A quality control circle, or quality circle refers to a group of workers who meet to continually identify, analyze, and problem solve. These circles are comprised of a small group of individuals who do similar work or work in the same department and are led by a supervisor. The practice of these groups meeting regularly is an effective tool for continuous improvement, as issues are solved as they are raised and standards are implemented over time.
The structure of meetings using quality circles will generally follow the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, the ideal cycle for continuous improvement projects. When solutions arise, the supervisor or manager leading the group then can take the plan and present it to higher management or other leaders. The encouragement of employee participation results in the “experts” of the job identifying problems and suggesting practical solutions.