Re: Forming a Group LO2735

Barry Mallis (
11 Sep 1995 10:03:17 -0400

Replying to LO2710 --


Your group could be a prime user of total quality tools within the framework
of the 7-Step Problem Solving Method.
The steps are:

1. Identify the theme
2. Data collection and analysis
3. Root cause analysis
4. Solution planning and implementation
5. Evaluation of results
6. Standardization of the plan into the company processes
7. Reflection and next problem choice

This kind of work requires concensus building, I think. Asumptions about
the task often appear when you build a fishbone diagram (Ishikawa
diagram). At the ehad of the diagram is a statement or question which in
turn generates the question "Why?". The various "bones" off the "spine"
of the diagram are individually labeled with words like People, Policy,
Procedures, Plant (physical), and you respond to the question of "why?" at
least five levels down. Each level down the ladder of abstraction is
placed on a line off it's parent idea above it in the hierarchy, so that
you develop a graphic image of a fish with large and smaller bones.

There are other activities for theme selection, such as the affinity
diagram (KJ) and its variant, the "Net Touching" exercise. These are
proven methods to involve cross-functional groups in focused activity
around a chosen problem.

There is much more to be said here, but I'll leave off, hoping that this
may provide some assistance in the beginning.

Barry Mallis
Total Quality Resource Manager
MARKEM Corporation
Keene, NH 03431