Explore BrainMass

Cause & Effect Diagram and Pareto Analysis

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a Cause and Effect diagram and Pareto Analysis in terms of analyzing quality issues?

Using the Cause-and-Effect Diagram for Analyzing Quality Issues

Cause & Effect (CE) diagrams, also referred to as 'fishbone' diagrams, are a tool for discovering and analyzing all/any of the possible causes for a certain effect in activities/problems within a company. The effect being examined is usually an important area of a merchandise, material or product and customer or business service quality overall. Specific problems will involve machinery, parts defects, delivery times, schedule of such delivery times, unraveling bugs, and viruses, etc. in the development and software. Specifications problems, such as 'a machined part not to specification', 'delivery times varying too widely', and 'excessive number of bugs in software under development', will all have a great potential to affect the company's entire internal processes, the way they do everything; low sales, team failures and loss in productivity, control, clientele, and all aspects. The main advantages are:

Solution Preview

Cause and Effect Diagram and Pareto Analysis - Healthcare Management
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a Cause and Effect diagram and Pareto Analysis in terms of analyzing quality issues?

Using the Pareto Analysis for Analyzing Quality Issues
The Pareto Principle of Analysis states that only a "vital few" factors are responsible for producing the majority of the problems. A principle that can be and is often applied to quality improvement to the extent wherein that great majority of problems (80%) are produced by a miniscule only (20%). As such, if the connection can be made so companies can comprehend what is going on, detect and identify problems, and be able to take corrective actions, then there should be a greater probability of success. Usually, a Pareto Analysis is done after a cause-and-effect analysis has been done (MSH, 1998; Wilhite, n.d.).

1. Although the Pareto Analysis (PA) seems to be fairly easy to the 'naked' eye, like anything else, while it has notable advantages, it is not immune to its share of disadvantages listed below.

2. One of the major and very annoying disadvantages is the fact that even though Pareto Analyses (PA's) are able to pin-point (for the most part) the greatest problems, or what is causing major problems, they cannot specify or indicate how serious the problem is or bring a process back to its original state.

3. Therefore, in keeping with the above-mentioned disadvantage, PA's do not provide any real insight on the 'structural or real root' causes of problems per say. Even if there is some sense of where problems are taking place, they do not give much more in terms of indicating where major problems are occurring and why. This knowledge would help to reduce errors and fix them when they occur.

4. When compared to each other, the finer their details are, Pareto Analyses (PA's) tend to lose their ability to detect causes so that what needs to be fixed can be 'red flagged', fixed, and make significant differences.

5. In terms of quantitative and qualitative data, PA's can only be used to display and present qualitative data that one can actually see.

6. They also cannot be used to mathematically test variables or values or deviations etc., more specifically, they cannot calculate the standard deviation, sample means, population means, and deviation from the mean, etc., over a period of time.

7. As a result, they are also unable to calculate any variability and changes in data and information over a period of time (i.e. in a ...