Quality Control Tools

Quality Control Tools 2What & Why

  1. 7 basic tools to aid in quality control.
  2. Scientific tools for analyzing, communicating and improving process performance.
  3. They Add efficiency and accurate to data & decision.

 The 7  QC Tools

What Quality Control problems do they solve:

The 7 QC Tools can properly categorized as doing 1 of 3 tasks that I would guess consume 95% of your time as a Quality Engineer. These 3 tasks include Problem Identification, Process Improvement & Process Management

 Problem Identification

Almost all 7 (all but the control chart) of the QC tools can be utilized during problem identification. This is fantastic as one of the biggest problems that a Quality Engineer will tackle is determining the true root cause.

First the Cause and Effect Diagram will help you look at all the potential contributors to a problem.

Then the Check Sheet is your first line of offense when collecting powerful, actionable data to support that C & E Diagram.

After that you can utilize tools like the Pareto Chart to analyze your date and communicate the top contributors to problems while the Scatter Plot will reveal to you which of your variables which have the strongest correlations to the measured problem.

 Process Improvement

Probably the 2nd most important task of the quality engineer is Process Improvement and by that I mean defect reduction, process variation reduction, etc.

As opposed to problem identification, where 6 of the 7 tools can be utilized, only 1 of the 7 QC tools can be used for “process improvement” and this is the flow chart.

The flow chart is a phenomenal tool for communicating the current process and also engineering the future process. In this way, you can plan and communicate your process improvements effectively.

 Process Management

Process Management should be thought of as the process that you use to control your process. This includes analyzing your steady state process distribution and ensuring that special cause variation is adequately addressing using a tool called the Control Chart.

The other 2 tools,  the Pareto Chart & Histogram can also be utilized to control and manage an existing process.

4 Tips for Using the 7 QC Tools

  • The tools work best when they are applied by a cross-functional team.
  • Teams must focus on identifying causes, not just symptoms or effects.
  • Organization must take action when the data says so and remain quite when appropriate.
  • No single tool can solve every problem.


QC Tools Explainer Video (Gemba Academy)



Other Cool Stuff

Want to continue learning? Continuous Improvement, Product and Process Control, Product & Process Design.

Have General questions about the CQE Exam, check out my FAQ.