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Teaching The Tools Of Quality

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.431.1 - 1.431.4

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Paper Authors

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John S. Gillard

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Gary P. Maul

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3557 Teaching The Tools of Quality

Gary P. Maul John S. Gillard The Ohio State University Honda of America Manufacturing Columbus, OH Marysville, OH


Total Quality Management (TQM) is not the panacea it might have promised to be. However, the tools of quality used in TQM are of considerable value. Used correctly they can be used to resolve many business concerns. Correct use comes from teaching not only the tools’ processes, but also their benefits, and limitations. The tools must also be taught in reference to the policies, procedures and beliefs of the organization. Specifically, the tools should be taught using a carefully focused demonstration followed by a structured exercise. This proved most effective in promoting the successful use of quality tools at Honda of America Manufacturing (HAM).

Methods Used

How to teach these tools has always been a concern. Quality tools are generally taught as a series of discrete nonintegrated units. Each tool’s use is taught separately from the other. Learning to use these tools in this way is similar to someone trying to learn to speak a foreign language by memorizing a dictionary. It represents an impossible task. The ineffectiveness of this method was seen when associates were required to show on-the-job use of at least one tool after taking classes to learn about each tool. The examples presented generally did not show tools helping solve a problem, but rather showed a tool injected into a previously solved problem. This diluted the worth of these classes. A better method had to be developed.

A second method of teaching uses two concepts as guides:

1. The characteristics of adult learners2 3 2. The theory of knowledge.

Teaching adult learners is different from teaching other students in four ways:

1 The learners, not the instructor, determine what is important. 2. The content should be immediately useful. 3. Experiences contribute more to the opinions of adult learners, at times they have a fixed point of view prior to the class. 4. They do not accept information at face value.4

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Gillard, J. S., & Maul, G. P. (1996, June), Teaching The Tools Of Quality Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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