By: Nancy R. Tague
The Quality Toolbox is a comprehensive reference to a variety of methods and techniques: those most commonly used for quality improvement, many less commonly used, and some created by the author and not available elsewhere.
The reader will find the widely used seven basic quality control tools (for example, fishbone diagram, and Pareto chart) as well as the newer management and planning tools. Tools are included for generating and organizing ideas, evaluating ideas, analyzing processes, determining root causes, planning, and basic data-handling and statistics. The book is written and organized to be as simple as possible to use so that anyone can find and learn new tools without a teacher. Above all, this is an instruction book. The reader can learn new tools or, for familiar tools, discover new variations or applications. It also is a reference book, organized so that a half-remembered tool can be found and reviewed easily, and the right tool to solve a particular problem or achieve a specific goal can be quickly identified. With this book close at hand, a quality improvement team becomes capable of more efficient and effective work with less assistance from a trained quality consultant. Quality and training professionals also will find it a handy reference and quick way to expand their repertoire of tools, techniques, applications, and tricks. For this second edition, Tague added 34 tools and 18 variations. The "Quality Improvement Stories" chapter has been expanded to include detailed case studies from three Baldrige Award winners. An entirely new chapter, "Mega-Tools: Quality Management Systems," puts the tools into two contexts: the historical evolution of quality improvement and the quality management systems within which the tools are used. This edition liberally uses icons with each tool description to reinforce for the reader what kind of tool it is and where it is used within the improvement process.