Chapter Nine Quality Management Tools

B. G. Dale, B. Dehe and D. Bamford


To support, develop and advance a process of continuous improvement it is necessary for an organization to use a selection of tools and techniques. Some of these tools and techniques are simple, while others are more complex. There are a considerable number of tools and techniques; the following are perhaps the most popular and best known:

  • Checklists
  • Flowcharts
  • The seven quality control tools (QC7: cause-and-effect diagram, check sheet, control chart, graphs, histogram, Pareto diagram and scatter diagram)
  • Quality costing
  • Statistical process control
  • Failure mode and effects analysis
  • Fault tree analysis
  • Design of experiments
  • Quality function deployment
  • The seven management tools (M7: affinity diagrams, relations diagrams, systematic diagrams, matrix diagrams, matrix data analysis, process decision programme chart, and arrow diagrams)
  • Departmental purpose analysis
  • Mistake-proofing
  • Benchmarking
  • Total productive maintenance
  • Housekeeping and 5s

Tools and techniques have different roles to play in continuous improvement and if applied correctly give repeatable and reliable results (Bamford and Greatbanks 2005). Their roles include:

  • Summarizing data and organizing its presentation
  • Data-collection and structuring ideas
  • Identifying relationships
  • Discovering and understanding a problem
  • Implementing actions
  • Finding and removing the causes of the problem
  • Selecting problems for improvement and assisting ...

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