Continuous Improvement

Continuous ImprovementIn this article I will provide a high level summary of the Continuous Improvement pillar of the ASQ BOK.

As you probably know, the ASQ releases information related to the topics in their Body of Knowledge including subtext explanations and the cognitive level at which the questions will be written. That information is shown at the bottom of the page.

How many exam questions are associated with this Pillar: 27 (~17%)

Below is an summary of ASQ’s CQE BOK with links to individual pages. I’m continually developing new pages and information so check back soon!

Quality Control Tools  – You must be able to select, construct, apply, and interpret tools such as:

Quality Management and Planning Tools – You must be able to Select, construct, apply, and interpret tools such as:

  • Affinity diagrams,
  • Tree diagrams,
  • Process decision program charts (PDPC),
  • Matrix diagrams,
  • Interrelationship digraphs,
  • Prioritization matrices,
  • Activity network diagrams (Analyze)

Continuous Improvement Methodologies – You must be able to Define, describe, and distinguish between various continuous improvement models:

  • Total quality management (TQM),
  • Kaizen,
  • Plan-do-check-act (PDCA),
  • Six sigma,
  • Theory of constraints (TOC),  (Analyze)

Continuous ImprovementLean Tools – You must be able to define, describe, and apply the following tools:

  • 5S,
  • Value-stream mapping,
  • Kanban,
  • Visual control,
  • Waste,
  • Standardized work,
  • Takt time,
  • Single minute exchange of die (SMED) (Evalue)


Corrective Action
Identify, describe, and apply elements of the corrective action process including problem identification, failure analysis, root cause analysis, problem correction, recurrence control, verification of effectiveness, etc. (Evaluate)


Preventive Action
Identify, describe, and apply various preventive action tools such as error-proofing/poka-yoke, robust design, etc., and analyze their effectiveness. (Evaluate)