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A Roadmap to Quality 3 Unit 9 - Problem solving 05-87581_unit 9.qxd 09/09/2005 11:49 Page 4 c. Implement countermeasures.
d. Confirm the effects of the countermeasures.
e. Standardise the successful countermeasures. 9.6 Base problem solving on facts
Problem solution should be based on facts, rather than on subjective judgements. Problem
solution does of course require experience and intuition. Without experience it is impossible
to know what kind of facts to look for, and how to interpret these facts once they have been
identified. However it is dangerous to rely only on experience. Subjective impressions must
be objectified. This means gathering and quantifying the facts. 9.7 Managing dispersion
Once data has been collected, it has to be interpreted. Averages are the most common way
of interpreting data, but they often fail to give a true picture of what the data means.
Measuring how the data is dispersed gives a more complete picture. Dispersion refers to
how the different items of data are spread out or scattered in relation to how they are
supposed to be, i.e. in relation to the standard or target values. 9.8 Control charts
Control charts are a key tool in interpreting data. They can distinguish between dispersions
caused by accidental factors and dispersions caused by abnormal factors, and can show
whether the process is in a stable condition or not. 9.9 The QC Story I
Sometimes we over-react to problems. We try to solve them immediately in whatever way we
can. But over-hasty reactions often get us nowhere. We will handle problems much more
effectively if we approach them systematically. For this we need to have a basic problemsolving procedure, and to follow it step by step. A QC Story is a good procedure for solving
problems scientifically and rationally. Text 9.9 presents the first two steps of the QC Story:
a. Select a theme to work on.
b. Clarify the problem and set targets. 9.10 The QC Story II
This text presents the next two stages of the QC Story:
a. Get a clear understanding of the effects of the problem.
b. Investigate the causes: analysis. 9.11 The QC Story III
This text presents the final four stages of the QC Story:
a. Devise and implement recurrence prevention measures.
b. Confirm the effects of these measures.
c. Standardise the new methods.
d. Reflect on the problems left unsolved. 9.12 Preventing problems arising
The best way to avoid problems is to anticipate them, and stop them before they happen.
This is known as preventive action. It is especially important at any planning stage.
Unit 9 - Problem solving 4 A Roadmap to Quality 05-87581_unit 9.qxd 09/09/2005 11:49 Page 5 Learning tools
The RADAR questions
As you read each text you will discuss how it could be applied in your company. The RADAR
questions will help you to focus this discussion:
R - Are these ideas relevant to my company?
A - How would I apply each of them in my company?
D - What difficulties might I meet and how would I overcome them?
A - Are there any additional actions that I might take that are not mentioned in the text?
R - What resources would be needed, what would these cost, and how could they be
There will of course be some discussion points where not all of these questions will be
applicable. The 6-Point Structure
After you have discussed the ideas in the text, you write an action plan in which you present
practical proposals for implementing the conclusions you have reached in your discussion.
The 6-Point Structure will help you to write your action plan:
1. Problems: Problems you have in your company in the area you have just discussed.
2. Proposals: Your proposals for improvement.
a. Be specific and concrete.
b. Include an implementation plan, with a time schedule and minimum and
optimal implementation targets.
c. Refer to any forms, charts, tables etc. that you would use, and include samples
in an appendix.
3. Obstacles: Obstacles to implementation in employee attitudes, company organization
and culture etc., and how these could be overcome.
a. The resources required: funds, equipment, materials, man-hours, expertise etc.
b. The resources available within the company.
c. Any resources that would have to be found outside the company.
d. Alternatives that could be used to cover any shortfall in resources.
5. Assessment: Ways of assessing the results of implementing these proposals.
6. Benefits: The benefits your proposals would bring. A Roadmap to Quality 5 Unit 9 - Problem solving 05-87581_unit 9.qxd 09/09/2005 11:49 Page 6 9.1 Recognising abnormalities
1. If managers and employees are to spot problems as soon as they occur, they need to be
alert. And they need to be alert not just for problems, but for anything unusual, anything
that is different from the normal – for abnormalities. An abnormality is not always a
defect or a problem, but it often indicates a hidden problem or a potential problem.
Always treat an abnormality as a danger signal, find out what is causing it, and take
measures to prev...
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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