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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 (Ishikawa) 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 Tools in Practice

Learn how cause analysis tools can fit into your root cause analysis efforts.

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

Case study: Quality Revolution Reduces Defects, Drives Sales Growth at 3M
By combining Lean Six Sigma and a Top-200 customer focus, 3M improved its belt fabrication processes, reducing defects in parts per million by a factor of 28 times as sales increased by 54 percent.

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

Article: Under Scrutiny
A new approach to root cause analysis can help clear up misconceptions.

Article: Get to the Root of It
Use an is/is not comparative analysis tool to pinpoint the problem.

Article: Using the Cumulative Line
How a Pareto chart can help you track the progress of your corrective efforts.

Article: Is There a Relationship Here?
How a scatter diagram can help you determine if there's a correlation between two variables.

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

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