Believe it or not, there are basic Six Sigma tools that everyone can use. Many of you have seen these tools being used in everyday life. Perhaps you get inserts in your electricity bills showing you how much electricity you are using compared to either last month or last year. Another example could be a pie chart showing exactly where you are spending your money, kindly provided to you by your credit card company.
All of these tools gather data so that you have answers to various questions, with actual proof to back it up. With this in mind, here are some great basic Six Sigma tools everyone can use:
- Histogram: Depending on what data you are measuring, the types of histograms will vary. The basic function of a histogram is it allows you to see at a glance any variation in a process.
- Scatter Plot: Unlike the histogram, which uses more of a bar graph to show any type of variation in a process, a scatter plot is a graph of points that show the relationship between sets of data. This tool is useful in spotting what two variables seem to mesh and how they in fact affect the outcome of the process.
- Plato Chart: This chart is based on the 80-20 principle. Here are some examples: 80% of problems come from 20% of projects. Another example would be 80% of sales come from 20% of the clients. This is actually good news, because it lets us know that the issue at hand is actually caused by a small percentage and is fixable. The Plato chart would spotlight on the causes that have the greatest impact when fixed. This visual shows the biggest issues at a glance. Since the Plato chart pinpoints the problem, the desire for quicker improvements is very present, so it could be deemed a tool of inspiration for the team.