Research Paper: 7 Quality Tools and Quality Improvement

Pages: 7 (2234 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

Statistical Application in Quality Management

Different control charts for different types of data and how to construct them

There is a long history about seven quality tools. All of these quality tools have been used for over 20 years and date back to 1920. For decades, engineers successfully used these "old standby" tools. Kaoru Ishikawa, the father of "quality circles" first signified the importance of these fundamental quality control tools. The list is named like the "seven quality tools," the "seven old tools" or the "seven basic tools (Rose, 2005)"

Flowchart: It is a technique that splits up the gathered data from different sources so that patterns can be observed.

Cause-and-effect chart (also known as Ishikawa or Fishbone chart): This technique diagnoses all the probable causes for an effect or issue and synchronizes ideas into informative categories.

3.

Check sheet: IT is a structured and organized form for gathering and analyzing data; a standard tool that can be utilized for a large variety of purposes.

4.

Pareto chart: This represents important factors on a bar graph.

5.

Histogram: it is the most standard and common form of graph used to show frequency distributions and number of occurrence of different value in a data set.

6.

Scatter plot: it is a technique in which numerical data are paired up in variables, one on each axis to search for a relationship

7.

Control charts: To keep track of changes over the time, this graph is used (Rose, 2005).

Flow charts:

Flow chart of process is a simple tool that shows the input, actions and output of a given system graphically. The objective to create a flow chart is to make people understand the process. Flow chart graphically represents the activities that took place and the flow of resources and information in the process. High level and detailed flow charts are two types which are certainly useful. High level flow chart illuminates the interaction of major activity group also known as "sub processes" with the main process. Usually, seven sub-processes are illustrated in a flow chart. If basic information is included, high level flow charts will readily classify the entire process and its main sub-processes (Rose, 2005).

Cause-and-effect Charts:

Process improvement comprises of actions taken for the causes of variation. It is noted that with most of the practical application, the number of reasons causing a problem can be huge. Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa established a graphical method to display the causes of any given quality issue. This method is recognized with many names like "fish bone diagram," the Ishikawa chart or the cause and effect chart. Fish bone chart is utilized to further classify the causes in different groups. This process often reveals the root reasons causing a problem. After the identifications of root causes, it can analyze that how much each cause is contributing towards the problem. This diagram can effectively illustrate the possible relationship between causes. Cause and effect diagram can be used to uncover the root causes, hindrance or problematic steps within a process. Being an effective tool for analysis, it only determines the root causes of the problem. Even if everyone agrees with the root causes, it is essential to analyze the unknown facts about the cause. Additional information can be gathered to determine the actual causes (Rose, 2005).

Check sheets:

Check sheets are created to list the items and indicates the number of occurrence of the items on the list. In simpler terms, check sheet is the tool use to make the collection of data easier by offering pre-written description of events which are likely to occur. These simple check sheets are extremely useful process improvement and problem solving tools. If used in combination with other tools like histogram or Pareto charts, the power is greatly enhanced. It is estimated by Ishikawa that 80% to 90% of the problems taking place in a work place can be solved by using these simple tools (Rose, 2005).

Pareto charts:

Pareto analysis is referred to as the process which is used to rank opportunities which have potential so that they are pursued first. It can also be said that this process is about separating the "vital few from the trivial many." This analysis can be used at several steps the process of quality improvement in order to determine the steps which should be taken first. This diagram is the kind of bar chart in which bars show causes of the problems according their frequency and descending order. Pareto diagram is beneficial for interpreting data and sanctioning the relationship that are recommended in cause and effect analysis. This analysis is based on the idea that 80% of the problems arise from 20% of the causes. This helps to determine the vital few causes which lead to the problem (Rose, 2005).

Histograms:

Before making efforts to improve the process, data is first gathered and evaluated in order to assess the performance of processes at the existing time. One method to evaluate and describe this evaluation is making this histogram chart. It is pictorial illustration of the given data. It is formed by classifying different measurements into different cells. Histograms establish the form and shape of any data. It also illustrates the numbers in such a way that it is easier to observe the dispersion as well as central tendency and also to make comparison between distributions and requirements. There have been numerous circumstances where histograms can be used to display the variations taking place in the process (Rose, 2005).

Scatter diagrams:

A scatter diagram is a plot, in which one variable is plotted against other. One variable also known as independent variable is usually plotted on the horizontal axis. The other variable which is also called dependent variable is plotted on the vertical axis. These diagrams are used to analyze cause and affect relationships. It is assumed that the independent variable is responsible for the change in dependable variable (Rose, 2005).

Control charts:

Control charts are the tools which are used to evaluate and understand process variable, testing process's capability to perform according to the variables and to measure the effect of those variable due to the difference between customer's demands and process performance (Rose, 2005).

Calculating Process Capability

Organized quality management is very essential for it successful application on day-to-day basis. Authorities and management should be committed to develop and improve quality management system. With the help of quality management process, company is able to implement their quality policy. This system should be well phrased and documented. When this system is applied, it provides important information which is resourced through process analyses and audits. If the customer is company's first priority, the company should take effective measures of surveys and data collection to make sure that company meets the expectations of customer's demands. The collected information is valuable in decision making process. This data collection and audit holds a great importance as it paves a way towards more opportunities along with better quality of the products (Cianfrani and West, 2009).

Constant process of improvement is based on the application of Deming's quality cycle or PDCA cycle. The PDCA cycle is an essential part of the process management and it is developed to be used a dynamic model. The completion of one cycle leads to the beginning of the next. There are four consecutive steps of this cycle and these phases are mentioned as follow (Cianfrani and West, 2009):

• Plan - evaluation of the needs for the improvement though considering areas that hold opportunities to change. It is deciding about the change which should take place.

• Do - implanting the changes which are planned in first step

• Check - regulating and measuring the process and products according to the changes implemented in second step and also according to the policy, goals and needs of the products.

• Act - Approval or the response of the changes or run though the PDCA cycle again to keep continuous improvement (Cianfrani and West, 2009).

The primary objective of the application of the PDCA cycle is the process improvement. Starting the process improvement through proper planning quite often results in preventive and helpful actions. Furthermore, using quality assurance tools at the start also results in higher levels of process improvement. Implementation of seven basic tools in collaboration with PDCA cycle is shown below (Cianfrani and West, 2009):

Taken from: (Cianfrani and West, 2009)

The basic themes of quality management

Quality management is a system to ensure that all activities which are necessary for the development and improvement of the product or service are effective and competent with respect to the systems and its performance (Westcott, 2003).

With the expansion of global completion, quality management is gaining importance for the effective leadership or management of nay organization. The quality management principles offer proper understanding about the application of quality management. Through implementing these eight principles, organization will benefit its customers, owners, suppliers and society on larger scale (Westcott, 2003).

Quality Management Principles:

The first principle… [END OF PREVIEW]

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