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There are 859 entries in the glossary.
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Term Definition

1) Obtain information on attitudes and morale.

2) Understand how behavior affects the company and how resistance manifests.

3) Evaluate these attitudes and behaviors.

4) Establish an open-door policy and an open-mind concept.

5) Become an effective listener.

6) Use time effectively to avoid the common pitfall of not enough time to do, listen, collect data, learn.

7) Provide tools - education/training in latest techniques, technologies, etc.

8) Measure results of team activities to demonstrate interest.

9) Reward people/teams for performance stages.

10 Don't procrastinate; make decisions.


W. Edward Demings 14 management practices to help companies increase their quality and productivity:

1) create constancy of purpose for improving products and services,

2) adopt the new philosophy,

3) cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality,

4) end the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier,

5) improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production, and service,

6) institute training on the job,

7) adopt and institute leadership,

8) drive out fear,

9) break down barriers between staff areas,

10) eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force,

11) eliminate numerical quotas for the work force and numerical goals for management,

12) remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship and eliminate the annual rating or merit system,

13) institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone and,

14) put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation

3 MU

Three Japanese words that mean:

  • waste (muda),
  • strain (muri),
  • discrepancy (mura)
5-WhysKeep asking why at each successive level of detail

Five Japanese words that describe workplace and individual cleanliness activities.

  • Straighten up your workplace or desk.(Seiri)
  • Sort out your equipment.(Seiton)
  • Sweep and clean your workplace.(Seiso)
  • Spotlessly maintain your appearance and character.(Seiketsu)
  • Self-discipline to follow rules, procedures, and standards. (Shitsuke) 
7 Basic Tools of Quality
  • Cause and Effects Diagram
  • Flowchart
  • Histogram
  • Pareto Chart
  • Run Chart
  • Scatter Diagram
  • Control Charts

A term referring to the Pareto principle, which was first defined by J. M. Juran in 1950. The principle suggests that most effects come from relatively few causes, that is, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the possible causes

AAAbbreviated Analysis 
AALAAmerican Association for Laboratory Accreditation
ABSCISSAThe horizontal axis of a graph
Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)AQL is limit of a satisfactory process average at a particular quality level when a continuing series of lots is considered
Acceptance Region Alpha RiskThe region of values for which the null hypothesis is accepted
Acceptance sampling

Inspection of a sample from a lot to decide whether to accept or not accept that lot. There are two types: attributes sampling and variables sampling. In attributes sampling, the presence or absence of a characteristic is noted in each of the units inspected. In variables sampling, the numerical magnitude of a characteristic is measured and recorded for each inspected unit; this involves reference to a continuous scale of some kind


Certification by a duly recognized body of the facilities, capability, objectivity, competence, and integrity of an agency, service, or operational group or individual to provide the specific service or operation needed. For example, the Registrar Accreditation Board accredits those organizations that register companies to the ISO 9000 series standards

Accredited RegistrarsQualified organizations certified by a national body to perform audits to the QS9000 standard and to register the audited facility as meeting these requirements for a given commodity
AccuracyThe closeness of agreement between an observed value and an accepted reference value. Also see Precision

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, released for the first time in October 1994, is an economic indicator, a cross-industry measure of the satisfaction of U.S. household customers with the quality of the goods and services available to them both those goods and services produced within the United States and those provided as imports from foreign firms that have substantial market shares or dollar sales. The ACSI is co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Business School ASQ, and the CFI Group


A name process, function, or task that occurs over time and has recognizable results. Activities combine to form business processes / A process, function or task that occurs over time and has recognizable results. Activities combine to form business processes

Activity AccountingThe collection of financial and operation performance data about significant activities of an enterprise
Activity Analysis

The analysis and measurement (in terms of time, cost, and throughput) of distinct units of work that make up a process

Activity Based Costing (ABC)

An accounting technique that allows an enterprise to determine the actual costs associated with each product and service produced by that enterprise without regard to the organizational structure of the enterprise

Activity measureA performance value assigned to an activity's primary output
Activity model

A graphic representation of a business process that exhibits the activities and their interdependencies that make up the business process to any desired level of detail. An activity model reveals the interactions between activities in terms of inputs and outputs while showing the controls placed on each activity and the types of resources assigned to each activity

Activity model (AS-IS)

An activity model that portrays how a business process is currently structured. It is used to establish a baseline for subsequent business process improvement actions or programs

Activity model (TO-BE)

An activity model that results from a business process redesigned action or program. The TO-BE model shows how the business process will function after the improvement action is implemented

Activity, non-value added

Any activity that provides a negative return on the investment or allocation of resources to that activity. Within broad limits, the enterprise benefits by allocating less resource to non-value added activities

Activity, value added

Any activity that contributes directly to the performance of a mission, and could not be eliminated without impairing the mission

Activity-Based Management (ABM)

A system of management that seeks to optimize the value-added activities performed by the enterprise while at the same time minimizing or eliminating the non-value added activities, resulting in overall improvements in the effectiveness and the efficiency of the enterprise in serving its customers


Used in QS-9000. Indicates the intent of the standard has been bet, given the scope of the supplier's operation

Affinity Diagram

A tool used to organize ideas, usually generated through brainstorming, into groups of related thoughts. The emphasis is on a pre-rational, gut-fell sort of grouping, often done by the members of the group with little or no talking. Also known as the KJ method after its creator, Kawakita Jiro

Affinity Diagram method (KJ method)

Clarifies important but unresolved problems by collecting verbal data from disordered and confused situations and analyzing that data by mutual affinity. It is typically represented graphically as nested squared ellipses (concepts) which have smaller and smaller subgroupings of concepts

AHPAnalytical Hierarchy Process
AIAGAutomotive Industry Action Group
AISAutomated Information System

A finite set of well-defined rules for the solution of a problem in a finite number of steps. (2) Any sequence of operations for performing a specific task

Algorithm Analysis

A software task to ensure that the algorithms selected are correct, appropriate, and stable, and meet all accuracy, timing, and sizing requirements


A scale which measures how close an employee's personal needs are to the organization's needs / the degree of agreement, conformance and consistency among organizational purpose, vision and values; structures, systems, and processes; and individual skills and behaviors

Alpha RiskThe probability of accepting the alternate hypothesis when, in reality, the null hypothesis is true
Alternate Hypothesis

A tentative explanation which indicates that an event does not follow a chance distribution; a contrast to the null hypothesis. 

AMECArmy Management Engineering College
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

A US program to assure businesses and their goods and services are accessible to people with disabilities. The law defines accessibility on the basis of function, and thus is a good fit with QFD to prioritize functions according to customer needs. Thus, with a clear definition of customer driven functions, we can craft job descriptions and tasks to take advantage of the abilities of people with disabilities


To separate into elemental parts or basic principles so as to determine the nature of the whole (2) A course of reasoning showing that a certain result is a consequence of assumed premises. (3) (ANSI) The methodical investigation of a problem, and the separation of the problem into smaller related units for further detailed study

Analysis of means (ANOM)

A statistical procedure for troubleshooting industrial processes and analyzing the results of experimental designs with factors at fixed levels. It provides a graphical display of data. Ellis R. Ott developed the procedure in 1967 because he observed that nonstatisticians had difficulty understanding analysis of variance. Analysis of means is easier for quality practitioners to use because it is an extension of the control chart. In 1973, Edward G. Schilling further extended the concept, enabling analysis of means to be used with nonnormal distributions and attributes data where the normal approximation to the binomial distribution does not apply. This is referred to as analysis of means for treatment effects

Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

A basic statistical technique for analyzing experimental data. It subdivides the total variation of a data set into meaningful component parts associated with specific sources of variation in order to test a hypothesis on the parameters of the model or to estimate variance components. There are three models: fixed, random, and mixed

Analytic Network Process

The Analytic Network Process (ANP), though based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process, is a system for the analysis, synthesis, and justification of complex decisions with the capability to model non-linear relations between the elements. ANP allows the decision maker(s) to leap beyond the traditional hierarchy to the interdependent environment of network modeling. The ANP is designed for problems characterized by the added complexity of interdependencies such as feedback and dependencies among problem elements. Using a network approach makes it possible to represent and analyze interactions, incorporate non-linear relations between the elements, and synthesize mutual effects by a single logical procedure

Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)

Developed by Thomas Saaty, AHP provides a proven, effective means to deal with complex decision making and can assist with identifying and weighting selection criteria, analyzing the data collected for the criteria and expediting the decision-making process


Anything observed in the documentation or operation of software that deviates from expectations based on previously verified software products or reference documents. See: bug, defect, error, exception, fault

ANSIAmerican National Standards Institute
AOQAverage outgoing quality
AOQLAverage outgoing quality limit

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