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Generating Value by Using the Seven Basic Quality Tools

Posted: July 1, 2017 at 10:14 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

G U E S T  A R T I C L E

A
n essential set of graphical, visual tools for your operational excellence toolbox is the seven basic quality tools. Spawned from teachings of W. Edwards Deming and Kaoru Ishikawa sometime around 1950, these tools have become mainstays in a quality professional’s toolbox. Included in PMI®’s PMBOK® 5th Edition, the tools are widely used in all types of projects. The seven basic quality tools may be used independently or in combination with other approaches and methodologies and as elements of problem solving, development, transformation, or continuous improvement initiatives.

Seven basic quality tools:

1.  Cause-and-Effect Diagram is a simple yet powerful tool to use in a brainstorming session to quickly generate a list of many potential causes for an effect, problem, or outcome is the cause-and-effect diagram. It is also known as a fishbone diagram for its shape, as well as the Ishikawa diagram for its inventor Kaoru Ishikawa, who developed the technique.

Cause-and-Effect Diagram

 

2.  Check Sheet is template-style tool used to collect, tally, and total data for further action and analysis

Check Sheet

 3.  Control Charts are graphical tools used to understand and analyze process changes and variation, over time, as depicted in the following images. Questions to consider when using controls charts are:

  •  Is the process in control and stable?
  • Is the process out of control with an assignable or special cause variation?
  • Is the process out of control with systematic variation, such as trends or cycles?

Control Charts

4.  Histogram is a graphical tool, depicted in the following images, used to display and analyze the shape of a frequency distribution of occurrences for a variable data set. Questions to consider when using histograms are:

  •  Is the distribution normal or bell shaped?
  • Is the distribution bimodal or multimodal indicating a mixture of more than one process or input?
  • Is the distribution negatively or positively skewed?

Histogram

5.  Pareto Chart is a graphical tool, depicted in the following images, used to identify significant categories on which to focus additional or continued efforts. Questions to consider when using Pareto charts are:

  •  Are there multiple main causes, such as the top left image?
  • Is there a single main cause, such as the top right image?
  • Is there no main cause detectable, such as the bottom left image?
  • Is too much information captured in a miscellaneous category with no main cause detectable, such as the bottom right image?

Pareto Chart

 6.  Scatter Diagram is a graphical tool used to compare and analyze two sets of input variable data for a correlation or relationship, as depicted in the following images. Questions to consider when using scatter diagrams are:

  • Is there a relationship or correlation between the two variables?
  • Is the relationship or correlation strong or weak?
  • Is the relationship or correlation negative or positive?

Scatter Diagram

7.  Stratification is a graphical tool, depicted in the following image, used to analyze separations or patterns in a data set, based on two or more input variables. Questions to consider when using stratification are:

  •  Do the input variables show differences in the patterns?
  • Are the differences weak or strong?
  • Are the differences in the same or different directions?

Stratification

Attributed to Fred Barnard’s ad in Printer’s Ink in 1921, is the now often used and cited saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” A picture really is worth a thousand words, and using these simple graphical analysis tools can be very helpful and powerful.

Value Generation Partners wishes you much success in your pursuit of selecting appropriate quality tools, thereby generating greater value in your organization!

Using the Seven Basic Quality Tools is useful in combination with other LinkedIn Pulse posts found at this link.

Find more on related topics in Problem Solving for Success Handbook, which is available on Lulu.com and other book distributors in paperback and eBook. With the purchase of any handbook, the reader has access to a companion toolbox file containing all referenced templates.

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About the author:

Rod Baxter

Rod Baxter is the change agent leader, serving in positions using operational excellence and project management methodologies to help organizations develop and improve services, products, and processes that result in improved profits and reduced costs. Extensive experience in diverse, high technology industries such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and multinational Fortune 500 companies including Maytag, Timken, and Diebold. Expert-level knowledge and application in the disciplines of strategy deployment, portfolio and program management, operational excellence, six sigma, lean transformation, supply chain, customer and supplier relations, service and product development, financial management and budgeting, and facilitation.View Rod’s full profile at LinkedIn.

Copyrighted Material: Pictures in this article have been extracted from the original article and are copyrighted. Title picture is not associated with the original writing.

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