A continuous quality improvement process is the base of a healthy and successful business. However, not everybody is familiar with this practice. Today we are going to have a look at what is this process exactly and how to obtain it. There are also some tools to help you with it, which we are going to look over later.
A Continuous Quality Improvement Process – Brief Definition
Often abbreviated CQI, this process refers to a philosophy adopted by organizations. It focuses on reducing waste and increasing efficiency, basically. Moreover, people who adopt this aim to raise both the internal and external satisfaction, referring both to customers and employees. Naturally, it’s an ongoing and dynamic process that evaluates the organization and identifies ways in which to improve it.
Continuous Quality Improvement Process Tools
Now we are going to have a look at some tools that can help you learn how to establish a continuous quality improvement process.
1. PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act)
It is also named the Shewhart Cycle, Deming Circle or Deming Cycle. Some people replace the Check phase with Study, in the idea that people need to understand the results and not just to record them. It is a repetitive process that ensures a constant evolution of the company.
2. Tally Chart
This is one of the simplest tools you can use if you want to continuously improve the quality. You may remember this tool from when you went to school, for instance. It is extremely simple, which is why it’s often overlooked when organizing the processes. However, don’t underestimate it, since it can help you a lot.
3. Bar Chart or Histogram
Yet another simple method if you want to represent graphically some data you collected is a bar chart or a histogram. You can thus enjoy a visual analysis of the data required for one or several projects. The histogram can help you with assessing how good the process is and how it meets the necessary tolerances or not. Moreover, you can easily spot unusual situations.
4. Pareto Charts or the 80:20 Rule
The Pareto charts are a lot like the bar charts or the histograms. However, this type of analysis relies on the 80:20 rule. This rule was discovered by Vilfredo Pareto, who noticed that 80% of the wealth inside a country belonged only to 20% of the population. Consequently, this ratio can be applied in economics and business as well. You can use it to direct your resources to the best few people and gain the most out of it.
5. Brainstorming/ Mind mapping
One last technique that can help you improve the quality of the processes going on inside the company is brainstorming. It is mainly used as a group technique, but it works individually as well. It simply consists of writing down all the ideas on a topic and then selecting the best ones. You can use a mind map, a fishbone diagram or various online tools for mind mapping.
As we can see, there are plenty of ways in which you can establish a continuous quality improvement process. Luckily, they can be adapted, mixed and matched together to suit your own company and vision. All you need to do is to test and choose the best one(s) for you.
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