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Beyond the Basics
  • Open Access

Beyond the Basics

Quality Progress
April 2012
Volume 45 Issue 4
pp. 18-29
Duffy, Grace, Laman, Scott A., Mehta, Pradip, Ramu, Govind, Scriabina, Natalia, Wagoner, Keith
Management and Performance Systems, Tavares, FL, Teleflex Inc., Reading, PA, SunPower Corp., San Jose, CA, Centauri Business Group, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Lincoln Financial Group, Greensboro, NC


In 1976, a team from the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) collected the "new seven" quality tools: affinity diagrams, arrow diagrams, matrix data analysis, matrix diagrams, process decision program charts, relations diagrams and tree diagrams. An affinity diagram is a tool for organizing brainstormed ideas by grouping them into categories or themes; this can promote creativity and help groups overcome idea paralysis. An arrow diagram is a simple tool for illustrating the order of activities in a process or project and identifying collections of critical processes that must be completed as quickly as possible. Matrix data analysis is the only tool on the list that has changed significantly in 35 years, but it remains a way to examine multidimensional data of the sort that often exists with complex industrial problems. Matrix diagrams offer a visual representation of the relationship between groups of information. Process decision program charts (PDCPs) are another visual tool for the proactive identification of issues, risks and assumptions. Relations diagrams graphically track the interrelated web of causes and effects. Tree diagrams parse out high-level goals into lower-level, actionable tasks.