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Management and Planning Tools

Learning Objectives At the end of this Define topic, all learners will be able to:

define, select, and use: o affinity diagrams o interrelationship digraphs o tree diagrams o prioritization matrices o matrix diagrams o process decision program (PDPC) charts o activity network diagrams

Introduction The seven management and planning tools, or 7M tools, are used to analyze problems of a complex nature. These tools are valuable in situations where there is little or no data available for decision making. They are especially useful for:
o o o

exploring problems organizing ideas converting concepts into action plans

They have applications in planning, research and development, designing, and selling products. The 7M Tools:
o o o o o o o

Affinity diagrams Tree diagrams Process decision program charts (PDPC) Matrix diagrams Interrelationship digraphs Prioritization matrices Activity network diagrams

A quality engineer might use the 7M tools in a new product planning situationwhere a broadly recognized customer need must be defined before design criteria can be developed. In this type of situation, there are often many ideas with no obvious way to distill them into actionable information. Properly applied, the 7M tools can produce valuable results from a seemingly nebulous and abstract situation at the start.

Affin Diagram nity D

Affinity Diagrams rge ve , about a prod or proce duct ess Often lar amounts of qualitativ data (e.g., ideas, facts , opinions) a problem must be organized. An affinity diagr can be u a ram used for this purpose. s In the book The Mem mory Jogger II, Michael Brassard an Diane Ritt state that an affinity nd ter t diagram allows a team to creative generate a large num m ely e mber of ideas s/issues, then organize an n nd summariz natural gr ze roupings am mong them to understand the essence of a problem and o m breakthro ough solutions. Brassard says that us d sing an affin diagram is "largely a creative rat nity ther than a log gical process." Groups or teams developing an affinity diagr can mov beyond ha o a ram ve abitual think king and preconce eived ideas. Independent thoughts are stimulated The proces of develop I t d. ss ping an affin nity diagram makes it diff fficult for one or two peo to domin the disc e ople nate cussion. An affini diagram is not sugges for use when a prob ity i sted w blem:

1. is simple 2. requires a very quick solution Using Affinity Diagrams The Memory Jogger Plus+ identifies the following situations in which an affinity diagram can be applied:

When facts or thoughts are in chaos. When issues seem too large or complex to grasp, try an affinity diagram to "map the geography" of the issue. When a breakthrough in traditional concepts is needed. When the only solutions are old solutions, try an affinity diagram to expand the teams thinking. When support for a solution is essential for successful implementation.

The following general tips can optimize the effectiveness of an affinity diagram:

Limit the size of the team or group. The Memory Jogger Plus+ recommends using a maximum of five to six members on the team. Use marking pens to record ideas so the information can be seen from a distance. Follow basic rules for brainstorming (e.g., promote freedom to express thoughts, forbid criticism or opposition to statements by others, accommodate many ideas, etc.). Resist over-consolidating ideas.

An affinity diagram is also referred to as the "KJ method." It was developed and popularized by Dr. Kawakita Jiro, the founder of the Kaawa Yoshida Research Center.

Tree Diagrams e

Sometim the ideas generated by brainstorm mes ming an affin diagram can be conv nity m verted into a tree diagram. A tree diagr identifie actions required to sol a problem or implem a solution. It ram es lve m ment a m ed ng systematically traces the means and clarifies the problem to be solve by exposin the problems e n d complete structure in a tree-like diagram. The proc of developing a tree diagram mo cess oves ones th hinking logic cally from broad goals to o specifics. The Memo Jogger Pl ory lus+ defines a tree diagr as a tool that "system ram l matically ma aps out in inc creasing deta the full ra ail ange of paths and tasks t need to b accompli s that be ished in orde to er achieve a primary go and every related sub oal y bgoal."


Tree diagram are useful in planning and problem T ms m-solving. The tool can be helpful when the obje T b w ective is broad and vagu or the task is complex ue k x. It facilitates th developm of logic steps to a t he ment cal achieve an ob bjective and action to ca arry ou a solution ut n.

Tree Dia agram Description As menti ioned previo ously, a tree diagram can be used in c d n conjunction with an affin diagram It nity m. is also ap ppropriate to supplement an interrela o t ationship dig graph when k issues ha been key ave uncovere ed.

The following procedure can be used to create a tree diagram:

Develop a statement of the goal, project, plan, or problem being studied. Ask a question leading to the next level of detail. If a goal is presented, identify the needs and tasks necessary to accomplish the goal. If a problem is presented, identify the causes of/reasons for the problem. Brainstorm all possible answers. Write these answers down, showing the casual linkage to the goal, project, plan, or problem being studied. Check to see if all items are necessary. Ensure that the final list contains everything needed to accomplish the objective.

A completed tree diagram is useful as a communication tool when many potential actions need to be explained. However, those involved in the creation of the tree diagram should review the completed diagram with those who will be involved in implementing the actions. As appropriate, any suggestions made by the potential users should be incorporated. Failure to review the tree diagram in this manner with those involved in the actions increases the risk that the solutions might not be properly implemented. The tree diagram is a generic tool type that can be used in many ways. Two variations include the following:

A "why-why" (or five whys) diagram helps to identify the root cause of a problem. In addition, the method helps the team to recognize the broad network of problem causes and the relationship among these causes. It can indicate the best areas to address for short- and long-term solutions. A "requirements-and-measures tree" organizes customers, their requirements, and related measurements for a product or service. The relationships between all the customers, requirements, and measures become visible.

Steps to Construct Why-Why Diagram To create a why-why diagram, follow these simple steps:

Develop a statement of the specific problem for which you are seeking a cause. Write it on a note and place it at the far left of the work surface. Ask "why?" this problem does or could occur. List all potential causes on notes and place them in a column immediately to the right of the problem. Each of the cause statements now become a new problem statement. Again ask "why?" for each problem statement. Sometimes the question needs to be phrased, "Why does this situation cause the problem?" Create another column of cause statements immediately to the right of the new problem statements. Show the relationships to the first column of causes with arrows.

Continue to turn each cause into a problem and ask "Why?" Do not stop until you reach an answer that is fundamental (company policy or procedure, systems, training needs, and so forth).

Requirements-and-Measures Tree Steps

A requirements-and-measures tree, also known as a CTQ (Critical to Quality) Tree, can be created by following these procedures: Identify one process output. Write it on a Post-it note and place at the top of a flipchart page. Identify all customers that demonstrate that output. Write each customers name on a Post-it note and place on the page under the output. For each customer, identify all requirements. Be as specific as possible, using operational definitions. For example, dont say "timely." Instead say, "received by Friday noon." Write each requirement on a Post-it note and place it under the customers name. At this point, some requirements may be duplicated, or natural groupings may be obvious. Reorganize the requirements if desired. Draw lines to show connections between customers and requirements. For each requirement, brainstorm potential measurements. Follow good brainstorming techniques, and try uncritically to generate as many potential measurements as possible. Then discuss and evaluate the measures. Reduce the list to a manageable number. For each measurement, identify how it will be tracked: what tool, where data are obtained, what frequency, and who is responsible.

Process Decision Program Charts

Total quality control advocates plan each step to solve problems and reach objectives. However, a variety of factors (expected and unanticipated) often require changes be made to the original quality plans. The process decision program chart (PDPC) is one method that can be used to deal with problems that occur when applying total quality control. PDPC Description The Quality Toolbox states that a PDPC chart "systematically identifies what might go wrong in a plan under development." A PDPC is a graphic representation of all sequences that lead to a desirable effect. It is used to improve the implementation of new or revised tasks that are complex. It maps out all conceivable events that can go wrong and contingencies for these events. PDPC was developed to allow users to plan for the future while still in the developmental stage of problem-solution planning. The Memory Jogger Plus+ describes a PDPC as a method that maps out conceivable events and contingencies which can occur in any implementation plan. It deals with conditions that can work against a solution. It is also effective in preventing serious accidents. For this reason, a PDPC is also known as a chart for the prediction of serious accidents. Constructing a PDPC The following procedure from ASQs Six Sigma Black Belt online course can be used to create a PDPC. Refer to the chart on the next page: 1. Determine the activity flow for the plan. 2. Construct a tree diagram by placing prerequisite activities in a time sequence. o Objective (first level) o Main activities (second level) 3. For each task, brainstorm what could go wrong (appears on the last level in the diagram above). 4. Review all potential problems and eliminate any that are improbable or those with an insignificant consequence. Place the remaining problems on the last level "what-ifs". 5. For each remaining potential problem, brainstorm possible countermeasures for either preventing the problem or applying a remedy after its occurrence. Place the countermeasures on the solutions to "what-ifs" level as clouds or jagged lines. 6. Discuss to decide the practicality of each countermeasure. o Criteria: cost, time required, ease of implementation, effectiveness o Mark impractical countermeasures with an X o Mark practical countermeasures with an O

Using a PDPC In The Quality Toolbox, second edition, Nancy Tague suggests applying a PDPC when:

A plan is large and complex A plan must be completed on schedule The price of failure is high

PDPCs are typically integrated during the planning stage of new product development to ensure timely introduction. They are also applicable for complex technical initiatives. For example, a PDPC may be done for a space flight to show the whole process from takeoff to recovery, including various alternatives if matters do not progress as anticipated. The Memory Jogger Plus+ recommends using a PDPC anytime uncertainty exists in a proposed implementation plan. The keys to remember in properly selecting a PDPC as a tool are:

The task at hand should be one that is either new or unique. A task that is routine normally doesnt warrant a PDPC unless a major new factor is introduced, such as a major market or personnel change. The implementation plan should have sufficient complexity. If the steps are so few or so clear that deviations are trivial or self-explanatory, then a PDPC would be a wasted effort. The stakes of potential failure should be high. The efficiency of the implementation must be critical. If, for instance, there is a 12-month window within which a three-month plan must be implemented, there is plenty of "slack time" for deviations from the original path. The contingencies must be plausible. Contingencies should be creative, but they should not create problems where none currently exist.

Naturally, users should revise the chart whenever a situation changes. Users also need to be careful and consider all possible sequences when developing a PDPC. For complex problems, unfortunately, it is easy to overlook a possible sequence.

Mat Di trix iagram ms

Matrix di iagrams pres material in a table format of row and colum A matri diagram sent l fo ws mns. ix graphical reveals th relationsh between two, three, o four group of inform lly he hip or ps mation. Furthe a er, matrix di iagram can reveal the str r rength of rela ationships an the roles various indi nd ividuals play y. An overv view of the different type of matrix diagrams is shown belo adapted f d es ow, from Nancy R. Tagues The Quality Toolbox, se T econd edition Each type of diagram is named fo the shape i n. e or it resemble Note that the characte es. eristic shape from which each diagra gets its name is h am highlight in blue in each exam ted n mple. Additionally, the x-axis is the h horizontal lin upon whic a ne ch group of information is placed, and the y-axi is the verti line in e n a is ical each example e.

Followin are few ex ng xamples of Matrix Diagr M rams

L-Shaped L T-Shaped T Y-Shaped Y C-Shaped C X-Shaped X Roof-Shaped R

Using Matrix Diagr M rams Matrix di iagrams are used to:

pr romote unde erstanding an communi nd icate how on group of i ne items relates to another s gr roup. sh logical connecting points betwe how p een: o perfor rmance criteria and impl lementing ac ctions. o requir actions and personne responsibl for those a red a el le actions.

Matrix diagrams can be used to relate qualitative and quantitative information. Within the rows and columns, relationships may be indicated with different conventions as long as they are recognizable and understandable for the intended audience:

An "X" or a blank to indicate yes or no, involved or not, etc. Numerical data Sets of symbols (e.g., + for a positive relationship, for a negative relationship)

Matrix Diagram Steps The following steps from ASQs Six Sigma Black Belt online course can be applied to construct a matrix diagram: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Define the purpose of the matrix diagram. Identify what sets of elements need to be included to meet the objective of the diagram. Assemble the best team that can relate all the elements of the matrix. Select the matrix format. Choose and define the relationship symbols. Complete the diagram.

A couple of considerations apply to creating and interpreting matrix diagrams:

Creation of a matrix diagram requires choosing the right information to present. Inaccurate data will result in misleading or erroneous relationships. Depending upon the complexity of the information shown in a matrix, interpretation may require skill and knowledge.

Inter rrelationshi Dig ip graphs s

An interr relationship digraph (dia agram/graph) is also calle a relation ) ed nship diagram m. This digr raph is a pict torial tool th aids the problem-solv hat p ving process by showing the relation g nship between problems an ideas in co nd omplex situa ations. It helps to identify meaningful ca m ategories fro a mass of ideas. om f Q box, ncy e utilizing an interrelation nship In The Quality Toolb second edition, Nan R. Tague states that u digraph "helps a grou analyze th natural lin between different as " up he nks n spects of a co omplex situation." Teams write ideas or problems in circles, the cluster the circles in p w r n en e proximity to each other. Arrows are then draw to indicat which idea or problem strongly in a wn te a m nfluences ano other. The direction of the arrow indicates th direction of influence n w he e. Interpreta ation involve evaluation of those ci es n ircles that ha the most arrows ente ave t ering or exiti ing. A rule of thumb is th basic or key ideas are indicated b y circles hav f hat k e ving only ex xiting arrows but s, this is no an absolute truth. ot e During th process, a complete re he elationship can be mapp out. Team members express idea c ped m as freely and without th restriction of a specif framewor This, in t he ns fic rk. turn, facilitat the tes conceptu ualization and developme of improvement idea d ent as.

Description Ultimately, the graph or diagram shows cause-and-effect relationships between activities, processes, and functions in organizations. Frequently, the output of an affinity diagram, a cause and effect diagram, or a tree diagram supplies the input for an interrelationship digraph. The example shown, adapted from Nancy R. Tagues Quality Toolbox, second edition, shows a simple interrelationship digraph. Interrelationship Digraph Steps The following steps from ASQs Six Sigma Black Belt online course can be used to construct an interrelationship digraph: Write a statement/issue to explore. Brainstorm ideas about the issue. Write each idea on a card/note. Determine a relationship for each idea. Draw arrows showing influences from the idea to the ones it causes/influences. Analyze the diagram. Count the arrows in and out for each idea. Write the counts at the bottom of each card/note. 6. Key ideas are the ones with the most arrows. 7. Note which ideas have primarily outgoing (from) arrows. These are causes. 8. Note which ideas have primarily incoming (to) arrows. These are effects. 9. Be sure to check whether ideas with fewer arrows also are key ideas. 10. Draw bold lines around the key ideas. Using Interrelationship Digraphs The Quality Toolbox suggests that the interrelationship digraph is useful:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

when trying to understand links between ideas or cause and effect relationships. when trying to identify an area of greatest impact for improvement. when a complex issue is being analyzed for causes. when a complex solution is being implemented. after generating an affinity diagram, cause and effect diagram, or tree diagram.

In The Memory Jogger Plus+, Michael Brassard states that an interrelationship digraph should be used when:

an issue is sufficiently complex that the interrelationship between and among ideas is difficult to determine. the correct sequencing of management actions is critical. there is a feeling that the problem under discussion is only a symptom.

there is ample time to complete the required iterative process involving doing the interrelationship digraph, reviewing it, modifying it, reviewing it again, etc.

The Memory Jogger Plus+ recommends 15 to 50 ideas for an interrelationship digraph. In Brassards opinion, the diagram is unnecessary with fewer than 15 ideas. With more than 50 ideas, it becomes unwieldy, and important factors may be overlooked. Further, Brassard maintains that double-headed arrows should not be used. A team developing an interrelationship digraph should force itself to determine which cause or influence is the strongest. Other quality professionals suggest that an interrelationship digraph should be drawn and revised a number of times by several people. Repeating the process in this manner identifies issues clearly and helps obtain consensus, allowing the team to reach the root cause of a problem and devise solutions. Situations that change, of course, require that the diagram be redrawn. It should be pointed out that this tool is time-consuming when several reviews and adjustments are required. The tool must be limited to complex issues to justify the time required.

Prio oritizat tion Matric M ces

The prior ritization ma atrix is also known as a matrix data a k m analysis char It is a grid providing a rt. d clear repr resentation of key data. It arranges data so that a large array of numbers can be easil o d y s ly seen and comprehend ded. The high hest-priority options or al lternatives re elative to accomplishing an objectiv are shown in a g ve n rough, tw wo-axis corre elation pictu The degr of correla ure. ree ation may be represented in symbols or e d s numerica values. al The follo owing examp adapted from ASQs Six Sigma Black Belt o ple, s online cours shows a se, simple pr rioritization matrix. A prioriti ization matrix can be use to study the strengths of interrela ed t s ationships be etween thing gs such as tw or more process or product chara wo p acteristics or different pr r roduct and m market character ristics. As a technique, it is gaining increasing us in the ind t t i se dustrial secto or Prioritiza ation Matrice Steps es The follo owing steps from ASQs Six Sigma Black Belt o f B online course outline one approach to e e o construct ting a priorit tization matr rix: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Generate the criteria for making the decision. G m d Determine the weight of each criterio (optional) D e e on ). Create an L-s C shaped matri and list the choices by rows. ix y Label the mat column headings wi the criteri and relativ weights. L trix ith ia ve Each team me E ember order the options according t each crite rs s to erion. Each team me E ember multiplies his or her ranking b the criter h by rion weight. For each option, individu add the options scor uals o re.

8. The team leader adds the individual team member scores into a group score. The Memory Jogger Plus+ states that a prioritization matrix should be used when:

The key issues have been identified and the options generated must be narrowed. The criteria for a "good" solution are agreed upon, but there is disagreement over the criteria's relative importance. There are limited resources for implementation; e.g., time, funds, manpower. The options generated have strong interrelationships. Generating options that need to be completed in a sequence.

When creating a prioritization matrix, automatic calculation techniques are a valuable asset in analyzing data to prepare a matrix. The grid can range from fairly simple to a sophisticated mathematical representation.

Acti ivity Networ Dia ms N rk agram

An activi network diagram is a simplified critical path method of p ity d c planning and scheduling d designed to show the optimum sc d e chedule or cr ritical path f fulfilling a plan and t for tracking its progress. It shows: .

th required order of task in a projec or process . he o ks ct th best sched for the entire projec he dule e ct. potential sche eduling and resource pro r oblems and t their solution ns.

If any tas on the crit sk tical path is delayed, the remaining i e incomplete t tasks on the path will be e pushed back. Likewise, if there is no slack in the overall project, the project will be delayed. To b n speed up a schedule, users should find ways to increase r d resources, re educe scope for those tas sks ath, nk nce when the crit tical path tas are short sks tened, on the pa or rethin the sequen of tasks. However, w the entire schedule must be recalculated. e m Using an Activity Network Dia n N agram The Qual Toolbox second edi lity x, ition states th an activi network d hat ity diagram should be used in the follow wing situatio ons:

When schedu W uling and mo onitoring task within a c ks complex proj or proce with oject ess in nterrelated ta asks and reso ources. When you kn the steps of the proje or proces their sequ W now s ect ss, uence, and h long eac how ch st takes. tep When the pro W oject schedul is critical, with serious consequen le s nces for comp pleting the pr roject late, or there is a significant advantage to completing the project e o s early.

Activity Network Diagram Steps The following steps are adapted from The Memory Jogger II and The Quality Toolbox, second edition, and can be used to construct an activity network diagram: 1. Assemble the right team of people with firsthand knowledge of the subtasks. 2. Brainstorm or document all the tasks needed to complete a project. Record on index cards. 3. Find the first task (or set of tasks) that must be done, and place the card(s) on the extreme left of a large work surface. 4. Ask: "Are there any tasks that can be done simultaneously with task #1?" o If there are simultaneous tasks, place the task card above or below task #1. o If not, go to the next step. 5. Ask, "What is the next task that must be done? Can others be done simultaneously?" Place the next task (or set of tasks) to the right of the tasks identified in steps 3 and 4. o Repeat this questioning process until all the recorded tasks are placed in sequence and in parallel. 6. Draw connecting arrows between each task in a sequence and agree on a realistic time for the completion of each task. The example showin in the image, adapted from ASQs Six Sigma Black Belt online course, shows a simple representation of events in an activity network diagram. A dotted line, called a "dummy," is used in an activity diagram to separate tasks that would otherwise start and stop with the same events or to show logical sequence. Dummies are not real tasks. The numbers on each arrow represent an estimate of the amount of time each task should require. When making a diagram, one unit of measure (hours, days, or weeks) should be used consistently.

Summary Developing an activity network diagram requires knowledge of:

the steps of the project or process the sequence how long each step takes

Speeding up tasks not on the critical path will have no effect on the overall project schedule. It is possible to move tasks from non-critical to critical to speed up project timing. Common variations of an activity network diagram are the program evaluation and review technique (PERT) and the critical path method (CPM). PERT and CPM were developed in the late 1950s by the U.S. Navy and the DuPont Company.

7M Tools and Scenarios

7M Tools

Affinity diagrams Tree diagrams Process decision program charts (PDPC) Matrix diagrams Interrelationship digraphs Prioritization matrices Activity network diagrams

1. The personnel department of a home supply warehouse is concerned about the recent loss of good cashiers. Upon conducting exit interviews with the resigning employees, the personnel department was able to collect information about the cashiers reasons for leaving. However, this information was scattered, and there was no clear area which could easily be addressed. Which quality management tool would be ideal for organizing many facts or ideas into their natural relationships? 2. For the reopening of a restaurant, the manager has assigned a kitchen hygiene improvement team. The team needs to check for possible areas where consumable products could become infected. The teams goal is to avoid all cases of foodborne illness. Once the risk areas are identified, sub-teams will be created to address all problem areas. What tool is best used to map out all conceivable events that may go wrong and then plan contingencies for these events? 3. After some low scores on customer satisfaction surveys, the manager of a struggling hotel decides that she needs to make customer satisfaction a goal. She realizes it would be helpful to break her goal down into sub-goals and actions she can take to achieve the overall goal. What quality management and planning tool is ideal for this type of analysis? 4. A project manager would like to examine the relationship between tasks that need to be completed for his project, the resources required to complete the tasks, and the responsibilities associated with the tasks. What type of quality management and planning tool would be helpful to graphically demonstrate the relationship between two or more sets of information? 5. The owner of a popular gym wants to examine the current scheduling for her personal trainers in an effort to fit in more clients. In order to do this, she needs to visually represent the types of sessions her trainers have scheduled and the amount of time required to complete each session. What type of quality management and planning tool would be helpful to the owner for maximizing her scheduling capacity at her gym? 6. The design and production departments of a home furnishing company are continually irritated with each other. The design department is upset because the production department makes changes to its designs that are not aesthetic. The production department thinks that the design department is not realistic with its designs. What type of quality management and planning tool should be used to explore the cause-and-effect relationship between these issues?

7. The manager of a supercenter needs to decide which items to put closer to the cashier counters during the fall season. He decides to define criteria that can be used to select products that should be placed in this convenient location in the store. Criteria that could be included in selecting products include "seasonal relevance" and "request frequency"" What quality management and planning tool can be used to rank products according to the criteria the manager provides?

7M Tools and Answers to Scenarios

1. An affinity diagram is probably the best choice for this situation. By organizing the various reasons for resignation of its clerks, the personnel team can try to better understand why the cashiers were leaving and take action to solve the problems. 2. A process decision program chart (PDPC) is the best tool for systematically identifying what could go wrong in a plan under development. Once the risk areas have been identified, countermeasures are developed to prevent or offset the problems. 3. A tree diagram would be the best choice in this situation. A tree diagram reveals the level of complexity involved in achieving a goal and grounds the achievement of that goal in real-world actions. 4. By using a matrix diagram, the project manager can see a visual representation of everything required for each task on one line, thus helping to allocate resources properly to complete the project. 5. An activity network diagram would allow the gym manager to map out the necessary sequences of tasks for the daily training sessions and the time required to complete each task. Using this tool, she can identify places where training tasks can be completed simultaneously to save time, and free up time for other clients. 6. An interrelationship digraph would be instrumental in exploring the cause-and-effect relationship between the design and production department issues. By mapping out the issues, root causes can be identified and solutions can be developed to remedy the delicate situation that exists between the two entities in this organization. 7. A prioritization matrix can help the manager select products that best meet the criteria he defines. Using this type of planning tool, he can better meet the needs of his consumers by putting the higher demand products in a more convenient location for the customer.

Quality Planning and Management Tools Summary

The 7M tools require time to learn and apply, but after a team masters their use, the tools produce valuable results for documentation and planning. The following table from ASQs Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence learning series summarizes when each tool may be used: