Successful total quality management (TQM) is dependent on first class problem solving. Numerous techniques have been created to help the TQM practitioner along the problem solving journey. However, it can be very difficult to decide which of these techniques should or could be used at any point in the journey and in particular to see how the different approaches are related to each other. As a result, most people use only a small number of these techniques and tend to cling to their own limited toolbox. Three of the strongest groups of tools are “the seven simple tools of TQM”, “the four thinking models of Kepner‐Tregoe” and “root cause analysis”. This article argues that all three are complementary to each other and provides a flow chart to help navigate between them. This is particularly relevant for programmes aimed at implementing total productive manufacturing/maintenance (TPM).
Finlow‐Bates, T., Visser, B. and Finlow‐Bates, C. (2000), "An integrated approach to problem solving: linking K‐T, TQM and RCA to TPM", The TQM Magazine, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 284-289. https://doi.org/10.1108/09544780010325912
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