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Quality Filter Mapping How to Guide

Part 2

In the first part of our how to guide (see here for part one) we looked at what Quality Filter mapping is and how it can fits in to a continuous improvement program - in part two we'll continue the how to guide and our scenario example.

Step 1 Map a Generic Process or organisation

The first step is to target an activity that you will analyse – for example it may be the manufacturing process which could be broken down into the following stages

* Warehouse
* Assembly
* Machining
* Test
* Packing & Dispatch

Or by Function Team

* Supply Chain
* Warehouse
* Manufacturing
* Sales

Scenario – John reviews his manufacturing process, although many activities are carried out during this process it can be divided up into 5 key stages as follows
* Receipt of RAW Materials from Warehouse
* Collating of Kits
* Machining of Parts
* Testing
* Packing

Step 2 Capture Data

The next stage is to capture the data – given that we’re capturing three types of failure – you will need to closely look within each stage at activity

Consider how you will capture the data either statistically (does the data exist within an IT system) or verbally by interviewing staff who work within the function being analysed. You will also need to specify a time period and Business volume that you are analysing – ensure that this is indicative of overall performance for example activity over the last 6 months and 100,000 units produced.

Analysing data can be time consuming but bear in mind that this work greatly influences the end result so you’ll need to devote sufficient time and resource to complete this stage correctly.

If possible try and capture (or develop) a cost of quality for each of the failures – for example where a failure results in rework capture the cost of the rework (eg. Labor and materials).

Scenario - John utilises 3 analysts to both analyse data that is available within their ERP system and also review historical documentation that relates to various elements of the process. They investigate various things including, scrapped and reworked products at each stage, recording whether the failure was due to that stage or a previous step in the process. They review documentation relating to the process inspecting incomplete forms, missed delivery schedules that will make up the service quality errors. They also interview key stakeholders within the process and make notes of certain records the individuals have maintained regarding errors that have occurred at thier stage in the manufacturing process..

Step 3 View the results

Now that you have captured your data plot the results – map the function along the X axis and the volume of each failure as a ration (e.g. parts per thousand) on the y axis

Scenario - Using the data captured at point 2 – John creates a sheet in Excel that lists the results obtained in the data analysis, using the chart function he then creates a diagram. This then displays the results of the Quality Filter Mapping exercise.

Step 4 Target Improvements & Review

The results of the Quality Filter Map, should focus your attention towards the function or process step that has the highest incident of quality failures – this should allow you to then concentrate your improvement activity. Attributing a cost of failure will help understand the impact this has on the bottom line of your business.

Completing an initial Quality Filter map also acts as a benchmark enabling you to conduct this activity in the future on a different data set and measure the results (and hopefully noting improvements!)

Scenario - John recognises that the largest failures are in machining and that they are centred around items that are scrapped due to incorrect manufacture. He organises an improvement team to focus on this activity and sets a review meeting to re-compile the Quality Filter Map in 3 months to review the affect of the changes the team will implement.


Used as part of a continuous improvement program, Quality Filter Mapping provides a tool that can present defects and quality failures within the context of a process - it provides a start point for where businesses are experiencing problems and a benchmark as to performance.


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