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1. How do the basic quality tools (cause and effect diagrams, histograms, flowcharts, etc) relate to problem-solving processes? In the Industrial Engineering world, process flow charts, fishbone diagrams, poka yoke symbols, etc. have been “invented” in order to assist us engineers in solving various issues at the shop floor and at the organizational levels. According to Prasad B. (1993), there is a need to capture schematically the function and behavior of the system without any physical model or prototype so that the relationship can be studied at a conceptual level. One way is to capture pictorially (graphically) representations of both work flow and data flow on the same chart. Such conceptual model is often referred to as “information flow-chart.” (p. 54). The concept of “problem-solving” involves engineers to figure out the root cause of a specific undesirable occurrence for which the aforementioned tools assists them to get to the issue at a faster rate, thus enabling them to develop solutions in a short period of time. For instance, if we take process-flow charts as an example, such flowcharts show us where bottlenecks occur as it helps us to visualize the entire manufacturing process from start to finish. And based on this information, effective steps can be taken to remove bottlenecks from the stream. 2. How can 8D problem solving be used in continuous improvement projects? 8-D brings a structure approach to solve problems in that it consists of developing a plan to solve the issue at hand, it involves in creating an action team/committee, it helps to define the problem and detail it, it forms a plan to quickly contain the problem, assists engineers in reaching to the root-cause (using tools such as Fishbone, etc.), select some corrective actions, implement those actions, take effective steps to prevent this issue from occurring again and celebrating with the team post the problem-solving phase. In this structured manner, 8-D greatly assists Industrial and Process engineers in tackling and solving a specific problem. —————————————————————————————————————————————- 1. How do the basic quality tools (cause and effect diagrams, histograms, flowcharts, etc) relate to problem-solving processes? The basic quality tools can identify and resolve quality-related issues efficiently. They are essential not only in quality assurance but also is concerned with process improvement. For example, the histogram clearly describes the frequency distribution of data and allows us to quickly identify areas of improvement during the process. Other tools such as Fishbone Diagram(cause and effect diagram), Flowchart are also useful when it comes to problem-solving processes. The former is an efficient tool that allows us to explore the possible causes of a problem that result in a single effect. The latter presents a diagrammatic picture that indicates a series of symbols to describe the sequence of steps that exist in the process, which can be easily used for understanding the overall objective through the process. 2. How can 8D problem solving be used in continuous improvement projects? The 8D means Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving which is a problem-solving methodology that is designed to find the root cause of a problem to prevent recurring or underlying problems. The process usually starts with establishing an action team to dig into the projects and determine the specific problems in detail. After reaching the root cause, we can implement actions to take the next steps to prevent those issues from occurring again in the future.

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