Use Check Sheets to Identify Patterns and Trends in Data

Posted by on Jul 21, 2011 in Continuous Improvement, Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

A check sheet is a data-recording device used to categorize and measure the frequency of process problems, causes, and other performance factors.  A check sheet can help you in the following applications:
  • Provide consistent data collection
  • Identify and define problems / opportunities
  • Set priorities
  • Identify root causes
  • Follow up and verify results

Check sheets are designed to help collect data with minimal effort but high visibility.  They can vary from simple tally sheets to custom-designed forms to collect data into segmented categories.  The information can indicate patterns and trends.  Data is collected over a period of time and presented in tabular form.
An example of a check sheet is shown below.  In this example data is collected on three different defects for one day’s production on each shift.  It is easy to see that defect C has the highest frequency and that most of the defects occur on 1st and 3rd shifts.  Follow-up investigations can then be conducted as to the root causes of the defects and the differences in shift quantities.
Shift
Defect
1
2
3
Total
A
xx
x
xxx
6
B
x
x
2
C
xxxx
xxx
xxxxx
15


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