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Learn About Quality

Cause Analysis Tools

Quality Glossary Definition: Cause

Cause analysis tools are helpful tools for conducting a root cause analysis for a problem or situation. They include:

Fishbone diagram: Identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem and sorts ideas into useful categories.

Pareto chart: Shows on a bar graph which factors are more significant.

Scatter diagram: Graphs pairs of numerical data, with one variable on each axis, to help you look for a relationship.

Cause Analysis resources

Learn how cause analysis tools can fit into your root cause analysis efforts. You can also search articles, case studies, and publications for cause analysis tool resources.

Root Cause Analysis for Beginners, Part 1 and Part 2 (Webcast) ASQ Fellow Jim Rooney walks you through the basics of root cause analysis.

Quality Revolution Reduces Defects, Drives Sales Growth at 3M (PDF) Case study looking at how 3M combined lean Six Sigma and a Top-200 customer focus to improve its belt fabrication processes and reduce defects in parts per million by a factor of 28 times as sales increased by 54%.

Wind Power Company Gets to the Root of an Icy Issue (PDF) Case study of how a root cause analysis project saved Clipper Windpower $1 million in lost revenue while increasing customer satisfaction.

Under Scrutiny (Quality Progress) A new approach to root cause analysis can help clear up misconceptions.

Get to the Root of It (Quality Progress) Use an is/is not comparative analysis tool to pinpoint the problem. 

Is There a Relationship Here? (Quality Progress) How a scatter diagram can help you determine if there's a correlation between two variables.

Tools@Work: More New Twists on Traditional Quality Tools and Techniques (PDF) Tips for using Ishikawa diagrams and Pareto charts in non-traditional applications.

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