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Dawn Keller

My background is in quality and reliability engineering, and there I developed my dedication to both the quality profession and to Minitab Statistical Software. Continue Reading »

Generally speaking, I have a problem with authority. I don’t like being told what to do or how to do it. I’m not proud of that. I recall debating with my High School Trigonometry teacher regarding the value of the homework “process.” Specifically, in those situations where the student in question did not require practice to get an A. And, if said student was getting a 98% on the exams, why spend... Continue Reading
Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis. That was the diagnosis given to my then 8 year old daughter last January. In short, it means that she’s young (under 10), she exhibits an abnormal amount of spinal curvature, and there’s no identified cause (aside from some bad luck). Emilia’s x-rays indicated an S-shaped curve with 26 degrees at its largest curvature. To look at my healthy, active daughter, you’d... Continue Reading

7 Deadly Statistical Sins Even the Experts Make

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I really can’t make this stuff up. I wrote a post a couple of years ago entitled: “How to Talk to Your Kids about Six Sigma and Quality Improvement,” in which I lamented about “Community Hero” day in my daughter’s 1st grade class and the need to explain to her why I wasn’t at the "community-hero-level" of Maggie’s Mommy, the pediatrician. Well, now it's two years later and my son, Thomas, is in... Continue Reading
I spend a majority of my time entrenched in statistics. Using statistics. Studying statistics. Developing and testing statistical software. Statistics guide many of my decisions at work and in life. That’s the world of an engineer. For this reason, you can imagine my surprise when my husband called me at work on a bright, sunny June day in 2009 to tell me that our 4-year-old daughter had been... Continue Reading
As I sat down to examine Cost of Quality (COQ) at Minitab, I flashed back to my CQE exam almost 20 years ago. I can still vividly remember staring down at a particularly difficult Cost of Quality question and wondering why I didn’t just follow my 4th-grade career assessment and become a novelist.   Mental note: a study of the correlation between 4th grade career assessments and actual career... Continue Reading
Like most families, the Kellers have a host of holiday traditions that make this time of year special. There's the annual trek to get our family Christmas tree. Christmas decorating that is sure to include some inflatable eyesore. Family holiday movie nights. Christmas plays. Our visit with Santa (followed by the endless threats to have him withhold a gift of our choosing). Impromptu parties with... Continue Reading
I’m a quality engineer, so it probably goes without saying that I like gathering and analyzing data. Minitab and I spend a significant amount of time together. Some might say that our relationship is unhealthy—perhaps even co-dependent. But Minitab and I have been together for almost 20 years. That’s a long time for any relationship, especially one between a software application and an engineer. It’... Continue Reading
I love product development and quality engineering. There are days when I can’t believe that I actually get paid to do this. Between you and me, I’d do this work for a lot less money.  In fact, even on the days that I hate the particular circumstances of my job, I still love my job. If that makes any sense. So, when I set out to write this post, my intent was to include a fun and entertaining... Continue Reading
I remember a time in my career when I mistakenly thought I knew statistics—really knew statistics. It was before I met Yanling Zuo, Michelle Paret, Eduardo Santiago and a whole host of other Minitab statistical experts. I was a Quality Engineer and I’d been applying statistics for years. I assumed that the ability to design and run an experiment meant that I understood DOE. I assumed that years... Continue Reading
I am 100% certain that, on the day they asked me to manage at Minitab, they did not tell me I would have to do so much process work. They didn’t clearly articulate that, as a manager, I’d spend a considerable part of my time discussing how we develop software rather than actually developing software. Perhaps I should have known. A better engineer probably would have known. But, me? Nope, I didn’t... Continue Reading
My 6-year-old came home from school one day very excited to let me know that Maggie’s mommy was a doctor and she helped sick people get better. Seems Maggie's mommy was a “community hero.” My unspoken response: “Not Maggie’s mommy again.”  You see, in preschool, Maggie’s mommy remembered to send not one, but two rocks on “paint a rock” day.  I, sadly, forgot to send even a single rock. My daughter,... Continue Reading
Balancing Cost, Quality and Delivery Let's talk about risk-based testing. I should start by saying that this is a sensitive subject. It’s why a career in quality is not for the faint of heart. The fact is that cost, quality and delivery are at constant odds in every industry, including software. Quality professionals play a key role in this balancing act. And, whenever things become "unbalanced,"... Continue Reading
When I get to apply tools like the P’ Chart, I get a thrill. What can I say? I’m a huge fan of Minitab® Statistical Software. I won’t claim to be its biggest fan, but let’s just say I’m definitely up there. Probably in the top 50; definitely the top 100. Admittedly, I’m biased. I have a pretty good gig here. But my history with Minitab started more than a decade before I came to work here. As a... Continue Reading
I’m Dawn Keller and I manage the Quality Assurance department at Minitab. Did you ever launch our software and wonder, “Wow, who created such a high-quality and feature-rich application within a release cycle that meets or exceeds my expectations?” Now you know! Well…okay, so I can’t really take the credit for our products. But I am proud to say that I support the people who work tirelessly to do... Continue Reading