12
CHAPTER
Management Tools and
Techniques
THE NEW SEVEN MANAGEMENT TOOLS
I
n 1972, the Japanese Union of Socialists and Engineers (JUSE) constituted a
committee to develop new QC tools to tackle the 15 to 20 per cent of business
management problems that could not be solved using the simple problem solving
tools and the Seven QC tools (discussed in Chapter 11). This committee realized
that in this new era the management needed to expand their focus beyond the tra-
ditional approaches towards product & production and all other aspects of the
business—from management planning to decision-making. The committee felt the
need to develop tools that will nurture encourage better lateral thinking, creativity,
and collaborative functional effort to meet the challenges of this new era. The fol-
lowing are the seven new tools that the JUSE committee recommended and
released in 1977:
z Affinity Diagram
z Relations Diagram
z Tree Diagram
z Matrix Diagram
z Matrix Data Analysis
z Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC)
z Arrow Diagram
Over the years this new set of tools recommended by the JUSE committee has
acquired several names like ‘New Seven QC Tools’, ‘Seven New Tools’, ‘The Seven
New Management and Planning Tools (7 MP Tools in short), etc.
These tools perform three basic functions: they help to (a) collate and organize
diverse forms of data, and clarify complex functional or departmental relation-
ships; (b) arrive at proper solutions to problems and define steps to achieve busi-
ness goals concerning quality and productivity and (c) in planning and monitoring
implementation. These managerial tools are able to collect qualitative information,
promote better lateral thinking, and facilitate planning future directions by criti-
cal analysis of current trends. A brief synopsis of each of these tools is given
below:
1. Affinity Diagram
Purpose To convert vague and unstructured concepts into specific informa-
tion through precise language, diagrams and hierarchical structures.
Methodology Organizes diverse type of data or information and categorizes
them into clusters based on their natures and hierarchical rela-
tionships. Using brainstorming or storyboarding techniques, the
Team or Task force meetings generate ideas which after due con-
sideration of affinity and relative importance are orderly arranged
hierarchical yet logical structure.
Use Producing breakthrough solutions in confusing situations where
only sketchy verbal explanations or large number of ideas have
been generated. A very important use is understanding the ‘voice-
of-the customer’ i.e. understanding and processing the cus-
tomer’s expectations about products and services.
2. Relations Diagram
Purpose To identify, understand, and classify the numerous cause and
effect relationships among the factors in a complex problem so
that the key drivers and outcomes are identified and used to solve
problems.
Methodology The cause-and-effect relationships of all factors are graphically
represented using the traditional Seven QC tools like the C-E dia-
gram, brainstorming, etc. The linkages amongst related items are
depicted—often used in tandem with Affinity diagram; the tool
takes the central idea, issue or problem and maps out logical or
sequential links between the ‘Driver’ and the ‘Outcome’. The
delineation of observed patterns help to pick up not only the
central idea but also generating a lot of ideas.
Use To analyse a problem or situation where complex cause and effect
relationships exist. Also useful where sequencing of actions is
important, or there is doubt that a problem is the manifestation of
a symptom of some deeper causes.
3. Tree Diagram (also called the hierarchy/systematic diagram)
Purpose Finding the most appropriate means or methods to achieve a goal
by breaking up the main subject into elements and studying the
interrelationships between the goal and measures.
Methodology Uses the general principles of Fault tree analysis. In order to select
an Objective’ or ‘End result’ to be attained or avoided the team
conducts brainstorming sessions are on team mission statement,
affinity diagram, relation diagram, etc. The objective or the end
MANAGEMENT TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES 353

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