Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

Glossary terms, history, people and definitions about Lean and Six Sigma

Seven Quality Tools

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There are seven basic quality improvement tools that are used by Quality Circle teams, and are fundamental to the Total Quality Management, Total Quality Control, Lean, and Six Sigma initiatives.

  • Cause and effect diagram (sometimes called Ishikawa diagram, or C&E diagram, or fishbone diagram)
  • Pareto charts
  • Process mapping and data gathering tools:
    • check sheets
  • Graphical tools:
    • histograms
    • frequency diagrams
    • spot charts or measles charts or pictograms or defect concentration chart
    • pie charts
  • Run charts and control charts
  • Scatter plots and correlation analysis
  • Flowcharts

Inspired by Deming’s lectures, Kaoru Ishikawa formalized these into the Seven Basic Tools of Quality Control. He believed that 90-95% of a company’s problems could be improved using these seven tools. Aside from the control charts, these tools could be taught to any member of an organization as part of a quality circle.


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