Defining the Process Improvement Scope

Defining the Process Improvement Scope

In Assessment 1, you identified the process problem from within Toyota circa 2010 that you will address in your OIP, and in Assessment 2 you began to identify the new process you would propose to address that problem. The next critical step in creating an OIP is to refine your problem statement by defining it in detail. While there are a number of tools you can use to do this, the two you will focus on in this assessment are the cause-and-effect, or fishbone, diagram and the process flowchart.


Take time to familiarize yourself with cause-and-effect diagrams and process flowcharts. Consider the details and kind of information that both visual tools require to be most effective. If you do not already have all the details and information that you need to make these versions of these tools for your identified process, conduct additional research as necessary.


Create and analyze visual tools to better understand the process that will be the focus of your OIP. Then, create a report analyzing the information you found through the tools, developing your process scope, and refining your problem statement. To do this, complete the following:

  • Develop a cause-and-effect diagram that graphically depicts the potential causes of the problem that you are focusing on for your OIP, and then write an analysis of those causes and their effects in the report for this assessment.
  • Develop a graphic flowchart of existing process that you are seeking to improve. Then create a flowchart of the new, improved process you are proposing. Take time to compare the differences between the two. Think about what these flowcharts reveal about the following:
    • Previously unidentified steps.
    • Products or services that should have been undergoing quality checks but were not.
    • Instances in the old process when critical information was not shared among all involved people and functions.
  • Write a report analyzing the information you gleaned from these visual tools. As you do, consider these questions:
    • Does any information from the cause-and-effect diagram or the flowcharts point to a particular cause?
    • Does your cause-and-effect diagram conflict with your flowchart? If so, how?
    • Does the cause-and-effect diagram reveal any process steps that were not previously documented?
    • Do you need to do further research on any causes identified in the cause-and-effect diagram?
    • Is there a key stakeholder who might have additional or updated feedback for the process flowchart? If so, identify the position (or role) of the stakeholder and describe what he or she might say.
  • Drawing on what you have learned in these exercises, develop a process improvement scope. Your scope should concisely summarize the objective of your OIP. As you craft your process improvement scope, consider how your deeper understanding of the process may help you refine the problem statement you will use as the focus of your OIP. Include your refined problem statement with your process improvement scope.

Submit your visual tools, your analysis of both visual tools, your summary of the scope of your process improvement objective, and your revised problem statement for this assessment. The work you do for this report should inform your work in future assessments. You will also draw on it for the final, comprehensive OIP that you will submit in Assessment 6.

Additional Requirements

  • Length of report: 3–5 typed, double-spaced pages.
  • APA formatting: Format resources and citations according to APA style and formatting.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
Operations Management

The following resources offer a foundational broad view of operations management.

You may want to search this blog for the following terms: automotive recalls, operations improvement, and strategic planning.

Case Studies

The following case studies are recommended for further examination of the topics addressed in this assessment.

You may wish to purchase this resource from Harvard Business School Publishing.

  • Mishina, K. (1995). Toyota motor manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc. [Case No. 693-019]. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.