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Quality Circles

  • Managers and their teams should be forever looking for ways to improve anytime, anywhere, at any level, no matter how small the improvement

  • One popular ‘Continuous Improvement’ approach is the use of Quality Circles, first devised by Dr Akira Ishikawa – he also invented the cause-and-effect fish diagram

  • Quality Circles assume most employees will want to take part in solving their own work problems and making their jobs more interesting

Quality Circles

  • If and when thousands of ideas for incremental improvements are generated, the cumulative gain from using many of them can be enormous – and without incurring the same costs, risks and work disruption associated with any ‘quantum leap’ change project

                                 Potential Quality Circle benefits?

                             1,000  x  0.1% improvement  >>>  1  x  20% improvement 

  • Eiji Toyoda, Toyota chairman, said: “Our workers generate some 1.5 million suggestions a year, and 95% of them are put to practical use”