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Special Cause Variation: Detecting Patterns Over Time

In a previous blog post, we discussed the two types of variation: common cause and special cause. In order to take appropriate actions to reduce variation in our processes, we need to be able to differentiate between common cause and special cause. Reduced variation can lead to less rework, less waste, more predictability and control, and happier customers. As we discussed previously, common cause variation requires a holistic approach to process improvement (such as the DMAIC process – define, measure, analyze improve, control). However, special cause variation indicates a change to a process and must often be addressed immediately. Plotting your data over time is one of the easiest way

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