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Learn About Quality

Quality Tools

Quality Glossary Definition: Quality tools

Quality tools are defined as an instrument or technique to support and improve the activities of quality management and improvement.

ASQ's quality tools can help you find new ways to identify causes, understand processes, collect and analyze data, generate ideas, keep projects on track, and make informed decisions for all of your continuous improvement activities.

Quality Tools on ASQTV™


Quality Tools A to Z

Download Quality Templates and Excel Tools

Box and whisker plot (Excel) This graphical plotting tool goes beyond the traditional histogram by providing you with easy-to-read displays of variation data from multiple sources, for more effective decision making.

Check sheet (Excel) Use this simple, flexible tool to collect data and analyze it with histogram and Pareto charts.

Control chart (Excel) See how a control chart tracks process change over time, and create your own.

Design of experiments (DOE) (Excel) This powerful tool helps you see the effect multiple input factors can have on a desired output (response), exposing important interactions that may be missed when experimenting with one factor at a time.

Employee instruction sheet (Excel) Use this employee instruction sheet to capture the components of process documentation on one comprehensive worksheet. The downloadable spreadsheet includes separate tabs with instructions, a template, and an example from Heartland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph, MO. 

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) (Excel) Use this template to evaluate the potential failure of a product or process and its effects, and then identify actions that could eliminate or reduce the occurrence of the potential failure.

Fishbone (cause-and-effect) diagram (Excel) Analyze process dispersion with this simple, visual tool. The resulting diagram illustrates the main causes and subcauses leading to an effect (symptom).

Flowchart (Excel) Create a graphical representation of the steps in a process to better understand it and reveal opportunities for improvement.

Gantt chart (Excel) This tool can be used in process planning and control to display planned tasks and finished work in relation to time.

Histogram (Excel) Analyze the frequency distribution of up to 200 data points using this simple—but powerful—histogram generating tool.

Pareto chart (Excel) Use this quick and very basic tool to capture and analyze problem occurrences.

Relations diagram checklist, template, and template instructions (DOCs and PDF) Mainly used to identify logical relationships in a complex and confusing problem situation, the strength of an interrelationship diagram is its ability to visualize such relationships. The process of creating an interrelationship diagram can help groups analyze the natural links between different aspects of a complex situation.

Scatter diagram (Excel) This tool shows the relationship between an input, X, and the output, Y. If a relationship exists, the input is correlated to the output.

Stratification diagram (Excel) Analyze data collected from various sources to reveal patterns or relationships often missed by other data analysis techniques. By using unique symbols for each source, you can view data sets independently or in correlation to other data sets.

Quality Tools Resources

You can also search articles, case studies, and publications for quality tool resources.


The Quality Toolbox

The ASQ Quality Improvement Pocket Guide

Failure Mode And Effect Analysis


Fish(bone) Stories (Quality Progress) Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to communicate complex concepts more clearly, which is why older, "analog" quality methods should be digitized. The authors explore how digitizing one of the seven basic quality tools—the fishbone diagram—using mind mapping can significantly improve the tool.

Tools@Work: More New Twists On Traditional Quality Tools And Techniques (Journal for Quality and Participation) Quality tools and techniques have been developed over the years with specific purposes in mind. This column describes tips for using traditional quality tools in nontraditional applications.

Get the Whole Picture (Quality Progress) Two healthcare programs used systems thinking, which helps you analyze how multiple processes fit together and work in tandem, to improve service to patients, save money, and cut waste. 

A Disciplined Approach (Quality Progress) Nothing causes anxiety for a team quite like the release of a corrective action preventive action (CAPA) system and accompanying eight disciplines (8D) model. Reassure your team that it can easily perform 8D—all that must be done is fit routine problem solving into the eight disciplines.

Solve Your FMEA Frustrations (Quality Progress) Despite failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) being a simple concept, in practice, variations in process and competency exist. Six areas of FMEA that warrant further discussion in the quality community include: types of failure modes, cause or effect, risk assessment, types of control, process vs. design, and interaction between structures.

To DMAIC Or Not To DMAIC? (Quality Progress) Define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) is a structured problem-solving method. In this Back to Basics article, Carl F. Berardinelli explains how each phase of DMAIC builds on the previous one, with the goal of implementing long-term solutions to problems.

Case Studies

A Dose of DMAIC (Quality Progress) Hospital pharmacy's use of process capability studies as part of a Six Sigma and lean effort to improve wait times, efficiency, and patient flow.

Using Control Charts In A Healthcare Setting (PDF) This teaching case study features characters, hospitals, and healthcare data that are all fictional. Upon use of the case study in classrooms or organizations, readers should be able to create a control chart and interpret its results, and identify situations that would be appropriate for control chart analysis.

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