Walter Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming began development of quality improvement tools in the 1930s-40s, and in 1976 the Japanese Society for Quality Control Technique Development expanded on their tools for a more comprehensive list of quality control tools. Today, we use these tools as devices to help accomplish purposes of our quality improvement techniques, with these tools alone or incorporated within quality control software.
1) Flowcharts are graphic representations of the flow of processes.
Description: Flowcharts display the order of activities using shape visualizations that represent activities – the rounded rectangle indicates the beginning or end of a process, boxes indicate action items, and diamonds indicated decision points – all can be easily created, uploaded, imported and viewed within ISO compliance software.
When to use: Flowcharts can be used to communicate the steps in a work process, identify areas that may be problem sources or improvement opportunities.
2) Histograms are bar chart representations used to plot the frequency with which different values of a given variable occur.
Description: Histograms evolved from a need to evaluate data that occurs at a certain frequency, and are built to examine the characteristics of variation and are used as a great visualization quality improvement tool for varying data.
When to use: Histograms are used to identify the range of variables, examine existing patterns, and to suggest a central tendency in these variables.
3) Pareto Charts are graphical representations of the frequency of which certain events occur.
Description: Pareto Charts are rank-order bar charts that display the relative importance of variables, prioritized in descending order from left to right: invented by Vilfredo Pareto, who was an Italian economist at the end of the 19th century.
When to use: The Pareto Chart displays the relative importance of variables in datasets that may be used to set priorities regarding improvement opportunities.
4) Scatter Diagram (pictured left) is a chart in which one variable is plotted against another to determine
whether or not there is a correlation between the two.
Description: Scatter Diagrams show pattern relationships between two quality and compliance variables that are thought to be related, and the purpose of this diagram is to demonstrate what happens to one variable
when another is changed.
When to use: Scatter Diagrams are used to plot the distribution of information in two dimensions, and are useful to rapidly screen for relationships between two variables.
5) Run Charts are line graphs that show data points plotted in the order in which they occur.
Description: This chart is used to reveal trends and shifts in a process over time, show variation over time, or identifies an improvement or decline in a process over time. It examines both variables and attribute data.
When to use: The run chart shows the history and pattern of variation, and can be used to summarize occurances of a particular situation, identify trends or unusual events, display measurement results over time, or determine a common cause vs. special cause variation.
6) Cause and Effect Diagram, (pictured below) also known as an Ishikawa Diagram or a Fishbone Diagram, illustrates the relationship between an outcome and all influencing factors of the outcome.
Description: This diagram displays the factors that are thought to affect a particular output or outcome in a system – factors are often shown as groupings of related subfactors that act in concert to form the overall effect of the group displayed in the diagram.
When to use: The Cause and Effect Diagram should be used to identify potential causes of a problem or issue in an orderly way, and can help answer questions such as “Why is our environmental quality management system suddenly producing so much waste?”
Original Author : Ashley Osgood
Courtesy : http://info.ibs-us.com/blog/bid/49014/Quality-101-Improvement-Tools-Cheat-Sheet-Part-1