A guy’s walking down the street and he falls in a hole. The hole is too deep and the walls are too steep to climb out. A doctor walks by and our guy shouts up to him, “Doc, I’m stuck in this hole, can you help me out? The doctor writes out a prescription, drops it in the hole and moves on. A priest walks by and our guy cries out again, “Father, I’m stuck in this hole, can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, drops it in the hole and walks away. Finally, a friend walks by and he screams out, “Joe, I’m stuck in this hole, can you help me out?” The friend jumps into the hole and our guy yells, “Are you stupid? Now we are both stuck in this hole!” The friend says, “Yes, I know. But I’ve been down here before and I know the way out!”

The moral to the story is that the best way to overcome obstacles and/or achieve success is to seek out those who have overcome the same barriers and succeeded. In other words, the key is asking the right questions of the right people.

The notion is prominent in many areas, including business and personal growth. Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, once said, “The ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the answer.”

To further the sentiment, take, for instance, the business consultant, described simply as a professional who provides professional or expert advice. Their popularity in the business world is not only from their ability to provide expertise in a specific field and a wide knowledge of the subject matter, but also because they provide this expertise in a flexible, only-what-I-need fashion. According to Wikipedia, “The overall impact of a consultant is that clients have access to deeper levels of expertise than would be feasible for them to retain in-house, and may purchase only as much service from the outside consultant as desired.

In a more philosophical approach, it has been said that the best person to ask your question of is…yourself. Renowned self-help guru Jack Canfield, in his article aptly titled, “Are You Asking the Right People the Right Questions?”, writes, “The incredibly important questions – the kind that, when answered, will change your life forever…all have one thing in common: I’m not the person to answer them. You are!”

In this month’s Quality, we aim to get you the right answers from the right people. In their article,” Gage Repeatability and Reliability: Ensuring Accurate Test Results for Measurement Systems, ” Morgan Galaznik and Elayne Gordonov write, “While there can be many reasons why different or even the same system are not producing consistent results, a GR&R study may help to understand why variation in testing results exists. GR&R identifies whether it is the measurement device itself or the operator that is causing variation. For some industries, like biomedical, there may be additional verification and calibration requirements that would prevent the likelihood of error. As organizations grow, there is an increased need to understand variations that can occur with different systems in different labs in different geographies, and a GR&R study is a way to ensure testing results are consistent and measurement is repeatable and reproducible.”

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Darryl Seland,
Editorial Director