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The Seven Basic Quality Tools represent a list of basic process improvement tools and techniques. The list is generally attributed to Kaoru Ishikawa, a follower of Dr. Edwards Deming, who is also famous for popularizing the Fishbone or Ishikawa Diagram. In an effort to reduce the complexity of Statistical Process Control, and make it more accessible for the average worker, he compiled a shortlist of simple but powerful Lean Six Sigma tools.

The list includes:

  1. Cause & Effect Diagram (aka Fishbone Diagram)
  2. Check Sheet
  3. Control Chart
  4. Histogram
  5. Pareto Chart
  6. Scatter Diagram (aka Scatter Plot)
  7. Stratification (often replaced with Flow Chart)

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Master Black Belt at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. For over 30 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Marriott International, Inc. build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.
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