Useful Tools for Problem Solving


Presentation Description

This presentation is a collection of 24 useful tools for problem solving. It includes the basic and advanced QC tools and are applicable to all types of industries. Simply presented using a 'Purpose', 'When To Use' and 'Procedure' format, these tools can be applied to add greater breadth and depth to your PDCA, DMAIC, or 8D, etc. problem solving projects. The tools include the following: 1. Flow Chart 2. Brainstorming 3. Gantt Chart 4. Stratification 5. Check Sheet 6. Bar Chart 7. Waterfall Chart 8. Line Graph 9. Pie Chart 10. Belt Graph 11. Radar Chart 12. Control Chart 13. Pareto Chart 14. Cause & Effect Diagram 15. 5 Whys 16. Histogram 17. Scatter Diagram 18. Affinity Diagram 19. Relations Diagram 20. Tree Diagram 21. Matrix Diagram 22. Matrix Data Analysis Chart 23. Arrow Diagram 24. Process Decision Program Chart To download this complete presentation, visit:


Presentation Transcript


© Operational Excellence Consulting. All rights reserved. Useful Tools f or Problem Solving


Contents Flow Chart Brainstorming Gantt Chart Stratification Check Sheet Bar Chart Waterfall Chart Line Graph Pie Chart Belt Graph Radar Chart Control Chart Pareto Chart Cause & Effect Diagram 5 Whys Histogram Scatter Diagram Affinity Diagram Relations Diagram Tree Diagram Matrix Diagram Matrix Data Analysis Chart Arrow Diagram Process Decision Program Chart NOTE: This is a PARTIAL PREVIEW . To download the complete presentation , please visit: http://

Flow Chart:

Flow Chart Purpose To show the sequential steps in a process. When to use To develop understanding of how a process is done. To study a process for improvement. To communicate to others how a process is done. When better communication is needed between people involved with the same process. To document a process. When planning a project.

Example of a “Swim-lane” Flow Chart:

Example of a “Swim-lane” Flow C hart


Brainstorming Procedure Make sure everyone understands and is satisfied with the central question before you open up for ideas. You may want to give everyone a few seconds to jot down a few ideas before getting started. Begin by going around the table or room, giving everyone a chance to voice their ideas or pass. After a few rounds, open the floor. More ideas are better. Encourage radical ideas and piggybacking. Suspend judgment of all ideas. Record exactly what is said. Clarify only after everyone is out of ideas. Don't stop until ideas become sparse. Allow for late-coming ideas. Eliminate duplicates and ideas that are not relevant to the topic.

Gantt Chart Example:

Gantt Chart Example 7 Aug 14 Aug 21 Aug 28 Aug 4 Sep 11 Sep 18 Sep 25 Sep 1 Oct 8 Oct 15 Oct 22 Oct 29 Oct Select the theme Plan the schedule Grasp the present situation Establish the target Implement corrective actions Analyze the cause and identify corrective action Implement the solutions Standardize and follow up Example of a Problem Solving Project Schedule

Stratification Considerations:

Stratification Considerations Here are examples of different sources that might require data to be stratified: Equipment Shifts Departments Materials Suppliers Day of the week Time of day Products

Check Sheet – Example 2:

Check Sheet – Example 2 Defective Item Mon 9/3 Tue 10/3 Wed 11/3 Thu 12/3 Fri 13/3 Total Mold Cracked 5 3 6 3 4 21 Fibers 2 0 5 1 0 8 Grit 4 2 3 5 0 14 Pinholes 1 5 0 2 1 9 Cracks 0 1 1 0 0 2 Other 1 3 0 0 3 7 Total 13 14 15 11 8 61

Bar Chart Examples:

Bar Chart Examples Revenue Profit Before Tax

Waterfall Chart – Example 2:

Waterfall Chart – Example 2 Cost savings opportunity by lever Percent, 2007 annualized savings Help desk Deskside Total 10-25 5-15 5-10 2-3 0 0 25-45 Pool resources Reduce incoming work Segment work by complexity Redistribute activities Reduce NVA work (e.g., standardize operations) Implement flexible manpower systems 11-14 0 4 5 0 14-30 0-15 Deskside Help desk

Line Graph Example:

Line Graph Example Cost of Quality

Pie Chart – Example 1:

Pie Chart – Example 1 7% 34% 20% > 40 < 26 30-34 26-29 35-39 29% 10% Total employees = 1700 Employee Profile (by Age Group)

Belt Graph Example:

Belt Graph Example Ranking of Service Attributes Clear distinction in customers’ preference as the difference between ranked 1st for the top 3 attributes is large (>10%).

Radar Chart Example:

Radar Chart Example

Control Chart:

Control Chart Purpose To identify dynamic or special causes of variation in a repeating process. When to use To determine if a process is in a state of statistical control. To differentiate between special and common causes of variation. To detect statistical trends in measurements. When regular measurements of a process can be made.

Control Chart Selection:

Control Chart Selection TYPE OF DATA Attribute Data Count Classification Defects Defectives Equal subgroup size Different (or same) subgroup size Equal subgroup size Different (or same) subgroup size c -Chart u -Chart np - Chart p- Chart Subgroup size of 1 Subgroup size 2-9 Subgroup size >9 ImR Xbar & R Xbar & S Variable Data Poisson distribution Binomial distribution Normal distribution/ Central Limit Theorem

Example: Use of Pareto Chart to compare ‘Before’ and ‘After’ a process improvement:

Example: Use of Pareto Chart to compare ‘Before’ and ‘After’ a process improvement Restaurant Complaints Before After 33% Reduction in Wait Time

Cause & Effect Diagram (Manufacturing):

Cause & Effect Diagram (Manufacturing) Effect Causes Problem Statement why cause Machines Measurements Materials Methods Mother Nature Manpower (Environment)

5 Whys Example :

5 Whys Example Why? Answer 1 Why is there oil on the floor? Oil leaks from the cylinder rod when activated. 2 Why did oil leak? The O-ring was cut. 3 Why was the O-ring cut? The rod was flawed. 4 Why was the rod flawed? Dirt in the oil abrades the rod. 5 Why did dirt get in the oil? There are holes and gaps on the upper plate of the tank.


Histogram Purpose To show the frequency distribution of a set of measurements (Note: Not to be confused with a Bar Chart.) When to use When the data are numerical. When you want to see the shape of the data’s distribution, especially when determining whether the output of a process is distributed approximately normally. When analyzing whether a process can meet the customer’s requirements. When analyzing what the output from a supplier’s process looks like.

Relations Diagram Example:

Relations Diagram Example Source: ASQ

Tree Diagram – Example 1:

Tree Diagram – Example 1

Matrix Diagram:

Matrix Diagram Purpose To show the relationship between two, three or four groups of information. When to Use Provide information about the relationship, such as its strength, the roles played by various individuals, or measurements.

Matrix Diagram – Example 2:

Matrix Diagram – Example 2 Evaluation Chart for Employee Suggestions

Matrix Data Analysis Chart (MDAC):

Matrix Data Analysis Chart (MDAC) Purpose Matrix data is arranged for easy visualization and comparisons. Relationships between data variables shown on both axes are identified using symbols for importance or numerical values for evaluations. To decide between several options, where you need to take many different factors into account . When to Use To identify clusters of related items within a larger group. When decisions are based on approximate or subjective data.

MDAC – Example 3:

MDAC – Example 3 MABA Analysis Business attractiveness Market attractiveness High MA, but low BA Least attractive Highly attractive High BA, but low MA Relative small, but attractive opportunity Medium sized, quite attractive market in which the company holds a 35% market share Large market, yet not a very attractive opportunity Average Note: By using a bubble instead of a dot, one may indicate the (relative) size of the market. Additionally or alternatively, a slice of the pie could indicate the market share of the company. Source: Kotler , 2000

Arrow Diagram:

Arrow Diagram Purpose To show the required order of tasks in a project or process, the best schedule for the entire project, and potential scheduling and resource problems and their solutions. When to Use When scheduling and monitoring tasks within a complex project or process with interrelated tasks and resources. When you know the steps of the project or process, their sequence and how long each step takes, and. When project schedule is critical, with serious consequences for completing the project late or significant advantage to completing the project early.

Arrow Diagram – Example 1:

Arrow Diagram – Example 1

Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC):

Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC) Purpose To systematically identify what might go wrong in a plan under development. When to Use Before implementing a plan, especially when the plan is large and complex. When the plan must be completed on schedule. When the price of failure is high.

PDPC – Example 1:

PDPC – Example 1

About Operational Excellence Consulting:

About Operational Excellence Consulting

About Operational Excellence Consulting:

About Operational Excellence Consulting Operational Excellence Consulting is a management training and consulting firm that assists organizations in improving business performance and effectiveness. The firm’s mission is to create business value for organizations through innovative operational excellence management training and consulting solutions. OEC takes a unique “beyond the tools” approach to enable clients develop internal capabilities and cultural transformation to achieve sustainable world-class excellence and competitive advantage. For more information, please visit

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