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Welcome to my blog for all things related to business quality (processes, systems and ways of working), products and product quality, manufacturing and operations management.

This blog is a mixture of real-world experience, ideas, comments and observations that I hope you'll find interesting.

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December 2009
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Quality improvement – horses for courses

I have written in many blogs about different ways of securing Continuous Improvement; Six Sigma, Plan-Do-Check-Act, 8D, Kaizen, and so on.

The trouble is, people become too religious about their favourite technique and apply it in far more circumstances than it’s really meant for. One of my favourite quotes is “if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”.

So you should use the right tool for the job, not just the tool that you have to hand. (I can still remember the arguments when my father used to catch my mother levering lids off tins in the kitchen with his sharpest wood chisel.)

Here’s an excellent blog article by American quality professional Jim Wells that espouses the ‘horses for courses’ argument:

http://qualitypractice.blogspot.com/2009/01/six-sigma-or-not-to-six-sigma-that-is.html

As Jim says “problem solving requires a good understanding of the different methods in the toolbox so that good decisions can be made about what to use in different situations”

Well put, sir!

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