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What are the Seven Tools of Quality (Q7)?

The Seven Tools of Quality (Q7) is a collection of quality assurance methods first compiled by Ishikawa Kaoru around 1943. For the purpose of continuous improvement, a number of quantitative methods and tools are used to identify problems and their possible solutions in areas such as manufacturing. The majority of quality problems can be solved by using seven basic quantitative tools. Known as the traditional “Seven Tools of Quality,” these instruments are:

  • inspection sheet or tally sheet
  • histogram
  • Pareto chart
  • Ishikawa or Fishbone diagram
  • correlation or scatter diagram
  • (quality) control chart
  • program flow chart or flow diagram

In sum, these tools are suitable for separating opinions from facts and then analyzing these facts. The Q7, which are widely used, are used by quality departments in most organizations. There are a number of proposed and adopted extensions and improvements, for example the Seven Management and Planning Tools.