Aristotle once said, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit.”
So it’s all about HABITS. Habit is what drives any business. From products or processes to the human resources and the whole management team, quality always plays a crucial role and is a big issue. Quality decides the success or failure of any business. Therefore it becomes imperative for any organization to focus on quality (not only for products but also for processes).
As rightly said by Aristotle Quality is a Habit and its not an act and there are two types of habit which decided the fate of the organization. Good Habits & Bad Habits. Habit becomes Behavior and group of behavior forms Culture. Therefore Quality is also related to the culture of the organization.
Good habits may help the organization to be more successful then the organization where the habits/behavior of the employees is not acceptable. Customers are King and therefore if customers are happy it means the Quality of Product/Services delivered are as per their expectations. Quality is also directly related to Consistency. If a customer is satisfied & is happy for the first time, he would like to experience the same happiness every time he/she deals with the organization and inconsistency is only welcome when Quality improves. Going below standards may dissatisfy or discourage the customers for coming for the second time.
Therefore providing Quality products or services once is not enough an organization should follow standard practices and deliver quality products or services consistently.
The basic concept of Quality Assurance & Management is to encourage the individual operators to be responsible for their own work. Following are the basic quality tools that organizations are using to collect & analyze data:
- Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a method for generating a large number of creative ideas in a short period of time
- Cause and Effect Diagram: The fishbone diagram identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem. It can be used to structure a brainstorming session. It immediately sorts ideas into useful categories.
- Flow Chart: A flowchart is a picture of the separate steps of a process in sequential order.
- Check sheet: A check sheet is a structured, prepared form for collecting and analyzing data. This is a generic tool that can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes.
- Scatter Diagram: The scatter diagram graphs pairs of numerical data, with one variable on each axis, to look for a relationship between them. If the variables are correlated, the points will fall along a line or curve. The better the correlation, the tighter the points will hug the line.
- Stratification: Stratification is a technique used in combination with other data analysis tools. When data from a variety of sources or categories have been lumped together, the meaning of the data can be impossible to see. This technique separates the data so that patterns can be seen.
- Histogram: A frequency distribution shows how often each different value in a set of data occurs. Organizations most commonly uses Histogram graph to show frequency distributions. It looks just like a bar chart, but there are important differences between them.
- Pareto Chart: A Pareto chart is a bar graph. Frequency or cost (time or money) is represented by the lengths of the bars. They are arranged with longest bars on the left and the shortest to the right. This is how the chart visually depicts which situations are more significant.
- Run Chart: A graphical tool to monitor important process variables over time. A helpful tool in identifying trends and cycles.
- Control Chart: The control chart is a graph used to study how a process changes over time. Data are plotted in time order. A control chart always has a central line for the average, an upper line for the upper control limit and a lower line for the lower control limit. These lines are determined from historical data. By comparing current data to these lines, you can draw conclusions about whether the process variation is consistent (in control) or is unpredictable (out of control, affected by special causes of variation).
Today each and every organization is looking for horizontal as well as vertical growth. Undoubtedly this growth is going to lead to a highly competitive scenario within the industries and in order to grow in the market each organization need to focus on continual improvement & on various critical areas. Therefore organizations have started giving importance to Continuous Quality Improvement in order to make sure that their products & services match the standards and also outperform the competition.
Kaoru Ishikawa developed seven basic visual tools of quality so that the average person could analyze and interpret data. These tools have been used worldwide by companies, managers of all levels and employees. Kaoru Ishikawa is known for “democratizing statistics.” Since statistical concepts are not that easy to grasp, he created ways for the average person to obtain knowledge in statistics. The Seven Tools that Ishikawa developed are Histograms, Pareto Charts, Cause and Effect Diagrams, Run Charts, Scatter Diagrams, Flow Charts, Control Charts.