Published on Jan 19, 2016
Quality Circles or Quality Control Circles, as they are called in Japan, is a participative philosophy woven around quality control and problem solving techniques at the bottom level. It epitomizes the policy of people building, respect for human beings and conceives a participative management culture.
The responsibility for the attainment of Quality depends on all the departments of an Organization. The main purpose behind Quality Circles is to build the people and produce quality people towards making quality products or providing quality services. It is to make a 'Man' productive and knowledge worthy. The concept of Quality Circle is primarily based upon recognition of the value of the worker as a human being, as someone who willingly activises on his job, his wisdom, intelligence, experience, attitude and feelings. It is based upon the human resource management considered as one of the key factors in the improvement of product quality & productivity. Quality Circle concept has three major attributes:
a. Quality Circle is a form of participation management.
b. Quality Circle is a human resource development technique.
c. Quality Circle is a problem solving technique.
1. The use of various techniques must be supported with accurate information and data.
Data and information collection or insufficient data could lead to a situation where decisions or corrective action be implemented effectively.
Data and information should be collected for the following purposes:-
(a) To understand the actual situation and to support or reinforce an option; and
( b) To established the relationship between the problem and its causes..
>> Data can be collected using five methods, namely:
(d) From reports and
(e) From complaints by the public..
The data collected should be recorded information on the date of Collection, method of collection and the individual who collated the data. The data must be recorded in a manner which facilitates its use that is, it must be arranged in specific categories. For example, it should be categorized according to the four management resources namely, man, method, material and machine
The Seven QC Tools differ from the conventional basic Seven QC Tools, which are used mainly for analyzing numerical data (data based on facts, not fancy). However facts cannot always be adequately expressed by numerical data alone. For example, suppose that a washing machine is being redesigned. Its purchasers are dissatisfied, complaining that it is difficult to use because its control are poorly positioned. The model’s designers should incorporate this information in the design. Users may also have opinions about the machine’s styling, color, and other characteristics as well as its convenience of use. Many such customer requirements cannot be expressed numerically, only verbally.
Nevertheless, even verbal statements can be expressions of facts, because it represents facts, we ought to use verbal data as well as numerical data in managing quality. The Seven QC Tools act as a kind of driving force propelling quality management in fresh directions as we enter the age of total quality.
The Seven Q.C Tools are Affinity diagrams, Relation diagrams, Tree diagrams, Matrix diagrams, Priorities matrix, Arrow diagrams and Process decision program charts. When properly used in various combinations, they can dramatically increase the effectiveness of many TQM activities. They are also compatible with the original seven tools, in fact they complement them. When used together, the two sets of tools can greatly assist the promotion of total quality. The Seven QC Tools are very effective in problems solving and improving the planning process. Imagine that if someone is given the task of improving the efficiency of his company’s accounting procedures. As soon as he sits down to think about it, numerous questions come to mind:
•What does efficiency mean?
•Exactly what procedures need to be made more efficient?
•What are the particular problems with each of these procedures?
•Do the company’s formal training programs and on-the-job training need to be improved?
•What about recent developments in office automation?
The issue seems to have endless ramifications.
Like this one, many of the problems we encounter in life are amorphous and complex. Before we can find a solution, we have to define the problem, identify its causes-and-effect relationships, and put it into solvable form. Before we can even start the problem-solving process, we have to create order out of chaos. When people try to tackle fuzzy, intractable problems without the aid of the Seven QC Tools, they often get bogged down in the frustrating situation. The Seven QC Tools makes it easy to clarify the situation, establish a plan, and get to the heart of the problem. It also makes it easier to explain the situation to others and secure their cooperation.
It is very important that everyone cooperates to solve problems. For this to work effectively, it is essential for all the members of a group to share their thoughts, pool their knowledge, and eager to solve the problem. The Seven QC Tools, help this process by using easily understood diagrams to organize both verbal and numerical data. Figure 1 shows what happens when a group gets together to determine how to tackle a problem. It illustrates how each member shares his or her knowledge with the whole group and how the group exercises collective creativity and imagination in generating problem-solving ideas.