Types of Data

The first step of any statistical enquiry is the collection of relevant numerical data. The types of data used for statistical purposes is mainly classified as primary data and secondary data


a characteristic of population that can take different values (e.g., defects, processing time).


Data are measurements collected on a variable

Primary Data

Data collected for the purpose of the given inquiry is called as Primary Data. These are collected by the enquirer, either by his own or through some agency set up for this purpose, directly from the field of enquiry. This type of data can be used with greater confidence because the enquirer himself decides upon the coverage of the data, definitions to be used and as such will have a greater control over the reliability of the data.

Secondary Data

The data already collected by some other agency or for some other purpose and available in published or un published form is known as secondary data. The user has to be perticularly careful about using using such data. The user must clearly understand the nature of the data, their coverage, the definitions used for the data and their reliability.
The usage of secondary data is generally preferred if the conditions mentioned above are clear and usable. This will reduce the time taken for the analysis, also reduces cost of the analysis.

Types of data

Discrete Data

Count or frequency of occurrence

Attribute Data

Data which on one of a set of discrete values such as pass or fail, yes or no.

Continuous Data

Measurements that can be meaningfully divided into finer and finer increments of precision

Usage of Sampling

The big question is weather the collection of data should be done by complete population or by sampling. If sample is used, care should be taken that this is a representative of complete population. A sample designed with care can produce results that may be sufficiently accurate for the purpose of enquiry. A Carefully designed sample can save a lot of time and money.

Methods of Data Collection

The methods used to collect data are Questionnaire Method, Interview Method and Direct Observation Method. Any one or a combination of these are used to collect data.

Usage of Data

The data collected should be subjected to a thorough scrutiny to see if they may be considered correct. The success of the analysis depends on the reliability of the data. However excellent the statistical method of data analysis may be, they cannot bring out useful and reliable information from faulty, unreliable of mistaken data. Especially, this is more applicable in case of usage of secondery data.

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Originally posted 2011-10-01 11:14:00.

What are Principles of Quality Management Systems

The function of Top Management include Management of Quality Management along with other disciplines. To succeed in Business, the top management can utilize the quality management principles identified by the International Standards like ISO 9000 Family. The Same principle apply for the other standards like AS 9100, TS 16949 which are supplement to ISO 9001. The Principles of Quality Management Systems are
Customer Focus
The Organization depend its our customers and should understand the current and future customers’ needs, should meet their requirements, and strive to exceed their expectations.
The organization must make sure that:
Customer needs & expectations are determined
Customer needs are converted into specific requirements
Customer requirements are fulfilled with the aim of “exceeding” expectations to “enhance” customer Satisfaction.
Customer Satisfaction : Customer’s perception of the degree to which the customer’s requirements have been fulfilled”(Ref: ISO 9000:2000, 3.1.4)
Customer Complaints are a common indicator of low customer satisfaction, but their absence does not necessarily imply high customer satisfaction. Even when customer requirements have been agreed with the customer and fulfilled, this does not necessarily ensure high customer satisfaction.Research shows that fewer than 5% of dissatisfied customers actually complain.
Leaders establish a unity of purpose and the direction of the organization.  They must create and maintain the internal environment in which all employees can become fully involved in achieving the organizations objectives. There is a need for “Top Management” to play an active role in the operation & performance of the QMS.
“Top Management” involvement in the implementation & improvement of the QMS will be checked by external auditors.
Involvement of People
People at all levels are the essence of the organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization’s benefit. the most valuable assets of an organization is its Human Resources. The organization should create an internal environment for people at all levels feel the ownership of their task and improving it to achieve the desired customer satisfaction.
Process Approach
A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.
What is a “Process”? : “an activity using resources and managed to enable the transformation of inputs to outputs”. Often the output from one process directly forms the input to the next.
Systems Approach to Management
Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the organizations effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives. Though this term looks like the previous one Process approach, there is distinct difference between them. to Identify clearly, “A set of processes interacting symmetrically will become a system”.
continual Improvement
Definition : Recurring activity to increase the ability to fulfill requirements (ref. ISO 9000:2000, 3.2.13)
The organization Shall strive to enhance its overall performance and this should be a permanent objective of the organization. There is a scope for everyone in the organization to Working in the business ( doing their Job) and Working on the business(improving the efficiency)
Factual Approach to Decision Making
Appropriate data should be identified, gathered and analyzed for trending and tracking to provide opportunities for improvement. This will lead to effective decision-making.
Mutually beneficial Supplier Relations
An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.
If an organization buys in poor (good) quality, it can negatively (positively) affect the organization’s performance.
The above principles identified by the ISO 9000 Family of standards as the basis for any Quality Management Systems.
If these principles are used effectively, the organization will have a sound quality management system and will lead to success.
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Originally posted 2011-04-30 19:39:00.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Quality assurance and quality control are often used interchangingly by error. these two are different terms and have different meaning.
Quality Control (QC):
►“The operational techniques and activities that are used to fulfil requirements for quality” (ref: ISO 9000)
►QC is an inspection function.
►QC requires the performance of the necessary observations, testing & documentation that verifies the work performed meets or exceeds requirements.
Quality Control makes sure the results of what you’ve done are what you expected.
The processes of quality control involve calibration, sampling and documenting reviews.
Quality Assurance (QA)
►“All those planned and systematic activities implemented to provide adequate confidence that an entity will fulfil requirements for quality” (ref: ISO 9000)
►QA is an audit function, used to verify that QC is being performed and performed effectively & efficiently.
Quality Assurance makes sure you are doing the right things, the right way.
Measurement is a vital aspect of Quality Assurance.
The Quality Assurance is to do with standards, processes, and policies are in place and carried out; to recommend and implement improvements to them, and to ensure that the people that need to know about them know about them. QA “audits” or “reviews” are intended to determine the efficacy of these processes, and policies.
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Originally posted 2011-04-06 01:20:00.

Cost of Quality

  The term Cost of  Quality (CoQ) is generally misunderstood as the cost to create a quality product or service. The real definition of this term is the cost incurred by not creating a quality product or service.
What can be included in cost of Quality (bad Quality)
Cost of Quality includes the cost to the organization to rectify the non conforming product or service. This includes following example
Cost incurred in reworking of a manufactured item, the men, Material and other resources.

costs incurred in skipped delivery schedules, the penalties etc.

Cost incurred in retesting of an assembly, rebuilding of a tool.
The correction of a bank statement.
The reworking of a service, such as the reprocessing of a loan operation or the replacement of a food order in a restaurant.
Warranty Claims
The biggest cost incurred by an organization on account of poor quality is the loss of customer loyalty.
In short, any cost that would not have been expended if quality were perfect contributes to the cost of quality.

The cost of Quality is only a part of Total Quality Costs which includes the following
The costs incurred by
Investing in the prevention of nonconforming to requirements.
Appraising a product or service for conformance to requirements.
Failing to meet requirements.(Cost of poor Quality (COPQ))
The details which can be included in Total Quality Costs
Prevention Costs
The costs of all activities specifically designed to prevent poor quality in products or services.
Examples are the costs of: New product review, Quality planning , Supplier capability surveys, Process capability evaluations, Quality improvement team meetings, Quality improvement projects, Quality education and training
Appraisal Costs
The costs associated with measuring, evaluating or auditing products or services to assure conformance to quality standards and performance requirements.
These include the costs of:  Incoming and source inspection/test of purchased material, In-process and final inspection/test, Product, process or service audits, Calibration of measuring and test equipment, Associated supplies and materials
Failure Costs
The costs resulting from products or services not conforming to requirements or customer/user needs. Failure costs are divided into internal and external failure categories.
Internal Failure Costs : Failure costs occurring prior to delivery or shipment of the product, or the furnishing of a service, to the customer.
Examples are the costs of: Scrap, Rework, Re-inspection, Re-testing, Material review, Downgrading
External Failure Costs : Failure costs occurring after delivery or shipment of the product — and during or after furnishing of a service — to the customer.
Examples are the costs of:  Processing customer complaints, Customer returns, Warranty claims, Product recalls,
Total Quality Costs:
The sum of the costs listed above. This represents the difference between the real cost of a product or service and what the reduced cost would be if there were no possibility of substandard service, failure of products or defects in their manufacture.

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Originally posted 2011-04-02 04:46:00.

MUDA- The Seven Wates

Toyota’s Chief Engineer, Taiichi Ohno identifies the following seven wastes while developing the Toyota Production System.

MUDA is a Japanese term which means that un productive or wasteful. It does not add value. An effective way to increase profitability is reduce waste. It is one of the key wastes adopted by Toyota in its Production system apart from Mura(Unevenness)  and Muri (overburden).


1. Over Production

Over production is To produce Manufacturing too much sooner, too early or “Just in Case” faster or in greater quantities than the absolute customer demand. This  discourages a smooth flow of goods or services, Takes the focus away from what the customer really wants, Leads to excessive inventory

What are the causes of Over Production?

Large batch sizes, Poor people utilisation, Lack of customer focus

What are the effects of over production

It Costs money, Consumes resource ahead of plan, Creates unnecessary inventory

Hides inventory/defect problems and leads to excess Space utilisation

2. Inventory

Excess inventory is defined as “Any raw material, work in progress (WIP) or finished goods which are not having value added to them”

what are the causes of this waste?

un even production schedule, Inaccurate forecasting, Excessive downtime/set up Large batch sizes and Unreliable suppliers

what are the effects of Inventory

It Adds to costs. It needs extra storage space. It takes extra resource to manage Can become damaged and losses due to expiry of shelf life

3. Motion

Motion in this context is the movement of “man”. Waste motion occurs when individuals move more than is necessary for the process to be completed

What are the causes of this waste?

The Main reasons are non availability of standard operating procedure, Poor housekeeping, Badly designed work area, Inadequate training

What are the effects

It adds to costs and increases the production time. It interrupts production. Can cause injury.

4. Waiting

This waste is defined as People or parts that wait for a work cycle to be completed

What are the causes?

Ineffective production planning, Shortages & unreliable supply chain, Lack of multi-skilling/flexibility, Downtime/Breakdown, Quality,design,engineering Issues. Shortage of capacity

What are the effects

Poor workflow continuity, Stop/start production, Causes bottlenecks, Long lead times, Failed delivery dates.

5.  Transportation

Unnecessary movement of parts between processes

What are the causes?

It can be caused by badly designed process/work place, Poor value stream flow,  Complex material flows, Sharing of equipment

What are the effects

It consumes resource & floorspace, Increases production time, Poor communication, Increases work in progress, Potential damage to products.

6. Over-Processing

This is defined as processing beyond the standard required by the customer

By improving processing efficiency we ultimately use less resource to achieve the same customer satisfaction

What are the causes?

Out of date standards,  Attitude , Not understanding the process, Lack of innovation & improvement, Lack of standard operation procedures

What are the effects

It consumes resource, It increases production time,  It’s work above and beyond specification, Can reduce life of component

7. Non-Right First Time (Scrap, Rework and Defects)

A defect is a component which the customer would deem unacceptable to pass the quality standard

Do it Right first time is the key

What are the causes

Out of control/Incapable processes, Lack of skill,training & on the job support,  Inaccurate design & engineering, Machine inaccuracy,

What are the effects

It adds to costs, It interrupts the scheduled. It consumes resources .It creates paper work. Reduces customer confidence if it happens in field. Skipped deadlines.

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Originally posted 2011-03-28 11:43:00.

POKA YOKE – Mistake Proofing

POKA YOKE  is a Japanese term, meaning Mistake proofing is very much helpful in avoiding operator mistake. This is Formalized and adopted by Shigeo Shingo as part of the  Toyota Quality Management System to achieve zero defects and eliminate the quality inspections.
This is not rocket science and can be seen in our daily life.
Some of the examples are below.


  • Automated Shut-Offs on Electric Coffee Pots
  • Ground Fault Circuit Breakers for Bathroom or Outside Electric Circuits
  • Questioning “Do you want to delete?” After Depressing the “Delete” Button on Your Computer.
  • Spell Check in Word Processing Software


  • Dual Palm Buttons and Other Guards on Machinery
  • Tamper-Proof Packaging
  • Bar Coding at Checkout in Retail
  • Hotels wrap paper strips around towels to reduce unnecessary replacements.


  • Potassium Chloride in Intra Venous Bags – premixed to avoid fatal errors
  • Surgical Trays have indentations, preventing surgeon from leaving surgical instrument in patient.
  • Pre-filled syringes in hospitals to avoid mistakes in dosage.
  • To prevent “treatment” errors, banks require tellers to record the customer’s eye color on a checklist as they start transaction.

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Originally posted 2011-03-24 18:35:00.

Flow Chart

What is a flow chart

A flowchart is a common chart / diagrammatic representation that represent an algorithm or process showing the sequence of  steps using various symbols and their order by connecting the operations performed within a system & sequence in which they are performed.

Shows inputs, tasks/actions and outputs of a process.

Can be used for business processes as well as production processes.

Flow-charts are used in analyzing, Designing, Documenting or managing a process or program in various fields.

The first structured method for documenting process flow, the ‘Flow Process chart’ was introduced by Frank Gilberth to members of ASME in 1921 as the presentation process chart and quickly found way in to industrial Engineering curriculum

It describes what operations required to solve a problem. It is akin to blue print of a bldg. A programmer prefer to draw flow chart prior to writing a computer programming. They can help identify process that need improvement

The flow chart helps decide what steps need to be controlled & where the overall process require improving

what are the uses of a flow-chart

Enhances the common understanding of a process.
Standardizes and documents reliable processes.
Helps identify measurement points.
Identifies bottlenecks.
Helps identify sources of variation in the process.
Helps generate ideas for improvement.
Aids in identifying waste and nonvalue-added steps.

Types of Flow-Chart

  1. Decision flow-chart
  2. Logic flow-chart
  3. Process flow-chart
  4. Document flow-chart
  5. Data flow-chart
  6. System flow-chart
  7. Program flow-chart

Types of flow chart commonly used in Quality improvement projects


–DEPLOYMENT  – Shows control in a program within a system

Deployment flow-chart

The main difference in deployment flow-chart is they assign steps of a process to the individual who performs them. Begin by making column for each member of the process.

–E.G. If the process step is ‘Patient arrives at the clinic’ put this step under the ‘Patient’ column with the phrase ‘arrives’ at clinic

How to construct a process flow chart

For Creating a flow chart, it is important you map the process as accurately as possible.

1)Define the process

2)Identify steps in the process

3)Draw the flow-chart

4)Determine time or distance for each step

5)Assign a cost for each step

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Originally posted 2011-03-25 12:37:00.