Tools & Resources

Best of Back to Basics

September 2015

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Hit Parade

50 of the most popular Back to Basics columns together in one collection

For many music lovers, a particular artist’s greatest hits album offers everything they need: The must-have No. 1 hits conveniently packaged together to be played on repeat. No more skips. No digging through stacks of dusty CDs and LPs.

When you think about it, a greatest hits compilation really is the perfect way to rediscover favorite old songs and relive the best ones once again. That’s how we saw this special edition of QP playing out: 50 of the most popular Back to Basics columns assembled in one spot for all experience levels—new to the profession or seasoned veterans—to discover for the first time or pick up on something they might have missed.

Since debuting in April 2001, QP’s regular back-page resident has become one of the magazine’s most popular columns. Covering a wide range of topics, Back to Basics summarizes quality concepts and tools in a simple and succinct way—usually in about 600 words or so.

So it sounded like a good idea to take what’s resonated with readers (we tracked the number of times the columns are accessed at and assemble a greatest QP hits collection: a special edition—one we hope you’ll keep around for years to come.

You’ll see this particular collection of Back to Basics columns covers a variety of topics—auditing, measurement, process improvement and quality tools, just to name a few—organized by general topic areas and seen as they first appeared in print. Note the column’s original publication date inside the record on each page’s upper-right corner.

You’ll be sure to recognize many of the artists on the album (er, authors in this issue)—regular QP columnists, and other subject matter experts and thought leaders in the quality community who have become solid contributors to ASQ’s body of knowledge.

We hope this collection hits the mark with you and becomes a must-have guide to quality tools and concepts that you can easily reference and share with others. Be sure to tune in to future installments of Back to Basics in upcoming issues. We’re confident the hits will keep coming. 

by Mark Edmund, associate editor


According to Plan - by Jonathan Port, PDF

Solid Proof - by John G. Suedbeck, PDF


Use Your Head - by Luis Echeverria, PDF

Change management

Stakeholder Management 101 - by Philip J. Kangas, PDF

Customer satisfaction

Customer Delight - by Harold Curtis, PDF


All About Data - by Jack B. ReVelle, PDF

Eight Simple Steps - by Mohit Sharma, PDF


Minimizing Chaos - by Tony Gojanovic, PDF

Take Note - by Vicki Hart, PDF

Pyramid Scheme - by Marcia M. Weeden, PDF


Assessing Failure - by Scott Stamm, PDF

Which Six Sigma Metric Should I Use? - by Frank Rudisill and Steve Druley, PDF

Problem Solving

Turning ‘Who’ Into ‘How’ - by Kenneth Thomas, PDF


In the Beginning … - by T. Dan Nelson, PDF

Outputs and Outcomes - by Russ Westcott, PDF

That’s So Random—Or Is It? - by Cecelia McCain, PDF

Understanding Variation - by Jonathan D. Port, PDF

Improving a System - by Robert Pintavalle, PDF

Quality tools

Putting It All on the Table - by Sean Goffnett, PDF

Know the Drill - by Mohit Sharma, PDF

It's Fun To Work With an F-M-E-A - by Kristen Johnson, PDF

Solve Problems With Open Communication - by Grace L. Duffy, John Bauer and John W. Moran, PDF

Tell Me About It - by Nicole M. Radziwill, PDF

Separate the Vital Few From the Trivial Many - by Melissa G. Hartman, PDF

To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC? - by Carl F. Berardinelli, PDF

Breaking It Down - by Alberto Ayulo, PDF

Smart Charting - by Peter J. Sherman, PDF

1+1 = Zero Defects - by Chris Hermenitt, PDF

QFD Explained - by Corinne N. Johnson, PDF

Curve Your Enthusiasm - by David Phillips, PDF

Make a Choice - by Cecelia McCain, PDF

What Is a Fault Tree Analysis? - by Simha Pilot, PDF

Successful Relationship Diagrams - by Lisa Boisvert, PDF

The Benefits of PDCA - by Corinne N. Johnson, PDF

Creative Combination- by Scott Force, PDF

Return on Investment - by Russ Wescott, PDF

The Art of Root Cause Analysis - by Vidyasagar A, PDF

Why Ask Why? - by Rajeev Chadha, PDF

Get to the Root of It - by David M. Rucker, PDF

Checks and Balances - by Janet Bautista Smith, PDF

Risk management

Calculated Risk - by Peter J. Sherman, PDF

Sufficient Evidence - by John Suedbeck, PDF


Sample Wise - by Kim Niles, PDF

Clearing SPC Hurdles - by Scott A. Laman, PDF


Supplier Selection and Maintenance - by Dennis Arter, PDF


Team Advantage - by Victor Cascella, PDF

Building a Quality Team - by Terry E. Logan, PDF


Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems - by Scott A. Laman, PDF

Substantiation Test - by Joseph Paul Mitchell, PDF


Training Day - by Cliff Moser, PDF

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