Root Cause Analysis-Combining Tools into New, Elegant Diagram

Turtle Diagram
Turtle Diagram

The Turtle diagram combines three powerful Total Quality Management tools into a simple yet elegant diagram. First outlined by Radley Smith, Roderick Miller, Ph.D and Ronald Bowen, the diagram utilizes three tools familiar to Six Sigma practitioners.

This creates a visual overview of the factors that affect a process, how the process affects the downstream activities and allows you to also note the factors that affect the inputs and the process.

The SIPOC, (Supplier-Input-Process-Output-Customer) is the basic tool used to create a visual chart of the flow of activites from Supplier to Customer.

Adding the key inputs is an adaptation to the Ishakawa ‘fishbone diagram”, which is the basic tool used to find Root Causes.

You can use the process flow chart to create a more detailed process map for any process or set of processes.

Using this kind of diagram in a team or cross functional or inter-departmental environment helps everyone “see” the larger picture and helps each contribute to the overall problem solving process.

Thanks to William Levinson, who presented this at a recent ASQ Root Cause Analysis course I attended.

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