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bring. Use characteristic diagrams to make the selection of themes more efficient.
b. Stratify the data that is gathered on the theme from various angles, and look for
clues that will help to indicate what improvements are needed, and what measures
should be taken. Train employees to use statistical techniques such as correlation
coefficients, so that they will be able to analyze the stratified data. (Stratification is
one of the 7 QC tools; see Unit 11.3.4.)
c. Set the improvement objectives, and decide on the concrete measures and the target
values (the desired outcomes from a process) needed to achieve them. These are
generally summarized in schedule control tables (tables in which improvement
objectives, measures to achieve them and target values are summarized).
d. Put a person in charge of each concrete measure that is to be taken, and determine
the evaluation scale, and the intermediate and final check methods.
e. Evaluate the effects of improvements in terms of money or time, since these are
objective and should not allow differences of interpretation. Convert subjective
evaluations, such as appearance or taste, to a monetary value.
Figure 3.10a Record of improvement
(See Unit 11 Statistical Methods for more detailed guidelines on statistical techniques.) Unit 3 - Managers: Managing Systems 28 A Roadmap to Quality UNIDO unit 3.qxd 3/10/05 12:51 PM Page 29 Introduce the PDCA cycle
3. The PDCA cycle is an effective way of achieving improvements. It has four stages:
P – Plan: Set up a concrete improvement plan, choose criteria for evaluating it, decide
how to put it into practice and who will be in charge of each item, prepare a daily
schedule and check that everyone who needs to know about it is informed.
D – Do: Implement the plan exactly as it has been drawn up. Don’t implement it
partially or casually. Exact implementation is necessary in order to discover any
defects there may be in the plan itself.
C – Check: Use the evaluation criteria that were chosen at the planning stage to review
and evaluate the results of implementation.
A – Act: Analyse the results that have been evaluated and take concrete
countermeasures and any other action that you think necessary. Ensure that the results
are reflected in the next new PDCA cycle. Finally standardize the new procedures.
Figure 1.5a PDCA Cycle 4. The PDCA Cycle was developed by Deming, and is also known as the Deming Wheel.
The basic concept is that first you plan what you are going to do, then you do it, then
you check the results. If the results are OK, you standardise your plan and put it into
regular use. If the results are not satisfactory you make changes to your plan, try it
again, and if this time the results are OK you standardize the changed version of your
plan, and put it into regular use. The PDCA Cycle can be used for the simplest jobs or
for the most complex company activities. It is an excellent system for a manager to use
to continuously improve the level of quality in his or her department.
5. When applied to giving work instructions the PDCA Cycle can be summarised as follows:
a. See that the operations in the department are standardised (Plan).
b. Instruct subordinates to carry out these operations (Do).
c. Check the results of the operations (Check).
d. If any results are unsatisfactory, make changes to the operations, and standardize
these changes (Act).
A Roadmap to Quality 29 Unit 3 - Managers: Managing Systems UNIDO unit 3.qxd 3/10/05 12:51 PM Page 30 Review your approach to improvements
6. Review the efforts that have been made to improve quality over an extended period. Try
to understand what direction they are going in: is the focus on solving problems that
have already arisen (e.g. too many rejected products) or on the future (e.g. improving
product quality)? Then consider whether this is the best direction to continue. Discussion
The following questions ask you to think about how the ideas in the text could be applied in
your company. Some of these ideas may not be relevant to you. Concentrate on those that
are relevant. Keep notes of your conclusions – you will need them to prepare your action
plan afterwards. Where appropriate ask yourself the RADAR questions.
Note: Always include in your discussion any figures referred to in the text, if you feel these
are relevant to your company.
a. How systematic is your approach to deciding what improvements to make in your
department and to implementing them?
b. Parag. 2. Do you already have any experience of using such techniques? How useful
do you feel it would be to introduce them in your department or company?
c. Parag. 2. Apply the RADAR questions to investigating the feasibility of using these
techniques in your department.
d. Parags. 3, 4 and 5. Choose a possible improvement theme for your company, and
consider how you would use the PDCA Cycle to implement it. What benefits could it
bring? Apply the RADAR questions to the idea of making use of the PDCA Cycle in
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