Common Cause and Special Cause (statistics) - Importance To Industrial and Quality Management

Importance To Industrial and Quality Management

A special-cause failure is a failure that can be corrected by changing a component or process, whereas a common-cause failure is equivalent to noise in the system and specific actions cannot be made to prevent the failure.

Harry Alpert observed:

A riot occurs in a certain prison. Officials and sociologists turn out a detailed report about the prison, with a full explanation of why and how it happened here, ignoring the fact that the causes were common to a majority of prisons, and that the riot could have happened anywhere.

The quote recognises that there is a temptation to react to an extreme outcome and to see it as significant, even where its causes are common to many situations and the distinctive circumstances surrounding its occurrence, the results of mere chance. Such behaviour has many implications within management, often leading to ad-hoc interventions that merely increase the level of variation and frequency of undesirable outcomes.

Deming and Shewhart both advocated the control chart as a means of managing a business process in an economically efficient manner.

Read more about this topic:  Common Cause And Special Cause (statistics)

Famous quotes containing the words importance to, management, quality, importance and/or industrial:

    The importance to the writer of first writing must be out of all proportion of the actual value of what is written.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973)

    This we take it is the grand characteristic of our age. By our skill in Mechanism, it has come to pass, that in the management of external things we excel all other ages; while in whatever respects the pure moral nature, in true dignity of soul and character, we are perhaps inferior to most civilised ages.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881)

    Candor is a proof of both a just frame of mind, and of a good tone of breeding. It is a quality that belongs equally to the honest man and to the gentleman.
    James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851)

    People without imagination are beginning to tire of the importance attached to comfort, to culture, to leisure, to all that destroys imagination. This means that people are not really tired of comfort, culture and leisure, but of the use to which they are put, which is precisely what stops us enjoying them.
    Raoul Vaneigem (b. 1934)

    I am convinced that ... we have reestablished confidence. Wages should remain stable. A very large degree of industrial unemployment and suffering which would otherwise have occurred has been prevented.
    Herbert Hoover (1874–1964)