link in the process. Finally, neither PDSA, Lean, nor TOC   require a significant knowledge of statistical methods and data analysis. Clearly, each of the methods is capable of   delivering significantly improved levels of quality to any organization. It is really a matter of which method provides the best overall fit and how much the organization is willing and able to invest in the effort.



Ashkenas, R. (2012, May 22). It's Time to Rethink Continuous Improvement. Huffington Post. Retrieved from:


Deming, W. E. (1986). Out of the crisis. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Advanced   Engineering Study.


Folaron, J. (2003, August). The Evolution of Six Sigma. Six Sigma Forum Magazine. Retrieved from:


Juran J. M. & Gryna F. (1993). Quality Planning and Analysis: From Product Development Through Use. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Inc.


Melton, T. (2005). The benefits of lean manufacturing: what lean thinking has to offer the process industries. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 83(6), 662-673. Retrieved from: 


Moen, R., & Norman, C. (2006). Evolution of the PDCA cycle. Retrieved from: 


Nave, D. (2002, March). How to Compare Six Sigma, Lean, and the Theory of Constraints. Quality Progress. Retrieved from


Snee, R. D. (2004, September). Weave Six Sigma Into the Fabric of an Organization. Quality Progress. Retrieved from

Sokovic, M., Pavletic, D., & Pipan, K. K. (2010). Quality improvement methodologies-PDCA cycle, RADAR matrix, DMAIC and DFSS. Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, 43(1), 476-483. Retrieved from: papers_vol43_1/43155.pdf

Watson, K. J., Blackstone, J. H., & Gardiner, S. C. (2007). The evolution of a management philosophy: The theory of constraints. Journal of Operations Management, 25(2), 387-402.     Retrieved from:


Yang, C. C. (2010). Six sigma and Total Quality Management. Quality Management and Six Sigma, ed. A Coskun, Croatia, Sciyo. Retrieved from: /books/quality-management-and-sixsigma/six-sigma



                                                                                              ASQ LA LEADERSHIP TEAM

                                                                                                    MEETING SCHEDULE

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

                                                                                                   6:00 - 8:00 Meeting


                                                                                          CSUDH Extended Education Bldg

                                                                                         1000 Victoria St., Carson, CA 90745






Contact: Catherine Martin, Chair 

(310) 616-0936

[email protected] 

Dates: 1st Wednesday of the Month (not in July and December)




Officers & Committee Chairs of ASQ Los Angeles Section 700







CHAIR: Catherine Martin, 310-616-0936, [email protected]

CHAIR-Elect:  Alan Wang, 310-383-2393, [email protected]

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

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

PAST CHAIR/Nominations: Lane Parrott, (310) 489-9018, [email protected] 




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

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

Performance Awards and Recognition (PAR): Fatma Ali - 661-362-7612 - [email protected]

Voice of the Customer:  Rebecca Collins - 310-607-7438 - [email protected] 

Arrangements:  Chen Low, 310-334-7044, [email protected]

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

Simon Collier Quality Award:  Jim Morrison, 310-541-1417, [email protected]

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

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

Certification/ Re-certification: Joe DeSimone, 424-772-6371, [email protected]

Communications Chair: Rhonda Y. Hayes, 310-334-0381, [email protected]

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

Newsletter Editor: Bill Trappen, 760-822-7718, [email protected]

Newsletter Publisher: Harold Martinez, 310-214-1606, [email protected]

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

Social media: Anthony Valdez - 562- 445-7766 - [email protected] 

Website Chair:  Alan Wang, 310-383-2393, [email protected]


ASQLA Website Advertising
For information on placing an ad through ASQLA, contact Advertising Chair at (310)383-2393, [email protected].