Seven Quality Control Tools

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1. Affinity Diagrams

For Pinpointing the Problem in a Chaotic Situation and Generating Solution Strategies

ò Gathers large amounts of intertwined verbal data (ideas, opinions, issues)

ò Organizes the data into groups based on natural relationship

ò Makes it feasible for further analysis and to find a solution to the problem.

Advantages of Affinity Diagrams

ò Facilitates breakthrough thinking and stimulate fresh ideas

ò Permits the problem to be pinned down accurately

ò Ensures everyone clearly recognizes the problem

ò Incorporates opinions of entire group

ò Fosters team spirit

ò Raises everyone’s level of awareness

ò Spurs to the group into action

Constructing an Affinity Diagram

¶ Select a topic

¶ Collect verbal data by brainstorming

¶ Discuss info collected until everyone understands it thoroughly

¶ Write each item on separate data card

¶ Spread out all cards on table

¶ Move data cards into groups of similar themes (natural affinity for each other)

¶ Combine statements on data cards to new Affinity statement

¶ Make new card with Affinity statement

¶ Continue to combine until less than 5 groups

¶ Lay the groups outs, keeping the affinity clusters together

¶ Next, complete the diagram

2. Relations Diagrams

For Finding Solutions Strategies by Clarifying Relationships with Complex Interrelated Causes

ò Resolves tangled issues by unraveling the logical connection

ò Allows for “Multi-directional” thinking rather than linear

ò Also known as Interrelationship diagrams

Advantages of Relations Diagrams

ò Useful at planning stage for obtaining perspective on overall situation

ò Facilitates consensus among team

ò Assists to develop and change people’s thinking

ò Enables priorities to be identified accurately

ò Makes the problem recognizable by clarifying the relationships among causes

Constructing a Relations Diagram

¶ Express the problem in form of “Why isn’t something happening?”

¶ Each member lists 5 causes affecting problem

¶ Write each item on a card

¶ Discuss info collected until everyone understands it thoroughly

¶ Move cards into similar groups

¶ Asking why, explore the cause-effect relationships, and divide the cards into primary, secondary and tertiary causes

¶ Connect all cards by these relationships

¶ Further discuss until all possible causes have been identified

¶ Review whole diagram looking for relationships among causes

¶ Connect all related groups

¶ Next, complete the diagram

3. Tree Diagrams

For Systematically Pursuing the Best Strategies for Attaining an Objective

ò Develops a succession of strategies for achieving objectives

ò Reveals methods to achieve the results.

ò Also known as Systematic diagrams or Dendrograms

Advantages of Tree Diagrams

ò Systematic and logical approach is less likely that items are omitted

ò Facilitates agreement among team

ò Are extremely convincing with strategies

Constructing a Tree Diagram

¶ Write Relations Diagram topic (Objective card)

¶ Identify constraints on how objective can be achieved

¶ Discuss means of achieving objective (primary means, first level strategy)

¶ Take each primary mean, write ob-jective for achieving it (secondary means)

¶ Continue to expand to the fourth level

¶ Review each system of means in both directions (from objective to means and means to objective)

¶ Add more cards if needed

¶ Connect all levels

¶ Next, complete the diagram

4. Matrix Diagrams

For Clarifying Problems by “Thinking Multidimensionally”

ò Consists of a two-dimensional array to determine location and nature of problem...
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