December 9, 2014
I have done a few popular posts related to quality improvement. The most popular being which references the American Society for Quality (ASQ) website in a few links. Every so often I peruse their site to see what is new. I really give them kudos for putting more free quality tools on their site to help the many people working in quality roles now. Check the site out as they provide many templates in Excel and Word to help quickly create specific types of charts. They also give an explanation of which charts to use for quality planning and measuring, which is very important. Why? Just because a graph looks cool, does not mean it is the best tool to get a message across. Use the right tools to get better results!
When reviewing the ASQ tools list, be aware that: using a Pareto Chart does not necessarily reflect the Pareto Principle, the SMART Matrix uses similar terms as SMART Goals yet is not the same thing, and Process Analysis is a deeper look at work steps than in standard Process Mapping.
The tools they list that I have used most with quality improvement teams include: Brainstorming, Fishbone, Force Field Analysis, Decision Matrix, Affinity Diagram, and Histogram. For project teams, Gantt Charts are also used. The only other tools I have used a lot with teams, which I did not see on the ASQ list, are Domain Analysis and a T-Chart for Pro/Con and similar comparisons. For ideas on T-chart basics, see article BB Chart: A Method for Targeting Benefits and Barriers in Business Opportunities.