Quality Tools

There are numerous quality tools that staff and students may use to enhance participation in group processes, to problem solve, and to analyze and monitor progress. The following quality tools are among the most frequently used tools. Several resources are available to staff and students who wish to broaden their knowledge, use, and application of quality tools.

Affinity Diagram

An affinity diagram is an interactive data collection method that allows large groups of students/staff to process several ideas about a topic. Brainstorm on sticky notes, then categorize like information into categories.

Bone Diagram

A bone diagram is a tool to organize and clarify the current and desired state of a situation or issue. Driving and restraining forces are also identified. What drives progress? What prevents progress?


A consensogram is a fast-feedback tool used to gather data in an effort to define the entire group’s perception of effort, commitment, understanding, etc. This consensogram was used to assess which strategies students were using to subtract in first grade.

Essential Facts

Create a list of essential facts for your students. Choose a random sampling of questions periodically for the students to answer. Grade together, providing review of previous material and a preview of lessons to come.

Fishbone Diagram

A fishbone diagram is a cause/effect tool. Place the effect in the head of the fishbone (What is going on?). Include major cause categories on the bones of the fish, then brainstorm minor causes below each major cause.

Five Why's

This is a strategy used to help students reach a conclusion.

Flow Chart

A flow chart is a tool used to map the flow of a process. Younger grades may choose to use pictures instead of words.


Imagineering describes the perfect situation. Example: What would the perfect seating arrangement look like in our classroom?

Lotus Diagram

A lotus diagram is used to break large topics into smaller components.

Parking Lot

Post this tool in your classroom for general use, or use this tool as a ticket to leave the classroom after a lesson. Include plus, delta, questions, & ideas for improvement.

Plan - Do - Study - Act

When opportunities for improvement arise in the classroom, begin by clearly defining the issue before tackling solutions to the problem. Collect baseline data to assess the situation.


A Plus/Delta is a tool to collect data regarding what should continue and what needs to improve. Plus: What should continue? What is helping us reach our goal? Delta: What needs to improve?

Student Data Collection

Students measure progress towards personal goals.

Student Goal Setting

Students set measurable, attainable goals and keep data records to measure progress.