Learning about a loved one: The quality management approach

Howard S. Gitlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


My mother died at the age of 81 years. She was a great mother. I love her and I miss her. About 1 year before her 80th birthday, I realized that I only knew her in a one-dimensional sense, as a parent. I didn't know her as a friend, or as a colleague, or as an artist, or as any of the many things she was in her life. I wanted to rectify this situation before I lost the opportunity. I thought long and hard about how I could come to know my mother. She was a quiet and shy person. An in-depth discussion with her about her life was not an option. I decided to fall back on my quality management tools. The tools I used are the subject of this article. The tools discussed in the article are a "pictorial affinity diagram" and an "interrelationship diagraph." The use of the interrelationship diagraph is standard, but the use of the affinity diagram is novel to the best knowledge of the author. Traditionally, affinity diagrams are based on language data. This application relies on visual data in the form of pictures, specifically, photographs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-119
Number of pages5
JournalQuality Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Affinity diagram
  • Interrelationship diagraph
  • Photographs
  • Pictorial affinity diagram
  • Pictures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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