Basic Statistics – II What is a Variable and What are variable types

Variable is a characteristic, number, or quantity that increases or decreases over time, or takes different values in different situations. The variables are the basic units used in statistics for measuring , collecting and analyzing. Variables can be classified in to different categories depending on the usage at the point of analysis. The different variable types are

Dependent and Independent Variable types 

An independent Variable can take any value and can be controlled and measured. These are the inputs used for the study. These are also called factors.
A Dependent Variable cannot be controlled. it can only be measured. these are generally output of the changes done to the independent variables. The value of the dependent variable is dependent on the relation on the independent variable. These are called as responses.
It is notable that the dependent and independent variables are not fixed. a dependent variable in one experiment or study may become factor in a different experiment or study. 
For Example, The heat generated is dependent on the amount of fuel burnt. (in this case, heat is a dependent variable and amount of fuel is an independent variable. 
In a different experiment, the time taken for completely evaporate a substance is dependent on the amount of heat supplied. in this case, the time taken is the dependent variable and amount of heat is an independent variable. It is notable here that amount of heat is dependent in one experinment and independent in another experiment.

Qualitative and Quantitative Variable types

Variables are also classified according to the type of the data they represent. This classification depends on the type of the value associated with the variable.
A Qualitative variable describes the characters in a non numerical form. They are also called as categorical variables. Examples of the values which a categorical variable can take are Good, Bad, Red, Blue, Light, heavy, etc. The variables are result, color, weight etc. This is also called as nominal variable.
A Quantitative variable has a numerical value associated with it. This would be a counted or a measured value. These are also called as Numerical variables. Examples of the values a variable are in numbers, 0, -1, 1,2 etc. the variables are height, weight etc. 
Notable that the same variable can be a qualitative or quantitative depending upon the value it takes. for example, if height is give a measured value such as 1.72 Meters, height is a quantitative variable. If the same height is expressed in a comparative value such as tall, short, height is a Qualitative Variable.

Discrete and Continuous Variables.

A discrete variable is something which is an output of counting. This can take only a set of values including negative and fractional values. Examples for a discrete variable are Number of people, charge on electron, etc…. . As a thumb rule, if there a prefix “number of” to the variable, it can be treated as a discrete variable.
A continuous variable can take any value within a specified range. This is generally a measured value. examples of continuous variables are speed, height, distance etc.
Discrete and continuous variables are subset of Numerical variable types

Binomial, Nominal and Ordinal Variables.

A binomial variable can take only two possible values. There is no third option available. For example, result of a test (pass or Fail), Result of tossing a coin (head or tail) etc
A Nominal variable can take several un-ordered values. Examples such as color red, blue, green), Type of bank account( savings, checking etc).
An ordinal variable can have any of the several ordered values. There is clear distinction between the order of the values which are assigned example such as height (tall, short), or response in a survey of satisfaction (excellent, good, poor, etc)
Binomial, Nominal and Ordinal variables are subset of the Qualitative variable types
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Originally posted 2014-01-01 18:25:00.

Introduction to Configuration Management

Configuration Management and standards

Configuration Management gives the identifiably and traceability of a product at various stages of the product life. The requirements specific to configuration management are specified in various standards and Models with minor variations.

  • A Level 2 Process Area for CMMI – Configuration Management (CM)
  • Clause 7.2 of AS 9100 Rev C- Configuration Management
  • Clause 7.5.3 of ISO 9001:2008 – Identification and Traceability
  • A specific standard to deal with Configuration Management – ISO 10007

CM Process

Configuration Management process is broadly described in ISO 10007 which calls for the following steps of configuration management. These steps will help the organization to make sure the product released is of right configuration and in case of any errors, the exact point of error is traced. Also, this will help to improve the product, based on various stages.

CM Planning

A documented configuration management plan outlining the procedures being used to manage the configuration, and describe the roles and responsibilities to manage the configuration. This plan shall be documented, controlled and approved. Wherever possible, the plan must refer to the organizational procedures.

Configuration Identification

A list of configurable items shall be selected based on various factors such as statutory and regulatory requirements, product design stages, criticality in terms of risks etc. These items are to be selected based on their management of physical and functional characteristics being managed.

Change control

The changes to the configuration items must be controlled and documented. The process and records for changes shall include justification for change, evaluation of consequences of changes, and approval of changes. This changes shall always be base lined at periodic changes to the physical and functional characteristics of the product.

Configuration status accounting

The configuration status accounting activities throughout the life cycle of the product to support and enable an efficient configuration management process. Ideally, at any point of time, the product configuration is the last baseline and the changes done after the baseline.

Configuration audit

Periodic audits are to be conducted on the configuration based on the documented procedures, to make sure the product meets the configuration requirements are not. generally two types of configuration audits are conducted.
Physical configuration Audit :  To make sure that the product is meeting the physical characteristics as specified in the product configuration information
Functional configuration audit : To make sure that the product has achieved the functional performance as defined in the product configuration information
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Originally posted 2013-12-08 17:49:00.

Roles and responsibilities of Quality Assurance Manager

The Quality Assurance Manager of the organization typically Owns the Quality Management System. In smaller organizations, he reports to the top management directly.In a larger organization this position reports to the overall head of Quality (Such as Director, Vice President …). In all cases there is a clear distinction and separated from the Operations Management. This is maintained to protect the independence of the position. This position calls for a clarity of purpose and a clear vision of the senior management. He represents the organization in the absence of a separate Management Representative during the external audits and other third party audits.
He is supported by the Quality Auditors and in some cases Quality Executives.Typical roles and responsibilities of a Quality Assurance Manager will be either full or some of the below list.

  1. He is responsible to promote the quality culture throughout the organization.
  2. Responsible to Develop, Implement, Maintain and update a high quality plan to ensure that the organizations quality management system is in compliance with the corporate policies and quality system needs.
  3. To interact effectively with operations teams and operational process owners, to ensure that the quality system meets the requirements.
  4. Ensure that the Quality System is in compliance with national and international regulations.
  5. Formulate and manage the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies, procedures and systems pertaining to Quality Assurance team
  6. responsible for internal audits, plan, monitor and implement.
  7. Support the organizational business objectives, through establishing and monitoring of the quality objectives
  8. Setting up and monitoring or document and record control within the organization.
  9. Laisoning with external auditors such as regulators, certification bodies and customer auditors and agree and implement the program
  10. Identify, plan and implement the quality related training across the organization
  11. Organize and manage the Quality Assurance function in line with the organizational policies
  12. Ensure identified non conformance are resolved in a timley manner for both internal and external audits
  13. Resolve customer complaints and  ensure necessary changes are made to quality system to prevent recurrence
  14. Collating and analyzing performance data and charts against defined parameters and reporting to relevant stakeholders.
  15. Plan, monitor and implement the supplier audit program and supplier approvals.
  16. Usage of statistical tools to ensure right decisions are made

Typical qualifications needed for a Quality Assurance Manager

  1. Bachelor s Degree or higher in an applied science or engineering field.
  2. Exhibit a passion for the company s Essence, Global Imperatives, Corporate Direction.
  3. Desire to own decisions and take responsibility for outcomes.
  4. Willingness to travel when required.
  5. Willingness to continually embrace personal and professional development
  6. 5 years prior experience in Quality Assurance function including the below
  • Demonstrated experience working with suppliers and external parties
  • Demonstrated exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and other relevant tools.
  • Proficiency in usage of analytic tools.
  • Experience in quality management systems.
  • Experience in quality system audits.
  • Demonstrates a passion and a responsibility for consumer.
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Originally posted 2013-12-08 04:04:00.

Risk Management II – Benefits of Risk Management Program

The earlier article on Risk Management is Risk Management I – A proactive approach to resolve future root causes and their potential consequences.

Purpose of a Risk Management Plan
Risk management program helps the organization to deal with potential occurrences.  It defines the approach and attitude towards risks. This program helps in
  1. identifying what are those risks the organization is ready to accept.
  2. The plan to deal with those unacceptable risks
  3. defines the main requirements of risk mitigation plan.
 The risk Management program helps the organization in the following ways:
  • To identify risks and prepare an action plan to deal with the risk
  • To reduce occurences and impacts of risk
  • To understand significance/severity of risks
  • To promote organizational behaviors focused on risk management
  • To increase effectiveness of product and service delivery to customer
  • Create a process for who, what, when, where, how and how much.
  • Maintain information on historic issues.
  • Capitalize on historic issues to prevent future issues.
  • Bring out hidden risk knowledge, so it can be managed.

Benifits of Risk Management Program

  • Encourage proactive management
  • Be aware of the need to identify and treat risk throughout the organization
  • Improve the identification of threats
  • Comply with relevant legal and regulatory requirements and international norms
  • Improve financial reporting and governance
  • Improve stakeholder confidence and trust
  • Establish a reliable basis for decision-making and planning
  • Improve organizational controls
  • Effectively divide and use resources for risk treatment / handling
  • Improve operational effectiveness and efficiency;
  • Cost of risk management is typically less than the cost of issue management
  • Enhance health and safety performance
  • Enhance environmental protection
  • Minimize losses and improve loss prevention
  • Minimize the cost and efforts in managing incidents
  • Improve organizational learning and resilience
  • Increase the likelihood of achieving goals

The most important benefit of the risk mitigation program is that it gives the organization a future visibility. It deals with future events and not manage the current issues. The organization will be ready to face the realization of the risk. This gives a state of readiness against the potential consequences

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Originally posted 2013-10-27 17:48:00.

Quality Auditor Job Description

A Quality Auditor job involves performing audits either internally or on the supplier. Generally reports to the Quality Assurance Manager. Generally, the scope of the auditor is limited to internal audits. However, the profile includes supplier audits also. The position provides exposure to internal procedures and processes. There are different levels for an auditor to work. He might be assigned with a part of business or assisting the Lead Auditor across the business. The main attribute for an auditor needed in Independence from the process being audited.

The Typical Quality Auditor job description is as below.

  • Develop and coordinate audit schedules with process areas.
  • Generate audits reports, share and coordinate results within the organization.
  • Collect and summarize audit data for metrics and reporting.
  • Collect and summarize audit data for metrics and reporting.
  • Revise, refine, update and recommend changes to policies, procedures, artifacts and local support materials.
  • Issue and monitor non-conformance (CAPA/CPAR) documents.
  • Review corrective action submittals for acceptance.
  • Perform follow-up audits for effectiveness.
  • Develop and revise audit checklists.
  • Analyze and maintain trending data and submit reports, as required.
  • Present audit summaries, lessons learned and recommend actions for continuous improvement.
  • Represent Quality at program kick off meetings and IPP reviews.
Skill Requirements

  • Very good analytical skill.
  • Good investigative and error-spotting skills.
  • Good in number crunching.
  • Good at creating reports using various tools and applications.
  • Should be good at communication and persuasion.
  • Learning to be objective rather than going strictly by the rule book.
  • Being able to perform risk analysis to the satisfaction of the stakeholders or departments.
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Originally posted 2013-10-20 13:26:00.

Job Description – Quality Black Belt , CI Process Leader, Operational Excellence Leader

The Quality Black Belt (QBB) is Often called as CI process Leader, or Operational Excellence Leader also. The main responsibility of this role is continual improvement. The will be the reporting to the Master Black Belt or a similar position within the organization. Quality Black Belt manages the CI projects within the Company. These projects focus on reducing internal cost, decreasing cycle time, improving organization and reducing process variation. They use six sigma skills to complete the project. They mentor the Green belt Projects.
The Main Roles and Responsibilities of a Quality Black Belt include

  • Identification of Continual Improvement Projects (or Support the ops team)
  • Support the management in identifying the priorities
  • Mentor the Project Team
  • Delivering training and running quality process simulations on the use of quality methodologies and tools.
  • Keeps stakeholders apprised of project status and defined deliverables.
  • Leverages best practices and shares within the team and across the organization.
  • Develops rigorous control plans, working closely with process owners, project champions and senior management to make sure improvement gains are sustained on a long-term basis.


  • Bachelor’s Degree and 5+ years of experience in a business function
  • Lean and/or Six Sigma training.
  • Demonstrated project management and/or process improvement skills in a complex environment.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
  • Demonstrated experience leading projects.
  • Strong facilitation skills.
  • Effective in a variety of formal presentation settings: one-on-one, small and large groups, with peers, direct reports, managers, and senior leadership.
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Originally posted 2013-10-14 19:09:00.

Career Objectives in resume

Career Objectives in a resume is the statement that presents a vision, guiding principles and future career aspirations for the prospective candidate. It also sets the tone of the entire resume. It tells the reader who you are in a single concise way that encompasses the very essence of your abilities.
Everyone knows the standard resume needs a career objective. But why? Is it because everyone assumes you must have one? Is it because hiring managers need it? What would happen if you had the most comprehensive and impressive career objective that others were measured against?
The Career Objective should not be:

  • A meaningless set of dribble to fake out the reader
  • A set of words that have no tie to the candidate’s wants, needs or desires for their future. 
  • A creation of disconnected terms and ideas that have no business being put together without internal assessment

Companies need to fill positions within their organization with the best qualified individual(s). Hiring managers will review hundreds of resumes with the first 30 seconds being crucial to getting to the second stage. The face to face interview.
What would the be the best career objective for your resume?
Your career objective is a one sentence character representation of who you are and sets the stage for the message you want to deliver. – “This is who I am, who I want to be and how I will make your company successful”

There are many ways to write a career objective that begins to set you apart from other candidates in the eyes of the reader…
Let’s look at a sample job description for a Quality Executive:
Duties and Responsibilities:
Requirements for support specialist include:
Direct support services:
* Plan, create, and coordinate internal and external audits.
* Responsible for testing, quality assurance, configuration, installation, implementation, maintenance of all related support services.
*Identify, support, mentor continual Improvement.
Technical assistance services on the standard office applications
* Support the management with data on KPIs and Metrics
* Provide assistance to personnel in preparation of meeting presentations.
* Train the operations team on Quality activities.
These sample career objectives may come from a prospective candidates that may apply:
Analytic (1) – To get a position within an organization that will allow me to use my analytic skills, experience and willingness to help others.
Auditor (2) – To acquire a position that affords me the opportunity to bring my auditing expertise, problem solving skills and willingness to learn to make an organization successful.
Career objectives are the fundamental principles the candidate brings to the table. It enables them to promote their ideals, skills and abilities that an organization can use for the sole purpose of growing the company. The better a candidate can articulate the message the better the chances they will be invited to interview.
since these objectives are like a style statement on what you are, and what you want to be. It is one place holder in which you are telling the prospective employer on what you are now, what you want to be, and how the organization can derive benefit from what you want to be.
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Originally posted 2013-10-12 11:54:00.