Control and Quality Improvement paper
In previous week’s, you have learned about the importance of quality and the tools necessary to meet quality standards. This week you will learn about control and quality improvement. In other words, you will gather the information needed in order to utilize the tools that improve quality within the workplace.
Let’s begin with what is necessary in order to determine a quality product. For starters, it is important to consider the design of the product. What is needed to make the product? Who is involved in building the product? What variables are to be considered throughout the process? These are all questions that are important when evaluating the design to ensure there is a quality product being built. This is called experimental design and it a crucial factor to the success of a product.
Once the design of the product has been established, it is important to determine how to analyze the experiments to ensure that what has been tested will indeed work moving forward. There are many tools that can be used, however, it is important to determine the method that truly will work for the product. Do not just assume that one method will work because it has worked with other products in the past. Doing this could lead to failure and the need to analyze the work over again. That, as we well know, will absorb time and take away from product development. Surely you understand the vicious circle that occurs when quality is less than, well…quality!
One might think that only products are to be evaluated, however, processes and services should also be looked at to ensure that quality is occurring on every level. Consider your workplace for a moment. Have you had any issues lately? Chances are you can remember a time where you felt a process was not working and you felt frustrated. This could be over something like an employee taking too much time off and you having to cover to meet deadlines. When a process fails, quality also struggles, therefore it is important to consider all aspects of a product starting with the design and ending with the customer’s thoughts on the product or service overall.
Now that you understand that evaluations and analysis are important, this leads us to problem solving. It is important to know that there are three types of errors that can occur in problem solving…Type I, II, and III. A Type I error involves solving a problem that does not exist. A Type II error involves failing to recognize a problem that exists. A Type III error occurs when the wrong problem is solved. Again, going back to the workplace, can you determine the type of error that occurred leading to failure? Chances are you already know which type it would be. Solving the problem is a big part to improving quality. As a manager, you are going to face many issues. You will find that employees come and go, technology changes, customers’ needs migrate in a different direction, etc. However, having the knowledge about quality and what makes a quality system work will help you to stay ahead of the curve. Remember that just because a process works well today does not mean that it will tomorrow.
The Seven Tools of Quality
There are seven tools to know and understand as one who is looking to achieve quality within the workplace. You want to know and understand how to use a flow chart, run chart, process-control chart, check sheet, pareto diagram, cause-and effect diagram, and a scatter diagram. Let me expand on these just a bit so that you understand what they are and why these tools are used. A flow chart is one that you might be familiar with. A flow chart is used to deﬁne and to understand a process. Many find that creating these charts by hand work well enough, however, there are templates and software available to assist you in creating a flow chart. A run chart is a graphical representation of measured variables over time. This is a great tool for determining a process and the length in which it might take to complete the process. A process-control chart can be a little more challenging as it is statistics based. The process-control chart determines if a process is working based on statistical data obtained from research.
A check sheet is otherwise known as a tally sheet. This tool can be used to evaluate both qualitative and quantitative data to ensure that the process is running smoothly. A pareto diagram analyzes the frequency of problems or causes in a process. This is reflected in a diagram that consists of columns and lines to show where problems may be occurring. The cause-and effect diagram is a chart that will show the potential results of a process. This is a fantastic tool for determining worst-case scenarios before they occur and revising the process to ensure these issues do not occur. And finally, a scatter diagram is a tool that will compare variables. This is a great tool to determine relationships based on plots placed on a number line. So, you can see that there are many tools to choose from, it’s just a matter of choosing the method or methods that are going to work best for your workplace.
Chapters 7, 8, and 9 will provide you with the information necessary to understand tools that are available to ensure quality standards. Your main objective in finishing the weekly learning is to assess the basic concepts and deﬁnitions of experimental design. Upon completing your chapter reading, be sure to review the presentation and video that are found in your learning material.
Sower, V.E. (2011). Essentials of Quality. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Seven Tools for Quality This week you have learned about the seven tools of quality. These tools are essential within the workplace and will improve your work environment if used properly. Using your current workplace as an example (if you are not employed, you may use a previous employer or fictional company) determine how the seven tools of quality can be used to improve your company. You will expand on your thoughts pertaining to the use of all seven tools. If there are tools that you feel would not be beneficial, expand upon why you feel this way. Use your course materials and outside research to generate a solid analysis on why these methods would be helpful. Your analysis should be supported by research.
The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:
Write between 750 – 1,250 words (approximately 3 – 5 pages) using Microsoft Word in APA style, see example below. Use font size 12 and 1” margins. Include cover page and reference page. At least 80% of your paper must be original content/writing. No more than 20% of your content/information may come from references. Use at least three references from outside the course material, one reference must be from EBSCOhost. Text book, lectures, and other materials in the course may be used, but are not counted toward the three reference requirement. Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style. References must come from sources such as, scholarly journals found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.