7 quality tools
7 quality tools were created by quality practitioners over the years and collected in one group in early 50s in Japan. Along with the quality movement they were popularized as quality tools. Development of quality methods and techniques lead to creation of new set of quality tools, which extended the older one.
7 Traditional quality management tools
Traditional tools are called Magnificent seven. They are the most commonly used and they are of fundamental importance. These tools can be used on its own, but often are used as components of quality management methods. They are based on simple mathematics and statistics. Therefore, they are often called statistical process control tools. The tools include:
- Pareto Chart: A Pareto Chart is a graphical representation of data that organizes and sorts data from most to least significant. It is a bar chart that sorts the categories from left to right, with each bar representing the frequency of occurrence for each category. For example, a Pareto Chart can be used to analyze customer complaints, to identify which type of complaints are occurring most frequently.
- Process Flowchart: A Process Flowchart is a diagrammatic representation of a process, showing the steps and decisions that need to be taken in order to complete the process. For example, a Process Flowchart can be used to analyze a manufacturing process, to identify potential areas for improvement and to identify bottlenecks.
- Check Sheet: A Check Sheet is a tool used to collect data and to analyze the frequency of certain occurrences. For example, a Check Sheet can be used to analyze the quality of customer service in a restaurant, to identify which areas need improvement.
- Cause and Effect Diagram: A Cause and Effect Diagram is a tool used to analyze the relationships between different variables and their effects on a process. For example, a Cause and Effect Diagram can be used to analyze the factors that influence customer satisfaction with a product or service.
- Histogram: A Histogram is a graphical representation of data that organizes data into groups or categories, showing the distribution of data in the form of a bar chart. For example, a Histogram can be used to analyze the distribution of customer feedback on a product or service.
- Control Chart: A Control Chart is a tool used to analyze process variation over time, to identify areas for improvement and to identify trends in the data. For example, a Control Chart can be used to analyze the production of a manufacturing process, to identify potential areas for improvement and to identify trends in the quality of the output.
- Scatter Diagram: A Scatter Diagram is a tool used to analyze the relationship between two variables, by plotting the data points on a graph. For example, a Scatter Diagram can be used to analyze the relationship between customer satisfaction and the cost of a product or service.
7 new quality management tools
Along with the development of quality management 7 new tools were created. They were designed to enhance traditional tools. They enable a better information flow in the enterprise. They are very important when solving problems.
- Affinity diagram - finding relationships between ideas
- Relations diagram - diagram showing causal relations between aspects of complex situation
- Matrix diagram - shows relationships between many variables using many dimensions
- Matrix data analysis -
- Arrow diagram - used to show the flow of process or project, similar to CPM method
- Tree diagram - breaks down categories into subcategories, parts, elements, etc.
- Process decision programme chart - identifies what may go wrong during realization of the plan.
Advantages of 7 quality tools
The 7 quality tools are a set of tools used to support problem solving and decision making in the quality management field. They are: Cause and Effect Diagram, Check Sheet, Control Chart, Histogram, Pareto Chart, Scatter Diagram, and Flow Chart. These tools provide the following advantages:
- Cause and Effect Diagram: This tool helps to identify the root causes of a problem and trace effect relationships.
- Check Sheet: This tool helps to collect and organize data in order to identify certain trends and problems.
- Control Chart: This tool helps to monitor process performance over time and identify any points of variation.
- Histogram: This tool allows for quick visualization of data distribution and helps identify any potential outliers.
- Pareto Chart: This tool helps to identify which factors are contributing the most to a problem and helps prioritize solutions.
- Scatter Diagram: This tool helps to identify any possible correlations between two variables.
- Flow Chart: This tool helps to clearly map out a process and identify any potential bottlenecks.
Limitations of 7 quality tools
The 7 quality tools are a collection of quality methods and techniques used by quality practitioners since the 1950s. However, these tools have a few limitations:
- They are primarily focused on the cause-and-effect analysis and process improvement, which limits their usefulness in identifying and addressing more complex problems.
- They are not able to provide a comprehensive view of the entire system and are not suitable for predicting the effects of changes in the system.
- They lack the ability to provide an accurate and timely diagnosis of problems, which can lead to incorrect conclusions and decisions.
- They are not suitable for measuring customer satisfaction, as they do not measure customer feedback and preferences.
- They can be difficult to use for non-experts, as they require a certain degree of knowledge and understanding of the system.
In addition to the 7 quality tools, there are other approaches related to quality improvement that have been developed by quality practitioners over the years. These include:
- Statistical Process Control (SPC) which is a method of monitoring and controlling a process by collecting and analyzing data to detect and prevent process problems.
- Total Quality Management (TQM) which is an organizational approach to quality improvement that seeks to involve all stakeholders in improving processes, products, and services.
- Lean Manufacturing which is a process improvement method that seeks to reduce waste and increase efficiency.
- Six Sigma which is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement that focuses on reducing variation and defects.
- Design of Experiments (DOE) which is a method of using controlled experiments to determine the best way to design a process or product.
- Measurement System Analysis (MSA) which is a method for evaluating and improving the accuracy and precision of a measurement system.
- Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) which is a method of risk management that seeks to identify and address potential failure modes in a process or product.
Overall, these approaches are used to improve quality processes, products, and services and are often used in combination with the 7 quality tools.
|7 quality tools — recommended articles|
|Interrelationship diagram — DMAIC methodology — Statistical process control — Matrix diagram — Value stream mapping — Spaghetti diagram — Genchi genbutsu — Quality control — Analytical sheet — Action|