# Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive statistics are methods of describing the characteristics of a data set. It includes calculating things such as the average of the data, its spread and the shape it produces. It involves describing, summarizing and organizing the data so it can be easily understood. Graphical displays are often used along with the quantitative measures to enable clarity of communication. Descriptive statistics helps exploring and making conclusions about the data in order to make more rational decisions.   Read more »

# RACI Matrix

There are many ways to help clarify roles and responsibilities within a project, business process, or change initiative. Some prefer to use a hierarchical structure while others prefer to use a matrix-style format such as the RACI matrix. A RACI Matrix is a tool that brings clarity to the roles people play within a team working towards achieving a common goal. It describes the participation of the various roles in completing the required activities and deliverables.   Read more »

# Value Analysis

Value is one of the most important concepts within Lean thinking and one of the most valuable outcomes Lean provides. Value Analysis focuses on what adds value to business processes as perceived by the customer. A process that does not add value to the product or service should be redesigned or eliminated altogether. Problem solving and continuous improvement efforts often focus on those aspects of processes that add no value to the customer and are therefore wasteful.   Read more »

# Waste Analysis

In a Lean culture, Waste is anything that doesnâ€™t add value from the customer’s perspective. It includes activities and resources beyond what is needed to meet customer requirements. Waste Analysis involves identifying, quantifying, eliminating and preventing waste in manufacturing, service and office environments. Many Lean tools and techniques focus on continually identifying and eliminating these wastes to bring efficiency and effectiveness to existing processes, and this is one of the core principles of Lean thinking.   Read more »

# Relationship Mapping

A Relationship Map is a visual display that shows the relationships between individual items. It allows to see and analyze the logical links between the different elements of any situation. A simple example of a relationship map is your network of personal and social relations. Another example is what is called the Interrelationship Digraph which is a visual display of the cause and effect relationships involved in a process or problem.   Read more »

# Risk Analysis

Risk Analysis is a process that helps identify and assess potential threats that could affect the success of a business or project. It allows to examine the risks and includes means to measure, mitigate and control them effectively. It is part of the larger process of risk management although risk management can also refer to the process of controlling and monitoring risks.   Read more »

# Matrix Diagram

A Matrix Diagram is a table that allows sets of data to be compared in order to make better decisions. It displays the existence and strength of relationship between pairs of items of two or more sets. The relationship is then indicated by a number or symbol in each cell where the two items intersect in the matrix. A matrix diagram can be used as part of other decision making tools. Cause and Effect Matrix and Quality Function Deployment are examples of tools that use the matrix diagram.   Read more »

# PDCA Cycle

The PDCA Cycle is a framework for problem solving, continuous improvement and change. It is widely recognized as the basis of continually improving the quality of processes, products, and services. It is an easy to remember four logical sequence steps: Plan, Do, Check and Act. It provides a simple and structured approach for solving quality-related problems. Multiple iterations of the PDCA cycle may be necessary to solve the problem permanently and reach the ultimate goal state.   Read more »

# Gantt Charts

When managing projects, large number of activities are to be controlled and completed on time. If you miss a deadline, the costs may increase considerably and you may even be penalized. A Gantt Chart is a visual representation that provides an instant overview of the status of a project. It outlines all activities involved in a project against a timescale. A basic Gantt chart simply lists what needs to be done and when. It is often used by any industry that requires project management such as: construction, telecommunications, information technology and management consulting.   Read more »

# Value Stream Mapping

A Value Stream Map (VSM) is a high-level visual representation of a business process. It helps to understand the flow of value in the process as perceived by the customer. Its primary goal is to identify and eliminate waste (Muda) and make the process as close to lean as possible. Although it is often associated with manufacturing, it can also be applied in product development and service-related industries such as healthcare, hospitality and logistics.

# Fishbone Diagram

Sometimes it is difficult to spot problems and only symptoms will be acted on leaving the real causes intact. This indicates lack of information and poor understanding of the problem and leads usually to a weak solution. A Fishbone Diagram is often used to identify and organize the potential causes of a business problem in an easy and understandable format. It is used to identify the sources of process variation which caused the problem to occur. It is called this way because of its shape that looks like a fishbone. It is also called Ishikawa Diagram and Cause and Effect Diagram.   Read more »

# Prioritization Matrix

Prioritization is an essential skill that needs to be mastered to make the best use of your own and your teams time and effort. A Prioritization Matrix is a simple tool that provides a way to prioritize a diverse set of items into an order of importance. It allows the team to select the most appropriate option from several alternatives based on a predefined criteria.   Read more »