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A Toolbook for Quality Improvement and Problem Solving (contents)

Tools for the Problem stage

The Quality Toolbook > Tool Finder > Starting from the project framework > Tools for the Problem stage

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

 

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This section identifies tools which may be used in the Problem stage of the process improvement framework for the following activities:

  1. Mapping out the process or problem to understand it in detail and identify potential problem areas.
  2. Measuring the process to identify and verify problems.
  3. Prioritization and selection of specific problems that are to be addressed.
  4. Revising plans to reflect new knowledge.

 

  1. Mapping out the process or problem to understand it in detail and identify potential problem areas.
  • Map the process detail with IDEF0 or Flowchart.
  • Use the Flow Process Chart for manual processes and the String Diagram for processes that involve significant movement.
  • Break down products or problems with Value Analysis.
  • Use a Matrix Diagram to investigate how requirements are met.
     
    1. Measuring the process to identify and verify problems.
  • Plot measurements in a Control Chart, Line Graph or Bar Chart. Investigate process distributions with a Histogram or Scatter Diagram and by measuring Process Capability. Use Design of Experiments (DOE) or a Matrix Diagram for deeper investigation.
  • Find more information about the process with a Survey, Brainstorming or the Nominal Group Technique. Collect data in a Check Sheet or Tables. Organize the information with the Tree Diagram, Affinity Diagram or Relationship Diagram.
  • Use the Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC), Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) or Fault Tree Analysis to identify potential problem areas.
     
    1. Prioritization and selection of specific problems that are to be addressed.
  • Organize measurements into priority order using the Pareto Chart.
  • Agree on priorities in a group using the Prioritization Matrix or Voting.
  • Use the Force-Field Diagram to resolve for-and-against decisions.
     
    1. Revising plans to reflect new knowledge.
  • Update plans using the same tools as in the previous stage.
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