The Psychology of Quality and More

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A Toolbook for Quality Improvement and Problem Solving (contents)

A Framework for Process Improvement: 4. Cause

The Quality Toolbook > Applications for Tools > Framework for Process Improvement > 4. Cause

Identify | Define | Problem | Cause | Solution | Implement | Review | Follow-up


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This is the overall process:



Fig. 1. The overall process


Once the process or problem is better understood, steps may be taken to identify the key causes of the selected problem, thus ensuring that the problem will be removed or reduced, rather than just having its symptoms treated.

Activities in this stage may include:

  • Identifying possible causes of the problem.
  • Selection of key causes to address.
  • Determining measures to verify identified key causes.
  • Designing experiments to verify key causes.
  • Measuring the process to verify that causes are key, as suspected.

In practice, there may be a temptation to skip this stage and go direct to an 'obvious' solution. Although this may work, it can also result in a solution that addresses symptoms or minor causes, rather than the key cause, and should thus be resisted.

Tools that may be used in the Cause stage are described on the Tools for the Cause stage page in the Tool Finder.


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