Conformance to specifications
How well a product or service meets the targets and tolerances determined by its designers.
Fitness for use
A definition of quality that evaluates how well the product performs for its intended use.
Value for price paid
Quality defined in terms of product or service usefulness for the price paid.
Quality defined in terms of the support provided after the product or service is purchased.
A way of defining quality that focuses on judgmental evaluations of what constitutes product or service excellence.
Costs incurred in the process of preventing poor quality from occurring.
Costs incurred in the process of uncovering defects.
Internal failure costs
Costs associated with discovering poor product quality before the product reaches the customer.
External failure costs
Costs associated with quality problems that occur at the customer site.
Total quality management (TQM)
Philosophy that seeks to improve quality by eliminating causes of product defects and by making quality the responsibility of everyone in the organization.
A design that results in a product that can perform over a wide range of conditions.
Taguchi loss function
Costs of quality increase as a quadratic functions as conformance values move away from the target.
A philosophy of never-ending improvement.
A Japanese term that describes the notion of a company continually striving to be better through learning and problem solving.
Plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle
A diagram that describes the activities that need to be performed to incorporate continuous improvement into the operation.
The process of studying the practices of companies considered “best-in-class” and comparing your company;s performance against theirs.
A team of volunteer production employees and their supervisors who meet regularly to solve quality problems.
A chart that identifies potential causes of particular quality problems.
A schematic of the sequence of steps involved in an operation or process.
A list of common defects and the number of observed occurrences of these defects.
Charts used to evaluate whether a process is operating within set expectations.
Graph that show how two variables are related to each other.
A technique used to identify quality problems based on their degree of importance.
A chart that shows the frequency distribution of observed values of a variable.
Quality function deployment (QFD)
A tool used to translate the preferences of the customer into specific technical requirements.
The probability that a product, service, or part will perform as intended.
Quality at the source
The belief that it is best to uncover the source of quality problems and eliminate it.
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
An award given annually to companies that demonstrate quality excellence and establish best practice standards in industry.
A Japanese award given to companies to recognize efforts in quality improvement.
A set of international quality standards and a certification demonstrating that companies have met all the standards specified.
A set of international standards developed to help organizations evaluate and address their social responsibility.
A set of standards and a certification focusing on a company’s environmental responsibility.
The meaning of quality as defined by the customer.