Quality Progress - January 2016 - 50

BACK TO BASICS Best of MARCH 2010 BY DAVID M. RUCKER Get to the Root of It Use an is/is not comparative analysis tool to pinpoint the problem WE'VE ALL been there before-an a problem occurs and-just as impor- Case study elusive field failure sparks customer com- tantly-does not occur. During a recent workshop with shop floor plaints and warranty claims, threatening The process tends to work best with supervision and quality personnel, a team to curtail future orders. Ambiguous, con- an active facilitator who challenges state- attacked a major field failure of a critical flicting field reports of failure modes and ments made, such as "Do we have data to cast component. In two days, the team products affected pour in. Root cause back that up?" and "Do we really know identified the failure mode, structured theories sprout like wildfire, coupled that to be true?" the data collection and used comparative The facilitator should constantly re- with emphatic statements like, "We've analysis to find the root cause. mind the team of the difference between The supplier of one casting had At times like these, quality profession- facts and opinions. Team member knowl- repaired bad castings by drilling out als need to inject reason, logic and quick edge and experience is useful; it's impor- slag-the bottoming of the drill removed but disciplined approaches to clarify the tant, however, to clarify the difference. wall thickness that led to the failure. The never had this problem before!" When data are not available to back up situation, identify the root cause and a position, ask yourself whether it could resolve the issue. be quickly collected. To separate theories An is/is not comparative analysis is a defective parts were quickly quarantined, avoiding a potential $600,000 recall. This process takes the emotion out powerful tool for quickly honing in on from opinions, could you conduct an im- of analysis at a stressful time. It also the root cause. Use this deductive logic mediate experiment as proof? Add the re- allows the group to slow down and move tool in the measure phase of the define, sults of ensuing fieldwork to the diagram. deliberately at a time when many want to The matrix helps organize all relevant measure, analyze, improve and control process to determine what is in scope knowledge and information about the and what is not going to be considered at problem in one handy reference. For many low hanging fruit-type quality issues, this tool leads directly to the Classifying the problem in the cat- this stage (see Figure 1). jump to conclusions. root cause. For more complex problems, egories of time-to-time, part-to-part or it helps identify the key performance functional group of four to eight people within-part defect assists the team in variables requiring further study. QP who represent all facets of the issue. Post understanding how to structure the data- the diagram in Figure 1 on a flipchart, gathering process. Common sense and a whiteboard or projector screen to engage simple deductive reasoning process leads the whole team. the team to a conclusion and problem The process works best with a cross- resolution. Ask questions Once the root cause is found, confirm The method involves deliberating and the hypothesis and turn the defect off answering a series of questions designed and on in the capping run of the simpli- to pinpoint when, where and how often fied design of experiments. Is/is not comparative analysis Specifying statement What Is Questions What specific object has the defect? What is the specific defect? 50 QP * www.qualityprogress.com Answers DAVID M. RUCKER is president of Rucker & Associates, a consulting firm in Raleigh, NC. He holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Rucker is a senior member of ASQ and a frequent contributor to ASQ's Lean Division newsletter. / FIGURE 1 Is not Questions What similar object(s) could have the defect but does not? What other defects could be observed but are not? Answers Differences Changes http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - January 2016

According to Plan
Solid Proof
Use Your Head
Stakeholder Management 101
Customer Delight
All About Data
Eight Simple Steps
Minimizing Chaos
Take Note
Pyramid Scheme
Assessing Failure
Which Six Sigma Metric Should I Use?
Turning ‘Who’ Into ‘How’
In the Beginning
Outputs and Outcomes
That’s So Random—Or Is It?
Understanding Variation
Improving a System
Putting It All on the Table
Know the Drill
It’s Fun To Work With an F-M-E-A
Solve Problems With Open Communication
Tell Me About It
Separate the Vital Few From the Trivial Many
To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?
Breaking It Down
Smart Charting
1 + 1 = Zero Defects
QFD Explained
Curve Your Enthusiasm
Make a Choice
What Is a Fault Tree Analysis?
Successful Relationship Diagrams
The Benefits of PDCA
Creative Combination
Return on Investment
The Art of Root Cause Analysis
Why Ask Why?
Get to the Root of It
Checks and Balances
Calculated Risk
Sufficient Evidence
Sample Wise
Clearing SPC Hurdles
Supplier Selection and Maintenance
Team Advantage
Building a Quality Team
Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems
Substantiation Test
Training Day

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