Unformatted text preview: s of solving the problem into tangible and intangible
effects in advance so that those in charge will have a shared understanding of
what they are doing. (A tangible effect could be a reduction in the defect ratio,
and an intangible effect could be improved teamwork.)
10. Remember that when employees get together to work out what exactly the problem is,
they will have a shared sense of the need to solve it, and will be more likely to keep trying to
find a solution. Discussion
These discussion questions are different from those after other texts in this course. The QC
Story is a procedure for solving problems. This text and the next two (9.10 and 9.11) provide
you with guidelines for using this procedure. The most effective way to get a good
understanding of these guidelines is to choose a theme from your own work processes and
discuss how you would apply the guidelines to this problem. You may decide to change to a
different theme after you begin, if the one you start off with does not give you enough scope
to try out all the guidelines.
Note: Always include in your discussion any tables or charts referred to in the text, if you
feel these are relevant to your company.
a. Parag. 1: What approach is taken in your company to solving problems in work
processes? What are the shortcomings, if any, of this approach? How do you think
this approach could be improved?
b. Parag. 2: Before looking at each of these steps in more detail, discuss briefly how
they might be applied to a typical problem that you have experienced.
c. Parag. 4: Give examples of these from your own workplace.
d. Parags. 5, 6 and 7. Select a problem from your own work place that you can use as
a practice theme for this discussion.
e. Parags. 8 and 9: Apply these ideas to the problem that you have selected.
f. Parag. 10: Have you also found that when employees together to work out what the A Roadmap to Quality 31 Unit 9 - Problem solving 05-87581_unit 9.qxd 09/09/2005 11:55 Page 32 problem is, they are more likely to keep at it until they find a solution? If yes, why do
you think this is so? Action plan
You will be invited to write an action plan after you have discussed all three QC Story texts. Unit 9 - Problem solving 32 A Roadmap to Quality 05-87581_unit 9.qxd 09/09/2005 11:55 Page 33 9.10 The QC Story II
1. This text presents the next two stages of the QC Story:
a. Get a clear understanding of the effects of the problem.
b. Analysis: Investigate the causes. Get a clear understanding of the effects of the problem
2. It is important to have a clear picture of the negative effects that the problem has
caused, before you attempt to analyse it - analysis comes in the next step. And
remember to distinguish between the effects of the problem, and the causes. To get a
clear picture of the effects, make an objective evaluation of the dispersions in the data
related to the problem, and the differences that you can see among the various
phenomena (the immediate visible problems).
3. Study the following four points:
a. Time: Check if the effects vary according to the time of day, the day of the week, or
any other time factors. For example:
i. Disorders of XX equipment are concentrated during the two-hour period from 4
p.m. to 6 p.m.
ii. There are many complaints about products manufactured on Mondays and
b. Place: Check the specific parts or places where abnormalities occur. For example:
i. Accidental colouring during storage is most intense in the upper sections of
ii. Scratches on product Y are concentrated in the upper left corner.
c. Symptoms: Study the symptoms or characteristics of the abnormal conditions and the
circumstances in which they appear. For example: the burst bag for product Y is
caused by either scratches or wear. There are many more cases of scratches than of
d. System: Check if the effects differ when different machines and different employees
do the same work. For example: Product Z is manufactured using three systems
known as A, B and C. The defect ratio for system B is about half the ratio for systems
A and C.
4. Use sound research methods.
a. Study data that is based on facts – see Text 9.6.
b. Pay attention to positive dispersions: dispersions are not always negative.
Exceptionally good conditions are also abnormal. Positive dispersions often help
observers come up with ideas for improvement.
c. Inspect the actual items on the spot. A Roadmap to Quality 33 Unit 9 - Problem solving 05-87581_unit 9.qxd 09/09/2005 11:55 Page 34 Analysis: investigate the causes
5. The purpose of analysis is to investigate the real causes of the problem. Carry it out in
1. Identify different possible causes.
2. Decide which of these are the genuine causes.
6. Identify possible causes:
a. Investigate as thoroughly as possible whether the abnormalities that have been
identified are caused by any changes that may have taken place:
i. Have the operators changed?
ii. Have the facilities, equipment or machines changed?
iii. Have the base materials...
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2013 for the course MKT marketing taught by Professor Anamika during the Spring '12 term at Punjab Engineering College.
- Spring '12