After 10 years, 120 columns and more charts, graphs and tables than I can count, we bid adieu to Brain Teasers. Dr. Sophronia (Frony) Ward is taking some time off from the reader-favorite to write several books. All of the Brain Teasers presented throughout the years have been real-world challenges that Frony has encountered as she’s traveled around the world training, consulting and coaching companies in continuous improvement. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

It was a difficult decision for Frony to step away from the column, and I speak on behalf of the Quality readers when I say that all of the work Frony and her partner Sheila Poling put into the columns will be missed.

As part of the farewell column, we want to see what you have learned from reading Brain Teasers during the past 10 years. Turn to pg. 22 and take a look at the final Brain Teaser. To keep things interesting, Frony and her colleagues at Pinnacle Partners have decided to turn the final column into a contest with some fabulous prizes. First prize is a Kindle. Second prize is a set of three Pinnacle Partners-authored books and third prize is a single Pinnacle Partners-authored book. Another 10 winners will receive the Best of Brain Teasers, Volume I.

The rules for the contest are simple: Your answers should be brief-no more than 5-10 sentences per question. These answers should be supported by the analysis that you have done. Graphics may be included to prove your statements. Submit your answers to[email protected] by January 15, 2010. Winners will be chosen randomly from all correct responses.

The winners and answers will be posted online no later than February 1.


To help you get a jump on the new year, the 2010 Plan Book contains a lot of great information.

Read our 10th Annual Spending Survey to see which quality area is expecting nearly a 270% increase in the upcoming year.

Columnist Jim Smith lays out 12 steps that can help quality professionals map out the road to success.

Find out what four elements help achieve optimization when it comes to your quality management system.

Discover how outsourcing can be a vital tool in helping companies build optimization into their businesses in a responsible, budgetary way.

Learn how to use inspection to make money.

Finally, invest in yourself and your career by signing up for the 2010 Quality Measurement Conference to be held March 22-25 in Orlando, FL. for all of the details.

What are you goals and plans for the upcoming year? Share your thoughts with me at[email protected] or with otherQualityreaders onLinkedIn .