A Need to Adapt SPC Training for Innumerate Operators

Article

Lewis, David; Kales, Paul   (1991, ASQC)   University of Lowell, Lowell, MA

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9613    May 1991    pp. 103-107
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Article Abstract

Implementing Total Quality Control (TQC), which involves everyone in quality assurance, is difficult for companies that have employees limited by educational deficiencies. The authors, who have studied Statistical Process Control (SPC) training programs in Japan and in the U.S., advocate the development of new SPC training programs. These programs, based on a course the authors developed for high school students, can successfully address the needs of American companies with illiterate or innumerate workers.

The proposed SPC training for functionally illiterate/innumerate employees includes the following modules: (1) Quality Awareness; (2) Process; (3) Group Problem Solving; (4) Causes and Effects; (5) Collecting Data; (6) Plotting Data; (7) Pareto Charts; (8) Distribution of Data; (9) Plotting a Run Chart; (10) Plotting a Control Chart.

Three challenges face companies as they develop a program that is within the capability of workers lacking basic 3R skills and which is acceptable to them: (1) Group Problem Solving requires the use of pictures and symbols to facilitate better communication across boundaries (multilingual or illiterate); (2) Simplified Math Requirements should focus less on formulas and place more emphasis on cookbook- or recipe-like presentation; and (3) Worker fears and resistance to change must be addressed.

Keywords

Companywide Quality Control (CWQC),Employees,Japan,Quality control (QC),Quality management (QM),Statistical process control (SPC),Total Quality Control (TQC),Total Quality Management (TQM)


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