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A Toolbook for Quality Improvement and Problem Solving (contents)

Tool Finder

The Quality Toolbook > Tool Finder

Starting from the project framework | Starting from the task


Framework: Identify | Define | Problem | Cause | Solution | Implement | Review | Follow-up

Task: Collecting information | Structuring information | Using information.


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Although it is useful to have a broad toolkit available, it can still be difficult to select the appropriate tool for a given situation. This appendix aims to help you with this task by giving two approaches to choosing the right tool:

First, tools may be used in an organized project, typically using a framework as described in Applications for Tools. This has a number of phases where specific actions may be performed. A smaller toolkit may be thus defined for each phase and sub-phase, making selection easier.

In addition to use in a defined framework, tools may also be used in any appropriate situation, for example as an ongoing process measurement or in a meeting where there is a need to organize some confused information. In such cases, the project framework is irrelevant, and the starting point for identifying the tool is the task in hand.

In either case, review the possible tools and decide first whether using a tool would be of benefit (for example, some situations may be too simple to merit their use), then select the most appropriate tool. In this decision, include consideration of what tools are already understood and the effort required to learn and use the tool.


Starting from the project framework

This section identifies tools which may be used in each of the phases of the process improvement framework. Click on the stage of the process below to see the tools that may be used in that stage.

  1. Identify
  2. Define
  3. Problem
  4. Cause
  5. Solution
  6. Implement
  7. Review
  8. Follow-up

Starting from the task

This section assumes you are not using the process improvement framework, and thus starts from the basic task that you may be aiming to perform. This will probably be more useful if you are using a different framework or want to use a single tool in a more general problem-solving situation.

It is divided into the following three main sections, as discussed in more detail in the Applications in Process Improvement page in the Applications for Tools chapter:

  1. Collecting information

  2. Structuring information

  3. Using information

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