Category Archives: Articles

Articles

Our library of articles provides continuous improvement knowledge base and valuable insights for those involved in quality improvement activities, for business professionals who want to obtain better performance results, for team leaders who want to motivate their staff and increase their performance, and for students who want to increase their knowledge in quality and improvement techniques.

 
We hope that you find our articles helpful and informative. We would like to hear from you if there is a topic out there that we have not written about and you think we should. So please feel free to get in touch!

Why-Why Diagram

Why-Why Diagram

5 Whys is most effective when used to solve simple problems with a single root cause. Oftentimes, a problem is the result of multiple causes occurring together. Each cause is the result of a further cause or multiple causes. Each time you ask why, there might be more than one answer. Such hierarchical structure of potential causes can be represented in a fishbone diagram or a tree diagram called the Why-Why Diagram.

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5 Whys

5 Whys

5 Whys is one of the common techniques for problem-solving and root cause analysis. It is also one of the simplest techniques and easiest to put into practice. It is used in everyday business situations to identify the possible causes underlying a specific problem. It was introduced and made popular by Toyota as part of their Toyota Production System, and it is now widely used within Lean and Six Sigma frameworks.

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A3 Thinking

A3 Thinking

As a leader, a big part of your job is to solve problems as they come. There are many approaches and tools that can help in the area of problem solving which is the driving force behind continuous improvement. They range from the more complex Six Sigma methodologies to the simple A3 thinking approach.

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PEST Analysis

PEST Analysis

PEST analysis is a strategic and structured tool for evaluating the external environment of an organization. It allows any organization to understand the macro-environmental factors that affect its performance and its ability to grow. The aim is to understand how those external factors will affect the business, then take appropriate actions to adapt to the changing environment. PEST analysis is often linked with SWOT analysis, and both tools complement each other and are often used together.

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What is a Process

What is a Process

The products and services delivered by any organization are the result of processes. Any business activity whether it is industrial, commercial or service-oriented can be considered as a process. Managing these processes is a key to success for any organization. A process can be defined is a set of steps designed to produce a product or service to add value to a customer. It starts with a business goal and ends with the achievement of the that goal.

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Four Field Matrix

Four Field Matrix

A Four Field Matrix is an effective model for planning, organizing and making decisions. It is a two-dimensional chart that consists of four equal-sized quadrants. Each of the quadrants will describe a different aspect of information. Sometimes it is referred to as the Four Quadrant Matrix or the Four Celled Matrix.

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Graphical Analysis


Graphical Analysis

Graphing the data can be utilized for both historical data already available and when analyzing the data resulting from live data collection activities. Of course, you need to pick the right graphical tool as there are a lot of different ways to plot your data. A number of commonly used graphical tools will be covered here. However, note that if one graph fails to reveal anything useful, try another one.

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Project Closure

Project Closure

Projects are time bound by nature. They have to be implemented within a specific period of time. Project Closing is the final phase and an important aspect of the project life cycle. It is, however, one of the most neglected project management activities. A Project Closure is often used in this phase to formally close projects. It used to summarize project results and validates the accomplishment of project goals.

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5S

5S

5S is an improvement tool for organizing and maintaining a disciplined and productive workplace. It helps creating a better working environment, reduces waste while improving efficiency, safety and quality. 5S represents five simple practices that starts with the letter ‘S’. It is commonly applied by manufacturing facilities in production lines, storage areas, maintenance areas, and office areas. It is now being increasingly applied by a wide variety of industries including health care, education, hospitality and retail.

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Best Practices

Best Practices

A Best Practice is that practice that has been proven to achieve the best results. It represents creative solutions to common problems and has the potential to be replicated internally and externally. Companies are able to learn from other successful organizations by adopting their best practices without the need to reinvent the wheel. Companies can also develop and share their own best practices and innovative solutions.   Read more »