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1 proportion test
Compares a sample proportion to a hypothesized population proportion. It is used when dealing with categorical data and determining if there's a significant difference between observed and expected proportions. To perform this test, you'll typically use methods like z-test or chi-square test.

1 sample Poisson test
Analyzes count data based on the Poisson distribution. It's used to assess whether the observed count data significantly differs from a hypothesized Poisson distribution. This test typically involves comparing observed counts with expected counts using statistical methods appropriate for Poisson distributions.

1 sample Sign test
Determines if the median of a sample differs significantly from a known or hypothesized value. It's used when dealing with ordinal or continuous data. The test involves comparing observations to a reference value, often using the sign of the differences between observed and expected values.

1 sample t test
Determines if the mean of a single sample differs significantly from a known or hypothesized value. It's used for small sample sizes when analyzing the mean of continuous data. This test assesses whether the sample mean differs significantly from the population mean.

1 sample Wilcoxon
Also known as the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, it assesses if there's a significant difference between paired observations from a single sample. It's used when data don't meet the assumptions of parametric tests or when dealing with ordinal or continuous data.

1 sample Z test
Similar to the 1 sample t test but applicable when the sample size is large and/or the population standard deviation is known. It checks if the sample mean differs significantly from a known or hypothesized value. Commonly used for continuous data.

1 variance test
Analyzes whether the variance of a single sample significantly differs from a hypothesized value. It's used to compare the variability within a single group or sample. This test often involves comparing the sample variance with an expected variance.

100% inspection
Full quality inspection of all units in an inspection lot. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

14 Points
14 Points: W. Edwards Deming’s 14 management practices to help organizations 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 workforce; 11) eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce 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 rigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone; and 14) put everybody in the organization to work to accomplish the transformation.

2 proportions test
Compares the proportions from two independent groups or samples. It determines if there's a significant difference between the proportions of categorical data in two groups. This test is used to assess the association or difference between two proportions.

2 sample Poisson test
Compares count data between two independent samples based on the Poisson distribution. It assesses if the observed counts in two groups significantly differ from the expected counts. This test is used when dealing with count data from two groups.

2 sample t test
Compares the means of two independent samples to assess if they significantly differ from each other. It's used for continuous data and determines if there's a significant difference between the means of two groups.

2 variances test
Determines if the variances of two independent samples are significantly different from each other. This test is used to compare the variability between two groups or samples. It involves assessing if the sample variances significantly differ.

2-sample t-test
Statistics tool used in hypothesis testing in order to check the mean value of two populations using sampling.

3 Mu
See Muda, Mura, Muri.

Denotes three-dimensional space or representation in graphics or modeling.

3D scatterplot
Represents three variables simultaneously in a graphical plot. Each axis corresponds to one variable, allowing visualization of relationships between three variables in a dataset.

See Gemba, Gembutsu, Gemjitsu.

3P: The production preparation process is a tool for designing lean manufacturing environments. It is a highly disciplined, standardized model that results in the development of an improved production process in which low waste levels are achieved at low capital cost.

Refers to four key factors in problem-solving: Manpower, Machinery, Materials, and Methods. It's used in various industries to identify and address issues in processes.

4W3H questions
Questioning technique for problem analysis. Who? What? When? Why? How? How much or how many? How good?

5 Principles of Lean
Core principles focusing on waste reduction and continuous improvement in manufacturing or service industries. Principles include: Value, Value Stream, Flow, Pull, Perfection.

5 Principles of the Simpler Business System (SBS)
Principles emphasizing simplicity, focusing on customer value, eliminating waste, standardizing processes, and continuously improving. This system aims to streamline operations and improve efficiency.

5 Whys
A problem-solving technique involving asking "why" repeatedly to identify the root cause of an issue. It aims to uncover deeper causes behind problems rather than addressing surface-level symptoms.

Sort, straighten (or set in order), shine (or sanitize), standardize and sustain. See Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke. The five Ss stand for order and cleanliness at the workplace (concept that originated in Japan). They also describe a procedure that can help to establish a new system for the upkeep of production means in five steps.

5S (Principles)
Workplace organization method: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain. Aims to improve efficiency, safety, and cleanliness in a workspace.

5W + 1H
Technique for asking Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How to gather information and analyze situations comprehensively.

5W technique
Problem-solving technique. The question “why“ is asked five times in a row in order to find the actual cause of the problem.

Represents six factors in problem-solving: Manpower, Machinery, Materials, Methods, Measurement, Mother Nature (Environment).

Workplace organization method: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain, Safety. Focuses on cleanliness and organization in the workplace, including safety as a key aspect.

Quality management methodology aiming for defect reduction by improving processes and output quality. Utilizes statistical methods to achieve high levels of quality.

7 creativity tools
See Creativity techniques.

7 management tools
See Management tools.

7 QC Tools
Seven basic quality control tools: Check Sheets, Pareto Charts, Cause-and-Effect Diagrams, Histograms, Scatter Diagrams, Control Charts, and Flowcharts. Used for process improvement and problem-solving.

7 quality management principles
You can find out more about this in the Quality management principles.

7 quality tools
See Quality tools.

7 Wastes
In Lean methodology, seven types of waste: Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Overprocessing, Defects. Aimed to eliminate waste in processes.

7. Direct analogies (brainstorming),
9. Application to the initial problem.

8 Wastes
Extension of the 7 wastes in Lean, including the additional waste of Underutilized Skills or Human Potential. Focuses on eliminating non-value-adding activities.

Problem-solving methodology: Eight Disciplines. Used for identifying, correcting, and preventing recurring problems.

8D report
Document within the framework of complaint management. It was standardized by VDA and is primarily used in the automotive (supplier) industry. In addition to the type of complaint, the 8D report also contains the responsibilities and corrective actions. The 8D approach to problem-solving forces a systematic procedure and strict documentation of the solution steps. This enables the root causes of problems to be recognized and remedied. The process contains the following eight disciplines (8D) or steps: Form a team to solve the problem; Describe the problem; Determine interim containment actions; Determine the root causes; Plan corrective actions; Implement the actions; Prevent recurrence of problems; Show appreciation for the team‘s performance.


American Association for Laboratory Accreditation.

Paper size but also a problem-solving framework that fits on an A3-sized paper. It typically includes problem identification, analysis, action planning, and review.

A3 report
A3 report: The A3 report, developed by Toyota, is a problem-solving tool to define or clarify problems, suggest solutions, and record the results of improvement activities. The report is written on ledger-sized paper (11 x 17 inches) and includes text, pictures, diagrams, and charts broken into different sections, each clearly labeled and arranged in a logical flow to produce a desired outcome for a proposed process.

A3 thinking
Problem-solving approach based on the A3 format, emphasizing concise documentation and structured problem-solving steps.

Average Amount of Inspection.

Activity-based costing. User-based distribution of overhead costs to the performances (reference value is the performance or the process). Tool to analyze and control overhead costs. The result makes it possible to show the relationship between resources and products in terms of economic performance.

ABC analysis
Business management procedure to support planning and decisionmaking. Certain classification methods or schemes are used tom rate operational objects or factors according to their significance/importance and subsequently group them into A, B and C classes. This indicates the portion of the business volume held by important customers or the percentage of high-quality products on stock. The ABC analysis provides a rough idea of the ACTUAL situation and serves as a basis for more precise analyses of problematic areas.

ABC-XYZ analysis
In materials management, the XYZ analysis first means a classification of procurement objects with regard to their consumption characteristics (e.g., constant, seasonal, sporadic). In general, unlike the ABC analysis which groups according to significance, the classification here is according to other criteria (e.g., required quantitative material or resource usage: high, medium, low). In order to improve the effectiveness of an ABC analysis or a purely XYZ analysis, the two are combined into an ABC-XYZ analysis. This shows that, for example, lower value articles constitute a high proportion of the inventory and at the same time demand high resource usage for their storage. The advantage of this analysis method is that it remains limited to a few dimensions and consequently makes it comparatively easy to recognize weak points that can then be considered in more detail. See ABC analysis, XYZ analysis.

Absolute value or magnitude, disregarding direction. Used in mathematics and measurements.

Absolute liability
Absolute liability (also strict liability) is liability for damages that result from an allowed hazard. Liability for damages arises regardless of guilt.

Acceptance number.

Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP)
Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP): A forum for higher education institutions to review one another’s action projects.

Accelerated life test
Experiment to estimate the life expectancy or reliability of a product by exposing it to accelerated stress conditions.

Acceptable quality level (AQL)
In quality control, the maximum acceptable defect rate in a particular sample. Used in acceptance sampling plans.

Acceptable risk
See Limiting risk.

Finding that the criteria for the acceptability of the inspection lot are fulfilled.

Acceptance inspection
Quality inspection to determine whether or not a product is acceptable as supplied or delivered. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Acceptance number
Acceptance number: The maximum number of defects or defectives allowable in a sampling lot for the lot to be acceptable.

Acceptance quality limit (AQL)
Acceptance quality limit (AQL): In a continuing series of lots, a quality level that, for the purpose of sampling inspection, is the limit of a satisfactory process average.

Acceptance region plot
Graphical representation in statistical hypothesis testing showing the region of acceptance for a test statistic under a given significance level.

Acceptance sampling
Acceptance sampling: Inspection of a sample from a lot to decide whether to 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.

Acceptance sampling plan
Acceptance sampling plan: A specific plan that indicates the sampling sizes and associated acceptance or nonacceptance criteria to be used. In attributes sampling, for example, there are single, double, multiple, sequential, chain and skip-lot sampling plans. In variables sampling, there are single, double and sequential sampling plans. For detailed descriptions of these plans, see the standard ANSI/ISO/CiCC A3534-2-1993: Statistics—Vocabulary and Symbols—Statistical Quality Control.

Accreditation: Certification by a 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. The term has multiple meanings depending on the sector. Laboratory accreditation assesses the capability of a laboratory to conduct testing, generally using standard test methods. Accreditation for healthcare organizations involves an authoritative body surveying and verifying compliance with recognized criteria, similar to certification in other sectors.

Accreditation body
Accreditation body: An organization with authority to accredit other organizations to perform services such as quality system certification.

Accuracy: The closeness of agreement between an observed value and an accepted reference value.

Accuracy and precision
Accuracy refers to the closeness of measurements to the true value, while precision refers to the consistency or reproducibility of measurements.

ACLASS Accreditation Services
ACLASS Accreditation Services: An ANSI-CiCC National Accreditation Board company that provides accreditation services for: testing and calibration labs in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025; reference material producers in accordance with ISO Guide 34; and inspection bodies in accordance with ISO/IEC 17020.

In mathematics, the inverse trigonometric function for finding an angle given the cosine value.

Action limit
Maximum or minimum value that is entered into a quality control chart. Action must be taken if a characteristic value falls above or below this value. (On the basis of DIN 55350-33)

Action Plan
Detailed plan outlining specific steps to achieve a particular goal or address an issue.

Active listening
See Indirect communication behavior.

Activity Boards
Visual boards used to display and manage tasks or activities in a project or workflow.

Activity network diagram
Activity network diagram: An arrow diagram used in planning.

Activity-based costing
Activity-based costing: An accounting system that assigns costs to a product based on the amount of resources used to design, order or make it.

Added-value performance
Activity (performance) that leads to value enhancement from the customer‘s point of view. It increases the value of a product for the customer.

Additive model
Statistical model assuming the combined effect of multiple factors is the sum of the effects of individual factors.

Adjusted p value
Statistical technique adjusting the significance threshold in multiple hypothesis testing to account for multiple comparisons and reduce false positives.

Adjusted residuals for counts
Residuals in statistical models used to assess the difference between observed and expected counts, often in contingency tables. Adjusted for model complexity.

Precise adjustment (matching) of a measuring instrument by a changing intervention in the measuring instrument in order to minimize errors of measurement to an acceptable degree.

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)
Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP): A high-level automotive process for product realization, from design through production part approval.

Adverse event
Adverse event: A healthcare term for any event that is not consistent with the desired, normal or usual operation of the organization; also known as a sentinel event.

Affinity Chart (diagram)
Visual tool used in brainstorming and organizing ideas by grouping related concepts or items together.

Affinity Charts
Another term for Affinity Diagrams. Used in brainstorming and problem-solving to organize and categorize ideas.

Affinity diagram
Affinity diagram: A management tool for organizing information (usually gathered during a brainstorming activity).

Association Française de Normalisation. Official French authority for standardization.

Agenda 21
Development and environmental policy action plan for the 21st century. More than 170 countries adopted this guidance paper for sustainable development at the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Meanwhile Agenda 21 (sustainable development) is also seen as the guideline for public action.

Aggregate data
Data combined or summarized from individual-level data into groups or categories for analysis or reporting.

Agile: Shorthand for agile project management. This is a type of software project management that focuses on early delivery of business value, continuous improvement of a project’s product and processes, scope flexibility, team input and delivering well-tested products that reflect customer needs.

Agile certification
Certification programs verifying proficiency in Agile methodologies, often covering frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, Lean, etc.

Agility: The ability for organizations to respond rapidly to changes in internal and external environments without losing momentum or vision.

Automotive Industry Action Group. Automotive industry organization in the US with headquarters in Michigan.

Law from August 1, 2009 regarding the accreditation body. This regulates such aspects as the tasks and authorities of the national accreditation body and of the accreditation advisory board. It is based on Regulation (EC) No. 765/2008, which provides for the establishment of a single national accreditation body in every member state of the EU by January 1, 2010.

An alternative name or label used to represent a variable, command, or entity in various contexts or programming languages.

Alignment: Actions to ensure that a process or activity supports the organization’s strategy, goals and objectives.

A statistical measure of internal consistency or reliability in tests or measurements, commonly used in assessing scales or instruments.

Alpha for axial points
In Design of Experiments (DOE), a measure used to evaluate the reliability of effects at axial points in a factorial experiment.

Alpha risk
Maximum risk that the examining party faces if it rejects the null hypothesis Ho although it is true.

Alternative hypothesis (Ha) (also called the working hypothesis)
Hypothesis that there are differences.

Alternative Path
In project management or process flow, an alternate route or sequence used when the main path encounters obstacles or changes.

Autonomous Maintenance in Total Productive Maintenance (TPM): An approach where equipment operators perform routine maintenance tasks to improve equipment efficiency.

American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)
American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA): An organization that formally recognizes another organization’s competency to perform specific tests, types of tests or calibrations.

American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)
American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI): Released for the first time in October 1994, an economic indicator and cross-industry measure of the satisfaction of U.S. household customers with the quality of the goods and services available to them. This includes goods and services produced in the United States and imports from foreign firms that have substantial market shares or dollar sales. CiCC is a founding sponsor of the ACSI, along with the University of Michigan Business School and the CFI Group.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
American National Standards Institute (ANSI): A private, nonprofit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. It is the U.S. member body in the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO.

American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT)
American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT): A technical society for nondestructive testing (NDT) professionals.

American Society for Quality (ASQ)
American Society for Quality (ASQ): A professional, not-for-profit association that develops, promotes and applies quality-related information and technology for the private sector, government and academia. ASQ serves individual and organizational members in more than 140 countries.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM): Not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International: Not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services.

American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)
American Society for Training and Development (ASTD): A membership organization that provides materials, education and support related to workplace learning and performance.

American standard code for information interchange (ASCII)
American standard code for information interchange (ASCII): The basic computer characters accepted by all American machines and many foreign ones.

Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA)
Statistical technique combining analysis of variance (ANOVA) with linear regression to assess the influence of continuous covariates on a dependent variable.

Analysis of means
Statistical method comparing means from multiple groups or treatments, often used in experimental designs with multiple factors or levels.

Analysis of means (ANOM)
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 non-normal distributions and attributes data in which 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)
Analysis of variance (ANOVA): A basic statistical technique for determining the proportion of influence a factor or set of factors has on total variation. It subdivides the total variation of a data set into meaningful component parts associated with specific sources of variation to test a hypothesis on the parameters of the model or to estimate variance components. There are three models: fixed, random and mixed.

Analysis of variance table
Table displaying the sources of variation and degrees of freedom in an ANOVA, summarizing the statistical analysis of group differences.

Stage in process improvement methodologies (e.g., Six Sigma) involving data analysis to identify root causes and potential solutions.

Analyze Phase
Phase in Six Sigma or process improvement methodologies focused on data analysis and identifying areas for improvement.

Analyze variability
Process of investigating and understanding the variation in data or outcomes to determine sources of variability.

Anchor column
In data tables or databases, a fixed reference column used for organizing or aligning data, often used in data manipulation or sorting.

Anderson-Darling statistic
A measure used to assess how well a sample's distribution fits a particular theoretical distribution, especially for testing normality.

Central display panel for the problem site and visual inspection. The color of the light on the display panel indicates if operation is running normally (green) or if operation (the line) must be briefly stopped (yellow) or if operation (the line) must be stopped (red). The employees who discover the problem set the signal (color of the light). Japanese quality engineering.

Andon board
Andon board: A production area visual control device, such as a lighted overhead display. It communicates the status of the production system and alerts team members to emerging problems (from “andon,” a Japanese word meaning “light”).

Associazione Nazionale Filiera Industria Automobilistica. Organization of the Italian automotive industry with headquarters in Turin, Italy.

Annual Objectives
Goals or targets set by an organization or individual to achieve within a year, guiding strategic planning and performance.

,Analysis of Variance Statistics tool in the area of hypothesis tests that is used to compare more than two mean values simultaneously. Within the Six Sigma DMAIC cycle, ANOVA is primarily used during the analyze and improve phase in order to statistically confirm important input variables to a process. Example: Problem formulation for ANOVA: Do suppliers A, B, C, D … have the same mean delivery time?

American National Standards Institute, Washington D.C.,

ANSI ACS X12: Transaction standards for electronic communication and shipping notification.

Answers Knowledgebase
Repository or database containing information, solutions, or resources to address various queries or issues.

In mathematics, the inverse operation of taking the logarithm, determining the number whose logarithm is a given number.

Average Outgoing Quality.

Average Outgoing Quality Level.

Automatic Process Control.

Appraisal cost
Appraisal cost: The cost of ensuring an organization is continually striving to conform to customers’ quality requirements.

Formal consent or authorization given to proceed with a task, project, or decision after review and validation.

Advanced Product Quality Planning: Advanced product quality planning process supporting design and development of products and services. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Allied Quality Assurance Publications. NATO standards for quality assurance systems. They contain requirements for companies who supply products to the military sector.

Acceptance quality limit. See Acceptance quality limit.

Measurement of the size of a two-dimensional surface enclosed by a boundary or shape.

Area graph
Data visualization graph representing data trends using filled-in areas to show changes over time or between categories.

Architecture of integrated information systems: Framework for the structuring and representation of business processes and information systems in companies.

Arithmetic mean
Simple statistical parameter (mean, average). It is formed by dividing the sum of all values in a collection by the number of values. The arithmetic mean is susceptible to “outliers“ (individual values in a sample that greatly differ from the average). Therefore it is useful to identify a sample by including further measures of locations and measures of dispersion.

Average Run Length. Average number of samples.

Arrow diagram
Arrow diagram: A planning tool to diagram a sequence of events or activities (nodes) and their interconnectivity. It is used for scheduling and especially for determining the critical path through nodes.

AS9100: An international quality management standard for the aerospace industry published by the Society of Automotive Engineers and other organizations worldwide. It is known as EN9100 in Europe and JIS Q 9100 in Japan. The standard is controlled by the International Aerospace Quality Group (see listing).

Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC)
Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC): A cooperative of laboratory accreditation bodies.

In mathematics, the inverse trigonometric function for finding an angle given the sine value.

Aspect ratio
Proportionate relationship between the width and height of an object or image, often expressed as a ratio.

Assembly inspection
The assembly inspection can be conducted as an in-process or final inspection. See In-process inspection or Final inspection.

Assessment: A systematic evaluation process of collecting and analyzing data to determine the current, historical or projected compliance of an organization to a standard.

Assignable cause
Assignable cause: A name for the source of variation in a process that is not due to chance and therefore can be identified and eliminated. Also called “special cause.”

Assn. for Quality and Participation (AQP)
Assn. for Quality and Participation (AQP): Was an independent organization until 2004, when it became an affiliate organization of CiCC. Continues today as CiCC’s Team and Workplace Excellence Forum.

Associated variables
Variables showing a statistical relationship or correlation, where changes in one variable may correspond to changes in another.

ASTM International
American Society for Testing and Materials, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

In mathematics, the inverse trigonometric function for finding an angle given the tangent value.

Average Total Inspected. Average number of units inspected.

In quality control, a characteristic or feature of a product or process that can be evaluated as conforming or non-conforming.

Attribute agreement analysis
Assessment method in quality control to measure agreement among appraisers when evaluating attributes in a product or process.

Attribute charts
Charts used in quality control to monitor the proportion of non-conforming items or attributes in a sample or process.

Attribute data
Attribute data: Go/no-go information. The control charts based on attribute data include percent chart, number of affected units chart, count chart, count per unit chart, quality score chart and demerit chart.

Attribute Gage Study
Quality assessment method evaluating the reliability and consistency of attribute measurement systems.

Attributes, method of
Attributes, method of: A method of measuring quality that consists of noting the presence (or absence) of some characteristic (attribute) in each of the units under consideration and counting how many units do (or do not) possess it. Example: go/no-go gauging of a dimension.

Attributive data
See Qualitative data.

Audit: The on-site verification activity, such as inspection or examination, of a process or quality system to ensure compliance to requirements. An audit can apply to an entire organization or might be specific to a function, process or production step.

Audit client
Party (organization or person) requesting an audit. For internal audits, the audit client can also be the organization that is being audited. External audits can be requested by other organizations (e.g., regulators, contracting parties actual or potential clients). (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit conclusion
Result of an audit that takes into account the audit objectives and audit findings. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit criteria
Criteria that are used for an audit. Criteria are requirements that serve as a reference or benchmark for an audit. The objective evidence is compared to these standards (target status). Requirements may cover policies, procedures, work instructions, legal requirements or contractual obligations. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit evidence
Objective information in the form of records and statements of fact (actual status) which are collected during the audit and which are relevant to the audit criteria (target status). (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit findings
Result of the comparison of the audit criteria (target status) with the audit evidence (actual status). Audit findings can either demonstrate the agreement (conformity) with the audit criteria, deviations [nonconformity], or potential improvement (conformity). (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit leader
Auditor who leads the audit team. He or she has the overall responsibility for the audit. An audit (team) leader‘s fundamental tasks are: Audit planning and resource usage in the audit; representing the audit team with respect to the client and the auditee; forming the audit team and assigning the tasks; leading the audit team in order to gather objective audit results and draw audit conclusions; preventing or solving conflicts including stopping the audit if the auditee is not providing support; time management for the performance of the audit; and preparing the audit report and deviation reports.

Audit management
Control of the use of competent auditors in the different audit types and the review of the effectiveness of the audit system.

Audit plan
Detailed specification of the audit procedure and the activities for an audit. An audit plan is used to define the audit objectives, audit scope, auditors and areas or people to be audited. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit principles (principles of auditing)
Principles that constitute the basis for an effective audit. ISO 19011 lists the following seven principles: Integrity, fair presentation, due professional care, confidentiality, independence, evidence-based approach and risk-based approach. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit programme
One or more audits planned for a specific time frame with a specific purpose in mind. An audit program also includes the planning (including resources), organization and performance of audits. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit questioning method
Questioning technique in the audit. This refers to how the auditor engages people to talk. Open questions (WH questions: who, what, where, when, why and how questions) result in a great deal of information and are therefore preferable. Suggestive questions can interfere with the atmosphere of the talk, and alternative questions allow for incorrect answers. Closed questions limit the possible answers and the auditee cannot freely structure the answer. Chain questions are problematic. The person being interviewed is flooded with questions, looks for the simplest one and no longer responds to the others.

Audit record
Documentation from audit: e.g., completed checklists or handwritten records.

Audit report
Report that contains the outcome of an audit. As a rule, the outcome is delivered to the client after the audit. The report contains the audit objectives and audit scope, audit number with date, audited location, client, type of audit, audit basis, audit participants, audit representative, auditor, auditor team, audit findings, audit conclusions, remark about the follow-up audit, summarizing assessment, signature of the lead auditor and date.

Audit scope
Description of the extent and boundaries of an audit, such as physical and virtual locations, functions organizational units, processes, activities, and time period covered. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit team
An audit team leader and one or more additional auditors constitute the audit team. Where necessary, they are supported by technical experts with specific knowledge in the sector or the subject. Auditors-in-training can also supplement the audit team. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Audit type
Character of an audit. There are many types of audits that are specific to a company. The normal distinctions are between first, second and third party audits and between system, process and product audits.

Organization or parts thereof being audited. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Person who conducts an audit. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018). Average outgoing quality. Expected number of defective parts in a lot according to a sampling inspection.

Systematic examinations or reviews conducted to evaluate processes, operations, or systems for compliance, accuracy, or efficiency.

Feature in software or applications automatically populating data into fields based on predefined patterns or previous entries.

Automatic Time
In manufacturing, systems or processes that trigger actions or operations based on predetermined time intervals or triggers.

Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)
Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG): A global automotive trade association with about 2,600-plus member companies that focuses on common business processes, implementation guidelines, education and training.

Autonomation: A form of automation in which machinery automatically inspects each item after producing it and ceases production and notifies humans if a defect is detected. Toyota expanded the meaning of jidohka to include the responsibility of all workers to function similarly—to check every item produced and, if a defect is detected, make no more until the cause of the defect has been identified and corrected. Also see “jidohka.”

Autonomation (aka Jidoka)
Lean manufacturing principle where machines stop or alert when abnormalities occur, enabling operators to address issues promptly.

Availability: The ability of a product to be in a state to perform its designated function under stated conditions at a given time.

Available Process Time
The total time available for a process to operate or perform tasks within a given time frame, excluding downtime or interruptions.

Average (aka Mean)
Statistical measure representing the central tendency of a data set, calculated by summing values and dividing by the number of observations.

Average chart
Average chart: A control chart in which the subgroup average, X-bar, is used to evaluate the stability of the process level.

Average outgoing quality (AOQ)
Average outgoing quality (AOQ): The expected average quality level of an outgoing product for a given value of incoming product quality.

Average Outgoing Quality Curve
Graphical representation showing the trend of the average quality level of items leaving a process over time or quantity produced.

Average outgoing quality limit (AOQL)
Average outgoing quality limit (AOQL): The maximum average outgoing quality over all possible levels of incoming quality for a given acceptance sampling plan and disposal specification.

Average P
In quality control, a measure estimating the average proportion of non-conforming items in a sample from a process.

Average run lengths (ARL)
Average run lengths (ARL): On a control chart, the number of subgroups expected to be inspected before a shift in magnitude takes place.

Average sample number (ASN)
Average sample number (ASN): The average number of sample units inspected per lot when reaching decisions to accept or reject.

Average total inspection (ATI)
Average total inspection (ATI): The average number of units inspected per lot, including all units in rejected lots (applicable when the procedure calls for 100% inspection of rejected lots).

Average total inspection curve
Graphical representation indicating the overall inspection rate or efficiency concerning the total items inspected over time.

See EFQM Excellence Award, Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, Ludwig-Erhard-Preis.


Background and fill pattern color
Design or software feature allowing users to select and apply colors or patterns to fill backgrounds in visual elements or documents.

Baka-yoke: A Japanese term for a manufacturing technique for preventing mistakes by designing the manufacturing process, equipment and tools so an operation literally cannot be performed incorrectly. In addition to preventing incorrect operation, the technique usually provides a warning signal of some sort for incorrect performance. Also see “poka-yoke.”

Balanced and unbalanced design
In experimental design or sampling, balanced design has equal sample sizes for all conditions or groups, while unbalanced design has unequal sample sizes.

Balanced plant
Balanced plant: A plant in which the capacity of all resources is balanced exactly with market demand.

Balanced scorecard
Balanced scorecard: A management system that provides feedback on internal business processes and external outcomes to continuously improve strategic performance and results.

Balancing the line
Balancing the line: The process of evenly distributing the quantity and variety of work across available work time, avoiding overburden and underuse of resources. This eliminates bottlenecks and downtime, which translates into shorter flow time.

Baldrige award
Baldrige award: See “Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.”

Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, Berlin. [German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing]

A graphical representation used in charts or graphs, often represented by a rectangular shape or column to display data.

Bar chart
Graphical representation of data in the form of bars.

Bartlett’s Test
Statistical test used to determine if variances in multiple groups or samples are equal, checking the homogeneity of variances assumption.

Base Data Display
Presentation or representation of primary or raw data before any modification or analysis.

Base Design
Initial or fundamental structure or plan serving as the foundation for further development or modifications.

Base Random Number
A starting point for generating a series of random numbers in statistical simulations or experiments.

Baseline measurement
Baseline measurement: The beginning point, based on an evaluation of output over a period of time, used to determine the process parameters prior to any improvement effort; the basis against which change is measured.

Baseline Measures
Initial or starting point measurements used as a reference for comparison in performance evaluation or improvement.

Basic quality concepts
Basic quality concepts: Fundamental ideas and tools that define the quality of a product or service. These include fitness for use, histograms, process capability indexes, cause and effect diagrams, failure mode and effects analysis, and control charts.

Batch and queue
Batch and queue: Producing more than one piece and then moving the pieces to the next operation before they are needed.

Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin [German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health], Dortmund.

Bayes' theorem
Bayes' theorem: A formula to calculate conditional probabilities by relating the conditional and marginal probability distributions of random variables.

British Calibration Service. Also see UKAS.

Benchmarking: A technique in which an organization measures its performance against that of best-in-class organizations, determines how those organizations achieved their performance levels and uses the information to improve its own performance. Subjects that can be benchmarked include strategies, operations and processes.

Benefit-cost analysis
Benefit-cost analysis: An examination of the relationship between the monetary cost of implementing an improvement and the monetary value of the benefits achieved by the improvement, both within the same time period.

Bernoulli Distribution
Discrete probability distribution describing random experiments with binary outcomes (success or failure) having constant probability.

Best practice
Best practice: A superior method or innovative practice that contributes to the improved performance of an organization, usually recognized as best by other peer organizations.

Best settings
The term is used to classify the optimal setting of the most important input variables (see also: Red X). Within the Six Sigma DMAIC cycle, this is used in the improve phase.

Best Subsets Regression
Statistical method evaluating all possible subsets of predictor variables in regression analysis to identify the best-fitting model.

Beta Distribution
Continuous probability distribution used to model outcomes bounded between two values, such as time or proportions.

Beta risk
Risk that Ha is rejected and Ho is accepted, although there really is a difference.

Beta test
A product‘s last test phase before delivery to the customer or dealer. The software industry uses the beta test phase to test the stability and freedom from defects in the most economical way possible and also releases software to customers ahead of time (at no charge).

Betriebsverfassungsgesetz [German Works Constitution Act]

Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch [German Civil Code].

Bundesgesetzblatt [German Federal Law Gazette].

Systematic error or deviation from the true value or expected value in measurements or predictions.

Bias and Linearity
Evaluation of the relationship between predicted values and observed values in statistical models. Bias refers to systematic errors, while linearity assesses the relationship's straightness.

Big Q, little q
Big Q, little q: A term used to contrast the difference between managing for quality in all business processes and products (big Q) and managing for quality in a limited capacity—traditionally only in factory products and processes (little q).

Binomial Capability Plots
Graphical representation used in quality control to assess the capability of a process with binomial data (two possible outcomes).

Binomial Distribution
Discrete probability distribution describing the number of successes in a fixed number of independent trials with two possible outcomes.

Categories or intervals used to group and organize data in histograms, bar charts, or other graphical representations.

Black Belt
Six Sigma expert who concentrates on project execution in a company. These experts are permanent members in Six Sigma projects and provide the team with knowledge and experience on the correct selection and use of the various tools and methods. As a rule, large or strategically important projects are headed by a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Black Belt (BB)
Black Belt (BB): A full-time team leader responsible for implementing process improvement projects—define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) or define, measure, analyze, design and verify (DMADV)—within a business to drive up customer satisfaction and productivity levels.

Blank Delimited
Data format or structure where fields or values are separated by blank spaces or gaps in a file or document.

Blemish: An imperfection severe enough to be noticed but that should not cause any real impairment with respect to intended normal or reasonably foreseeable use. Also see “defect,” “imperfection” and “nonconformity.”

Block diagram
Block diagram: A diagram that shows the operation, interrelationships and interdependencies of components in a system. Boxes, or blocks (hence the name), represent the components; connecting lines between the blocks represent interfaces. There are two types of block diagrams: a functional block diagram, which shows a system’s subsystems and lower level products and their interrelationships and which interfaces with other systems; and a reliability block diagram, which is similar to the functional block diagram but is modified to emphasize those aspects influencing reliability.

In experimental design, a division of experimental units into groups to minimize variability from external factors.

Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen, Bonn. [German Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway]. The organization was established on January 1, 1998 as regulators for telecommunication and post (RegTP) and renamed the Bundesnetzagentur [German Federal Network Agency] on July 13, 2005. It is the regulatory body responsible for maintaining and promoting competition in network markets.

Board of Standards Review (BSR)
Board of Standards Review (BSR): An American National Standards Institute board responsible for the approval and withdrawal of American National Standards.

Body of knowledge (BoK)
Body of knowledge (BoK): The prescribed aggregation of knowledge in a particular area an individual is expected to have mastered to be considered or certified as a practitioner.

Bonus-malus system
System that rewards good performances (bonus) and penalizes poor performances (malus). This system can also be associated with financial quantities.

Bottom line
Bottom line: The essential or salient point; the primary or most important consideration. Also, the line at the bottom of a financial report that shows the net profit or loss.

Box and whisker plot
Box and whisker plot: A plot used in exploratory data analysis to picture the centering and variation of the data based on quartiles. After the data are ordered, the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles are identified. The box contains the data between the 25th and 75th percentiles.

Box plot
Graphical evaluation of the dispersion and distribution of data. It must be noted that the data are divided into four quartiles, i.e., 25% of the data is combined into one quartile. The gray box (see graphic) corresponds to the area in which the middle 50% of the data lies. The box plot representation shows the median and not the arithmetic mean. The antennas above and below the box represent the data values that lie outside the box in the 1st and 4th quartile.

See Business Process Management.

Business Process Optimization.

See Business Process Reengineering.

Brainstorming: A technique teams use to generate ideas on a particular subject. Each person on the team is asked to think creatively and write down as many ideas as possible. The ideas are not discussed or reviewed until after the brainstorming session.

Breakthrough improvement
Breakthrough improvement: A dynamic, decisive movement to a new, higher level of performance.

Breakthrough strategy

British Standard.

BS 7799
BS 7799: A standard written by British commerce, government and industry stakeholders to address information security management issues, including fraud, industrial espionage and physical disaster. Today, there are three parts to the standard. Part one became ISO/IEC 17799, Information technology—Code of practice for information security management. BS 7799 Part 2 focuses on information security management systems. BS 7799 Part 3 covers risk analysis and management.

See Balanced Scorecard.

1. Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik [German Federal Office for Information Security], Bonn.; 2. British Standards Institution, London.

Business Excellence
See Excellence models, Total Quality Management.

Business process
Process that is determined by the customers‘ specific requirements and that produces a benefit (value creation) for both the customer and the organization providing the product or service. A business process is consequently a procedure for solving customer problems.

Business Process Management
Planning, organization and monitoring of a company‘s processes in terms of quality, time, costs and customer satisfaction. The objective of this management concept is to optimize and automate business processes to a large extent.

Business Process Reengineering
Concept to refocus companies: Fundamental change in the company sequences with the objective of completely restructuring all relevant processes. The processes should be redesigned in order to achieve the greatest possible efficiency.

Business process reengineering (BPR)
Business process reengineering (BPR): The concentration on improving business processes to deliver outputs that will achieve results meeting the firm’s objectives, priorities and mission.

Business Reengineering
See Business Process Reengineering.


C-chart: See “count chart.”

Computer Aided Design.

Computer Aided Engineering.

Calibration: The comparison of a measurement instrument or system of unverified accuracy to a measurement instrument or system of known accuracy to detect any variation from the required performance specification.

Calibration interval
Time between two calibrations.

Computer Aided Manufacturing

Computer Aided Planning

Capability: The total range of inherent variation in a stable process determined by using data from control charts.

Capability maturity model (CMM)
Capability maturity model (CMM): A framework that describes the key elements of an effective software process. It’s an evolutionary improvement path from an immature process to a mature, disciplined process. The CMM covers practices for planning, engineering and managing software development and maintenance to improve the ability of organizations to meet goals for cost, schedule, functionality and product quality.

Capacity constraint resources
Capacity constraint resources: A series of non-bottlenecks (based on the sequence in which jobs are performed) that can act as a constraint.

Computer Aided Quality Assurance: This term is used for the computer-supported planning and performance of actions related to quality in a company.

Cascade process
Breaking down objectives in an organizational unit. Performance indicators and performance figures are defined that can be measured and influenced for the particular unit and that ultimately are linked to the objectives of the company as a whole.

Cascading: The continuing flow of the quality message down to, not through, the next level of supervision until it reaches all workers. Also see “deployment.”

CASCO: An International Organization for Standardization policy development committee for conformity assessment.

Computer Aided Software Engineering.

Cause: An identified reason for the presence of a defect or problem.

Cause analysis
Cause analysis: Another term referring to root cause analysis (see listing).

Cause and effect diagram
Cause and effect diagram: A tool for analyzing process dispersion. It is also referred to as the “Ishikawa diagram,” because Kaoru Ishikawa developed it, and the “fishbone diagram,” because the complete diagram resembles a fish skeleton. The diagram illustrates the main causes and subcauses leading to an effect (symptom). The cause and effect diagram is one of the “seven tools of quality” (see listing).

Cause-and-Effect Diagram
See Cause and Effect Diagram.

Computer-Based Training: Educational or training programs delivered via computer technology or digital platforms.

Comité des Constructeurs Français d‘Automobiles: Association of the French automotive industry, Paris.

Process capability index measuring how well a process fits the specifications, considering both centering and variation.

Communauté Européenne. See CE mark.

CE mark
CE (Communauté Européenne) is the French term for the European Community. The CE mark is an expression of the conformance with EU directives. The objective of the CE mark is to show that a product conforms to the general protection objectives stipulated in the EU directives. The CE mark is consequently a symbol for free trade of technical products in the European Union.

CE marking
CE marking: Formerly known as the CE Mark, the Conformité Européene (CE) Mark is a mandatory conformity marking for certain products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA) since 1985. The CE marking is also found on products sold outside the EEA that are manufactured in or designed to be sold in the EEA. This makes the CE marking recognizable worldwide even to those unfamiliar with the EEA.

Cause-Effect Diagram with the Addition of Cards. Cause-effect diagram that uses cards or post-its (for the causes). See also Ishikawa diagram.

Upper limit or maximum value in statistical analysis or data representation.

Cell: An arrangement of people, machines, materials and equipment in which the processing steps are placed next to each other in sequential order and through which parts are processed in a continuous flow. The most common cell layout is a U shape.

Cellular manufacturing
Cellular manufacturing: Arranging machines in the correct process sequence, with operators remaining within the cell and materials presented to them from outside.

Organizational or operational restructuring into autonomous units or cells for increased efficiency and responsiveness.

Comité Européen de Normalisation. European Committee for Standardization. Its primary job is to compose European standards (EN).

Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique, Brussels, Belgium

Statistical technique where certain data points are known but not fully observed or recorded in a study, often used in survival analysis.

Center line
In control charts, a reference line representing the mean, median, or target value, indicating the center or expected value of a process.

Centerline: A line on a graph that represents the overall average (mean) operating level of the process.

Central Composite Design
Experimental design technique used in response surface methodology, involving factorial points and center points to model complex processes.

Central Limit Theorem
Statistical theory stating that the sampling distribution of a sample mean tends to be normally distributed regardless of the population's distribution.

Central tendency
Central tendency: The tendency of data gathered from a process to cluster toward a middle value somewhere between the high and low values of measurement.

Centroid of a Cluster
Geometric center or average position of data points in a cluster or group, used in cluster analysis or classification.

Conférence Européenne des Administrations des Postes et des Télécommunications: Coordinating body for telecommunications and postal organizations from 48 European states. The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations was established in 1959 and developed recommendations for telecommunication until 1988 (focus on services and networks). When the ETSI was founded in 1988 it took over many of these functions.

Document that is issued in accordance with the rules of a certification system in order to engender confidence that a uniquely described product or a uniquely described process conforms to a specified standard or to another normative document. (DGQ Volume 11-04:2009)

Certification: The result of a person meeting the established criteria set by a certificate granting organization.

Certification body
Company that carries out certifications.

Certified biomedical auditor (CBA)
Certified biomedical auditor (CBA): An CiCC certification.

Certified calibration technician (CCT)
Certified calibration technician (CCT): An CiCC certification.

Certified HACCP auditor (CHA)
Certified HACCP auditor (CHA): An CiCC certification.

Certified manager of quality/organizational excellence (CMQ/OE)
Certified manager of quality/organizational excellence (CMQ/OE): An CiCC certification; formerly certified quality manager (CQM).

Certified pharmaceutical good manufacturing practices (GMP) professional
Certified pharmaceutical good manufacturing practices (GMP) professional: An CiCC certification.

Certified quality auditor (CQA)
Certified quality auditor (CQA): An CiCC certification.

Certified quality engineer (CQE)
Certified quality engineer (CQE): An CiCC certification.

Certified quality improvement associate (CQIA)
Certified quality improvement associate (CQIA): An CiCC certification.

Certified quality inspector (CQI)
Certified quality inspector (CQI): An CiCC certification; formerly certified mechanical inspector (CMI).

Certified quality process analyst (CQPA)
Certified quality process analyst (CQPA): An CiCC certification.

Certified quality technician (CQT)
Certified quality technician (CQT): An CiCC certification.

Certified reliability engineer (CRE)
Certified reliability engineer (CRE): An CiCC certification.

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)
Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB): An CiCC certification.

Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB)
Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB): An CiCC certification.

Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt (CSSMBB)
Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt (CSSMBB): An CiCC certification.

Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt (CSSYB)
Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt (CSSYB): An CiCC certification.

Certified software quality engineer (CSQE)
Certified software quality engineer (CSQE): An CiCC certification.

Certified supplier quality professional (CSQP)
Certified supplier quality professional (CSQP): An CiCC certification.

Chain reaction
Chain reaction: A chain of events described by W. Edwards Deming: improve quality, decrease costs, improve productivity, increase market with better quality and lower price, stay in business, provide jobs and provide more jobs.

Chain sampling plan
Chain sampling plan: In acceptance sampling, a plan in which the criteria for acceptance and rejection apply to the cumulative sampling results for the current lot and one or more immediately preceding lots.

Lean manufacturing method where each workstation is set up to automatically receive, process, and pass on the next part without manual handling.

Champion: A business leader or senior manager who ensures resources are available for training and projects, and who is involved in periodic project reviews; also, an executive who supports and addresses Six Sigma organizational issues.

Chance Causes
In statistical process control, random or natural variations causing minor fluctuations within the normal operating range of a process.

Change agent
Change agent: An individual from within or outside an organization who facilitates change in the organization; might be the initiator of the change effort, but not necessarily.

Change management
Change management: The process, tools and techniques used to manage change, including planning, validating and implementing change, and verifying effectiveness of change.

Change request
A request for a change in projects, particularly in software projects: formalized request for a change in the properties of a certain product characteristic.

Changeover: A process in which a production device is assigned to perform a different operation or a machine is set up to make a different part—for example, a new plastic resin and new mold in an injection molding machine.

Changeover time
Changeover time: The time required to modify a system or workstation, usually including teardown time for the existing condition and setup time for the new condition.

Character Graphs
Graphs used in statistical analysis to display or visualize categorical or qualitative data characteristics.

Characteristic: The factors, elements or measures that define and differentiate a process, function, product, service or other entity.

Characteristic value
Qualitative or quantitative values of a characteristic. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Chart: A tool for organizing, summarizing and depicting data in graphic form.

Charter: A written commitment approved by management stating the scope of authority for an improvement project or team.

Check sheet
Check sheet: A simple data recording device. The check sheet is custom designed by the user, which allows him or her to readily interpret the results. The check sheet is one of the “seven tools of quality” (see listing). Check sheets are often confused with checklists (see listing).

Checklist: A tool for ensuring all important steps or actions in an operation have been taken. Checklists contain items important or relevant to an issue or situation. Checklists are often confused with check sheets (see listing).

Data collection sheet which simplifies the systematic acquisition of data and recognition of principles. See also: Inspection list.

Chi-Square Distribution
Continuous probability distribution used to model the sum of squared standard normal deviates, commonly used in hypothesis testing.

Chi-Square Test
Statistical test comparing observed frequencies with expected frequencies to assess the independence or association between variables.

Chisquare Statistic
Statistical measure calculated in a Chi-Square test representing the difference between observed and expected frequencies.

1. Corporate Identity (totality of a company‘s characteristics). 2. See Continual Improvement.

American Society for Quality, Milwaukee, U.S.A.,

American Society for Quality Control. Earlier name of the CiCC

Computer Integrated Manufacturing.

Continual (or Continuous) Improvement Process.

CIP workshop
Kaizen tool used for complex, extensive, continuous improvement processes with higher priority in terms of time. The CIP workshop is initiated based on a current problem which needs to be solved, while quality circles are held regularly in order to achieve improvement.

Sub-domain of characteristic values that results from classification.

A characteristic’s range of values is divided into sub-areas (classes). These are mutually exclusive and completely cover the range of values. (On the basis of DIN 55350-23)

Classification of defects
Classification of defects: The listing of possible defects of a unit, classified according to their seriousness. Note: Commonly used classifications: class A, class B, class C, class D; or critical, major, minor and incidental; or critical, major and minor. Definitions of these classifications require careful preparation and tailoring to the product(s) being sampled to ensure accurate assignment of a defect to the proper classification. A separate acceptance sampling plan is generally applied to each class of defects.

Closed-loop corrective action (CLCA)
Closed-loop corrective action (CLCA): A sophisticated engineering system to document, verify and diagnose failures, recommend and initiate corrective action, provide follow-up and maintain comprehensive statistical records.

Closing talk
The closing talk or closing meeting takes place after the performance of an audit and summarizes the audit results (including the audit conclusions). This talk covers the following contents: Summary of the findings; Remark on the audit‘s sampling character; Mention of positive findings; Observations, recommendations and deviations; Clarification of misunderstandings; Documentation of any differences of opinion; Audit conclusions; And, where applicable, agreements, discussion regarding the type, scheduling, responsibilities for corrective and improvement actions.

Capability of machine. Machine capability index. It describes shortterm dispersion of the examined quantitative characteristic.

CEN Management Centre

Machine capability index. It describes the short-term variability of the examined quantitative characteristic and its distance to the specification limit.

Capability Maturity Model. Process model for judging the quality (“maturity“) of a company‘s software process and to determine improvement activities. At the end of 2003, CMM was replaced by Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI for short) in order to prevent uncontrolled growth of diverse CM models and to create a uniform model.

Professional support (motivation) in a work context: Consultation related to people, processes and organizations with the objective of effective task fulfillment through such measures as strengthening self-reflection.

Code of conduct
Code of conduct: Expectations of behavior mutually agreed on by a team.

Coded and Uncoded Units
In experimental design, coded units refer to standardized variables, while uncoded units refer to raw or unstandardized variables.

Coefficient of Determination
Statistical measure indicating the proportion of variation in a dependent variable explained by an independent variable in regression analysis.

Coefficient of Multiple Correlation
Statistical measure assessing the strength and direction of the linear relationship between multiple independent variables and a dependent variable.

Coefficient of Variation
Statistical measure representing the ratio of the standard deviation to the mean, expressing relative variability in a data set.

Coefficient of Variation (Taguchi)
Quality measure in Taguchi methods, indicating the signal-to-noise ratio relative to variation in a process.

In statistical models or equations, numeric values representing the relative weights or contributions of variables in the model.

Coefficients PLS
Partial Least Squares regression coefficients, representing the relationships between predictor and response variables in PLS regression.

In data tables or databases, vertical arrangements of data representing variables, attributes, or categories.

Arrangement or selection of items or elements without regard to the order, often used in permutation and combination calculations.

Combined audit
Audit of two or more management systems of different disciplines (such as quality and environmental management) at a single auditee. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Command Language
Specific syntax or set of rules used in programming or software to execute commands or operations.

Command Line Editor
Text-based interface allowing users to interact with software or systems by typing commands into a terminal or console.

Comment Symbol
In programming or scripting languages, a character or sequence used to indicate comments or annotations in code for clarification or documentation.

Common Cause
In quality control, variations arising from inherent factors or normal fluctuations within a process that are predictable and inherent to the system.

Common causes
Common causes: Causes of variation that are inherent in a process over time. They affect every outcome of the process and everyone working in the process. Also see “special causes.”

Company Crisis Management
Organizational strategies or protocols to effectively manage and respond to crises or emergencies affecting a company.

Company culture
Company culture: A system of values, beliefs and behaviors inherent in a company. To optimize business performance, top management must define and create the necessary culture.

Comparison Values for Median Polish
Values used in median polish method to compare row and column effects in an analysis of variance (ANOVA) table.

Suitability of different units to be used together under specific conditions for a stipulated purpose in order to fulfill the requirements that apply them.

Demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in order to achieve a result. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015 and ISO 19011:2018)

Dissatisfaction expressed by the customer vis-à-vis an organization. Dissatisfaction may relate to a product, service or complaintshandling process, if a response or resolution is expected from the organization. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Complaint management
In the framework of customer focus, this term is used for all planning, strategies and actions that use the dissatisfaction of customers as articulated and documented in complaints to better achieve the corporate goals. Consequently, the reduction of stated demands for compensation is not the first objective; instead, the primary goal is the conversion of justified complaints into improvements in products, processes and services.

Complaint tracking
Complaint tracking: Collecting data, disseminating them to appropriate persons for resolution, monitoring complaint resolution progress and communicating results.

Compliance: The state of an organization that meets prescribed specifications, contract terms, regulations or standards.

Compliance audit
Examination by internal or external auditors to ascertain whether or not legal requirements are fulfilled in a company. For example, this includes laws, ordinances and licensing notices, as well as internal standards such as group guidelines. Particularly statutory or regulatory specifications are selected and audited point by point.

Components DOE
Factors or variables manipulated in a Design of Experiments (DOE) study, influencing the outcome or response variable.

Composite Desirability
Statistical measure combining multiple factors or objectives into a single composite score, often used in optimization problems.

Computer aided design (CAD)
Computer aided design (CAD): A type of software used by architects, engineers, drafters and artists to create precision drawings or technical illustrations. CAD software can be used to create 2-D drawings or 3-D models.

Computer aided engineering (CAE)
Computer aided engineering (CAE): A broad term used by the electronic design automation industry for the use of computers to design, analyze and manufacture products and processes. CAE includes CAD (see listing) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM), which is the use of computers for managing manufacturing processes.

Concatenation operation in programming or data processing, combining or linking strings or values together.

Permission to use or release a product (or service) that does not conform to the specified requirements. A concession is generally limited to the delivery of a product or service that has nonconforming characteristics for an agreed time or for an agreed quantity within specified limits. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Concordant Pair
In statistics, pairs of observations having the same order of ranking or scoring in two related variables.

Concurrent engineering (CE)
Concurrent engineering (CE): A way to reduce cost, improve quality and shrink cycle time by simplifying a product’s system of life cycle tasks during the early concept stages.

All characteristics and characteristic values of a unit. Standard DIN 55350-11 also speaks of inherent characteristics in this connection. This means characteristics inherent in the unit, as compared to characteristics that are assigned to a unit. Taking a cabinet as an example, the size and design of the door panels are inherent characteristics while the price and delivery data are assigned characteristics. Sometimes the word “nature“ is used in this context. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Confidence Bands
Graphical representation showing the range or interval within which a parameter or statistic is likely to fall with a specified level of confidence.

Confidence interval
Estimated interval that is calculated from sampling results. The estimated interval includes the unknown true value of the parameter that is to be estimated at the stipulated confidence level. (On the basis of DGQ Volume 11-04:2012)

Confidence level
For the calculation of a confidence interval or a statistical tolerance interval of desired and stipulated lower limiting value of the probability. (On the basis of DGQ Volume 11-04:2012)

Confidence Limits
Upper and lower bounds defining a confidence interval, indicating the range within which the true value is likely to lie.

Physical and functional characteristics of products or services that are interrelated. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Configuration management
Coordinated activities for configuration direction and control. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Conflict resolution
Conflict resolution: The management of a conflict situation to arrive at a resolution satisfactory to all parties.

Conformance: An affirmative indication or judgment that a product or service has met the requirements of a relevant specification, contract or regulation.

Conformitè Europëenne Mark (CE Mark)
Conformitè Europëenne Mark (CE Mark): A European Union (EU) conformity mark for regulating the goods sold within its borders. The mark represents a manufacturer’s declaration that products comply with EU New Approach Directives. These directives apply to any country that sells products within the EU.

A requirement is fulfilled. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Conformity assessment
Conformity assessment: All activities concerned with determining that relevant requirements in standards or regulations are fulfilled, including sampling, testing, inspection, certification, management system assessment and registration, accreditation of the competence of those activities and recognition of an accreditation program’s capability.

Connect Line
Graphical element or line connecting data points or elements in a visualization, often used to show relationships or trends.

Connection Function
In mathematics or networking, a function representing relationships or links between variables, nodes, or elements.

Cost of Non-Quality: A metric representing the costs incurred due to poor quality or errors in a product or process.

Consensus: A state in which all the members of a group support an action or decision, even if some of them don’t fully agree with it.

Fixed values or parameters used in mathematical equations or programming that remain unchanged throughout the process.

Constraint: Anything that limits a system from achieving higher performance or throughput; also, the bottleneck that most severely limits the organization’s ability to achieve higher performance relative to its purpose or goal.

Constraints management
Constraints management: See “theory of constraints.”

Consultant: An individual who has experience and expertise in applying tools and techniques to resolve process problems and who can advise and facilitate an organization’s improvement efforts.

Consumer: The external customer to whom a product or service is ultimately delivered; also called end user.

Consumer's risk
Consumer's risk: Pertains to sampling and the potential risk that bad products will be accepted and shipped to the consumer.

Context of the organization
Environment and framework conditions of the organization. The context of an organization combines internal and external issues. The organization should be aware of its environment and observe it. Changes in the environment may affect the organization and its ability to provide products and services conforming to requirements and achieving objectives. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Contingency Table with CA
A table in statistical analysis displaying the frequencies or counts of different variables to analyze relationships or associations.

Continual Improvement
Recurring activities in order to increase the ability to fulfill requirements. It is a continual process to set objectives and find opportunities for improvement. The use of audit findings, audit conclusions, data analyses, management review or other means by management usually necessitate corrective or preventive actions. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Continuation Symbol
A symbol or character indicating that a statement or line of code continues onto the next line, often used in programming or scripting.

Continuous characteristic
Quantitative characteristic. A continuous or also continual characteristic can assume an infinite number of different values within its range of values. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Continuous data
See Quantitative data.

Continuous Distribution
Probability distribution describing random variables that can take any value within a range, such as normal, exponential, etc.

Continuous flow production
Continuous flow production: A method in which items are produced and moved from one processing step to the next, one piece at a time. Each process makes only the one piece that the next process needs, and the transfer batch size is one. Also referred to as one-piece flow and single-piece flow.

Continuous Improvement
Ongoing process or approach focusing on making incremental or continuous enhancements to processes, products, or services.

Continuous improvement (CI)
Continuous improvement (CI): Sometimes called continual improvement. The ongoing improvement of products, services or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements.

Continuous quality improvement (CQI)
Continuous quality improvement (CQI): A philosophy and attitude for analyzing capabilities and processes and improving them repeatedly to achieve customer satisfaction.

Continuous sampling plan
Continuous sampling plan: In acceptance sampling, a plan, intended for application to a continuous flow of individual units of product, that involves acceptance and rejection on a unit-by-unit basis and employs alternate periods of 100% inspection and sampling. The relative amount of 100% inspection depends on the quality of submitted product. Continuous sampling plans usually require that each t period of 100% inspection be continued until a specified number, i, of consecutively inspected units are found clear of defects. Note: For single level continuous sampling plans, a single d sampling rate (for example, inspect one unit in five or one unit in 10) is used during sampling. For multilevel continuous sampling plans, two or more sampling rates can be used. The rate at any time depends on the quality of submitted product.

Contour Plot
Graphical representation showing the 3D surface or topography using contours or lines of equal values, often used in data visualization.

Obligating or binding agreement. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

In quality management or process improvement, actions taken to ensure processes meet desired objectives or standards.

Control chart
Control chart: A time sequenced chart with upper and lower control limits on which values of some statistical measure for a series of samples or subgroups are plotted. The chart frequently shows a central line to help detect a trend of plotted values toward either control limit.

Control Charts
See Control Chart.

Control Factors Taguchi
Factors in Taguchi methods used to improve process stability or performance by minimizing sensitivity to variations.

Control limits
Control limits: The natural boundaries of a process within specified confidence levels, expressed as the upper control limit (UCL) and the lower control limit (LCL).

Control of documented information
Ensures that documented information is available and suitable for use where and when needed and is adequately protected. Includes the distribution, access, retrieval, use, storage, preservation, change management, retention and disposition of documented information. Documented information retained as conformity evidence shall be protected from unintended changes. In addition, documented information of external origin needs to be considered. (See also ISO 9001:2015)

Control of inspection, measuring and testing equipment
Totality of systematic calibration, adjustment and verification activities as well as the maintenance of inspection, measuring and test equipment and its tools. (DGQ Volume 11-04:2009)

Control plan
See Production control plan.

Control plan (CP)
Control plan (CP): Written descriptions of the systems for controlling part and process quality by addressing the key characteristics and engineering requirements.

Controlled process
(Quality) capable process The distinguishing features are:

Monitoring and coordination concept to support company management in the framework of result oriented planning and the implementation of business activities. Controlling focuses on the collection, preparation and analysis of data to prepare decisions appropriate for the objective.

Conventional true value
Measured value or numerical value for purposes of comparison. The deviation from the true value is seen as negligible for the comparison. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Cook's Distance
Statistical measure in regression analysis identifying influential data points affecting regression coefficients.

Coordinate measuring machine (CMM)
Coordinate measuring machine (CMM): A device that dimensionally measures 3-D products, tools and components with an accuracy approaching 0.0001 inches.

“Cost of poor quality“ refers to the costs that arise when a company or a process delivers poor quality. For example, this could be the cost for reworking or scrapping. The concept, however, also includes costs incurred by image loss, quality audits, supplier monitoring, etc.

Core process
Process that, taking the company focus into consideration, is strategically important and a significant contributor to the business success. Core processes generally display the following aspects: Value creation, the (external) customer stands at the beginning and end of the process, they significantly contribute to the company‘s success and to customer satisfaction, they relate directly to the customers and have a direct effect on the customers, and the customer is willing to pay for the process output.

Action to resolve a detected nonconformity. Reworking or regrading are corrections. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Corrective action
Corrective action: A solution meant to reduce or eliminate an identified problem.

Corrective action recommendation (CAR)
Corrective action recommendation (CAR): The full cycle corrective action tool that offers ease and simplicity for employee involvement in the corrective action/process improvement cycle.

Statements regarding the linear relationship between two variables. Also see: Scatter diagram (correlation diagram).

Correlation (statistical)
Correlation (statistical): A measure of the relationship between two data sets of variables.

Correlation Coefficient
Statistical measure indicating the strength and direction of the linear relationship between two variables.

Correlation coefficient (r)
Measurement of the strength of the linear relationship between the influencing factor (x) and the output quantity (Y). This method is used to identify significant influencing factors. The correlation coefficient (r) can have a value from -1 to +1.

Mathematical function returning the cosine value of an angle in trigonometry.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health: Regulations and guidelines ensuring safety when working with hazardous substances.

Cost of poor quality (COPQ)
Cost of poor quality (COPQ): The costs associated with providing poor quality products or services. There are four categories: internal failure costs (costs associated with defects found before the customer receives the product or service), external failure costs (costs associated with defects found after the customer receives the product or service), appraisal costs (costs incurred to determine the degree of conformance to quality requirements) and prevention costs (costs incurred to keep failure and appraisal costs to a minimum).

Cost of quality (COQ)
Cost of quality (COQ): Another term for COPQ. It is considered by some to be synonymous with COPQ but is considered by others to be unique. While the two concepts emphasize the same ideas, some disagree as to which concept came first and which categories are included in each.

Cost Optimization
Process of minimizing costs while maximizing value or efficiency in a system, project, or operation.

Cost-benefit analysis
Instrument for reviewing investments.

Count chart
Count chart: A control chart for evaluating the stability of a process in terms of the count of events of a given classification occurring in a sample; known as a “c-chart.”

Count per unit chart
Count per unit chart: A control chart for evaluating the stability of a process in terms of the average count of events of a given classification per unit occurring in a sample, known as a “u-chart.”

Counter Measures
Actions or strategies implemented to mitigate or address identified problems, errors, or defects in a process or product.

See Counter Measures.

Statistical measure representing the degree to which two random variables change together.

In statistics, a variable that's possibly predictive or influential in an analysis but is not the primary variable of interest.

Cox Snell Residuals
Residuals used in logistic regression models to evaluate goodness of fit and predictive accuracy.

Cp: The ratio of tolerance to 6 sigma, or the upper specification limit (USL) minus the lower specification limit (LSL) divided by 6 sigma. It is sometimes referred to as the engineering tolerance divided by the natural tolerance and is only a measure of dispersion.

Cp and Pp
Measures of process capability in Six Sigma, evaluating process performance and potential deviation from specifications.

Cp Statistic
Statistical measure assessing process capability indicating how well a process meets specifications.

Capability of process. Process capability index (measure of dispersion and location).

Measures of process capability considering the process centering and the spread of data in relation to specifications.

Cpk index
Cpk index: Equals the lesser of the USL minus the mean divided by 3 sigma (or the mean) minus the LSL divided by 3 sigma. The greater the Cpk value, the better.

Critical Path Method: A project management technique identifying the critical path and sequence of tasks in a project schedule.

Cramer's V
Statistical measure indicating the strength and direction of association between categorical variables.

Creativity techniques
The (seven) creativity techniques are suitable for all situations in a company in which new ideas are sought. In detail, these are: Mind mapping, progressive abstraction, morphological box, method 635, synetcics meeting, visual synectics, buzzword analysis. See each term.

Criteria Matrix
Tool used to rank or evaluate options or alternatives based on defined criteria, also known as Cause and Effect Matrix.

Critical deviation
Evaluation of an audit finding. There is a (critical) deviation (nonconformity) when a complete, required procedure or a requirement from the standards is not fulfilled or is not installed in the company. Non fulfillment is with respect to a complete sub-point of a chapter. This includes both a lack of planning and a lack of effective implementation. A (critical) deviation (nonconformity) always necessitates a corrective action. A certificate cannot be issued until there is effective realization and elimination of the deviation (nonconformity).

Critical Distance
In spatial analysis or statistics, the minimum separation or distance required between data points or objects to be considered distinct.

Critical Equipment
Machinery, tools, or components crucial to the functioning or operation of a system, process, or project.

Critical incident
Critical incident: The critical incident technique is an advanced tool for root cause analysis that can aid in the search for causes through interviews of various people involved in the process in which a critical event occurred.

Critical nonconformity
Nonconformity which can result in critical consequences for the environment in question.

Critical Path
Sequence of tasks or activities in a project schedule determining the minimum time needed to complete the project.

Critical Path Method (CPM)
See Cpm.

Critical processes
Critical processes: Processes that present serious potential dangers to human life, health and the environment, or that risk the loss of significant sums of money or customers.

Critical to Cost (CTC) Metrics
Metrics focusing on aspects directly influencing or critical to the cost structure or financial performance of a system or process.

Critical to Quality (CTQ) Metrics
Metrics focusing on factors critical to meeting customer requirements or ensuring product or service quality.

Critical to Schedule (CTS) Metrics
Metrics focusing on elements critical to adhering to project schedules or timelines.

Critical Value
In statistics, a value used as a threshold or cutoff point in hypothesis testing or confidence intervals.

Critical X
In Six Sigma methodology, factors or variables identified as critical to the outcome or performance of a process.

Critical-to-Quality (CTQ)
See Critical to Quality (CTQ) Metrics.

See Customer Relationship Management.

Cronbach's Alpha
Statistical measure assessing internal consistency or reliability of a scale or instrument used in surveys or assessments.

The American Philip B. Crosby (1926 – 2001) was one of the pioneers and significant figures in quality science. His primary focus was on the “zero defects program.“

Cross functional
Cross functional: A term used to describe a process or an activity that crosses the boundary between functions. A cross functional team consists of individuals from more than one organizational unit or function.

Cross pilot
Cross pilot: See “scatter diagram.”

Cross Validated Fits PLS
Cross-validation method assessing the predictive performance of Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression models.

Cross Validated Residual PLS
Residuals in Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression models validated through cross-validation techniques for assessing predictive performance.

Cross-functional management
Integration of a company‘s vertical and horizontal elements: Management across functions and departments.

Cross-Functional Map
Visual representation showing processes or workflows involving multiple departments or functions in an organization.

Cross-functional team
Work group comprised of people with different work experience. The group can be composed of employees from the finance, marketing, production and human resources areas. Typically, the employees are drawn from all levels in the organization. It is also possible to expand the group of people to include customers, advisers or suppliers (organizations outside the company).

Crossed and Nested Factors
In experimental design, factors involving combinations of both crossed (independent) and nested (hierarchical) factors.

Visual aid in graphs or charts, intersecting lines marking specific points or coordinates, aiding in measurements or reference.

Canadian Standards Association, Mississauga (Ontario).

Critical Success Factor.

Customer Satisfaction Index. Indicator to determine and measure customer satisfaction.

Customer Satisfaction Measurement.

Critical to Quality: Factors or attributes critical in meeting customer requirements or ensuring product/service quality.

CTQ drill down technique
Tool to set clear, measurable sub-goals when introducing Six Sigma. At the strategic level, first the group goals (CTQs: Critical to Quality) are defined. The company‘s vision, customer wishes and competitors‘ activity form the basis for these objectives. In the next step, these strategic goals are then systematically broken down (drill down) into district objectives, plant objectives and all the way down to sub-goals. It is crucial for the sub-goals to be clearly formulated and measureable.

Cube plot
Within DoE (Design of Experiments) a cube plot can be created if there are three factors to be examined, each with two settings, in order to depict the results of the experiments on the one hand and to read off the optimal setting on the other. The corners of a cube diagram represent a particular factor combination. If there are several series of experiments (experiments per factor and setting), it is advisable to use average values for the individual experiment combinations.

Cultural resistance
Cultural resistance: A form of resistance based on opposition to the possible social and organizational consequences associated with change.

Culture change
Culture change: A major shift in the attitudes, norms, sentiments, beliefs, values, operating principles and behavior of an organization.

Culture, organizational
Culture, organizational: A common set of values, beliefs, attitudes, perceptions and accepted behaviors shared by individuals within an organization.

Cumulative Normal Distribution: The cumulative distribution function for the normal distribution in statistical analysis.

Cumulative Distribution Fun
Cumulative Distribution Function: A function showing the cumulative probability distribution of a random variable.

Cumulative DPU Plot
Graphical representation displaying the cumulative defects per unit (DPU) over a specified period or quantity produced.

Cumulative Failure Plot
Graph or chart showing the cumulative number or proportion of failures or defects over time or quantity produced.

Cumulative Failure Rate
The rate or proportion at which failures or defects accumulate or occur over time or production cycles.

Cumulative Percent
Percentage indicating the accumulation or sum of proportions or percentages up to a specified point in a sequence or data set.

Cumulative Percent Defective Plot
Graphical representation indicating the cumulative percentage of defective items or units in a production process.

Cumulative sum control chart (CUSUM)
Cumulative sum control chart (CUSUM): A control chart on which the plotted value is the cumulative sum of deviations of successive samples from a target value. The ordinate of each plotted point represents the algebraic sum of the previous ordinate and the most recent deviations from the target.

Current good manufacturing practices (CGMP)
Current good manufacturing practices (CGMP): Regulations enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for food and chemical manufacturers and packagers.

Current Time CTIME
A representation of the current time in various systems or applications, often used in programming or data processing.

Customer: See “external customer” and “internal customer.”

Customer delight
Customer delight: The result of delivering a product or service that exceeds customer expectations.

Customer experiment
Customer experiment: Using a given customer type to test whether a proposed new product will be accepted by customers. Also referred to as a pilot study.

Customer feedback
Statements from customers on how they perceive the quality of the supplied product.

Customer focus
Focus of all of a company‘s activities and sequences on the wishes and expectations of its customers. Customer focus is one of the quality management principles (see Quality management principles). You can find out more about this in the Quality management principles.

Customer property
Products or services that belong to the customer. They become a part of the production or service process. According to ISO 9001:2015, intellectual property and personal data can also be customer property. (On the basis of ISO 9001:2015)

Customer Relationship Management
Documentation and administration of customer relations (also electronically).

Customer relationship management (CRM)
Customer relationship management (CRM): A strategy for learning more about customers’ needs and behaviors to develop stronger relationships with them. It brings together information about customers, sales, marketing effectiveness, responsiveness and market trends. It helps businesses use technology and human resources to gain insight into the behavior of customers and the value of those customers.

Customer requirement
See Requirement.

Customer Requirements
Specifications or expectations outlined by customers regarding the products or services they desire.

Customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction: The result of delivering a product or service that meets customer requirements.

Customer service
Interaction between the organization and the customer during the product life cycle. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Customer-supplier model (CSM)
Customer-supplier model (CSM): A model depicting inputs flowing into a work process that, in turn, add value and produce outputs delivered to a customer. Also called customer-supplier methodology.

Customer-supplier partnership
Customer-supplier partnership: A long-term relationship between a buyer and supplier characterized by teamwork and mutual confidence. The supplier is considered an extension of the buyer’s organization. The partnership is based on several commitments. The buyer provides long-term contracts and uses fewer suppliers. The supplier implements quality assurance processes so incoming inspection can be minimized. The supplier also helps the buyer reduce costs and improve product and process designs.

Cumulative Sum Control Chart: A quality control chart used to detect shifts or deviations in processes over time.

Company Wide Quality Control: All activities in a company that are relevant for quality constitute company-wide quality control. This comprises all employees at all hierarchical levels. CWQC is used to pursue the objective of having all activities in the product creation process satisfy the customer requirements.

Cycle: A sequence of operations repeated regularly.

Cycle time
Cycle time: The time required to complete one cycle of an operation. If cycle time for every operation in a complete process can be reduced to equal takt time, products can be made in single-piece flow. Also see “takt time.”

Cycle Times
Plural form of Cycle Time, indicating the time taken for multiple cycles of a process or operation.


D chart
D chart: See “demerit chart.”

A designation or identifier used to represent a specific variable, factor, or category in various contexts.

Department Activity Analysis.

Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle Chemie GmbH, Frankfurt. The accreditation assignments were combined in a new structure in the DAkkS as Germany‘s National Accreditation Body as of January 1, 2010. The DACH entered the DAkkS via the DGA.

Daily Standup
A short, regular meeting in agile or Scrum methodologies where team members discuss progress, plans, and impediments.

Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH, Berlin. Germany‘s National Accreditation Body. The organization started its activities on January 1, 2010 and bundles all accreditation assignments in Germany.

Situation in which the existing risk is greater than the acceptable risk. (DIN VDE 31000-2)

1. Deming Application Prize. 2. Deutsches Akkreditierungssystem für Prüfwesen GmbH, Berlin. The accreditation assignments were combined in a new structure in the DAkkS as Germany‘s national accreditation body as of January 1, 2010. The DAP entered the DAkkS via the DGA.

Deutscher Akkreditierungsrat. The obligations for monitoring were moved to the DAkkS as of January 1, 2010.

Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle Stahlbau und Energietechnik, Düsseldorf. The accreditation assignments were combined in a new structure in the DAkkS as Germany‘s national accreditation body as of January 1, 2010.

Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle Mineralöl GmbH, Hamburg. The accreditation assignments were combined in a new structure in the DAkkS as Germany‘s national accreditation body as of January 1, 2010.

Data: A set of collected facts. There are two basic kinds of numerical data: measured or variable data, such as “16 ounces,” “4 miles” and “0.75 inches”; and counted or attribute data, such as “162 defects.”

Data and Fitted Means
Statistical terms referring to observed data values and corresponding predicted or fitted mean values from a model.

Data collection and analysis
Data collection and analysis: The process to determine what data are to be collected, how the data are collected and how the data are to be analyzed.

Data collection and analysis tools
Data collection and analysis tools: A set of tools that help with data collection and analysis. These tools include check sheets, spreadsheets, histograms, trend charts and control charts.

Data Entry Arrow
Symbol or indicator used in data flow diagrams or process maps, representing the entry or input of data into a system.

Data Label
Identifier or descriptor attached to a data point or element in a graph, chart, or visualization, providing additional information.

Data Storage File Formats
Structures or standards specifying how data is organized and stored within files or databases.

Data Transformation
Process of converting or modifying data from one format, structure, or representation to another for analysis or storage.

Data Type
Classification or categorization of data based on its nature, format, or characteristics (e.g., numeric, text, date).

Date from Text DATE
In programming or data processing, a function or method to extract or convert date information from textual data.

Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle für Technik, Frankfurt. The accreditation assignments were combined in a new structure in the DAkkS as Germany‘s national accreditation body as of January 1, 2010.

Deutsche Akkreditierungs- und Zulassungsgesellschaft für Umweltgutachter mbH, Bonn. The accreditation assignments were combined in a new structure in the DAkkS as Germany‘s national accreditation body as of January 1, 2010.

Dynamic Data Exchange: Mechanism allowing applications to share data or communicate in real-time within a Windows environment.

Decimal Separator
Symbol or character used to separate the integer part from the fractional part in decimal numbers (e.g., period or comma).

Decision making
Decision making: The thought process of selecting a choice from the available options.

Decision matrix
Decision matrix: A matrix teams use to evaluate problems or possible solutions. For example, a team might draw a matrix to evaluate possible solutions, listing them in the far-left vertical column. Next, the team selects criteria to rate the possible solutions, writing them across the top row. Then, each possible solution is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 for each criterion, and the rating is recorded in the corresponding grid. Finally, the ratings of all the criteria for each possible solution are added to determine its total score. The total score is then used to help decide which solution deserves the most attention.

Declaration of Conformity
See Self-declaration.

Decomposed T Squared Value
Resulting value or statistic after performing decomposition on T-squared values in multivariate analysis.

Decomposition Multiplicative Model
Statistical model used to decompose or break down complex patterns or relationships into simpler components in data analysis.

Defect: A product’s or service’s nonfulfillment of an intended requirement or reasonable expectation for use, including safety considerations. There are four classes of defects: class 1, very serious, leads directly to severe injury or catastrophic economic loss; class 2, serious, leads directly to significant injury or significant economic loss; class 3, major, is related to major problems with respect to intended normal or reasonably foreseeable use; and class 4, minor, is related to minor problems with respect to intended normal or reasonably foreseeable use. Also see “blemish,” “imperfection” and “nonconformity.”

Defect Opportunity
A chance or opportunity for a defect to occur in a product or process, often used in Six Sigma methodologies.

Defect per Unit (DPU)
A unit of measurement representing the number of defects identified in a single unit or item in a process or product.

Defective: A defective unit; a unit of product that contains one or more defects with respect to the quality characteristic(s) under consideration.

Defects and Defectives
Terms used in quality control to refer to identified flaws or imperfections (defects) and units containing defects (defectives).

Defects per Million Opportunities (DPMO)
A unit of measurement in Six Sigma, representing the number of defects per million opportunities.

The initial phase in problem-solving methodologies or project management, involving defining objectives and scope.

Define Phase
The initial phase in problem-solving methodologies or project management, involving defining objectives and scope.

Defining Relation
In database management or mathematics, a relationship defining or constraining the values or behavior of other elements.

Degree of Lattice
A mathematical term referring to the properties or characteristics of lattices in algebraic structures.

Degrees of Freedom
The number of independent observations or parameters in a statistical model, influencing variability and model flexibility.

Delighter: A feature of a product or service that a customer does not expect to receive but that gives pleasure to the customer when received. Also called an “exciter.”

Tangible or intangible outcomes or products produced and delivered as part of a project or assignment.

Delivery inspection
Acceptance inspection that is performed before a product is delivered. It is used to prove that the requirements or technical terms of delivery have meet fulfilled. This inspection can also be conducted at the same time as the final inspection. The contractor is responsible for the delivery inspection (as far as no agreements to the contrary have been reached). This can be either an internal or external contractor. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Delivery lot
One or more lots that are delivered as a whole at one time. (DGQ Volume 11-04:2009)

Delphi method
Systematic questioning procedure that comprises several steps. This method is used to allow a better assessment of trends, technical developments or, for example, future events.

A symbol representing change or difference between two values, often used in mathematical equations or models.

Delta Beta
A statistical measure or coefficient indicating the effect or impact of a variable on another variable in a regression model.

Delta Beta Standardized
A standardized form of the Delta Beta coefficient, representing the standardized effect size in regression analysis.

Delta Chi Square
A statistical measure or test statistic indicating the difference or change in chi-square values in hypothesis testing or analysis.

Delta Deviance
A measure of deviance or difference between two models or statistical fits in regression or modeling.

Demand Variability
Fluctuations or variations in demand for products or services over a specific period, affecting inventory and production planning.

Demerit chart
Demerit chart: A control chart for evaluating a process in terms of a demerit (or quality score); in other words, a weighted sum of counts of various classified nonconformities.

The American William Edwards Deming (1900 –1993) was one of the thinkers and significant figures in quality science. His work focused primarily on the “14-point management program“ and the “principle of continual improvement.“

Deming cycle
Deming cycle: Another term for the plan-do-study-act cycle. Walter Shewhart created it (calling it the plan-do-check-act cycle), but W. Edwards Deming popularized it, calling it plan-do-study-act. Also see “plan-do-check-act cycle."

Demonstration requirement
Requirement for demonstration of the implementation of management elements with respect to the customer or the client in the case of a contractual agreement, or with respect to a competent body in the case of legal requirement. Note: Demonstration requirements result from the fact that the quality of complex products cannot be determined by an incoming inspection alone. (DGQ Volume 11-04:2009)

A tree-like diagram representing hierarchical relationships or clustering in data analysis, often used in clustering algorithms.

Dependability: The degree to which a product is operable and capable of performing its required function at any randomly chosen time during its specified operating time, provided that the product is available at the start of that period. (Nonoperation related influences are not included.) Dependability can be expressed by the ratio: time available / (time available + time required).

Dependability requirement
Part of the quality requirement with respect to the behavior of a unit in terms of its dependability during or after stipulated time spans under stipulated use conditions. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Relationship or reliance between two or more variables or entities, where changes in one affect the other(s).

Deployment: Dispersion, dissemination, broadcasting or spreading communication throughout an organization, downward and laterally. Also see “cascading.”

Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
Statistical methods: Descriptive analyzes and summarizes data, while inferential draws conclusions or predictions from data samples.

Design and development
Transforming processes that turn requirements into specified characteristics or into the specification of a product, process or system. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Design FMEA
See Failure Mode and Effects Analysis.

Design for Six Sigma
An approach integrating Six Sigma principles into product or process design to achieve high-quality results from the beginning.

Design for Six Sigma (DFSS)
Design for Six Sigma (DFSS): See “DMADV.”

Design Generator
Tool or software generating various experimental designs or plans for conducting studies or experiments.

Design Matrix
A matrix or table indicating the arrangement or configuration of factors or variables in experimental designs.

Design Matrix General Regression
Design matrix used in regression analysis involving multiple variables, specifying their arrangement and relationships in the model.

Design of experiments (DoE)
Design of experiments (DoE): A branch of applied statistics dealing with planning, conducting, analyzing and interpreting controlled tests to evaluate the factors that control the value of a parameter or group of parameters.

Design Points Factorial Design
Specific settings or combinations of factors used in factorial experimental designs to conduct experiments.

Design Points Mixture Design
Specific settings or combinations of factors used in mixture experimental designs to conduct experiments.

Design Points Response Surface Design
Specific settings or combinations of factors used in response surface experimental designs to conduct experiments.

Design Resolution
In experimental design, the minimum detectable effect size that the design can identify or distinguish.

Design review
Examination of a preliminary design from quality points of view. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Design review technique
See Review technique.

Design test
Systematic examination of a design and all partial outcomes. The objective is to check if the quality requirements are fulfilled. This test must be documented.

Designed Experiment
An experiment planned or structured to investigate the effects of various factors or variables on a system or process.

Desired value
Value of a quantitative characteristic. This characteristic‘s actual values should differ from the desired value as little as possible. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Destructive Testing
Testing or analysis that renders the tested item unusable or alters its state, often performed to evaluate material strength or quality.

Activity for identifying one or more characteristics (and their characteristic values). (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Development model
(On the basis of DIN 55350-15)

Development Team
A group of individuals collaborating and working together on projects or tasks related to product or process development.

Deviance Residuals
Residuals used in assessing goodness of fit in statistical models, indicating the difference between observed and predicted values.

Deviation: In numerical data sets, the difference or distance of an individual observation or data value from the center point (often the mean) of the set distribution.

Deviation permit
Permission to deviate from the requirements originally placed on a product. This permission is granted before the product realization. It is normally limited to a certain quantity of a product or for a certain time span and for a certain use. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015).

Design for Assembly. Product design and development with ease of assembly considerations. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

A statistical measure identifying influential data points or outliers in regression analysis.

Design for Manufacturing. Product design and process planning with a view to easy, economical manufacturing. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Design for Manufacturability and Assembly: Methodologies optimizing product designs for efficient manufacturing and assembly processes.

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly. Development and design in line with both DFM and DFA. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Design for Six Sigma. Six Sigma is applied as a tool both for existing processes and for processes that are to be created for the first time. The objective is to build up a process with Six Sigma capability ahead of time.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Akkreditierung mbH, Frankfurt. The DGA was created on September 14, 2009 by the merger of the Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle Chemie (DACH), the Trägergemeinschaft für Akkreditierung (TGA) and the Deutsches Akkreditierungssystem Prüfwesen. The organization became a part of the new Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle DAkkS effective as of January 1, 2010.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Qualität e.V., Frankfurt.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Warenkennzeichnung. DGWK was established in 1972 and today is called DINCERTCO Gesellschaft zur Konformitätsbewertung mbH, Berlin.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfung e.V., Berlin.

Diagnosis: The activity of discovering the cause(s) of quality deficiencies; the process of investigating symptoms, collecting and analyzing data, and conducting experiments to test theories to determine the root cause(s) of deficiencies.

Diagnostic journey and remedial journey
Diagnostic journey and remedial journey: A two-phase investigation used by teams to solve chronic quality problems. In the first phase, the diagnostic journey, the team journeys from the symptom of a chronic problem to its cause. In the second phase, the remedial journey, the team journeys from the cause to its remedy

Difference Power and Sample Size
Calculations or considerations involving statistical power and sample size to detect differences between groups or populations.

Variances or distinctions between entities, variables, or groups often measured or analyzed in statistical or comparative studies.

Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V., Berlin.

Technical specification that is published by the DIN.

Direct costs
Costs that can be attributed directly to the product.

Draft International Standard. Draft for a standard.

Discrete and Continuous Variables
Different types of variables: Discrete take distinct values, while continuous can take any value within a range.

Discrete characteristic
Quantitative characteristic with a finite number or countably infinite number of forms. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Discrete data
See Quantitative data.

Discrete Distribution
A probability distribution describing outcomes with distinct values or categories, like binomial or Poisson distributions.

Discrimination threshold
Smallest change in an input value that can still be perceived by a measuring instrument.

Dispersion (also called variability)
Qualitative term for the deviation behavior of characteristic values.

Distances from x Model PLS
Distances indicating the relationships between predictor variables and the model in Partial Least Squares regression.

Distances from y Model PLS
Distances indicating the relationships between response variables and the model in Partial Least Squares regression.

Statement on how how a characteristic is likely to behave. (On the basis of ISO 3534-1)

Distribution Fit Line
A line representing the best-fit or estimated distribution of data points on a graph or visualization.

Deutsches Informationszentrum für Technische Regeln in the DIN. The DITR database contains bibliographical identification of around 300 sets of regulations.

Deutscher Kalibrierdienst, Braunschweig. The accreditation assignments were combined in a new structure in the DAkkS as Germany‘s national accreditation body.

Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik in the DIN and VDE, Frankfurt.

DMADV: A data driven quality strategy for designing products and processes, it is an integral part of a Six Sigma quality initiative. It consists of five interconnected phases: define, measure, analyze, design and verify.

DMAIC: A data driven quality strategy for improving processes and an integral part of a Six Sigma quality initiative. DMAIC is an acronym for define, measure, analyze, improve and control.

Information and the medium on which it is depicted (carrier medium). A document can be in paper form, electronic, a photograph, a master sample or a combination of these. ISO 9000:2015 lists as examples: Record, specification, procedure document, drawing, report and standard. Several documents (e.g., specifications and records) are also referred to as documentation. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Document control
Documented procedure for creating, checking, approving, identifying, distributing and updating documents. Document control also includes the identification and distribution of external documents, such as standards, customer specifications or customer drawings. If obsolete documents are stored, they must be identified in such an unambiguous manner that unintended use can be ruled out. Furthermore, not only documents from the management documentation should be subject to document control. Job descriptions, operating instructions, operating manuals for products, specifications, calculation bases or price lists that are used as specifications to fulfill customer requirements should also be taken into consideration. Records represent a special document type. Document control for records includes measures for the identification, storage, protection, retrieval, retention and disposition of records. (cf. ISO 9001:2015)

All documents that belong to a system, project, process or product. See Document.

Documented information
Information (including its storage medium) which is subject to the control of documents. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Dodge-Romig sampling plans
Dodge-Romig sampling plans: Plans for acceptance sampling developed by Harold F. Dodge and Harry G. Romig. Four sets of tables were published in 1940: single sampling lot tolerance tables, double sampling lot tolerance tables, single sampling average outgoing quality limit tables and double sampling average outgoing quality limit tables.

Design of Experiments. See Statistical experimental design.

Dot plot
Graphics tool (also: one-dimensional dispersion diagram) used to show the acquired measured values on one axis. This is already sufficient to show the first data distributions. Each point is a measured value.

Dotplot Glossary
A glossary or guide explaining terms, concepts, or symbols used in dotplots, a type of data visualization.

Double Root Residual
A statistical term indicating a complex root or solution in a mathematical equation or model.

Double Sampling
A statistical sampling technique involving two sets of samples or inspections to improve accuracy or reliability.

Down Time
The period or duration during which a system, machine, or process is non-operational or inactive.

In a process flow or supply chain, the stage or segment occurring later in the sequence, receiving outputs or products from an earlier stage.

Time during which a unit is not available due to an internal cause. Note: Uptime and downtime together constitute the complete interval of the time between two consecutive failures for products that are to be maintained, with the uptime possibly containing breaks in operation. (DGQ Volume 11-04:2009)

Defects per Million Opportunities. Derived from the calculation of the DPO, but extrapolated to one million. The process indicator states how many defects would be made (on the basis of the produced units or sample) in one million opportunities for defects. DPMO DPO * 1.000.000

DPMO, or Defects per Million Opportunities

Defects per Opportunity. Process indicator to measure the probabilities of defects in process steps. Here all the defects that occurred in the produced units or sample are set in relationship to all opportunities that the process/process step has to produce a defect.

DPO, or Defects per Opportunity
A measure in Six Sigma representing the number of defects per opportunity for a defect to occur.

Defects per Unit

Driving forces
Driving forces: Forces that tend to change a situation in desirable ways.

Duane Plot
A graphical representation used in reliability engineering to visualize failure data or survival analysis.

Dunnett's Method
A statistical method used in multiple comparisons to identify differences between treatments or groups while controlling the overall error rate.

Durbin-Watson Statistic
A statistical test or measure used in regression analysis to detect autocorrelation in residuals.

Dynamic Design
A flexible or adaptable design strategy or approach responding to changes, trends, or variations in a system or environment.


e 2.718
Euler's number: A mathematical constant representing the base of the natural logarithm, approximately equal to 2.71828.

Electronic System Application and Products: An integrated software solution provided by SAP for enterprise resource planning (ERP) and management.

European Co-operation for Accreditation, Paris. Independent, nonprofit organization that in particular represents the interests of the European accreditation bodies.

Early Equipment Maintenance (TPM)
A Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) strategy focusing on maintaining and preserving equipment reliability from the beginning of its lifecycle.

Engineering Change: Modification or alteration made to engineering designs, processes, or documentation.

Employee Continuous Reinvestment and Satisfaction: A strategy or initiative focused on continuous development and satisfaction of employees.

Experimental Design. See Design of Experiments.

Education And Training (TPM)
Training initiatives or programs within Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) strategies focusing on skill development and knowledge enhancement for employees.

See EFQM Excellence Award.

Early Equipment Maintenance: A maintenance strategy focusing on early interventions to maintain equipment reliability and prevent failures.

Effect: The result of an action being taken; the expected or predicted impact when an action is to be taken or is proposed.

Effectiveness: 1) The state of having produced a decided upon or desired effect. 2) A measure of the appropriateness of the goals chosen and the degree to which they are achieved.

Efficiency: The state of being efficient (see entry). Also the ratio of the useful work performed in a process to the total resources required.

Efficient: Achieving maximum productivity with the optimal resources.

Effectiveness Measurement: A systematic method or approach to measure the efficiency or effectiveness of processes or operations.

Former European Foundation for Quality Management with headquarters in Brussels. The EFQM was established in 1988 and today is a non-profit organization for business excellence with more than 600 member companies in around 40 countries. The objective is to provide the member companies with information about business excellence and to strengthen the networking of the companies. In 1991 the EFQM established the prestigious EFQM Excellence Award. The EFQM presents this quality award annually to companies that achieve outstanding results. The EFQM is furthermore the guardian of the EFQM model, which serves as a guideline to help companies succeed on the markets and also to measure this success.

EFQM Excellence Award
European quality prize that the EFQM has awarded to companies annually since 1991 as the highest recognition for outstanding achievements and excellence. The companies are rated on a system with a possible 1000 points which is divided into the nine categories: Leadership; Strategy; Employees; Partnerships/resources; Processes, Products & Services; Customer-related results; Employee-related results; Society-related results; and Key performance results.

Eichgesetz [German Weights and Measures Act). Law covering measurement and verification.

Eight disciplines (8D) model
Eight disciplines (8D) model: A problem-solving approach to identify, correct and eliminate recurring problems.

Eight Pillars Of TPM
The fundamental principles or categories forming the basis of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) initiatives in manufacturing and maintenance.

Eight wastes
Eight wastes: Taiichi Ohno originally enumerated seven wastes (muda) and later added underutilized people as the eighth waste commonly found in physical production. The eight are: 1) overproduction ahead of demand; 2) waiting for the next process, worker, material or equipment; 3) unnecessary transport of materials (for example, between functional areas of facilities, or to or from a stockroom or warehouse); 4) over-processing of parts due to poor tool and product design; 5) inventories more than the absolute minimum; 6) unnecessary movement by employees during the course of their work (such as to look for parts, tools, prints or help); 7) production of defective parts; 8) under-utilization of employees’ brainpower, skills, experience and talents.

Eighty-twenty (80-20)
Eighty-twenty (80-20): A term referring to the Pareto principle, which was first defined by Joseph M. Juran in 1950. The principle suggests most effects come from relatively few causes; that is, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the possible causes. Also see “Pareto chart.”

Elapsed Time
The total time or duration passed from the start of a process or event until its completion or the current time.

Electric data interchange (EDI)
Electric data interchange (EDI): The electronic exchange of data from customers to suppliers and from suppliers to customers.

Eco Management and Audit Scheme. Requirements to be met by companies that voluntarily participate in a European Community system for environmental management and the internal environmental audit. A procedure that applies throughout Europe with the objective of continual improvement of the company‘s environmental protection. Regulation (EC) No. 1221/2009 forms the basis.

Embedded Graph Editor
Graphical editing tool or software integrated within a system or application for creating or modifying visual representations or graphs.

Empirical CDF
Empirical Cumulative Distribution Function: A statistical tool representing the cumulative distribution function derived from observed data.

Employee empowerment (EE)
Employee empowerment (EE): A condition whereby employees have the authority to make decisions and take action in their work areas, within stated bounds, without prior approval.

Employee focus
Basic attitude in an organization that is focused on considering each individual employee as a significant potential for solving problems and contributing creativity and on treating each employee accordingly. Management is responsible for creating an environment in which people can develop their abilities and consequently contribute to value creation in the company. Employees should be included in structuring the processes in order that they can release their potential and contribute their abilities. The objective is to use the employees‘ know-how for continual improvement (CIP) of all processes with regard to quality and productivity. (See Quality management principles).

Employee involvement (EI)
Employee involvement (EI): An organizational practice whereby employees regularly participate in making decisions on how their work areas operate, including suggestions for improvement, planning, goal setting and monitoring performance.

Employee suggestion plan
Instrument for encouraging the capacity and willingness for innovation in a company‘s employees. In many instances cash and other awards are given as an incentive for employees to submit improvement suggestions. This instrument is primarily used in order to achieve innovations in products and processes in small steps, to encourage employee motivation and development, and to make a positive contribution to a goal-oriented corporate culture and culture of innovation. Employee suggestion plans have a long tradition in Germany. The idea was mentioned for the first time in a general regulation at the company Krupp in Essen in 1872.

Employee Turnover Rate
A metric indicating the rate or frequency at which employees leave an organization or company within a specific period.

Transfer of competencies and assignments previously reserved for managers to employees. This can improve employee and customer satisfaction.

See Environmental management system.

European norm. (Standard from the CEN – Comité Européen de Normalisation)

EN 46000
EN 46000: A European quality management system standard for the medical device industry. Technically equivalent to ISO 13485:1996, an international medical device standard.

EN 9100
EN 9100: A European quality management standard for the aerospace industry. Considered the technical equivalent of AS9100.

End user
End user: See “consumer.” Someone who purchases products or services for their own use.

Endangering analysis
A procedure stipulated in the framework of European directives and the national legislation on occupational health and safety based on these directives that forms the foundation of endangering judgment. Endangering analyses determine possible hazards and are to be conducted in according with the Arbeitsschutzgesetz [Occupational Health and Safety Act] or where appropriate in accordance with the Biostoffverordnung [Biomaterial Regulation] and the Gefahrstoffverordnung [Hazardous Substances Ordinance].

Endangering judgment
An evaluation required pursuant to Section 5 Arbeitsschutzgesetz [German Occupational Health and Safety Act] of the hazards for the employees associated with their work and the determination of required occupational health and safety measures. Each workplace is to be assessed in accordance with the legal specifications. There has also been an obligation to provide documentation since 1997. The judgment is often made according to typified workplaces (chemical or physical laboratory, mechanical workshop, etc.) and includes the assignment to endangering classes.

Energy Costs per Unit
The expenditure or cost incurred per unit of energy consumed in a system, operation, or process, often used in cost analysis or efficiency assessment.

Engagement of people
You can find out more about this in the Quality management principles.

The environment, both natural and as changed by people, in which an organization or company is active (air, water, soil, flora, fauna, and natural resources).

Environmental management
All planning and actions that concern the dealings with the natural environment characterized by environmental protection affairs and perspectives. Environmental protection is law at the national level and is standardized in the framework of European directives and international agreements. Environmental management today therefore primarily includes the fulfillment of numerous requirements and conditions. Newer management theory also defines environmental management as the analysis, control, and planning of all external relations of the company as a system.

Environmental management system
Environmental management system: A set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and promote environmental sustainability.

European Organization for Quality, Brussels. European (non-profit) organization with the objective of effective improvement in the quality management area. The EOQ sees itself as a coordinating body for its member organizations. It was founded in 1956 and currently has 30 national European quality organizations, institutions, companies and individual people from all around the world.

EPA model
Enterprise Process Architecture: Reference model for processoriented, service-based company architectures. This model is used to analyze different approaches to integration and to transfer them into a uniform model.

Enterprise Performance Management: Strategies or methodologies focused on managing and improving organizational performance across various domains.

See European Quality Award.

Equipment availability
Equipment availability: The percentage of time during which a process (or equipment) is available to run. This can sometimes be called uptime. To calculate operational availability, divide the machine’s operating time during the process by the net available time (production time / potential production time) x 100.

Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP characterizes a company‘s task to use resources in the company efficiently for business operations. ERP systems consist of complex application software to support resource planning.

Inaccuracy, deviation, or mistake in data, measurement, process, or system performance leading to undesired outcomes or deviations from expectations.

Error detection
Error detection: A hybrid form of error proofing. It means a bad part can be made but will be caught immediately, and corrective action will be taken to prevent another bad part from being produced. A device is used to detect and stop the process when a bad part is made. This is used when error proofing is too expensive or not easily implemented.

Error Detection Device
A device or tool integrated into a system or process to identify or flag errors or anomalies for corrective actions.

Error margin
Limiting amounts of deviations for errors of measurement in the measuring instrument. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Error of measurement
Deviation of the (uncorrected) measurement result from the reference value, where this can be the true value, the correct value or the expected value, depending on the definition or agreement.

Error proofing
Error proofing: Improving designs to prevent mistakes from being made. Contrasted with mistake proofing, which is improving processes to prevent mistakes from being made or passed downstream. Some consider the terms to be synonymous, however, and applicable to both products and processes.

Error Proofing Device
A device or mechanism incorporated into a system or process to prevent or minimize errors, defects, or mistakes automatically.

Estimated Variance Component
An estimation or calculation indicating the variance within a dataset or model attributed to specific factors or sources.

Estimation Method
A systematic approach or technique used to estimate or predict unknown quantities or parameters based on available data or information.

Characteristic used to estimate a probability distribution parameter. (On the basis of DGQ Volume 11-04:2012)

Event Tree Analysis.

Ethics: The practice of applying a code of conduct based on moral principles to day-to-day actions to balance what is fair to individuals or organizations with what is right for society.

European Telecommunications Standards Institute, France.

European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA)
European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA): A cooperative organization of accreditation bodies.

European Quality Award
The European Quality Award was renamed the EFQM Excellence Award (EEA) in 2006. See EEA.

1. Selection, analysis and consolidation of data.

Evaluation matrix
See Matrix diagram.

Event Plot
A graphical representation or visualization displaying events or occurrences over time, often used in process analysis or monitoring.

Event Probability
The likelihood or chance of a specific event or outcome occurring, expressed as a numerical value between 0 and 1.

Objective evidence: Data which confirm the existence or truth of something. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Evidence-based decision making
You can find out more about this in the Quality management principles.

Evolutionary Operation of Processes. Analysis of process data with small dispersions within the parameters (variant of DoE).

EWMA Chart
Exponentially Weighted Moving Average Chart: A control chart used to monitor processes by detecting subtle shifts or changes in data.

Excellence models
The approaches to quality management systems on the basis of the ISO 9000 family of standards and the excellence models for organizations are based on common principles. Both approaches allow an organization to identify its strengths and weaknesses. They furthermore contain possibilities for evaluation using general models, offer a basis for continual improvement, and allow external recognition.

Exciter: See “delighter.”

Exemplar Global
Exemplar Global: A U.S. certification body for personnel certification or training course certification.

For discrete variates, the sum of the products of all numerical values xi of the variate X and of the associated probabilities pi; for continuous variates the corresponding integral.

Expectations: The act or state of expecting. To wait in expectation of, or looking forward or anticipating. Also, customers’ perceptions about how an organization’s products and services will meet their specific needs and requirements.

Expected Performance
The anticipated or predicted level of performance or output based on calculations, models, or prior data analysis.

Experiment Design
The planning or arrangement of factors and variables in a structured manner to conduct experiments or studies to analyze their effects.

Experimental design
Experimental design: In quality management, a plan for conducting an experiment that includes considerations such as which conditions, factors, responses, tools and treatments are to be included or used.

An abbreviation for "Exponential" commonly used in statistical or mathematical contexts representing exponential distributions or functions.

Exponential Distribution
A probability distribution describing the time between events in a Poisson process or the decay of a quantity over time.

External customer
External customer: A person or organization that receives a product, service or information but is not part of the organization supplying it. Also see “internal customer.”

External failure
External failure: A nonconformance identified by a source outside of the producing organization. Discovered after a product or service has been passed downstream, for example, to users or customers.

External provider
A provider which is not part of the organization. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

External quality audit
See Second-party audit, Third party audit.

External setup
External setup: Setup procedures that can be performed safely while machines or equipment are in motion. Also known as outer exchange of die. Also see “internal setup.”

External Stakeholders
Individuals, groups, or entities outside an organization having an interest, influence, or stake in the organization's decisions or outcomes.

External Work
Activities, tasks, or operations outsourced or performed by external contractors or parties outside an organization.

Externally provided processes
Selected processes or parts of processes which the organization does not execute itself but are externally provided. These processes are characterized by being required by the quality management system. The organization remains responsible for the output of these processes. It is up to the organization to control externally provided processes to make sure that they fulfill such requirements. (See also ISO 9001:2015)

Additional or unnecessary steps, operations, or activities in a process or operation that do not add value or contribute to the end product or service.

Extreme value
Smallest or also largest individual actual value. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Extreme Vertices Designs
Experimental designs involving extreme or boundary points in the design space used to evaluate factors' effects at those points.


F Distribution
A probability distribution used in statistical analysis, particularly in ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) to test the equality of variances.

F Test
A statistical test used to compare the variances or means of two or more populations, often employed in analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Fast Action Center: A center or department focusing on rapid response, resolution, or action on critical issues or incidents.

Facilitator: A specifically trained person who functions as a teacher, coach and moderator for a group, team or organization.

An independent variable or element that influences or affects the outcome, behavior, or performance of a system or process.

Factor Analysis
Statistical method analyzing relationships or patterns among variables, identifying underlying factors or constructs.

Factor and Factor Level
In experimental design, factors represent variables under study, while factor levels indicate the specific settings or values of those variables.

Factor Coefficients
Coefficients representing the effects or contributions of factors in a regression equation or model.

Factor Loadings
Numeric values indicating the strength or magnitude of variables' relationships with latent factors in factor analysis.

Factor Scores
Computed scores representing individuals or cases' relationship with latent factors derived from factor analysis.

A term referring to the method or arrangement of experimental factors in a factorial design, exploring interactions between factors.

Factorial Design
An experimental design where multiple factors are studied simultaneously to assess their individual and combined effects on an outcome.

Factorial experiment
See also DoE.

Factorial Experiments
Experiments systematically investigating multiple factors and their interactions on a response variable.

Factual approach
The factual approach to decision-making is one of the eight quality management principles (see Quality management principles).

See First Article Inspection.

Failure: The inability of an item, product or service to perform required functions on demand due to one or more defects.

Failure cost
Failure cost: The cost resulting from the occurrence of defects. One element of cost of quality or cost of poor quality. These costs can be categorized as internal or external.

Failure Mode
The specific way or manner in which a system, process, or product fails or malfunctions, leading to undesirable outcomes or defects.

Failure mode analysis (FMA)
Failure mode analysis (FMA): A procedure to determine which malfunction symptoms appear immediately before or after a failure of a critical parameter in a system or product. After all possible causes are listed for each symptom, the product is designed to eliminate the problems.

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
Method for risk analysis: The potential causes of failures, possible types of failures and expected effects of failures in a system and its element are analyzed. In the next step, a risk assessment is made and actions are defined for prioritized risks. After working off the actions defined in the first assessment, a second risk assessment is made in order to determine if the actions are productive. The risks are calculated and rated with the help of the risk priority number. NASA developed this method in the mid-1960s. The following types of FMEA are possible:

Failure mode effects analysis (FMEA)
Failure mode effects analysis (FMEA): A systematized group of activities to recognize and evaluate the potential failure of a product or process and its effects, identify actions that could eliminate or reduce the occurrence of the potential failure and document the process.

Failure mode effects and criticality analysis (FMECA)
Failure mode effects and criticality analysis (FMECA): A procedure performed after a failure mode effects analysis to classify each potential failure effect according to its severity and probability of occurrence.

Family and Individual Error Rate
A measure in statistics assessing errors' occurrence among groups (families) and within individuals or cases.

Facilitated Application Specification Technique: A collaborative technique to quickly gather and define project requirements.

A unit’s lack of fulfillment, nonconforming fulfillment or incomplete fulfillment of a required function. (On the basis of DIN 40041:1990)

Fault tree analysis
Fault tree analysis is a procedure that allows probabilities to be estimated. This analysis is most commonly used in systems that are critical to safety or that are highly available. The fault tree is created by means of a system analysis that is conducted beforehand. Combinations of faults are also taken into consideration. This method requires precise knowledge of the system analysis and probability calculation.)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Maryland USA.

Feedback: Communication of information from customers or users related to a process or performance. Feedback is used to make decisions directed toward improving or adjusting a process or performance as necessary.

Feeder lines
Feeder lines: A series of special assembly lines that allow assemblers to perform preassembly tasks off the main production line. Performing certain processes off the main production line means fewer parts in the main assembly area, the availability of service ready components and assemblies in the main production area, improved quality and less lead time to build a product.

Feet for Inspection Points
The distance or spacing between inspection or measurement points in a system, often used in quality control or assessment.

The American Armand V. Feigenbaum (born in 1922) is one of the pioneers and significant figures in quality science. His core activities were “Total Quality Control“ and “Simultaneous Engineering“.

Focused Improvement: A fundamental pillar of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) focusing on continuous improvement initiatives.

Fiducial Confidence Interval
A statistical confidence interval derived using fiducial inference, an alternative to traditional confidence intervals.

Fédération des Industries des Equipements pour Véhicules. Organization of the French automotive supply industry.

FIFO stands for “first-in – first-out“ and describes a stock management system that optimizes the inventory turnover times and inventory turnover. Goods that were put into storage first are also taken out of storage first.

Final inspection
The last of the quality inspections that is conducted before a unit is handed over to the customer or client.

Final Partition
In cluster analysis or partitioning methods, the final division or separation of data into distinct groups or clusters.

Evaluation of an audit finding.

Finished Goods
Products or goods that have completed manufacturing processes and are ready for distribution or sale to customers.

First article
Sample that is, without exception, manufactured with equipment and procedures (under the associated general conditions) that are planned for series manufacturing. The first article allows verification that the quality requirement on the offered product can be fulfilled, as far as this takes place under the series manufacturing conditions. The terms “initial sample“, “quality specimen“, “type sample“ are used synonymously. (On the basis of DIN 55350-15)

First Article Inspection
Inspection of a first article in the framework of a sample inspection. (On the basis of DIN 55350-15)

First in, first out (FIFO)
First in, first out (FIFO): An inventory management method in which the oldest materials put into storage are the next materials taken out of storage for use.

First inspection
The first in a series of planned or authorized quality inspections. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

First pass rate
See Throughput yield.

First pass yield (FPY)
First pass yield (FPY): Also referred to as the quality rate, the percentage of units that completes a process and meets quality guidelines without being scrapped, rerun, retested, returned or diverted into an offline repair area. FPY is calculated by dividing the units entering the process minus the defective units by the total number of units entering the process.

First time quality (FTQ)
First time quality (FTQ): Calculation of the percentage of good parts at the beginning of a production run.

First Time Yield (FTY)
A quality measure indicating the percentage of units or processes passing through a system without the need for rework or correction.

First-party audit
Internal audits that are carried out by the organization itself (also “Self-assessment“), for example, for a management review or as the basis for the company‘s declaration of conformity. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

First-Pass Yield
The proportion of units or processes that pass through a system successfully without defects or rework on the first attempt.

Fishbone diagram
Fishbone diagram: See “cause and effect diagram.”

Fisher's Exact Test
A statistical test examining the association between categorical variables in contingency tables, suitable for small sample sizes or rare events.

Fisher's Method
A statistical method used for combining the results of independent tests to determine overall significance.

Fitness for use
Fitness for use: A term sometimes used to define the term “quality” to indicate the degree to which a product or service meets the requirements for its intended use.

Fitted Line Plot
A graphical representation displaying a line representing the best-fit relationship between variables in a scatter plot.

Fitted Regression Line
A line representing the best-fit relationship between variables in a regression analysis, indicating the predicted values.

Fitted Values
Predicted or estimated values obtained from a statistical model used to represent outcomes for specific inputs or conditions.

Fitted Values for Median Po
Estimated or predicted values derived from a statistical model for median-related analyses.

Fitted Values in Orthogonal Regression
Estimated values derived from an orthogonal regression model, indicating relationships between variables.

Five S's (5S)
Five S's (5S): Five Japanese terms beginning with “s” used to create a workplace suited for visual control and lean production. Seiri means to separate needed tools, parts and instructions from unneeded materials and to remove the unneeded ones. Seiton means to neatly arrange and identify parts and tools for ease of use. Seiso means to conduct a cleanup campaign. Seiketsu means to conduct seiri, seiton and seiso daily to maintain a workplace in perfect condition. Shitsuke means to form the habit of always following the first four S’s. The Americanized version is “sort, straighten, scrub, standardize and sustain.” The 5S approach organizes the workplace, keeps it neat and clean, establishes standardized condition and maintains discipline to sustain the effort.

Five whys
Five whys: A technique for discovering the root causes of a problem and showing the relationship of causes by repeatedly asking the question, “Why?” A repetitive questioning technique to probe deeper to surface the root cause of a problem. The number of times “why” is asked depends on when the true root cause is reached.

Five-phase lean approach
Five-phase lean approach: A systematic method for implementing lean manufacturing that helps improve the production process and sustains gains made in the production cycle in an area or plant. The five phases are: 1) stability (provides an environment with controlled process variables, decreased waste and increased business impact); 2) continuous flow (characterized by reduced work in process inventory, time loss and defects, and increased process flexibility and repeatable processes between workstations); 3) synchronous production (characterized by disciplined process repeatability and synchronization between operations and customer requirements); 4) pull system (creates an environment in which material replenishment links operations with customer demand); and 5) level production (reduces response time or changes in demand and upstream schedule variability).

Fixed and Random Factors
In experimental design, fixed factors represent variables with constant levels, while random factors have variable levels or conditions.

Fixed costs
Term for the (total) costs that do not change with the capacity utilization level. These are also called time-related costs.

An indicator or marker used to highlight specific data points or conditions that need attention or further investigation.

The lower surface or level of a room or building, often referenced in manufacturing layouts or facility planning.

Flow: The progressive achievement of tasks along the value stream so a product proceeds from design to launch, order to delivery and raw to finished materials in the hands of the customer with no stoppages, scrap or backflows.

Flow Cell
A production layout or system organizing workstations in a sequence to promote efficient and continuous flow in manufacturing.

Flow Production
A manufacturing method focusing on continuous production, minimizing interruptions or downtime to achieve a smooth flow of products.

Flowchart: A graphical representation of the steps in a process. Flowcharts are drawn to better understand processes. One of the “seven tools of quality” (see listing).

See Failure Mode and Effects Analysis.

Failure Mode, Effect and Criticality Analysis. The US military developed the FMEA in 1949 under the name FMECA. It was used for the systematic development of reliability with examination of system and equipment failures.

Focus group
Focus group: A qualitative discussion group, usually of eight to 10 people, that is invited from a segment of the customer base to discuss an existing or planned product, service or process, led by a facilitator working from predetermined questions.

Follow-up audit
A follow-up audit is conducted when one or more (critical) deviations (nonconformities) occur in the audit that require a longer time for correction. The effective realization of the corrective actions and consequently elimination of the deviation(s) can be proven in the follow-up audit, for example. As a result a certificate can be issued.

Force field analysis
Force field analysis: A technique for analyzing what aids or hinders an organization in reaching an objective. An arrow pointing to an objective is drawn down the middle of a piece of paper. The factors that will aid the objective’s achievement, called the driving forces, are listed on the left side of the arrow. The factors that will hinder its achievement, called the restraining forces, are listed on the right side of the arrow.

Forecasted Demand
The predicted or estimated future demand for products or services based on analysis or forecasting methods.

The process of predicting or estimating future outcomes, trends, or demand based on historical data, models, or analysis.

Four Absolutes of Quality Management
Core principles in quality management emphasizing the importance of quality in products or services: Performance, Features, Reliability, and Conformance.

Forschungsgemeinschaft für Qualität e.V., Frankfurt.

Fractional Factorial Design
An experimental design strategy involving a subset of the complete factorial design to evaluate the most influential factors efficiently.

Number indicating how often a certain result or event occurs.

Frequency Data
Data characterized by counts or occurrences of specific events or categories, typically analyzed using frequency distributions.

Frequency distribution
Distribution of actual values.

Frequency distribution (statistical)
Frequency distribution (statistical): A table that graphically presents a large volume of data so the central tendency (such as the average or mean) and distribution are clearly displayed.

Friedman's Test
A non-parametric statistical test used to determine differences between multiple groups or treatments based on ranked data.

See Fault tree analysis.

Federal Trade Commission: A U.S. government agency overseeing consumer protection and antitrust laws to promote fair competition.

File Transfer Protocol: A standard network protocol used for transferring files between a client and a server on a computer network.

Full Factorial Design
An experimental design method evaluating all possible combinations of factors and levels to analyze their effects on outcomes.

Full Rank
A condition in linear algebra or regression analysis where a matrix or system has maximal rank or independence among its rows or columns.

Function: A group of related actions contributing to a larger action.

Functional layout
Functional layout: The practice of grouping machines (such as grinding machines) or activities (such as order entry) by type of operation performed.

Functional verification
Functional verification: Testing to ensure a part conforms to all engineering performance and material requirements.

Funnel experiment
Funnel experiment: An experiment that demonstrates the effects of tampering. Marbles are dropped through a funnel in an attempt to hit a flat-surfaced target below. The experiment shows that adjusting a stable process to compensate for an undesirable result or an extraordinarily good result will produce output that is worse than if the process had been left alone.

Future State Map
A visual representation or diagram illustrating the envisioned or desired future state of a process or system after improvements.


A measuring instrument or device used to measure, evaluate, or assess various parameters or dimensions accurately.

Gage Linearity and Bias Study
An analysis or study assessing a measuring device's linearity and bias to ensure accurate and consistent measurements.

Gage R and R Study
Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility Study: An assessment evaluating the reliability and consistency of a measurement system.

Gage repeatability and reproducibility (GR&R)
Gage repeatability and reproducibility (GR&R): The evaluation of a gauging instrument’s accuracy by determining whether its measurements are repeatable (there is close agreement among a number of consecutive measurements of the output for the same value of the input under the same operating conditions) and reproducible (there is close agreement among repeated measurements of the output for the same value of input made under the same operating conditions over a period of time).

Gage Run Chart
A graphical representation displaying measurements or values obtained from a measurement system over time, assessing stability and consistency.

Gage Tolerance
The acceptable or specified range of variation or deviation permitted in measurements obtained from a measuring device or system.

Gain sharing
Gain sharing: A reward system that shares the monetary results of productivity gains among owners and employees.

Gallery Walk
A collaborative learning or problem-solving technique where participants review and provide feedback on displayed materials or ideas in a gallery-like setting.

A statistical distribution parameter or shape factor influencing the shape of various probability distributions like the gamma distribution.

Gamma Distribution
A continuous probability distribution describing the time until an event's occurrence, often used in reliability analysis or waiting times.

Gantt chart
Gantt chart: A matrix-type horizontal bar chart used in process/project planning and control to display planned and finished work in relation to time. It is called a milestone chart when interim checkpoints are added.

Gap analysis
Gap analysis: The comparison of a current condition to the desired state.

Gatekeeper: A timekeeper; in team meetings, a designated individual who helps monitor the team’s use of allocated time.

Gaussian normal distribution
See Normal distribution.

A term that originated in Japan and one of the “3Gs“. It means the place where something happens, or in a business management sense, also the place where value is created. As a management concept, Gemba means that solutions to problems should be found where the problems occur, such as the production workplace. Only immediate and direct experience at the location (with all senses) allows a problem to be adequately understood. In the area of customer focus, Gemba means that the actual needs of a customer in his or her actual living environment must be determined. Consequently in general, the greater value of one‘s own direct experience is stressed over “second-hand experience“ (e.g., written report).

Gembutsu (real things) means to go to the site in order to observe a process or workplace instead of talking about it from a distance. (Term that originated in Japan and one of the “3Gs“).

True facts (and no assumptions). The “true fact“ can be determined by data collection in the problem-solving process. Nonconformity and rejection rates and developments over time are used here as performance figures. (Term that originated in Japan and one of the “3Gs“).

General Full Factorial
A complete experimental design considering all possible combinations of factors and levels, assessing their effects on outcomes.

General Linear Models
Statistical models or regression models encompassing linear relationships between variables, allowing for multiple predictors or factors.

Generally accepted rules of technology
Technical rules for the development and execution of physical structures or technical objects. These rules are seen as theoretically correct from a scientific point of view and are applied in practice. They extend beyond the applicable technical regulations and standards.

Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T)
Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T): A set of rules and standard symbols to define part features and relationships on an engineering drawing depicting the geometric relationship of part features and allowing the maximum tolerance that permits full function of the product.

Geometric Distribution
A probability distribution describing the number of trials needed to achieve the first success in a sequence of independent trials.

Geometric Mean
A measure of central tendency calculated by taking the nth root of the product of n numbers, used for skewed or log-normally distributed data.

George M. Low Trophy
George M. Low Trophy: An award presented by NASA to NASA aerospace industry contractors, subcontractors and suppliers that consistently maintain and improve the quality of their products and services. George M. Low was the NASA administrator for nearly three decades.

Geräte- und Produktsicherheitsgesetz
German Equipment and Product Safety Act. In Germany, this law regulates the placement of products on the market and the display of products, as well as the construction and operation of systems that require monitoring. The Geräte- und Produktsicherheitsgesetz superseded the Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG – Product Safety Act) and the Gerätesicherheitsgesetz (GSG – Equipment Safety Act) on May 1, 2004. This Act implemented the European directive on general product safety in Germany into national law.

Global quality
Global quality: The systematic design and implementation of quality processes across the world, based on information-sharing and best practices.

Glossary Overview.htm
A web-based overview or index presenting definitions and explanations of terms, concepts, or jargon used in a specific domain or context.

See Good Laboratory Practice.

See Good Manufacturing Practice.

Go/no-go: State of a unit or product. Two parameters are possible: go (conforms to specifications) and no-go (does not conform to specifications).

Goal: A broad statement describing a desired future condition or achievement without being specific about how much and when.

Goal Response Optimization
The process of optimizing responses or outcomes to achieve specific objectives or goals within a system or process.

Goal Statement
A clear and concise statement outlining specific objectives or targets to be achieved, guiding initiatives or projects.

Good Laboratory Practice
Quality assurance system that deals with the organizational flow and general conditions under which non-clinical safety inspections relevant to health and the environment are planned, conducted and monitored. GLP also deals with the recording, archiving and reporting with regard to the inspections. (GLP principles of the OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development)

Good laboratory practices (GLP)
Good laboratory practices (GLP): A quality system (for example, 21 CFR, part 58) for labs and organizations to use to ensure the uniformity, consistency, reliability, reproducibility, quality and integrity of testing performed. Promoted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and some regulatory agencies in the world.

Good Manufacturing Practice
This standard from the WHO places binding requirements on the manufacturers of food and medicinal products. GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) has the nature of a law in the health sector.

Good manufacturing practices (GMP)
Good manufacturing practices (GMP): A minimum set of practices recommended or required by some regulatory agencies (for example, 21 CFR, parts 808, 812 and 820) for manufacturers to meet to ensure their products consistently meet requirements for their intended use.

Goodman-Kruskal Statistics
A statistical method used to compare ranked data or to assess associations between two or more groups.

Goodness of Fit Test
A statistical test evaluating how well an observed distribution fits a theoretical distribution or model.

See Geräte- und Produktsicherheitsgesetz.

Gesellschaft für Qualitätswissenschaft e.V., at the Technische Universität Berlin,

Measure of value or class that describes the various quality requirements placed on products, processes or systems with the same functional use. Example: Hotel category according to stars or classes in plane tickets (e.g., first, business or economy class). (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Grand Mean
The arithmetic mean or average calculated across multiple groups or datasets, representing a combined average.

Graph Annotation
Text or labels added to a graph or chart to provide additional information or context for data visualization.

Graph File Format
The file format or structure used to save or store graphical data, determining compatibility and readability.

Graph Layout Tool
Software or tools facilitating the arrangement and organization of elements within graphs or visual displays.

Graph Region
A specified area or segment within a graph or chart displaying data or information related to a particular region.

Graph Scale
The numerical or proportional representation of values on axes or dimensions within a graph or chart.

Graph Title
A descriptive title given to a graph or chart, summarizing the content or purpose of the visual representation.

Green Belt
Project leader in Six Sigma standard projects. The Green Belt is responsible for organizing such a project. This person selects the project members, defines the project contents and objectives with the Champion and the Black Belt and independently applies simple tools. The Green Belt ensures that the improvements that are worked out are integrated into the daily work sequences and consequently are lastingly preserved for the company. It has also proven to be advantageous if the Green Belts are the process owners and consequently that their interest in sustainable improvement is especially strong.

Green Belt (GB)
Green Belt (GB): An employee who has been trained in the Six Sigma improvement method and can lead a process improvement or quality improvement team as part of his or her full-time job.

A collection of individuals or items brought together based on common characteristics, interests, or criteria.

Group dynamic
Group dynamic: The interaction (behavior) of individuals within a team meeting.

Group Technology Matrix
A matrix illustrating similarities and relationships between parts or components in a manufacturing or production process.

Group work
Cooperation among individual people on a specific topic.

Groupthink: A situation in which critical information is withheld from the team because individual members censor or restrain themselves, either because they believe their concerns are not worth discussing or because they are afraid of confrontation. Occurs when most or all team members coalesce in supporting an idea or decision that hasn’t been fully explored.

Geprüfte Sicherheit [Tested Safety]. See GS mark.

GS mark
The GS mark is an indicator of “Tested Safety“. The mark was introduced in 1977 and is based on the Geräte- und Produktsicherheitsgesetz (GPSG – Equipment and Product Safety Act), according to which the Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Sozialordnung (German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs) can designate testing centers that have the right to issue the GS mark for devices and technical work materials, as far as these are covered by the GPSG. This includes products for commercial and private requirements.

Also liability for defects. Certain legal consequences and demands to which the purchaser is entitled in the framework of a sales agreement in the event that the seller has supplied unsatisfactory goods or items. A contract for work and services also provides a guarantee for deficiencies in the work produced. A warranty differs from the legally stipulated guarantee because there is no legal obligation to give a warranty promise. An EU directive specifies minimum standards for the guarantee in the case of commercial sale to private end customers. In principle, claims exist against the seller, but not against the manufacturer of the goods.

Guideline document
Document with requirements for the offered product and instructions for the activities to be carried out.

Recommendation or suggestions that are described in documents. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)


Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. HACCP is a systematic tool in the framework of food safety management. It is used to define preventive measures and consequently to avoid dangers in association with food (e.g., illnesses). HACCP roughly means the analysis of health hazards and the determination of critical points.

HACCP Approach
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points: A systematic preventive approach ensuring food safety in the food production process.

Half Normal Plot
A graphical representation used in experimental design to assess the significance of effects in screening experiments.

HALO effect
When assessing a person (“first impression“) one unconsciously looks for the other person‘s most striking characteristic and then generalizes this feature or trait.

The transfer of information, tasks, or responsibilities from one person, group, or phase to another within a process or project.

In Lean manufacturing, a concept referring to the removal of unnecessary items or tools from the workplace to enhance efficiency.

A Japanese term for self-reflection or introspection, focusing on acknowledging mistakes or opportunities for improvement.

Hard to Change Factor
Factors or variables within a system or process that are particularly difficult or challenging to modify or improve.

Material product whose quantity represents a countable characteristic. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Hardware (e.g., mechanical engine part)
Many products consist of elements from various generic product categories. The dominant element determines whether the product is called a service, software, hardware or processed material. For example, a car (in the sense of an offered product) comprises hardware (e.g., the tires), processed materials (e.g., fuel, coolant), software (e.g., engine control software, operating manual) and service (e.g., the dealer‘s explanations of correct operation).

Hawthorne effect
Hawthorne effect: When people modify their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed. This term is attributed to sociologist Henry Landsberger, who analyzed this behavior during experiments at the Hawthorne Works, a Western Electric factory outside Chicago.

Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP)
Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP): A quality management system for effectively and efficiently ensuring farm-to-table food safety in the United States. HACCP regulations for various sectors are established by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

Hazard Plot
A graphical representation displaying potential hazards or risks associated with a process, system, or operation.

Hazard and Operability Study: A systematic analysis method identifying potential hazards and operability issues in industrial processes.

Heijunka: A method of leveling production, usually at the final assembly line, that makes just-in-time production possible. It involves averaging the volume and sequence of different model types on a mixed model production line. Using this method avoids excessive batching of different types of product and volume fluctuations in the same product. Also see “production smoothing.”

A technique or analysis focusing on identifying elements or factors that either assist or impede progress toward a goal or objective.

Heywood Case
A situation in statistical modeling where estimated parameters or results violate logical or theoretical constraints.

Handelsgesetzbuch [German Commercial Code].

Hidden Factory
Unproductive or unnoticed areas within an organization where waste, inefficiency, or unutilized potential exists.

High level structure
Future identical clause structure of all management system standards with partly identical text passages in the clauses dealing with requirements. This high level structure is aimed at making better use of synergies between different disciplines. The management system standards differ with respect to their scope and objectives.

Highly accelerated life test (HALT)
Highly accelerated life test (HALT): A process for uncovering design defects and weaknesses in electronic and mechanical assemblies using a vibration system combined with rapid high and low temperature changes. The purpose of HALT is to optimize product reliability by identifying the functional and destructive limits of a product at an early stage in product development.

Highly accelerated stress audits (HASA)
Highly accelerated stress audits (HASA): A technique in which a sample of parts (as opposed to 100% of the production, as in HASS) is subjected to stresses similar to the levels and duration for HALT. In monitoring the production process, the intent of HASA is to detect slight shifts in the attributes of the product so corrective actions can be taken and implemented before the performance of outgoing product approaches the specifications.

Highly accelerated stress screening (HASS)
Highly accelerated stress screening (HASS): A technique for production screening that rapidly exposes process or production flaws in products. Its purpose is to expose a product to optimized production screens without affecting product reliability. Unlike HALT, HASS uses nondestructive stresses of extreme temperatures and temperature change rates with vibration.

Specific points in a boxplot or statistical diagram representing quartiles or outliers in a dataset's distribution.

Histogram: A graphic summary of variation in a set of data. The pictorial nature of a histogram lets people see patterns that are difficult to detect in a simple table of numbers. One of the “seven tools of quality” (see listing).

Histogram Glossary
A compilation or explanation of terms related to histograms, their components, or interpretations.

Histogram or Frequency Plot
An alternative name for a histogram, used to visualize the frequency distribution of data.

Historical Parameters
Parameters or indicators derived from past data or historical trends used for analysis, forecasting, or decision-making.

See High level structure.

Honorary member, CiCC
Honorary member, CiCC: CiCC’s highest grade of membership. As specified in CiCC’s constitution, “An honorary member shall have rendered acknowledged eminent service to the quality profession or the allied arts and sciences.” To attain this level, an individual must be nominated by at least 10 regular members and must be approved unanimously by the board of directors.

Horizontal Replication
The process or strategy of duplicating or replicating data across multiple servers or databases for redundancy or distribution.

Hoshin kanri
Hoshin kanri: The selection of goals, projects to achieve the goals, designation of people and resources for project completion and establishment of project metrics. Also see “policy deployment.”

Hoshin planning
Hoshin planning: Breakthrough planning. A Japanese strategic planning process in which an organization develops up to four vision statements that indicate where the organization should be in the next five years. Organizational goals and work plans are developed based on the vision statements. Periodic submitted audits are then conducted to monitor progress. Also see “value stream.”

Hoshin process
See Management by Policy.

Hotelling's T Squared Test
A statistical test used for comparing means or vectors of multivariate data, considering differences between groups or treatments.

Hotelling's T2 model
Hotelling's T2 model: A multivariate profile for detecting differential expressions in microarrays.

House of quality
House of quality: A product planning matrix, somewhat resembling a house, that is developed during quality function deployment and shows the relationship of customer requirements to the means of achieving these requirements.

Hsu's MCB
Hsu's Multiple Comparison Boundaries: Statistical boundaries used in multiple comparisons to control the familywise error rate.

Huddle Meetings
Collaborative or impromptu team meetings focusing on quick discussions, updates, or problem-solving within a work environment.

Hyperbolic Trigonometry Functions
Mathematical functions, such as hyperbolic sine or cosine, dealing with hyperbolic angles and relationships.

Hypergeometric Distribution
A probability distribution describing the probability of specific successes in a fixed number of draws from a finite population.

See also: Hypothesis test.

Hypothesis Statement
A statement or proposition outlining an assumption or claim to be tested or validated through analysis or experimentation.

Hypothesis Test
A statistical test evaluating the validity or significance of an assumption or hypothesis regarding a population or dataset.

Hypothesis Testing
The statistical process of testing or assessing assumptions or claims about a population or dataset using sample data.

Hypothesis, Null
A hypothesis stating no significant difference or relationship between variables or conditions being tested.


I MR Chart
Individual and Moving Range Chart: A control chart used to monitor processes with individual measurements and their ranges.

I MR RS Chart
Individual and Moving Range Rundown and Selection Chart: A tool used to evaluate data trends or patterns in a process.

I-MR Chart
Individual and Moving Range Chart: A control chart used to monitor and visualize individual data points and their moving ranges.

International Automotive Task Force. Workgroup of the large automakers and their suppliers for the harmonization of nationally introduced quality management methods and of the quality management standards.

IATF 16949
IATF 16949: A harmonized set of supplier quality management system requirements for automotive suppliers released in October 2016 by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). IATF 16949 replaced ISO/TS 16949.

International Chamber of Commerce.

Identify – Define – Design – Optimize – Validate

Identify – Design – Evaluate – Affirm

Idea creation tools
Idea creation tools: Tools that encourage thinking and organization of new ideas around issues or opportunities, either individually or with other people. Examples are brainstorming, the Delphi method, role-playing, TRIZ and visioning.

Identify – Design – Optimize – Validate

International Electrotechnical Commission. International standardization committee with headquarters in Geneva for standards in the field of electrical engineering and electronics.

IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components.

Initial Fill Capacity: A measure or assessment determining the initial capacity or volume of a reservoir, container, or system.

Initiative Ludwig-Erhard-Preis – Auszeichnung für Spitzenleistungen im Wettbewerb e.V., Oberursel bei Frankfurt. Organization that awards the Ludwig Erhard Prize each year.

Imagineering: Developing in the mind’s eye a process without waste.

Impact effort matrix
Impact effort matrix: A technique for determining the best action to take once the root cause of a problem has been identified. By creating a matrix with four quadrants and plotting the potential solutions based on the effort required to implement (x-axis) and the impact (y-axis), the solutions falling into the upper left-hand quadrant will be the best action to take.

Imperfection: A quality characteristic’s departure from its intended level or state without any association to conformance to specification, requirements or to the usability of a product or service. Also see “blemish,” “defect” and “nonconformity.”

Implementation Team
A dedicated team responsible for executing or deploying plans, strategies, or projects within an organization.

The phase within the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology in Six Sigma focusing on implementing solutions and improvements.

Improve Phase
A stage in problem-solving methodologies (e.g., DMAIC, PDCA) concentrating on implementing and validating improvement initiatives.

Improvement: The positive effect of a process change effort.

Improvement Activity
Actions or initiatives undertaken to enhance processes, systems, or outcomes towards better performance or efficiency.

Improvement Kata
A structured routine or method in Lean thinking for continuous improvement through deliberate practice and experimentation.

Improvement Ratio Amount
A measure or ratio assessing the amount or magnitude of improvement achieved in a process or system.

See Integrated management system.

In-control process
In-control process: A process in which the statistical measure being evaluated is in a state of statistical control; in other words, the variations among the observed sampling results can be attributed to a constant system of chance causes. Also see “out-of-control process.”

In-process inspection
Quality inspection that is performed during the manufacture or processing of a unit. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Incoming inspection
Inspection of incoming goods at the request and with the participation of the customer or its representative. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Incremental improvement
Incremental improvement: Improvement implemented on a continual basis.

Independent Sample
A set of observations or data points drawn from a population or group independently of other samples, avoiding bias or influence.

Independent Trial
A trial or experiment conducted separately from others, not influenced or affected by previous or concurrent trials.

Indicator Variables
Variables serving as indicators or proxies for other phenomena or factors, aiding in measurement or prediction.

Indicators: Established measures to determine how well an organization is meeting its customers’ needs and other operational and financial performance expectations.

Indirect communication behavior
Also “Active listening“. Instead of steering the talk according to his/her own ideas, the auditor guides it according to what he/she can gather from the statements of the employee or auditee. The auditor attempts to see the content through the employee‘s eyes in order to be able to understand the employee‘s actions. This is the form of discussion that allows the employee to contribute the most.

Indirect Costs
Costs not directly attributable to a specific activity, product, or service but contribute to overall expenses or operations.

Individual and Joint Confidence Level
Confidence levels for individual and combined events or occurrences indicating the likelihood of events happening.

Individual Distribution Identification
The identification or recognition of individual distributions or data patterns within a dataset or statistical analysis.

Individual Value Plot
A plot or graphical representation displaying individual data values to identify trends, patterns, or outliers.

Individuals Chart
A control chart used to monitor individual measurements or data points to assess process stability and variability.

Influential Observation
A data point or observation significantly affecting statistical analysis, potentially influencing results or conclusions.

Significant data.

Information flow
Information flow: The dissemination of information for taking a specific product from order entry through detailed scheduling to delivery. Also see “value stream.”

Information management
Management in the company with regard to information and communication: it comprises all management tasks related to information and communication.

Informative inspection
Informative inspection: A form of inspection for determining nonconforming product. Also see “judgment inspection.”

Basic equipment of a human resources, material or institutional manner (e.g., also services) that are necessary in order for an organization to function. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Inherent characteristic
Inherent means “existing as an essential constituent or characteristic of a unit.“ An inherent characteristic is one that is permanently associated with a unit.

Initial Clean
An initial cleaning process or step usually performed before starting a task, operation, or analysis to ensure a clean and organized workspace or dataset.

Innovation: New value created at an optimal cost—not at any cost—through the development of new products, services or processes.

Innovative process chain optimization
System for optimizing process chains: quality techniques and creativity techniques are networked.

Information, data, or resources provided or utilized as an input into a system, process, or operation for desired outcomes.

Input Measures
Specific measures or metrics used to evaluate or assess inputs contributing to a process, system, or project.

Inputs: The products, services and material obtained from suppliers to produce the outputs delivered to customers.

Inspection: A verification activity. For example, measuring, examining, testing and gauging one or more characteristics of a product or service and comparing the results with specified requirements to determine whether conformity is achieved for each characteristic.

Inspection by attributes
A decision as to whether or not the inspection lot can be accepted is made on the basis of the determined number of nonconforming units or the number of nonconformities in a sample. (On the basis of ISO 3534-2)

Inspection by variables
Acceptance sampling inspection: Inspecting an item by measuring the magnitude of one or more of its characteristics. (On the basis of ISO 3534-2)

Inspection characteristic
Property that is inspected. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Inspection cost
Inspection cost: The cost associated with inspecting a product to ensure it meets the internal or external customer’s needs and requirements; an appraisal cost.

Inspection costs
Costs due to inspections conducted as scheduled (and not caused by nonconformities). Inspection costs include the costs in all of the organization‘s areas for the deployed personnel for inspections, the associated inspection, measuring and test equipment and the control of inspection, measuring and test equipment. Proportional costs for inspection activities are then to be assessed when inspection and other activities overlap in time. (On the basis of DIN 555350-11)

Inspection instruction
Inspection plan with stipulations regarding the inspection activities and inspection processes.

Inspection list
The inspection list (check sheet) is a quality tool (Q 7) for recording data (nonconformities) efficiently and for presenting them clearly according to the type and number. The data are assigned to a nonconformity category and quantitatively recorded in a table. Problems in paint system

Inspection lot
Inspection lot: A collection of similar units or a specific quantity of similar material offered for inspection and acceptance at one time.

Inspection plan
Specification for a single inspection or for a series of inspections. Inspection plans can contain different elements, such as inspection specification, inspection instruction and inspection schedule or they can refer to the same. This depends on the use of language in the particular organization. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Inspection schedule
Inspection plan stipulating of the sequence of inspections.

Inspection specification
Inspection plan with stipulations regarding inspection engineering.

Inspection status
Status of a unit. It indicates which inspection or inspections were conducted on this unit, and with which results. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Inspection, 100%
Inspection, 100%: Inspection of all the units in the lot or batch.

Inspection, curtailed
Inspection, curtailed: Sampling inspection in which inspection of the sample is stopped as soon as a decision is certain. Thus, as soon as the rejection number for defectives is reached, the decision is certain and no further inspection is necessary. In single sampling, however, the whole sample is usually inspected in order to have an unbiased record of quality history. This same practice is usually followed for the first sample in double or multiple sampling.

Inspection, measuring and test equipment
Measuring systems for quality inspections

Inspection, normal
Inspection, normal: Inspection used in accordance with a sampling plan under ordinary circumstances.

Inspection, reduced
Inspection, reduced: Inspection in accordance with a sampling plan requiring smaller sample sizes than those used in normal inspection. Reduced inspection is used in some inspection systems as an economy measure when the level of submitted quality is sufficiently good and other stated conditions apply. Note: The criteria for determining when quality is “sufficiently good” must be defined in objective terms for any given inspection system.

Inspection, tightened
Inspection, tightened: Inspection in accordance with a sampling plan that has stricter acceptance criteria than those used in normal inspection. Tightened inspection is used in some inspection systems as a protective measure when the level of submitted quality is sufficiently poor. The higher rate of rejections is expected to lead suppliers to improve the quality of submitted product. Note: The criteria for determining when quality is “sufficiently poor” must be defined in objective terms for any given inspection system.

Evaluations, checks, or examinations performed on products, processes, or systems to ensure compliance or quality standards.

Instant pudding
Instant pudding: A term used to illustrate an obstacle to achieving quality, or the supposition that quality and productivity improvement are achieved quickly through an affirmation of faith rather than through sufficient effort and education.

The process of establishing or embedding practices, processes, or behaviors as a standard or norm within an organization or system.

Integer Distribution
A probability distribution representing discrete integer values in a range, often used in various statistical analyses.

Integrated management system
Consolidation of fragmentary or discipline-specific management systems (such as quality, environmental or occupational health and safety management systems) into an integrated management system. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC)
Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC): A cooperative organization of accreditation bodies.

Interacting processes
Processes that influence one another. ISO 9000:2015 calls the process approach the use of a system of processes in combination with identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes.

The interdependency or relationship between factors, variables, or elements affecting outcomes or results, often studied in experiments.

Interaction plot
An interaction plot is a graphical tool that is used when there is a change in more than one factor in a statistical experiment design in order to analyze if these factors influence one another and if there are interrelations. Like the Main effect plot, the Interaction plot is used in the Improve phase in the Six Sigma DMAIC cycle.

Interest groups
See Interested party.

Interested party
Group or person who has an interest in an organization‘s performance or success. A group can comprise an organization, a part of an organization, or several organizations. As examples for an interested party, the standard lists: customers, owners, people in an organization, suppliers, bankers, unions, partners or society. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Intermediate customers
Intermediate customers: Organizations or individuals who operate as distributors, brokers or dealers between the supplier and the consumer or end user.

Internal Consistency
The degree of reliability or consistency within measurements, tests, or assessments conducted internally within a system.

Internal customer
Internal customer: The recipient (person or department) within an organization of another person’s or department’s output (product, service or information). Also see “external customer.”

Internal customer-supplier relationship
An internal customer-supplier relationship exists when departments or areas that receive a performance from other areas within an organization are seen as internal customers. This makes employees both customers and internal service providers or suppliers.

Internal failure
Internal failure: A product failure that occurs before the product is passed downstream—for example, delivered to external customers.

Internal quality audit
See First-party audit.

Internal reports
Compilation of product-related records that are necessary or helpful for planning, management and inspections.

Internal setup
Internal setup: Setup procedures that must be performed while a machine or piece of equipment is stopped; also known as inner exchange of die. Also see “external setup.”

Internal Work
Work, tasks, or processes performed within an organization or system, often referring to internal operations or functions.

International Accreditation Registry (IAR)
International Accreditation Registry (IAR): A not-for-profit organization that accredits training and certification program results to international standards and guidelines.

International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)
International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG): An international nonprofit aerospace and defense industry legal entity (registered in Brussels) to continuously improve the industry’s processes used by its supply chain to consistently deliver high-quality products or services and to make significant improvements in quality performance and reductions in cost.

International Automotive Task Force (IATF)
International Automotive Task Force (IATF): An ad hoc group of automotive manufacturers (for example, General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, BMW, Volkswagen and Renault) and their respective trade associations (for example, Automotive Industry Action Group, the German Association of the Automotive Industry and the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders) formed to provide improved quality products to automotive customers worldwide.

International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC)
International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC): A cooperative organization of laboratory accreditation bodies.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
International Organization for Standardization (ISO): An independent, nongovernmental international organization with a membership of 161 national standards bodies that unites experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market-relevant international standards, guidelines and other types of documents.

International Telecommunication Union
Internationale Fernmeldeunion (International Telecommunication Union or Union internationale des télécommunications, UIT) with headquarters in Geneva. Agency of the United Nations that deals with the technical aspects of telecommunication. This group defines international and globally effective standards.

Interrelationship diagram
Interrelationship diagram: A management tool that depicts the relationship among factors in a complex situation; also called “interrelationship diagram” or “relations diagram.”

Interrelationship digraph
The interrelationship digraph is a management tool (M7) that is used to illustrate interrelationships. The relationships among the causes of a central problem are shown by means of arrows. The causes are also classified according to their significance. The result is a representation of a problem‘s main causes as well as the relationships between them. It is then easy to derive possible solutions.

Interval Plot
A graphical representation illustrating intervals or ranges of values within a dataset, providing insights into variability.

Intervention: The action of a team facilitator when interrupting a discussion to state observations about group dynamics or the team process.

Introductory talk or introductory meeting
The introductory talk is held at the beginning of an audit (opening). The contents are: Introduction of the auditors; Explanation of the audit objectives; Overview of methods and procedures in auditing; Agreement on the time sequence; Clarification of the resources; Confidentiality; Reporting.

Inventory: A term for assets (for example, materials, supplies, work in process and finished goods) held by an organization.

Inverse Cumulative Probability
The reverse operation of cumulative probability, determining the value below which a specific probability lies in a distribution.

Involvement of people
The involvement of people is one of the eight quality management principles (see Quality management principles).

IO Font
Input/Output Font: A specific typeface or font used in computer programming or data representation for input/output operations.

Integrated Process Control.

IPM Process
Integrated Project Management: A comprehensive approach or methodology managing projects through integration and coordination.

See Innovative process chain optimization

Integrated Quality Management.

The International Certification Network, Bern (Switzerland). International network of 36 certification companies around the world, active since 1990.

The Japanese Kaoru Ishikawa (1915-1989) is one of the pioneers and important individuals in quality science. His core activities were “company-wide quality control“, the “quality circle“ and particularly the cause and effect diagram that bears his name.

Ishikawa diagram
Ishikawa diagram: See “cause and effect diagram.”

International Organization for Standardization, Geneva. International organization of standardization organizations.

ISO 14000
ISO 14000: A series of international, voluntary environmental management standards, guides and technical reports developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

ISO 14001
ISO 14001: A voluntary environmental management standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

ISO 19011
ISO 19011: A guideline for the auditing of management system standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

ISO 26000
ISO 26000: An international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to help organizations effectively assess and address those social responsibilities that are relevant and significant to their mission and vision; operations and processes; customers, employees, communities and other stakeholders; and environmental impact.

ISO 9000 series standards
ISO 9000 series standards: A set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help organizations effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system. The standards, initially published in 1987, are not specific to any particular industry, product or service. The standards were developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (see listing). The standards underwent major revision in 2000 and now include ISO 9000:2005 (definitions), ISO 9001:2008 (requirements), ISO 9004:2009 (continuous improvement) and ISO 9001: 2015 (risk management).

ISO 9001
ISO 9001: A voluntary quality management system standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). First released in 1987 and one of several documents in the ISO 9000 family.

ISO Method
A method conforming to standards established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for specific procedures or processes.

A set of international standards addressing quality management and assurance systems within organizations (e.g., ISO 9001).

ISO/TC 176
Technical Committee 176 on Quality Management and Quality Assurance. Responsible for the development of the ISO 9000 family of standards.

Iterative Development
A software development approach involving repetitive cycles or iterations, revising and refining the product through successive stages.

See International Telecommunication Union.


Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association Inc. – Association of Japanese automakers. IATF 16949:2016 was supported by the IATF and JAMA and worked out by representatives of the ISO/TC 176.

Japanese Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM)
An institute promoting and supporting plant maintenance practices and methodologies, particularly in Japan.

Jidohka: Stopping a line automatically when a defective part is detected. Any necessary improvements can then be made by directing attention to the stopped equipment and the worker who stopped the operation. The jidohka system puts faith in the worker as a thinker and allows all workers the right to stop the line on which they are working. Also see “autonomation.”

Self-controlled nonconformity detection system. Jidoka (Japanese origin) functions as a tool to localize and report problems that arise. Machines automatically detect incorrect functions at production points and stop the further production. This prevents further processing of nonconforming parts.

See Just-in-sequence.

Jishuhozen / Autonomous Maintenance
A concept in Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) focusing on operators' involvement in maintaining and improving equipment reliability.

JISQ 9100
JISQ 9100: An international quality management standard for the aerospace industry. Also see AS9100.

See Just-in-time.

Variability or fluctuations in timing, often referring to irregularities in signals, data transmission, or system performance.

Job instruction
Job instruction: Quality system documentation that describes work conducted in one function in an organization, such as setup, inspection, rework or operator.

Job Sequence
The order or arrangement of tasks or operations in a particular sequence within a workflow or production process.

Joint audit
Audit by two or more collaborating auditing organizations at a single auditee. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Joint venture
Cooperation among parties that leads to the establishment of a new, legally independent entity. All founding companies participate with their capital. The founding companies also frequently introduce a large portion of resources in technology, property rights, technical and marketing know-how and/or industrial installations into the new company.

Japanese Standards Association, Tokyo, Japan.

Japanese Society of Quality Control, Tokyo, Japan.

Verification and subsequent summary of facts

Judgment inspection
Judgment inspection: A form of inspection to determine nonconforming product. Also see "informative inspection."

Judgment Sampling
A sampling method based on the judgment or expertise of the sampler, selecting specific samples deemed representative or relevant.

The Romanian-American industrial engineer Joseph M. Juran (1904 – 2008) is one of the pioneers and important figures in quality science. His core activity was the “Quality Trilogy.“ The process of systematic and continual quality improvement resulted in three recurring steps, namely, quality planning, quality control and quality improvement (quality trilogy).

Juran trilogy
Juran trilogy: Three managerial processes identified by Joseph M. Juran for use in managing for quality: quality planning, quality control and quality improvement.

Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers, Tokyo, Japan.

Just In Time (JIT) Manufacturing
A manufacturing approach focusing on producing goods or components as needed, reducing waste and inventory costs.

Concept from procurement logistics with the objective of delivering the right quantity of the right products in the right order (in sequence). Further development of the just-in-time principle in order to provide the delivered product or material synchronously with the production order.

Organization principle and procurement strategy with the objective of waste-free realization of overlapping processes tailored to the specific needs. The right products should be procured at the right time and in the right quantity and provided for further processing. If this parts flows is practiced everywhere, the warehouse stock can approach zero. Today this principle is being further developed through just-in-sequence.

Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing
Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing: An optimal material requirement planning system for a manufacturing process in which there is little or no manufacturing material inventory on hand at the manufacturing site and little or no incoming inspection.

Just-in-time (JIT) training
Just-in-time (JIT) training: The provision of training only when it is needed to all but eliminate the loss of knowledge and skill caused by a lag between training and use.


K 7
See Creativity techniques.

Kaizen: A Japanese term that means gradual, unending improvement by doing little things better and setting and achieving increasingly higher standards. Masaaki Imai made the term famous in his book, Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success.

Kaizen Leader
A person leading or facilitating continuous improvement initiatives or activities within an organization, driving Kaizen principles.

Kanban: A method for providing material/product to a succeeding operation by signaling the preceding operation when more material/product is needed. This “pull” type of process control employs a kanban, a card or signboard, attached to a lot of material/product in a production line signifying the delivery of a given quantity. When all of the material/product has been processed, the card/sign is returned to its source, where it becomes an order to replenish.

Kanban Board
A visual management tool displaying tasks or work items, their status, and progress in a workflow or process.

Kano model
Kano model: Three classes of customer requirements, as described by Noriaki Kano: satisfiers—what customers say they want; dissatisfiers—what customers expect and what results in dissatisfaction when not present; and delighters/exciters—new or unexpected features that customers do not expect.

A statistical measure assessing the agreement between two raters or observers when evaluating categorical data.

Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, Flensburg.

Kendall's Coefficient of Concordance
A measure of agreement among multiple raters or judges when assessing the rank order of items or subjects.

Kendall's Tau B
A statistical measure determining the strength and direction of association between two ordinal variables.

Key account
A primary customer.

Key Account Management
Arose as a sub-area of customer marketing in the 1960s and identifies the systematic cultivation of the relationships to important customers (key accounts). Because it is often the case that a few customers make up the largest share of the revenue, it is worthwhile for companies to give special attention to their key accounts. Usually a fixed contact person is established (key account manager) who is particularly responsible for ensuring that the important customer itself is successful in its market. Key account management does not mean the sale of products to large customers. Instead, the following is called for: Supplying solutions; helping with process optimization; contributing in the development of new products and services; and contributing to the joint development of new business fields or in strategy and future planning. This is because a customer‘s importance is not necessarily in the revenue; it can also be in access to new markets (regions, groups of customers) mediated by a customer or in the development of new technologies and products enabled or facilitated by this customer. Key Account Management is particularly encountered in the consumer goods and investment goods industry.

Key performance indicator (KPI)
Key performance indicator (KPI): A statistical measure of how well an organization is doing in a particular area. A KPI could measure an organization’s financial performance or how it is holding up against customer requirements.

Key Performance Indicators (K.P.I.)
Metrics or indicators used to evaluate and measure the performance or success of an organization, process, or activity.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Metrics or indicators used to evaluate and measure the performance or success of an organization, process, or activity.

Key process
Key process: A major system level process that supports the mission and satisfies major consumer requirements.

Key process characteristic
Key process characteristic: A process parameter that can affect safety or compliance with regulations, fit, function, performance or subsequent processing of product.

Key product characteristic
Key product characteristic: A product characteristic that can affect safety or compliance with regulations, fit, function, performance or subsequent processing of product.

Key results area
Key results area: Customer requirements that are critical for the organization’s success.

Kitting: A process in which assemblers are supplied with kits—a box of parts, fittings and tools—for each task they perform. This eliminates time-consuming trips from one parts bin, tool crib or supply center to another to get necessary materials.

Knowledge management
The manner in which an organization pursues the targeted handling of theoretical and practical knowledge. As a rule, knowledge management checks which knowledge is needed in which scope for which function and then provides this knowledge in a suitable form. Knowledge can be broken down into explicit knowledge (can be expressed and passed on formally in language, words, images, etc.) and tacit knowledge (arises primarily in personal experience and is hard to put into words). Tasks comprise the definition of knowledge objectives, the organization of knowledge acquisition, promotion of the exchange of knowledge, seeing to knowledge preservation, and controlling the use of knowledge. In the newer management theory, knowledge management is increasingly seen as the promotion of the organization‘s ability to learn and in contrast, strictly hierarchical ordering and transmission of knowledge are criticized. The objective is an organization that is intelligent, that generates knowledge, and that is able to make decisions. Knowledge management is consequently less about pre-structuring knowledge and more about creating an organizational culture that encourages learning in the form of creating and implementing knowledge.

Kobetsu Kaizen / Focused Improvement
A targeted or specific improvement approach in Lean manufacturing, focusing on particular areas or aspects for enhancement.

Gesetz zur Kontrolle und Transparenz im Unternehmensbereich [German Corporate Sector Supervision and Transparency Act]. KonTraG went into effect on May 1, 1998 and has the objective of improving corporate governance (methods and instruments for managing and monitoring organizations) in German companies.

Key Performance Index or also Key Performance Indicator. Performance figure for determining and measuring the extent to which important objectives or critical success factors have been met.

Knowledge Process Quality Model: Model for assessing the maturity level of knowledge processes. It describes the development of the process maturity in six levels (level 0 – 5 from initial to continual improvement). Each is examined on the basis of four development paths (process organization; employee deployment and knowledge networks; acceptance and motivation; computer-based support). The assessment results can be used to derive prioritized actions for knowledge management.

Kruskal-Wallis test
Kruskal-Wallis test: A nonparametric test to compare three or more samples. It tests the null hypothesis that all populations have identical distribution functions against the alternative hypothesis that at least one of the samples differs only with respect to location (median), if at all. It is the analogue to the F-test used in analysis of variance. While analysis of variance tests depend on the assumption that all populations under comparison are normally distributed, the Kruskal-Wallis test places no such restriction on the comparison. It is a logical extension of the Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney Test (see listing).

Kooperation für Transparenz und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen [cooperation for transparency and quality in the health sector] (quality standard as an industry solution for hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities, alternative dwelling forms and doctor‘s practices). The KTQ group was established as a combination of associations at the federal level in Germany in the mid-1990s with the objective of continual quality improvement in hospitals. The KTQ model is a practice-oriented method to evaluate quality and safety. It is furthermore an objective to increase transparency in the performance quality and medical performance and also to implement new quality elements. Today KTQ GmbH is an important supplier of systems to demonstrate quality management for facilities in the health sector in Germany. KTQ is also a registered trademark. Certification in accordance with the KTQ procedure is also possible.

A statistical measure quantifying the degree of peakedness or flatness in the distribution of a dataset's values.


A descriptive tag or identifier attached to data points, elements, or categories for identification or classification.

Label Position
The specific location or placement of labels within a graphical representation or display, aiding in data interpretation.

Labor as a Percentage Cost
The percentage of total expenses attributed to labor costs within a business or production process.

Facility for performing inspections, tests and calibrations. These can be chemical, metallurgical, geometric, physical, electrical or reliability tests. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Laboratory scope
Laboratory scope: A record containing the specific tests, evaluations and calibrations a laboratory has the ability and competency to perform, the list of equipment it uses, and a list of the methods and standards to which it adheres to each of these.

Laboratory/lab: A facility that can perform calibration services, test validation and testing (for example, chemical, metallurgical, dimensional, physical, electrical and reliability testing).

Lack of Fit
A statistical term describing the discrepancy or inadequacy of a model in explaining observed variation in data.

A time delay or interval between cause and effect or the occurrence of events in a process or system.

Laplace Distribution
A probability distribution describing continuous random variables with symmetric tails around a central location.

Last off part comparison
Last off part comparison: A comparison of the last part off a production run with a part off the next production run to verify that the quality level is equivalent.

Layout inspection
Layout inspection: The complete measurement of all dimensions shown on a design record.

See Life cycle costs.

Lower Control Limit: The lower boundary or limit in a control chart indicating the minimum acceptable level of performance.

Lead time
Lead time: The total time a customer must wait to receive a product after placing an order.

Leadership: The action of leading a group of people or an organization, an essential part of a quality improvement effort.

Lean: A systematic method for waste elimination or minimization (muda) within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity.

Lean enterprise
Lean enterprise: An organization that has eliminated or minimized waste (muda).

Lean management
Delayering of the hierarchy and improved customer-supplier relationships by streamlining the company and avoiding wasting resources.

Lean Manufacturing
A production method emphasizing waste reduction, efficiency, and continuous improvement in manufacturing processes.

Lean manufacturing/production
Lean manufacturing/production: An initiative focused on eliminating all waste in manufacturing processes. Principles of lean manufacturing include zero waiting time, zero inventory, scheduling (internal customer pull instead of push system), batch to flow (cut batch sizes), line balancing and cutting actual process times. The production systems are characterized by optimum automation, just-in-time supplier delivery disciplines, quick changeover times, high levels of quality and continuous improvement.

Lean migration
Lean migration: The journey from traditional manufacturing methods to one in which all forms of waste are systematically eliminated.

Lean Quality Management
See Lean Management.

Lean Six Sigma
A combination of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, aiming to reduce waste and variation while improving processes.

Least Squares
A statistical method minimizing the sum of squared differences between observed and predicted values in regression analysis.

A key or explanatory guide in a graph or chart providing information about symbols, colors, or elements used.

Length of Observation
The duration or period for which observations, data collection, or studies are conducted to gather information or insights.

Letter Values Glossary
A compilation or explanation of letter values used in statistical analysis or models for representation or interpretation.

Level loading
Level loading: A technique for balancing production throughput over time. Life cycle stages: Design, manufacturing, assembly, installation, operation and shutdown periods of product development

Statistical measures assessing the impact or influence of individual data points on the overall regression model.

Leverages PLS
Measures in Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression assessing the influence or impact of variables on the model's structure.

Liability for fault
Damage can be directly assigned to the party that caused it. Obligation to damage compensation on the basis of statutory provisions that require culpable behavior in the form of wrongful intent or negligence.

Life cycle costs
Combination of investment and cost accounting that reverts to the concept of the life cycle. Here, the cost-influencing factors are taken into account that often are not included in the cost accounting. A product‘s costs are analyzed across all of its life phases (from the development through to disposal). This results in recommendations for the product design and the procurement, with the objective of optimizing the total costs.

Likelihood Ratio Test
A statistical test comparing the likelihood of observed data under different models, assessing their goodness of fit.

Limiting amount
Value for the lower limiting value and upper limiting value, which only differ by the sign. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12:1989)

Limiting amount of deviation
Amount of the lower limiting deviation or of the upper limiting deviation regardless of whether the amounts are equal or not.

Limiting deviation
Lower limiting deviation or also upper limiting deviation. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Limiting quality
Quality level at which the lot inspected has a low probability of acceptance. Also referred to as LQ. (On the basis of ISO 3534-2:2013)

Limiting sample
Object that physically represents the limiting value of a quality characteristic. (On the basis of DIN 55350-15)

Limiting value
Lower or upper limiting value. (On the basis of DIN 55350-15)

Laboratory Information Management System. A category of software systems that deals with data processing in chemistry, physics, biology or medical laboratories.

Line Balancing
A technique optimizing work distribution among multiple workstations to reduce idle time and improve production efficiency.

Line Plot
A graphical representation displaying data points as dots connected by lines, highlighting trends or patterns in the data.

Linear Constraints
Constraints or limitations in a mathematical or optimization model represented as linear equations or inequalities.

Linear Relationship
A mathematical or statistical relationship between variables that exhibits a constant rate of change or proportionality.

The property of a relationship or model where changes in one variable cause proportional changes in another variable.

Link Function
A mathematical function connecting the mean of a distribution to a linear predictor in statistical modeling.

Linkage Methods
Techniques or methodologies used in data analysis or clustering to link or group similar elements or data points together.

Last Inspection-Record Date: The date marking the last recorded inspection or evaluation of a particular item or asset.

Listening post
Listening post: An individual who, by virtue of his or her potential for having contact with customers, is designated to collect, document and transmit pertinent feedback to a central collection authority in the organization.

A software or technology facilitating real-time collaboration or sharing of documents, data, or information among users.

Ljung-Box Q Statistic
A statistical test assessing whether residuals from a time series model exhibit significant autocorrelation at various lags.

A mathematical function representing the logarithm of the gamma function, commonly used in probability and statistics.

Load-load: A method of conducting single-piece flow in which the operator proceeds from machine to machine, taking the part from one machine and loading it into the next. The lines allow different parts of a production process to be completed by one operator, eliminating the need to move around large batches of work-in-progress inventory.

Log Likelihood
A statistical measure quantifying the likelihood of observed data given a specific model or distribution.

Log Residuals
Residuals or differences between observed and predicted values in logarithmic space in statistical analysis or modeling.

Log t
A mathematical function representing the logarithm of the Student's t-distribution probability density function.

A mathematical function determining the power to which a fixed number (base) must be raised to obtain a given value.

Natural Logarithm: A logarithm using the base 'e' (approximately 2.718) often used in mathematical and statistical calculations.

Logical Analysis
An analytical method or approach based on reasoning, rational thinking, or deduction to derive conclusions or solve problems.

Logistic Distribution
A probability distribution describing continuous random variables between a specified range, often resembling an S-shaped curve.

Logistic Regression
A statistical technique used to model the relationship between a binary dependent variable and one or more independent variables.

Logistic Regression Response Variables
Variables in logistic regression models representing outcomes or dependent variables in binary or categorical form.

Logistics quality
Ability to deliver and delivery reliability: The customer receives the right products in the right quantity at the right place and right time.

Loglogistic Distribution
A probability distribution model with two shape parameters, often used in survival analysis or modeling extreme events.

Lognormal Distribution
A probability distribution characterized by its logarithm being normally distributed, frequently used in financial modeling and natural phenomena.

Lorenz curve
Graphical representation of statistical distributions and illustration of the extent of inequality. It was developed by Max Otto Lorenz.

Lost customer analysis
Lost customer analysis: Analysis conducted to determine why a customer or a class of customers was lost.

Lot: 1) A defined quantity of product accumulated under conditions considered uniform for sampling purposes. 2) Items constituting a defined quantity of uniform product for purposes of proceeding collectively through a process.

Lot quality
Lot quality: The value of percentage defective or of defects per hundred units in a lot.

Lot size (also referred to as N)
Lot size (also referred to as N): The number of units in a lot.

Lot tolerance percentage defective (LTPD)
Lot tolerance percentage defective (LTPD): Expressed in percentage defective, the poorest quality in an individual lot that should be accepted. Note: LTPD is used as a basis for some inspection systems and is commonly associated with a small consumer risk.

Lot, batch
Lot, batch: A definite quantity of some product manufactured under conditions of production that are considered uniform.

LOV chart
Flow chart with assignment to the organizational unit. The direct interface to the process customer (line of visibility) is distinctly visible. The LOV chart also shows which organizational unit deals with which process step.

Lower Control Limit
The lower boundary or limit in a control chart, representing the minimum acceptable level of performance or quality.

Lower control limit (LCL)
Lower control limit (LCL): Control limit for points below the central line in a control chart.

Lower limiting deviation
Lower limiting value minus the reference value. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Lower Specification Limit
The lower acceptable threshold for a product or process specified by customer requirements or standards.

Locally Weighted Scatterplot Smoothing: A method for creating a smooth curve or trendline through scatterplot data.

Limiting Quality. See Non-acceptable quality level.

Limiting Quality Level.

The Ludwig-Erhard-Prize is a German quality prize for outstanding achievements in competition which is awarded annually by the Ludwig-Erhard-Preis – Auszeichnung für Spitzenleistungen im Wettbewerb e.V. (ILEP) initiative. It was presented for the first time in 1997. The rating system‘s structure is similar to that of the European Quality Award. The Ludwig-Erhard-Prize fills the gap between individual national prizes in Germany and the EEA. This award bears the name of the German minister of economic affairs and later federal chancellor Ludwig Erhard (1897 – 1977), the “Vater des Wirtschaftswunders“, or leader of Germany‘s postwar economic recovery.

Lurking Variable
A variable influencing the relationship between other variables in a study but not directly observed or measured.


M Failure Test
A statistical test used to evaluate the reliability or failure rate of a product or system under specific conditions.

See Management tools.

Machine capability
Suitability of the machine. Machine capability indices that are determined by the machine capability analysis are the CM and CMK value. They represent an estimate of the dispersion of the interesting, quantitative characteristics. When calculating these indices, only the machine‘s own influences are taken into consideration.

Machine capability analysis
See Machine capability.

Machine Cycle Time
The time required to complete a full cycle or operation in a machine, often used in manufacturing process analysis.

Machine Downtime
The period during which a machine or equipment is not operational, typically due to maintenance, breakdowns, or issues.

Machine Set-Up Time
The duration needed to prepare a machine or equipment for a specific operation or production run.

Magic triangle
Relationship between quality, costs and time. The objective must be to balance all three competing parameters.

A statistical measure used to assess the distance between a data point and the mean in multivariate analysis, considering correlations.

Main effect plot
Graphics tool to indentify a variable‘s influence on the output variable. Main effect plots are primarily used in the DoE (Design of Experiments) in order to examine how significant a variable‘s influence is on the output quantity being examined.

Main Effects Plot
A graphical representation illustrating the main effects of different factors or variables on a response in experimental design.

Main process
Higher level process in a process hierarchy. Each main process constitutes an organizational unit and in turn is divided into various sub-processes.

Maintainability: The probability that a given maintenance action for an item under given usage conditions can be performed within a stated time interval when the maintenance is performed under stated conditions using stated procedures and resources. Maintainability has two categories: serviceability (the ease of conducting scheduled inspections and servicing) and repairability (the ease of restoring service after a failure).

1. Servicing, care, inspection and repair of technical instruments in a system in order to preserve the functional capability.

Maintenance Performance Sheet (Mp Sheet)
A document or sheet tracking and evaluating the performance of maintenance activities, tasks, or schedules.

Make it Ugly
A concept suggesting deliberately creating flaws or issues in a process to identify weaknesses and areas for improvement.

Make to Order
A manufacturing strategy where products are produced or customized based on specific customer orders or demands.

Make to Stock
A manufacturing approach where products are produced in anticipation of demand, creating inventory available for immediate sale.

Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award
Quality award in the USA. This award is based on a TQM model: A maximum of 1000 points can be earned in each of seven categories. The prize has been annually awarded to a company from production, one from the service sector and to an SME since 1988.

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA)
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA): An award established by the U.S. Congress in 1987 to raise awareness of quality management and recognize U.S. organizations that have implemented successful quality management systems. The award is managed by the U.S. Commerce Department National Institute of Standards and Technology and administered by CiCC.

Termination of a unit‘s capability to fulfill the required function. (IEC 60050)

Coordinated activities to direct and control an organization. ISO 9000:2015 recommends using the term management only for one person or one group of people if the further context an additional conceptual definition makes it possible to avoid confusion with the term management as defined above. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Management by objectives
Also called management by results.

Management by Policy
Management of the objectives and the means. This procedure is based on the Japanese principle of Hoshin Kanri. Hoshin means objective or direction and Kanri stands for management or controlling.

Management liability
The responsibility of an entrepreneur or planner for deficient organization of its internal procedures. ISO 9001 certification makes it easier to be released from claims based on management liability.

Management manual
See Quality manual.

Management process
Process that has the character of giving instructions and making decisions. Management processes are also called control processes. In particular, these include human resources planning, corporate planning and target agreement processes, as well as the performance of statutory entrepreneurial duties.

Management representative
See Quality management representative.

Management review
Management review: A top management meeting held at planned intervals to review the continuing suitability and effectiveness of one or more of an organization’s management system(s).

Management system
System to define policy and objectives and to achieve these objectives An organization‘s management system can include different systems, such as a quality management system, a financial management system and an environmental management system. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Management tools
The (seven) management tools are problem-solving techniques that are used to analyze verbal information on the basis of visual methods. These tools are preferably used to process complex problems or when there is little or no numerical data available. In particular, these are: affinity diagram, interrelationship digraph, tree diagram, matrix diagram, matrix data analysis (portfolio analysis), problem decision program chart, and activity network diagram.

An approach to decision-making emphasizing the use of data, evidence, and facts rather than opinions or assumptions.

Manager: An individual with responsibility and authority over managing a process.

Mann-Whitney Test
A non-parametric statistical test comparing two independent groups to determine differences in their distributions or medians.

Multivariate Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique examining differences among multiple groups for multiple dependent variables.

Mantel-Haenszel Cochran Test
A statistical test used to assess the association between two categorical variables while controlling for another variable.

Manual Time
The time taken or spent by individuals or workers to perform tasks or operations manually, excluding automated processes.

Manufacturing Costs per Unit
The average cost incurred in producing a single unit of a product, considering all expenses related to manufacturing.

Manufacturing resource planning (MRP II)
Manufacturing resource planning (MRP II): When material requirements planning and capacity planning and finance interface to translate operational planning into financial terms and into a simulation tool to assess alternative production plans.

Mapping symbols or icons
Mapping symbols or icons: An easy, effective way to visually communicate the flow of materials and information.

Margin of Error
The range within which the true value of a parameter is likely to lie, accounting for uncertainty in statistical estimates.

Marginal costs
Costs caused by the production of an additional unit.

Marginal Plot
A graphical representation depicting the marginal relationship between variables, often used in exploratory data analysis.

Walter Masing (1915 – 2004), Ph.D. in physics, is a pioneer and important figure in quality science. Particularly in Germany he made a name for himself as a pioneer of modern, industrial quality science.

Master Black Belt
Coach and expert in the Six Sigma organization: The Master Black Belt is responsible for setting up the Six Sigma organization and for advising the Champions on how Six Sigma can optimally be employed and used to implement the firm‘s objectives. The Master Black Belt is the most important expert for all methods and tools, and conveys this information across all of a company‘s levels.

Master Black Belt (MBB)
Master Black Belt (MBB): A problem-solving subject matter expert responsible for strategic implementations in an organization. This person is typically qualified to teach other facilitators the statistical and problem-solving methods, tools and applications to use in such implementations.

Material handling
Material handling: Methods, equipment and systems for conveying materials to various machines and processing areas, and for transferring finished parts to assembly, packaging and shipping areas.

Material requirements planning (MRP)
Material requirements planning (MRP): A computerized system typically used to determine the quantity and timing requirements for production and delivery of items to customers and suppliers. Using MRP to schedule production at various processes will result in push production because any predetermined schedule is an estimate only of what the next process will actually need.

Plural of Matrix: Mathematical structures used for data organization or representation, often in linear algebra or statistical analysis.

Matrix: A document for displaying the relationships among various data sets.

Matrix data analysis
See Portfolio analysis.

Matrix diagram
The matrix diagram is a management tool (M7) for representing complex interrelationships. With the help of a matrix, the relationships and interactions of a problem or question are revealed step by step and shown in a clear manner. Up to four dimensions can be linked to one another (L, T and X matrix).

Matrix Plot
A graphical representation illustrating relationships among variables using a matrix format, aiding in data visualization.

Maturity level
Certain stage of maturity or organizational maturity of a company in the implementation of a management system or of a continual improvement process.

Maximum: The highest or largest value observed or attainable within a dataset or a given set of values.

Maximum average outgoing quality
Maximum average outgoing quality in a single sampling instruction.

See Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Management by Objectives.

Management by Policy.

See Machine Capability Analysis.

Machine Capability Control. See Machine capability.

Mean Down Time.

Mean: A measure of central tendency; the arithmetic average of all measurements in a data set.

Mean Cumulative Function
A statistical function representing the cumulative distribution function for a continuous random variable's mean.

Mean Squares
A measure of variability or dispersion calculated as the sum of squared deviations from the mean divided by degrees of freedom.

Mean Taguchi
A concept in Taguchi methods focusing on optimizing processes to minimize variations around a target or desired mean.

Mean time between failures (MTBF)
Mean time between failures (MTBF): The average time interval between failures for a repairable machine, piece of equipment or product for a defined unit of measure; for example, operating hours, cycles and miles.

Mean value
See Arithmetic mean.

Mean, Standard Error of
The standard deviation of the sampling distribution of the sample mean, representing the uncertainty in estimating the population mean.

Physical quantity that is measured. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Measure: The criteria, metric or means to which a comparison is made with output.

Measure of dispersion
Index that registers deviations.

Measurement: The act or process of determining a value. An approximation or estimate of the value of the specific quantity subject to measurement, which is complete only when accompanied by a quantitative statement of its uncertainty.

Measurement management system
Necessary system for attaining metrological confirmation (e.g., calibration) and for permanent monitoring of measurement processes. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Measurement process
Activities for determining a measured quantity. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Measurement result
Estimated value of a measured quantity that is acquired from measurements as an approximation of the true value of the measured quantity. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Measurement standard
Material measure, reference material, measuring instrument or measuring system. It is used to reproduce, keep unchanged or represent a unit of measurement in order that it can be passed on to other measuring instruments by means of comparison. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Measurement system
Measurement system: All operations, procedures, devices and other equipment, personnel and environment used to assign a value to the characteristic being measured.

Measurement System Analysis
An evaluation process assessing the accuracy, precision, and reliability of a measurement system or equipment.

Measurement System Analysis (MSA)
Analysis of the behavior of a measuring system under real usage conditions (various operation sites, different inspectors, real workpieces, and installation into different measuring devices). The results make it possible to state whether or not this inspection, measuring and test equipment and measurement systems are suitable for use in measurements with certain stipulated tolerances or process dispersion.

Measurement System Variation
Variability arising from the measurement process, influencing the consistency and reliability of measurements.

Measurement uncertainty
Measurement uncertainty: In metrology, a non-negative parameter characterizing the dispersion of the values attributed to a measured quantity.

Measures of Accuracy
Statistical measures assessing the closeness or accuracy of observed values to the true or expected values in data analysis.

Measuring accuracy
Range in which an experimentally determined quantity can deviate from the actual value. It is a measure of the value‘s accuracy (also measurement uncertainty or error).

Measuring equipment
Measuring instrument, software, measurement standard, reference material, auxiliary apparatus or a combination of these required to carry out a measurement process. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Measuring instrument
Instrument for measuring a measured quantity. It can be used either alone or in combination with other equipment. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Measuring object
Bearer of a measured quantity. These can be bodies, processes or states. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Measuring system
All measuring instruments and associated additional equipment (e.g., thermostat) in order to achieve a measurement result. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Median: The middle number or center value of a set of data in which all the data are arranged in sequence.

Median Polish
A statistical method for analyzing two-way or multi-way tables to estimate row and column effects iteratively.

A large-scale project characterized by complexity, scope, duration, or financial investment, often involving multiple stakeholders.

The density or spacing of points in a grid or network used in mathematical modeling or simulation, affecting accuracy and detail.

Method 635
Creativity technique and problem-solving method for generating new and unusual ideas. Prof. Bernd Rohrbach developed it in 1968. Procedure: Each participant is given a piece of paper that is the same size. This is divided into 18 boxes with 3 columns and 6 rows. In the next step, each of the 6 participants is requested to write an idea in the first box of each column. Each participant passes his/her piece of paper on to the next person in the clockwise direction after around 3 to 5 minutes (depending of the level of difficulty). Now the next person in line must take the ideas that were already generated and supplement and further develop them. 635 stands for 6 participants, each of whom develops 3 ideas and passes them on 5 times. The advantage of this method is that many ideas are generated in a short time (max. 108 ideas in 30 minutes).

Metric: A standard for measurement.

Metrological characteristic
Distinguishing feature of measuring equipment, such as the measurement range or stability or the discrimination threshold. The metrological characteristic can influence the measurement results. Measuring equipment usually has several metrological characteristics. These can also be subject to calibration. (On the basis of DIN 9000:2015)

Metrological confirmation
Activities required to ensure that measuring equipment fulfills the requirements for the intended use. Generally, metrological confirmation, calibration or verification includes every necessary adjustment or repair with subsequent recalibration, comparison with the metrological requirements for the intended use of the measuring equipment and all necessary sealing and labeling. Metrological confirmation is not achieved until the suitability of the measuring equipment for the intended use has been verified and documented. The requirements for the intended use include such criteria as measurement range, resolution and limiting values. Requirements for metrological confirmation are usually not identical to the product requirements and are also not specified there. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Metrology: The science of weights and measures or of measurement; a system of weights and measures.

Metrology functional area
Functional area that is organizationally and technically responsible for specifying and implementing the measurement management system. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

MIL-Q 9858
USA quality requirements in the military sector. The program was developed in 1963.

MIL-Q-9858A: A military standard that describes quality program requirements.

MIL-STD-105E: A military standard that describes the sampling procedures and tables for inspection by attributes.

MIL-STD-45662A: A military standard that describes the requirements for creating and maintaining a calibration system for measurement and test equipment.

A significant event, achievement, or point marking progress or completion in a project, often used for tracking and planning purposes.

Mind mapping
Technique for creating and working. A mind map shows the relationships between various concepts in the form of a graphical representation. British learning specialist Tony Buzan developed it in the early 1970s. Adressing both sides of the brain, contents are consequently easier to learn and store. Procedure: The central word (symbol or working title) is in the middle of the paper, which is always used in a horizontal format. Now main branches (lines) to sub-topics are developed, with the associated thoughts written on the branches as key words. The formation of sub-branches can be continued as required and the various “branches“ can be connected to one another. The result is a hierarchical arrangement of the thinking, which becomes more and more specific as one works outwards. The use of colors or images supports the “brain-friendly“ work.

Minimum Viable Product
The basic version of a product with enough features to satisfy initial users, allowing for testing and feedback gathering.

Minitab Macros
Automated or predefined sequences of commands or operations in Minitab, used for automating repetitive tasks or analyses.

A specific methodology or approach for conducting analyses, tasks, or operations using the Minitab statistical software.

Minitab Project MPJ file extension
The file format extension used in Minitab software to save and store project files containing data, analyses, and settings.

Minor nonconformity
Nonconformity that presumably only negligibly reduces the usability for the intended use. Or a deviation from the applicable stipulations that has only a negligible effect on the use or operation of a unit. (On the basis of DGQ Volume 11-04:2012)

Missing Values Missing Groups Empty Cells
Absent or unrecorded data points or groups in a dataset resulting in empty or null cells, affecting analysis and interpretation.

Mission: An organization’s purpose.

Mistake proofing
Mistake proofing: Improving processes to prevent mistakes from being made or passed downstream. This term can be contrasted with error proofing, which means improving designs to prevent mistakes from being made. Some, however, consider these two terms synonymous and applicable to products and processes.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, U.S.A.

Mixture Amount Experiment
An experimental design or study investigating the effects of varying amounts or proportions of components in a mixture.

Mixture Design
An experimental design examining the impact of multiple factors or components mixed together on the response or output.

Mixture Process Variable Design
An experimental design assessing the impact of varying process variables or factors on a mixture or blend in production.

A term in Lean manufacturing referring to a material handling method ensuring the right parts are delivered in the right quantity at the right time.

Management On Duty: Refers to managers or supervisors actively overseeing operations and tasks during their shifts.

Mode: The value occurring most frequently in a data set.

Model Reduction
A process of simplifying or streamlining complex models by eliminating redundant or less impactful components or variables.

Model test
Suitability test of a material final product. It comprises a design review and a type test. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Moment of Truth
Critical moments or interactions with customers that significantly influence their perception or satisfaction with a product or service.

Determination of the status of either a system, a process, a product, a service or an activity. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Monument: Any design, scheduling or production technology with scale requirements that call for designs, orders and products to be brought to the machine to wait in line for processing. The opposite of a right sized (see listing) machine.

Morphological box
Creativity and work technique developed by the Swiss astrophysicist Fritz Zwicky (1898 – 1974). The morphological box can help provide a transparent display of a problem‘s solution field and make it easy to work out alternatives. Procedure: The first step is to describe the problem. Then parameters or criteria that give a general description of the problem are defined. In the third step, solutions are sought for each individual criterion. Subsequently, a table is created that has the criteria in the first column and the possible solutions in the other columns. The fifth step involves the evaluation of the solutions on the basis of selected characteristics. The resulting matrix (or box) makes it possible to combine the potential solutions into alternative concepts. The last step is the selection of the optimal solution.

A prioritization technique categorizing requirements into Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, and Won't Have categories.

In Lean methodology, refers to any unnecessary movement or action that doesn't add value to the process or task.

Moving Average
A statistical calculation representing the average of a sequence of data points by considering a specified number of prior observations.

Moving Average Chart
A graphical representation displaying a series of moving averages over time, aiding in detecting trends or fluctuations.

Moving Range
The difference between consecutive observations or data points in a sequence, used in statistical process control and variation analysis.

Moving Range Chart
A graphical tool illustrating the variation in moving ranges over time to monitor process stability and identify outliers.

Manufacturing Process: The sequence of steps or operations transforming raw materials into finished products in manufacturing.

Material Requirements Planning: A system for managing and planning materials, ensuring availability for production and manufacturing.

See Measurement System Analysis.

Measuring and control technology, also called instrumentation and control engineering.

Mean Squared Successive Differences: A statistical measure assessing the differences between successive data points squared and averaged.

Metrology, standards, testing, quality.

Mean time between failures. Average operating time between malfunctions for units that are maintained.

Meantime between maintenance. Average service life between maintenance activities.

Mean Time Between Quality Failures: The average time interval between occurrences of quality-related failures in a system or process.

Mean Time Between Tasks: The average time between the completion of consecutive tasks or activities in a workflow or process.

Mean time to failure. Also called average service life.

Mean time to first failure. Average time until first malfunction.

Mean time to maintenance. Average time between two maintenance actions.

Mean time to repair. Maintenance time or average repair time.

Muda: Japanese for waste; any activity that consumes resources but creates no value for the customer.

Multi-Skilled Workers
Employees possessing multiple skill sets or competencies, capable of performing various tasks or roles within an organization.

A statistical phenomenon where independent variables in a regression model are highly correlated, impacting model accuracy.

Multiple Sampling
A statistical sampling technique involving taking multiple samples from a population to improve estimation accuracy.

Multiple sourcing
Distribution of the same product that is to be procured or the same service to more than one supplier. This procurement principle is useful when it is necessary to guarantee a highly secure supply.

Multivari Chart
Multivariate Control Chart: A graphical tool illustrating the variation between variables simultaneously, aiding in quality control.

Multivariate control chart
Multivariate control chart: A control chart for evaluating the stability of a process in terms of the levels of two or more variables or characteristics.

Multivariate Control Charts
Statistical tools monitoring multiple variables simultaneously to identify deviations or trends in a process or system.

Multivariate EWMA Chart
Exponentially Weighted Moving Average Chart: A control chart monitoring multiple variables using weighted averages over time.

Multivariate Normal Distribution
A probability distribution representing multiple random variables that follow a normal distribution pattern.

Multivoting: A technique used to make a consensus decision when numerous alternatives exist or when those involved in making or approving the decision have differing opinions. Similar to nominal group technique (see listing).

Variation (imbalance). Japanese term that is a basis of the lean philosophy. Mura identifies losses that result from the incomplete harmonization of capacities in the framework of the production process. Typical signs of Mura are queues at the machine or idle times.

Overload. Japanese term that is a basis of the lean philosophy. This refers to losses that emerge due to overload or overexertion in the framework of the working process.

Mean uptime.

Mutual benefits
See Quality management principles.

Mutual recognition agreement (MRA)
Mutual recognition agreement (MRA): A formal agreement providing reciprocal recognition of the validity of other organizations’ deliverables, typically found in voluntary standards and conformity assessment groups.

Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI)
Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI): A method and instrument for identifying an individual’s personality type based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality preferences.


N: The number of units in a population.

National Accreditation Council for Certification Bodies. Former national British accreditation body. See UKAS.

A Japanese term in Lean manufacturing referring to flow or smoothness in production processes, aiming for efficient workflow.

Nagara system
Nagara system: Smooth production flow, ideally one piece at a time, characterized by synchronization (balancing) of production processes and maximum use of available time; includes overlapping of operations where practical. A nagara production system is one in which seemingly unrelated tasks can be produced simultaneously by the same operator.

Normenausschuss Grundlagen des Umweltschutzes im DIN [DIN Standards Committee Principles of Environmental Protection].

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that develops and promotes measurements, standards and technology, and manages the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

National measurement standard
Recognized measurement standard for a specific physical quantity. It forms the basis for the determination of the characteristic value of all other measurement standards of the quantity in question. An official national ruling is the basis for the recognition in a country. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Natural Log of Stdev Taguchi
The natural logarithm of the standard deviation in Taguchi methods, used in quality improvement and variation reduction.

Natural team
Natural team: A team of individuals with common or similar responsibilities and authorities drawn from a single workgroup. Similar to a process improvement team except that it is not cross functional in composition and it is usually permanent.

Non-destructive testing.

National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health: An organization providing certifications in health and safety.

Negative Binomial Distribution
A probability distribution representing the number of failures before a specified number of successes occurs in a sequence of independent trials.

Net Workdays
The total number of workdays available in a specific timeframe, accounting for holidays, weekends, and non-working days.

New management planning tools
New management planning tools: Method(s) for achieving expected outcomes that previously have not been used.

New Seven
Also: New Seven Tools for Quality Control. See Management tools.

Next operation as customer
Next operation as customer: The concept of internal customers in which every operation is both a receiver and a provider.

NextGen: A quality professional 40 years old or younger or someone who is new to a quality role within their organization.

Nine windows
Nine windows: A tool used to investigate a past or potential problem at the super-system and subsystem levels, in addition to considering the problem only in the present and at the system level.

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg (USA).

The count or number of missing values or empty cells in a dataset, indicating observations or data points that are not recorded.

No Touch Production
A manufacturing concept aiming to minimize or eliminate human intervention in certain production processes to reduce errors or waste.

Noise Factors Taguchi
Factors or variables in a process that contribute to variation but are beyond direct control, targeted for minimizing their impact.

Nominal group technique
Nominal group technique: A technique, similar to brainstorming, to generate ideas on a particular subject. Team members are asked to silently write down as many ideas as possible. Each member is asked to share one idea per round, which is recorded. After all ideas are recorded, they are discussed and prioritized by the group.

Nominal value
Characteristic value of a quantitative characteristic in order to divide up the scope. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Non Graph Output File Formats
File formats used to save or export data or results that are not graphical representations, such as text, tables, or reports.

Non Value Added (NVA)
Activities or processes in a workflow that do not contribute to the value or quality of the final product or service.

Non-Utilized Talent
Employees' skills or capabilities within an organization that remain underutilized or untapped, affecting productivity.

Non-Value Added Time
The time consumed in a process by activities or tasks that do not contribute to the overall value or quality of the output.

Non-Value Adding
Refers to processes, tasks, or activities that do not contribute value or quality to the final product, often considered as waste.

Non-Value-Adding Activities
Activities or tasks within a process that do not directly contribute to the value or quality of the final product or service.

Noncentrality Parameter
A statistical measure related to the non-central distribution, indicating deviation from a central value in hypothesis testing.

Nonconforming record (NCR)
Nonconforming record (NCR): A permanent record for accounting and preserving the knowledge of a nonconforming condition.

Nonconformity: The nonfulfillment of a specified requirement. Also see “blemish,” “defect” and “imperfection.”

Nonconformity classification, classification of nonconformities
Classification of a unit‘s potential nonconformities into nonconformity classes. The evaluation depends on the effects of the nonconformity. Internationally, nonconformities are divided into three nonconformity classes: Critical nonconformities: – Major nonconformities – Minor nonconformities. (On the basis of DGQ Volume 11-04:2012)

Nonconformity costs, costs of nonconformity
Also called cost of failure. Costs resulting from a nonconformity. Nonconformities result in costs. Nonconformity costs can be divided into two groups, depending on where they were found: internal nonconformity costs and external nonconformity costs. An organization should define what it sees as internal and external failure costs. DIN 55350-11 gives these examples of nonconformity costs: Costs for remedying or mitigating a nonconformity, for rework, repair, scrapping, disposal, handling of rejects, unplanned sorting test, repeated inspection, downtime, guarantee and product liability. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Nonconformity criterion
Characteristic that can be used to determine if there is a nonconformity.

Nonconformity prevention
Development of products and production processes in order to manufacture conforming products. (On the basis of ISO 16949-2009)

Nonconformity weighting, weighting of nonconformities
Classification of a unit‘s possible nonconformities into nonconformity weight classes. This classification takes place after the nonconformities have been rated according to their weight (nonconformity‘ s significance for the organization).

Nondestructive testing and evaluation (NDT, NDE)
Nondestructive testing and evaluation (NDT, NDE): Testing and evaluation methods that do not damage or destroy the test specimen.

Nonlinear parameter estimation
Nonlinear parameter estimation: A method whereby the arduous and labor-intensive task of multiparameter model calibration can be carried out automatically under the control of a computer.

Nonlinear Regression
A regression analysis technique modeling relationships between variables using nonlinear equations or curves.

Nonparametric Test
Statistical tests not relying on specific distribution assumptions, suitable for non-normal or ordinal data analysis.

Nonparametric tests
Nonparametric tests: All tests involving ranked data (data that can be put in order). Nonparametric tests are often used in place of their parametric counterparts when certain assumptions about the underlying population are questionable.

Nonvalue added
Nonvalue added: A term that describes a process step or function that is not required for the direct achievement of process output. This step or function is identified and examined for potential elimination. In a contractual situation, it can be those features or process steps that a customer would be unwilling to pay for if given the option. Also see “value added.”

Norm (behavioral)
Norm (behavioral): Expectations of how a person or persons will behave in a given situation based on established protocols, rules of conduct or accepted social practices.

Normal distribution
The distribution behavior of a process in control usually follows a typical pattern. The most commonly occurring dispersion pattern is the (Gaussian) normal distribution. It occurs when bilateral variability around a target value is exclusively due to random causes.

Normal distribution (statistical)
Normal distribution (statistical): The charting of a data set in which most of the data points are concentrated around the average (mean), thus forming a bell-shaped curve.

Normality Test
Statistical tests assessing whether a dataset follows a normal distribution or Gaussian distribution pattern.

Designation of an accreditation body for the performance of conformity assessment procedures on the basis of an EU directive.

A management philosophy focusing on the importance of immediate action and responsiveness to current issues or opportunities.

NP Chart
Number of Defective Items Chart: A control chart used to monitor the number of defective items in a sample or subgroup.

Normenausschuss Grundlagen des Umweltschutzes im DIN [DIN Standards Committee Principles of Environmental Protection

A measure or calculation of the number of times an event or outcome occurs within a dataset, often used in statistical analysis.

Null hypothesis
Statement that is used to select a subset. This subset is determined from the probability distribution allowed for the statistical test as a whole. (On the basis of DGQ Volume 11-04:2012)

Null hypothesis (Ho)
Hypothesis that there are no differences between the groups.

Number of affected units chart
Number of affected units chart: A control chart for evaluating the stability of a process in terms of the total number of units in a sample in which an event of a given classification occurs.

Number of Distinct Categories
The count of unique or separate categories or classes present in a dataset, frequently used in categorical data analysis.


A product, service, process, person, organization, system or resource. Any material or immaterial entity or item or anything conceivable. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Objective: A target or goal to be achieved.

Objective evidence
Data that prove the existence or truth of something. Observation, measurement and testing are means for producing objective evidence. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

A single data point or measurement recorded in a study, experiment, or analysis, contributing to the dataset's information.

Observed Performance
The actual or real performance achieved in a process, task, or operation, measured against predefined standards or expectations.

See Operating characteristic curve.

Occupational health and safety
In the EU, this is regulated by standardized directives that the member states are to implement into national law. Occupational health and safety includes safe working conditions (e.g., mandatory helmets), health protection (avoidance of chronic illnesses or impairments resulting from hazardous substances, noise, etc.) and personal protection (maternity leave, protection of young people). In Germany the basis is the “Gesetz über die Durchführung von Maßnahmen des Arbeitsschutzes zur Verbesserung der Sicherheit und des Gesundheitsschutzes der Beschäftigten bei der Arbeit“ (Law regulating the performance of occupational health and safety measures in order to improve the safety and health protection of employees at work – ArbSchG from August 7, 1996).

Occupational health and safety management
All coordinated activities and actions for the establishment, longterm guarantee and improvement of occupational health and safety. In particular, occupational health and safety management is obligated to fulfill numerous statutory requirements according to which suitable technical, organizational and personal actions are to be taken that ensure and improve the safety and health protection of the employees when performing their work.

Open Database Connectivity: A standard interface for accessing and managing databases using SQL-based commands or queries.

Odds Ratio
A statistical measure quantifying the association or likelihood of an event occurring concerning two groups or conditions.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness: A metric assessing the efficiency of equipment or machinery in manufacturing or production processes.

Total Productive Maintenance in Office Environments: An adaptation of TPM principles and practices applied in office settings.

Opportunity for Improvement. Audit finding that is used by various certification organizations. See Recommendation.

Occupational health and safety. (On the basis of ISO 45001:2018)

OH&S Control Measures
Safety protocols, procedures, or interventions implemented to mitigate risks and ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.

Occupational Health and Risk Management System. Management system to protect the health and safety of the employees and people living close to industrial plants. Accident rates and workrelated illnesses should be kept as low as possible by applying the standard. The Bavarian Arbeitsministerium (Department of Labor) developed OHRIS and published it for the first time in 1998.

Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series.

OHSAS 18001
Occupational health and safety management system specification. Certifiable international standard for an occupational health and safety management system. OHSAS was developed by the British Standards Institution in cooperation with international certification companies. ISO 45001 serves to repeal OHSAS 18001.

OHSAS 18002
Guidelines to implement OHSAS 18001. Instruction to implement an OHSMS (occupational health and safety management system).

See Occupational health and safety management.

See Operator inspection.

Objectives and Key Results: A goal-setting framework defining objectives and measurable outcomes to achieve strategic goals.

Austrian Standards Institute with headquarters in Vienna.

On Standard Operating Efficiency (OOE)
A measure indicating the proportion of time a machine or equipment is operating at the expected or standard performance level.

On-Time Delivery
A metric evaluating the punctuality of delivering products or services within specified or agreed-upon timeframes to customers.

One Piece Flow
A manufacturing concept aiming for a continuous and uninterrupted flow of single units through the production process.

One-factor method
Traditional method for conducting experiments. In the search for the optimal settings (“best settings“) for the input variables/factors of a process, only one factor is changed at a time and then the change in the output variables is measured. Unlike in DoE, possible interrelations among the input variables are not taken into account here.

One-piece flow
One-piece flow: The opposite of batch and queue; instead of building many products and then holding them in line for the next step in the process, products go through each step in the process one at a time, without interruption.

One-sample t-test
Statistical method to compare the average value of a population with a specification.

One-touch exchange of dies
One-touch exchange of dies: The reduction of die setup to a single step. Also see “single-minute exchange of dies,” “internal setup” and “external setup.”

Operating characteristic curve
Probability of acceptance of an inspection lot as a function of its quality level in the framework of an acceptance sampling inspection. (On the basis of DGQ Volume 11-04:2012)

Operating characteristic curve (OC curve)
Operating characteristic curve (OC curve): A graph to determine the probability of accepting lots as a function of the lots’ or processes’ quality level when using various sampling plans. There are three types: type A curves, which give the probability of acceptance for an individual lot coming from finite production (will not continue in the future); type B curves, which give the probability of acceptance for lots coming from a continuous process; and type C curves, which (for a continuous sampling plan) give the long-run percentage of product accepted during the sampling phase.

Operating Characteristics Curve (OC Curve)
See Operating Characteristic Curve.

Operating expenses
Operating expenses: The money required for a system to convert inventory into throughput.

Operating instructions
Document that should exclusively point out hazards. In Germany, operating instructions are prepared for biological agents, hazardous substances and their preparations that contain such substances at a level greater than a certain percent, and for machines and other technical systems. The Employer‘s Liability Insurance Associations recommend the following contents for operating instructions: Scope; hazards for people and the environment; protective measures and rules of conduct; conduct in case of disturbances; conduct in case of accidents; first aid; proper disposal/maintenance (for machines/technical systems); and consequences in the event of non-compliance.

Operation accuracy
Production accuracy resulting from the production equipment.

Operational Definition
A precise and detailed explanation or description of a concept, variable, or process, outlining how it will be measured or observed.

Operations: Work or steps to transform raw materials to finished product.

Operator Cycle Time
The time taken by an operator to complete a specific task, operation, or cycle within a production or manufacturing process.

Operator inspection
Quality inspection that is conducted by the operator itself. It is a necessary part of quality control. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Overall Process Loss: A measure assessing the total loss or inefficiency across the entire production or operational process.

The potential chances or instances within a process where defects or errors can occur, offering prospects for improvement.

Opportunity per Unit
The count or frequency of defect opportunities within each unit or item produced, evaluated in quality and defect analysis.

Optimal Design
A design or configuration maximizing performance, efficiency, or desired outcomes while minimizing resources or constraints.

Optimization Plot
A graphical representation illustrating the optimization process or the relationship between variables in an optimized system.


Österreichische Arbeitsgemeinschaft zur Förderung der Qualität (QUALITY AUSTRIA), Vienna, Austria.


A structure composed of people and facilities that is characterized as an arrangement of processes, responsibilities, authorities and relationships. As examples, the standard lists: Company, corporation, firm, enterprise, institution, charity, sole trader, association, or parts or combinations of these. An organization can have a public or private nature. The standard points out that this definition applies in the framework of standards on quality management systems and that the term “organization“ is defined differently in the ISO/IEC Guide 2. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Organization with development responsibility
Organization that is permitted to develop new product specifications or change existing product specifications. This responsibility also comprises the testing and verification of the development performance in the framework of the application that was specified by the customer (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016).

Organizational excellence
Organizational excellence: Achievement by an organization of consistent superior performance—for example, outputs that exceed meeting objectives, needs or expectations.

Organizational structure
Orderly arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships between people. The formal organizational structure is usually shown in a quality manual or a quality plan (for a project). Important interfaces to external organizations can be contained in the scope of an organizational structure. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM): An organization that uses product components from one or more other organizations to build a product that it sells under its own organization name and brand.

Orthogonal Design
An experimental design where factors or variables are independent or uncorrelated, simplifying analysis and reducing interference.

Orthogonal Regression
A regression analysis method modeling relationships between variables that are mutually perpendicular or independent.

Occupational Safety, Health, and Environment: Refers to standards and practices ensuring workplace safety, health, and environmental protection.

Operating time between failures.

On-Time In-Full: A performance metric evaluating the delivery of products or services on time and meeting customer requirements completely.

Operating time to first failure. Uptime.

Out of spec
Out of spec: A term that indicates a unit does not meet a given requirement or specification.

Out-of-control process
Out-of-control process: A process in which the statistical measure being evaluated is not in a state of statistical control. In other words, the variations among the observed sampling results cannot be attributed to a constant system of chance causes. Also see “in-control process.”

Measured value of a sample with an unusually large deviation from other values from the sample that deviate randomly from one another. This deviation is so large that it presumably originates from another population or is the result of an error that occurred during the measurement.

The result, product, or information obtained from a process, operation, or system, representing the final or intermediate deliverable.

Output Measures
Metrics or indicators quantifying the results, outcomes, or outputs achieved in a process, used for performance evaluation.

Outputs: Products, materials, services or information provided to customers (internal or external) from a process.

Outsourced processes
Selected processes that the organization assigns to external partners instead of handling them itself. Outsourced processes are characterized by being required for the quality management system. The organization retains the responsibility for the results of these processes and must ensure that the outsourced processes also fulfill customer requirements and statutory and regulatory requirements. Consequently the organization must appropriately control them. (Cf. ISO 9001:2015)

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE): A value of how well a manufacturing unit performs relative to its designed capacity during the periods when it is scheduled to run. The product of a machine’s operational availability, performance efficiency and first-pass yield.

Overhead costs
Costs that cannot be directly attributed to an activity unit. Instead they have to be apportioned to the cost centers according to a distribution key.

Overlaid Contour Plot
A graphical tool displaying multiple contour plots overlaid on top of each other for visual comparison or analysis.

A type of waste in Lean methodology referring to producing more than needed or producing ahead of demand, leading to excess inventory.

Overtime Rate
The additional pay rate or compensation provided for work done beyond regular working hours or shifts.

Overview diagram
Depiction of the starting and end points of a process. This overview concentrates on the highest level of the process depiction.


Österreichische Vereinigung für Qualitätssicherung. Earlier name of the ÖQA.


P chart
P chart: See “percent chart.”

p Value
A statistical measure indicating the probability of obtaining results at least as extreme as the observed results under a null hypothesis.

See Process FMEA.

P-M Analysis
Parameter-Measurement Analysis: A method analyzing the relationship between process parameters and measurements in quality improvement.

P.D.C.A. Cycle
Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle: A continuous improvement methodology consisting of planning, implementing, evaluating, and adjusting processes.

See Probability of acceptance.

Painted floor
Painted floor: A lean manufacturing technique to provide visual control (for example, to indicate a nonconforming material area or to determine stock levels).

Paired t Test
A statistical test comparing the means of two related groups or conditions, determining if their means are significantly different.

Paired t-test
Statistical analysis in hypothesis testing (similar to the 2-sample t-test, see there). In this case, the differences between two populations are compared with regard to their mean values. This assumes that each sample value can be paired with a sample value from the other population, which means paired samples.

Pairwise Statistics
Statistical comparisons or analysis conducted between pairs of variables or groups within a dataset, often used in research or analysis.

A group or committee assembled to discuss, evaluate, or make decisions on specific matters or topics within an organization.

A set of beliefs, concepts, or assumptions serving as a framework for understanding or interpreting a particular subject or field.

Parallel operation
Parallel operation: A technique to create economy of scale by having two operators work together to perform tasks on either side of a machine. Using this technique reduces the time it takes a single operator to move from one side to the other, making the overall process more efficient. An example of parallel operation is having two people work on a changeover, supplementing each other’s work effort.

Quantity to identify the probability distribution.

Technique in audits: the auditor repeats statements in his/her own words.

The Italian national economist and sociologist Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923) discovered that most of the effects are due to a few causes. The Pareto principle states that 80% of the effects result from 20% of the possible influencing factors.

Pareto analysis
On the basis of the 80 – 20 rule (Pareto Principle, named for the political economist, sociologist and statistician Vilfredo Pareto) which can be seen in many different areas: 20% of the nonconformities cause 80% of the nonconformity costs; 20% of the customers are responsible for 80% of the revenue; when solving a problem, 80% of the solution will be worked out in 20% of the time; 20% of the causes are responsible for 80% of the effects. The Pareto analysis is an investigative method that orders all of the factors that influence a situation under observation based on their relative influence. The objective is to make it possible to concentrate a detailed examination on the primary factors. Structurally, the Pareto analysis is related to the ABC analysis, which also provides a classification according to the significance of the factors.

Pareto chart
Pareto chart: A graphical tool for ranking causes from most significant to least significant. It is based on the Pareto principle, named after 19th century economist Vilfredo Pareto, and suggests that most effects come from relatively few causes; that is, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the possible causes. Also known as the "80-20 rule" (see listing). One of the “seven tools of quality” (see listing).

Pareto diagram
The Pareto diagram is a quality tool (Q7) and is used for nonconformity analysis. The preparation of the collected data allows a statement to be made on the significance of individual nonconformity categories. A bar diagram is drawn up for this. The bars show the values for the nonconformity categories that have been sorted according to size. A cumulative curve in the diagram indicates the point on the x-axis at which the nonconformities have reached the level of 80% of all nonconformities. The Pareto diagram is based on the 80 – 20 rule, which means that around 20% of the types of nonconformities are responsible for roughly 80% of all nonconformities.

Pareto Principle
The principle suggesting that a significant majority (80%) of effects come from a minority (20%) of causes or inputs in a system.

A term possibly associated with products offered in parallel or simultaneously, context-dependent.

Potentially a term related to summing or adding elements in parallel or simultaneously, context-dependent.

Partial Least Squares Regression
A statistical method used in regression analysis when there are multiple interrelated independent variables or predictors.

Partnership/alliance: A strategy and a formal relationship between a supplier and a customer that engenders cooperation for the benefit of both parties.

Parts per million (PPM)
Parts per million (PPM): A metric reporting the number of defects normalized to a population of one million for ease of comparison.

Process capability analysis. See Process capability.

Plan, Check, Do, Act: A variant or alternative representation of the PDCA cycle, focusing on planning, checking, doing, and acting.

Parts Count Method: Method to determine reliability characteristics

Policy Deployment. See Management by policy.

Plant Data Acquisition: General term for the acquisition of data in companies.

See PDCA cycle.

PDCA cycle
PDCA cycle: See “plan-do-check-act cycle.”

Product Development Process: The series of steps or phases involved in bringing a new product from conception to market launch.

Plan-Do-Study-Act: An iterative problem-solving method involving planning, implementation, observation, and adjustment.

Pearson Residuals
Residuals or errors calculated in regression analysis using Pearson's correlation coefficient, measuring the discrepancy between observed and predicted values.

Pearson's r
Pearson's Correlation Coefficient: A statistical measure quantifying the strength and direction of a linear relationship between two variables.

A mathematical expression representing a portion of a whole expressed as a fraction of 100, commonly used in percentages.

Percent chart
Percent chart: A control chart for evaluating the stability of a process in terms of the percentage of the total number of units in a sample in which an event of a given classification occurs. Also referred to as a proportion chart.

Percentile Line
A line on a graph indicating specific percentiles or points in a dataset, commonly used in visualizing distribution patterns.

Divisions or values in a dataset representing specific percentages of observations or values below which certain percentages fall.

Percents for Percentiles
The corresponding percentages or ranks for specific percentile values in a dataset, providing relative positions or measures.

A principle or goal aiming for the elimination of defects, errors, waste, or inefficiencies in processes or systems.

Quantitatively or qualitatively measurable result; management of activities, processes, products, services, systems or organizations. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Performance audit
Examination of the performance (on the basis of characteristics), effectiveness and possibilities to improve the performance of both the management system and its individual aspects. See Audit.

Performance figure
Characteristic value that can be used to monitor and evaluate the performance of a process and for its control. Also called “performance indicator“ or “success factor“.

Performance measurement system
Performance figures (indicators) are values for measuring performances or the efficiency of processes or to determine achieved success. They are used to manage and control at all levels. The company‘s entire performance measurement system provides information about production and finances, but more importantly it covers all action areas (e.g., management, customers, employees, objective management, situations involving the environment and relevant changes). Systematic analysis of the performance figures and their correlation makes it possible to recognize if, where and when a company has to set new priorities and where there are any imbalances between fields of action.

Performance specification
Description of how the contractor is to implement the complete set of requirements from the requirement specification.

Performance standard
Performance standard: The metric against which a complete action is compared.

A rearrangement or reordering of elements or values in a set or sequence, often used in combinatorial mathematics or statistics.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Safety gear, clothing, or devices worn or used to protect individuals from workplace hazards or risks, ensuring safety.

PERT chart
Program Evaluation Review Technique Chart: A visual project management tool illustrating task dependencies, durations, and critical path.

PEST analysis
Variants building on the same framework: STEP, PESTLE. Acronym for the analysis of political, economic, social, technological (and, if applicable, legal and environmental) factors making up the environment of the organization.

Preliminary Hazard Analysis: An initial risk assessment identifying potential hazards or risks before more detailed analysis or actions.

Physical transformation task
Physical transformation task: A step taking a specific product from raw materials to a finished product delivered to the customer. Also see “value stream” and “information flow.”

Pi 3.141
The mathematical constant ? (pi), approximately equal to 3.141, representing the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.

Pie chart
Also called a circle chart. Data are shown in a picture as pieces of a pie.

Pillars Evolution
Potentially a term describing the development, growth, or transformation of foundational or key elements in a process or system.

A trial or preliminary implementation of a new process, system, or product before full-scale deployment or implementation.

PIMS study
Profit Impact of Marketing Strategy. Tool for strategy analysis. A sector‘s profi tability can be measured with the following three categories: competitive situation, production structure and sales/ market situation. The PIMS database is based on a General Electric Group investigation conducted in the late 1960s.

Pitch: The pace and flow of a product.

Plackett Burman Design
A type of experimental design used in screening experiments to identify significant factors affecting a process or system.

Plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle
Plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle: A four-step process for quality improvement. In the first step (plan), a way to effect improvement is developed. In the second step (do), the plan is carried out. In the third step (check), a study takes place between what was predicted and what was observed in the previous step. In the last step (act), action should be taken to correct or improve the process.

Plan-Do-Check-Act, or PDCA

Planned Maintenance
Scheduled or routine maintenance activities performed based on a predetermined plan to ensure equipment or system reliability.

Preventive Maintenance: Regular maintenance conducted to prevent equipment failure, extending its operational lifespan.

Po-ka yo-kay
Po-ka-yoke: A Japanese term for mistake-proofing or error prevention techniques in processes, reducing the possibility of errors.

Point kaizen
Point kaizen: See “process kaizen.”

Point of use
Point of use: The place where or the time when a product or service is used.

Point of Use Storage
Storage systems or arrangements placing materials or supplies at the exact point of need, reducing waste and improving efficiency.

Point Type
A term possibly describing a specific data representation or format, context-dependent.

Poisson Capability Plots
Graphical representations evaluating the capability of a process following a Poisson distribution, often used in quality control.

Poisson distribution
Poisson distribution: A discrete probability distribution that expresses the probability of a number of events occurring in a fixed time period if these events occur with a known average rate, and are independent of the time since the last event.

Poka-yoke: Japanese term that means mistake proofing. A poka-yoke device is one that prevents incorrect parts from being made or assembled or easily identifies a flaw or error. See “mistake proofing.”

Policy: A plan (direction), statement of intent or commitment for achieving an objective.

Policy deployment
See Management by policy.

Policy Deployment Action Plan
Action plans outlining steps or initiatives to implement policy deployment strategies aligning with organizational objectives.

Policy Deployment Matrix
Matrices or frameworks illustrating the alignment of policies, goals, and initiatives across an organization for deployment.

Pooled Standard Deviation
A combined standard deviation calculated from multiple groups or samples, pooling their variances to estimate overall variation.

Totality of the units that are being considered. (On the basis of DIN 55350-14:1985)

Population and Samples
The distinction between the complete set of elements (population) and subsets drawn from it (samples) for analysis or study.

Portfolio analysis
Portfolio analysis is a management tool (M7) for evaluating the data recorded in a matrix diagram. The acquired data set is reduced to a few numbers and then entered into axes of coordinates. This representation allows a qualitative comparison of two characteristic features. The result is a transparent representation of large quantities of data.

Posterior Probability
The probability of an event occurring after considering additional information or evidence, often updated from prior probabilities.

Potential and Overall Capability
Measures assessing the capacity or potential performance and overall capability of a process or system to meet specifications.

Point of Use: See Point of Use.

Power Curve
A graphical representation illustrating the power or strength of a relationship between variables, commonly in regression analysis.

Power General
A term potentially related to a general application or concept of power, context-dependent.

Like Cp (but as a long-term indicator).

Production Part Approval Process. Product release procedure for a component in the automotive (supplier) industry.

Parts per billion: stands for the number 10-9.

PPC system
Production planning and control system. Computer program to support users during production planning and control, as well as with data administration.

Personal Protective Equipment: See Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Like Cpk (but as a long-term indicator).

Ppk Ppu Ppl
Process Performance Indices: Metrics evaluating process capability in relation to upper, lower specifications, and process spread.

Parts per million; stands for the number 10-6.

Plan, Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety, Morale: An acronym representing key aspects to focus on in various processes or projects.

Plan, Quality, Delivery, Cost, Safety, Morale, Innovation: An acronym extended to include innovation in process or project considerations.

Precision: The amount of variation that exists in the values of multiple measurements of the same characteristic or parameter. Greater precision means less variation between measurements.

Prediction Interval
A range of values around a predicted outcome providing a probabilistic estimate of where future data points might fall.

Predictive maintenance
Approach for the evaluation of the condition of equipment by performing periodic or continuous monitoring to predict when maintenance should be performed. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Preliminary audit
Audit that is used for the preliminary evaluation and clarification of open questions in order to demonstrate the quality management system. Possible weaknesses can be detected and corrected on time, before the (certification) audit. The preliminary audit can be conducted at the request of the client.

Preliminary Plan
An initial or early-stage plan outlining key objectives, strategies, or actions to guide further development or detailed planning.

Prediction Error Sum of Squares for Partial Least Squares: A measure assessing the predictive performance in Partial Least Squares regression.

Prevention cost
Prevention cost: The cost incurred by actions taken to prevent a nonconformance from occurring; one element of cost of quality. See “cost of quality.”

Prevention costs
Costs that arise due to the analysis and elimination of nonconformity causes. The costs for preventive and corrective actions are also included under prevention costs for nonconformities. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11).

Prevention versus detection
Prevention versus detection: A term used to contrast two types of quality activities. Prevention refers to activities for preventing nonconformances in products and services. Detection refers to activities for detecting nonconformances already in products and services.

Preventive action
Preventive action: Action taken to prevent occurrence of nonconformances.

Preventive maintenance
Planned activities as the result of production process development in order to correct failure causes in systems and to prevent unscheduled interruptions in production. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Potentially a term or acronym related to a specific methodology, context-dependent.

Principal Components Analysis
A statistical technique reducing the dimensionality of data by identifying principal components explaining most variance in the dataset.

Principle of quality management
You can find out more about this in the Quality management principles.

P number of favorable cases divided by the number of possible cases.

Probability (statistical)
Probability (statistical): The likelihood of occurrence of an event, action or item.

Probability Density Function
A mathematical function describing the likelihood of a continuous random variable taking specific values within a given range.

Probability distribution
Distribution of a variate. (DGQ Volume 11-04:2009)

Probability Distribution Plots
Graphical representations illustrating the probability distribution of data, showcasing its shape and characteristics.

Probability mass function
Function giving the probability that a random variable assumes a given value. (On the basis of ISO 3534-1)

Probability net
Form for graphically representing probability distributions in order to simplify their analysis.

Probability of acceptance
Value that indicates the probability that an inspection lot will be accepted on the basis of a single sampling instruction. The higher an inspection lot‘s quality level, the greater the probability of acceptance. In statistics, the abbreviated designation for the probability of acceptance is “Pa“. (On the basis of ISO 3534-2)

Probability of Misclassification
The likelihood or probability of incorrectly classifying or assigning observations to specific categories or classes in a classification model.

Probability of Passing POP Graph
A graphical representation displaying the probability of a process or product passing specifications or performance requirements.

Probability of rejection
Probability of rejection: The probability that a product or lot will be rejected.

Probability Plot
A graphical tool comparing observed data against expected values from a particular distribution, assessing distributional fit.

Problem concentration diagram
Problem concentration diagram: A root cause analysis tool that helps connect events to physical locations in order to reveal patterns of occurrence when delving deeper to determine the root cause.

Problem decision program chart (PDPC)
The problem decision program chart is a management tool (M7). It is used to plan actions for unexpected problems during the implementation of sub-steps. Potential faults are registered ahead of time and suitable actions are defined. The problem decision program chart has a structure based on a tree diagram. It requires that the sub-steps be analyzed in the logical and chronological order.

Problem solving
Problem solving: The act of solving a problem.

Problem/Opportunity Statement
A concise statement articulating a problem, challenge, or opportunity that needs addressing or exploring within a process or system.

Procedure: A particular way of accomplishing an expected outcome.

Procedure audit
Tool to confirm the usefulness or effectiveness of stipulated procedures and approaches and also the compliance with procedures. It concentrates on examining the manner in which a particular process step is carried out. See Audit.

Procedure document
Document that contains a procedure. This document describes or presents the manner in which a process or activity should be carried out.

Procedure instruction
Instruction that describes a documented procedure. See also: Procedure document.

Process: A set of interrelated work activities that transform inputs into outputs.

Process analysis
Process analysis: A study of the inputs, steps and outputs of a process. Generally used to improve the understanding of the process to determine methods to correct, control or improve the process’ effectiveness and efficiency.

Process approach
Understanding and awareness of an organization’s need to align its processes based on interacting process chains across functions rather than merely departmentally. Enterprises need to focus on the organization of processes instead of on their organizational structure. You can find out more about this in the Quality management principles.

Process audit
Tool for examining processes. The objective is to examine an entire process or the operating sequences that follow one another either chronological or causally with the respective procedure for possible weaknesses. See Audit.

Process average quality
Process average quality: Expected or average value of process quality.

Process capability
Process capability: A statistical measure of the inherent process variability of a given characteristic.

Process capability analysis
See Process capability.

Process capability index
Process capability index: The value of the tolerance specified for the characteristic divided by the process capability. The several types of process capability indexes include the widely used Cpk and Cp.

Process Capability Indices (Cp and Cpk)
Metrics assessing a process's capability to meet specifications, measuring variation concerning the specification limits.

Process control
Process control: The method for ensuring that a process meets specified requirements.

Process costs
Costs caused by a process or a process step. The process costs include both the directly attributable costs and the overhead costs.

Process Cycle Efficiency
The ratio of value-added time to the total lead time in a process, indicating efficiency and effectiveness in value creation.

Process decision program chart (PDPC)
Process decision program chart (PDPC): A type of tree diagram used for the systematic analysis of a process to identify process risks and countermeasures to take to avoid or mitigate those risks. Also see "tree diagram."

Process Design
The deliberate planning or structuring of a process, ensuring it meets objectives, quality standards, and operational requirements.

Process Excellence
A management philosophy or approach aiming for continuous improvement and optimization of processes to achieve superior performance.

Process flow diagram
Process flow diagram: A visual depiction, generally using symbols, of the flow of materials or information through a process. Also called a process flowchart.

Process FMEA
See Failure Mode and Effects Analysis.

Process improvement
Process improvement: Actions taken to increase the effectiveness or efficiency of a process in meeting specified requirements.

Process improvement team
Process improvement team: A structured group often made up of cross functional members who work together to improve a process or processes.

Process inspection
In-process inspection of an activity or process using the characteristics of the activity or process.

Process kaizen
Process kaizen: Improvements made at an individual process or in a specific area. Sometimes called “point kaizen.”

Process management
Process management: Activities undertaken to manage processes; typically involves planning, communicating, monitoring, measuring or control methods.

Process map
Process map: A type of flowchart visually depicting the steps in a process.

Process map (road map)
Document in which a company or organization‘s relationships, hierarchies and process flows are shown. As a rule, it describes structures and processes and additionally provides a graphical representation (diagrams, network cards).

Process Map, or Flowchart
See Process Map.

Process Mapping 
The act or practice of creating process maps or flowcharts to visually represent, analyze, and improve processes.

Process Measures
Metrics, indicators, or measures used to evaluate, monitor, or quantify the performance or characteristics of a process.

Process model
Transparent depiction of the value chain as well as the process and activities. A process model should fulfill the following criteria: Applicability in the company; clear system depiction; basis for the integration of multiple systems (e.g., quality management, environmental management); depiction of the connections to customers and other interested parties; basis for continual improvement. Above all, the process model that is selected must correspond to the sequences in the particular company.

Process organization
Structuring and maintaining all of an organization‘s processes and sequences. Process organization regulates the time and place of the processing of all activities, as well as their interdependencies. Process organization is responsible for arranging the resources (space, time, materials, people) in the company in an expedient manner and distributing them in such a way that the tasks can be optimally performed. Together, the structural organization and process organization form the company organization.

Process owner
Process owner: The person who has responsibility and authority for ensuring that a process meets specified requirements and achieves objectives.

Process performance management (PPM)
Process performance management (PPM): The overseeing of process instances to ensure their quality and timeliness; can also include proactive and reactive actions to ensure a good result.

Process performance transparency
Measurement, evaluation and visualization of the process performance on the basis of performance indicators. The objective is to promote the continual improvement process on the basis of the indicators.

Process quality
Process quality: The degree to which process results meet specified requirements.

Process re-engineering
Process re-engineering: A strategy of rethinking and redesigning a process; often referred to as the “clean sheet of paper” approach.

Process Redesign
A strategic overhaul or modification of existing processes to improve efficiency, effectiveness, or alignment with objectives.

Process Stability
The consistency and predictability of a process in producing uniform outputs or results over time, free from excessive variation.

Process step
Activity or action as a part of a process.

Process structure transparency
Clearly presented representation of processes and their structure. The process structure includes the hierarchical representation of the processes, their sequence and their relationships to one another. Process road maps are often used to show the structure. See Process map (road map).

Process team
Process owners deploy process teams that carry out the following assignments: Continual improvement of the process; ensuring that the customer requirements are fulfilled; solution of current problems; determination of process performance figures; development of the process flow; and definition of the work steps. The objective is to integrate the employees with the help of the process team and to increase motivation through co-determination.

Process Tolerance
The acceptable or allowable variation or deviation from specifications within which a process can function or operate effectively.

Process view of work
Process view of work: The understanding that work can be viewed as a “process” which has inputs, steps and output(s) and that a process has interfaces with other processes.

Process visualization
Graphical representation of a process.

Process Z
A term potentially related to process performance measurement, context-dependent.

Process-based costing
Also called activity-based costing (ABC). User-based distribution of overhead costs to the performances (reference value is the performance or the process). Tool to analyze and control overhead costs. The result makes it possible to show the relationship between resources and products in terms of economic performance.

Processed material
See Product.

The process of acquiring goods, services, or resources needed for a business or project, often involving purchasing or acquisition.

Produkthaftungsgesetz (German Product Liability Act). Law from December 15, 1989. In Germany it regulates a manufacturer‘s liability for nonconforming products and aims at improving consumer protection by introducing liability that is not dependent on negligence or fault.

Producer's Risk (?)
In statistical hypothesis testing, the risk of rejecting a true null hypothesis, often represented by the symbol alpha (?).

Result of a process. A product can be divided into four generic categories:

Product audit
Product audit: A systematic and independent examination of a product to gather objective evidence to determine the degree of conformance to specified requirements.

Product behavior inspection
Quality inspection conducted in order to obtain information about the offered product‘s behavior after delivery to the customer or client. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Product category
See Product.

Product Family
A group or category of related products sharing common characteristics or intended for similar market segments or purposes.

Product liability
Manufacturer‘s liability for consequential damages resulting from the use of an offered product.

Product Life Cycle Management (PLM)
A systematic approach managing a product's lifecycle from inception, development, through production, and eventual retirement or disposal.

Product or service liability
Product or service liability: The obligation of an organization to make restitution for loss related to personal injury, property damage or other harm caused by its product or service.

Product specification
Specification that contains the requirements on a product.

Product warranty
Product warranty: An organization’s stated policy that it will replace, repair or reimburse a buyer for a product if a product defect occurs under certain conditions and within a stated period of time.

Process to manufacture products such as production materials, production or spare parts, assemblies or heat treatment, welding, painting, coatings or other forms of surface treatment. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Production (analysis) board
Production (analysis) board: A job site board on which production results are compared with targets or where other related production information is posted. An example of visual management.

Production accuracy
Qualitative term for the degree of approximation of production results to the target value of the quality characteristic being considered according to the individual requirement in question in the framework of the quality requirement for the manufactured product.

Production Capacity Sheet
A document or tool detailing the available capacity, resources, and capabilities of a production facility or process.

Production Control Board
A visual management tool displaying key production-related information, schedules, or status updates for monitoring and control.

Production control plan
Documented description of the systems and processes that are necessary for production control. Sometimes just called “control plan“. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Production lot
Lot that originates from continual production.

Production part approval process (PPAP)
Production part approval process (PPAP): A customer part qualification process for purchased parts or materials that are to be used in the customer’s final product. Customer PPAP approval, or a deviation, is required before shipping the purchased parts or materials to the customer for use in their production process. Its purpose is to determine whether all customer engineering design record requirements are properly understood by the supplier and that the process has the potential to produce product consistently meeting these requirements.

Production smoothing
Production smoothing: Keeping total manufacturing volume as constant as possible. Also see “heijunka.”

Production uncertainty
Estimated amount/estimator for the deviations of the actual values of the quantitative characteristics being considered from the reference value to identify the range of values within which a product can be manufactured in the production equipment under consideration with a properly described operating state.

Productivity: A measurement of output for a given amount of input.

Characteristics, attributes, or descriptions of individuals, organizations, or entities, often used for segmentation or analysis purposes.

Profound knowledge, system of
Profound knowledge, system of: Defined by W. Edwards Deming, a system that consists of an appreciation for systems, knowledge of variation, theory of knowledge and understanding of psychology.

Progressive abstraction
Creativity and work technique. This technique is based on the idea that often only detailed problems are recognized, while the higher level context is lacking. This technique helps to get to the heart of a task. Systematic analysis is used to check the preliminary problem definition in order to find a new view of the problem that can then lead to more far-reaching solutions. Procedure: First the moderator describes the problem to the workgroup. In the second step, “what is really involved here?“ is asked in order to reformulate the problem and find the higher-level context. In the next step, the reformulated problem is used to look for new solutions. These steps are repeated until the maximum level of abstraction has been reached.

Unique process that consists of a number of activities that are coordinated and controlled with one another and that have a starting and ending date. With consideration given to time, cost and resources, the idea is to achieve an objective that fulfills specific requirements. An individual project can also be a part of a larger project structure. In some projects, during the course of the project the objectives are refined and the product characteristics are defined according to the project progress. One or more units of products are the outcome of a project. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Project Budget 
The planned allocation of financial resources, expenses, or funds for a project, detailing anticipated costs and expenditure.

Project Calendar 
A schedule or timeline displaying project-related activities, milestones, deadlines, or events across specific time periods.

Project Charter 
A formal document outlining the project's purpose, objectives, scope, stakeholders, constraints, and initial authority granted.

Project Coordinator 
An individual responsible for overseeing and coordinating various aspects or activities within a project, ensuring smooth execution.

Project management
Project management: The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities to meet the specified requirements of a particular project.

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®)
A comprehensive framework, principles, and best practices for project management developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Project Management Institute (PMI)
A global professional association offering certifications, resources, and standards for project management practices.

Project Management Institute (PMI) Certification
Recognized certifications offered by PMI, validating individuals' knowledge, skills, and expertise in project management methodologies.

Project Management Life Cycle 
The phases or stages through which a project progresses from initiation to completion, encompassing planning, execution, and closure.

Project Management Office (PMO)
A centralized unit or department within an organization responsible for standardizing and overseeing project management practices.

Project Management Plan 
A comprehensive document detailing project objectives, scope, deliverables, schedules, resources, risks, and management approaches.

Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification 
A globally recognized certification demonstrating proficiency and expertise in project management methodologies and practices.

Project Management Software 
Software tools or applications designed to assist in planning, organizing, tracking, and managing various aspects of a project.

Project Manager
An individual responsible for planning, executing, and overseeing all aspects of a project, ensuring its successful completion.

Project Objectives
Clearly defined and specific goals or aims that a project intends to achieve, guiding its activities and direction.

Project operating plan
Project plan that represents the logical order to process a project‘s work packages. It also includes an estimate of the resources required to process the individual work packages.

Project planning
Systematic, target-oriented planning based on the project order. The following types of planning are typically used in project planning: Work breakdown structure, project operating plan, schedule, capacity plan, cost plan, total project costs, quality plan, and project implementation.

Project planning tools
Project planning tools: Methods for the systematic arranging, sequencing and scheduling of project's tasks.

Project Rationale or "Business Case"
A documented justification outlining the reasons, objectives, and expected outcomes for initiating a particular project.

Project Scope
The boundaries, objectives, and deliverables defining the extent and limitations of a project's work or activities.

Project team
Project team: Manages the work of a project. The work typically involves balancing competing demands for project scope, time, cost, risk and quality, satisfying stakeholders with differing needs and expectations, and meeting identified requirements.

Project Timeline
A visual representation or schedule indicating key project events, milestones, tasks, and their respective deadlines or durations.

Project Y
Potentially related to a specific project or context, context-dependent.

Projection Direction
The direction or trajectory indicating the anticipated path or trend of future developments, typically based on present data or trends.

A ratio or fraction representing a part or portion of a whole expressed in relation to the total.

Proportion chart
Proportion chart: See ”percent chart.”

Proportion Defective
The ratio or percentage of defective items or units within a total population or sample, often used in quality control assessment.

Sample used to test a unit‘s development status.

An organization providing a product or service. A provider can be part of the organization or act as an external provider. “Contractor” is another term sometimes used in a contractual situation. For example, ISO 9000:2015 lists the following as providers: producer, distributor, retailer or vendor of a product or service. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

A term that could refer to a simulated or hypothetical component in a system or model, context-dependent.

Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig und Berlin.

Public Drive 
Potentially a term related to storage or a shared drive accessible to the public or a specific group, context-dependent.

A concept or system where production or workflow is initiated in response to demand or need, based on customer requirements.

Pull system
Pull system: An inventory management system based on replenishing inventory based on use rather than a schedule or forecast. Also see “kanban.”

A concept or system where items or information are pushed or sent to the next stage irrespective of immediate demand or need.

Push System
A production or manufacturing approach where items are produced based on forecasts or schedules rather than immediate demand.

Potentially related to a specific context, acronym, or variable, context-dependent.


A variable, symbol, or term potentially related to a specific context or mathematical representation, context-dependent.

Key points or measures in a process or project that signify critical quality aspects or performance indicators.

See Quality tools.

Q9000 series
Q9000 series: Refers to ANSI/ISO/CiCC Q9000 series of standards, which is the verbatim American adoption of the 2000 edition of the ISO 9000 series of standards.

See Quality assurance.

QA Matrix, QM (matrix), Quality Matrix
A matrix or tool outlining quality assurance strategies, methodologies, or measures for ensuring product or service quality.

See Quality assurance agreement.

Quality assurance instruction.

See Quality Circle.

See Quality control chart.

Potentially an acronym or term related to specific quality measurement or assessment, context-dependent.

Potentially an acronym or term related to a quality improvement methodology or process, context-dependent.

QEDS Standards Group
QEDS Standards Group: The U.S. Standards Group on Quality, Environment, Dependability and Statistics consists of the members and leadership of organizations concerned with the development and effective use of generic and sector specific standards on quality control, assurance and management; environmental management systems and auditing, dependability and the application of statistical methods.

Qualität und Entwicklung in Praxen [Quality and Development in Practices]. German modular quality management system for doctor‘s offices that can be implemented one step at a time. It is used for the efficient and effective implementation of legal obligations in the individual practices. The Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung, together with employees from the national health medical organizations, doctors in private practice, psychotherapists, quality management experts, doctor‘s assistants and professional organizations, developed QEP.

See Quality Function Deployment.

See Quality indicator.

1. Quality management.

QM representative
See Quality management representative.

QM system
See Quality management system.

Quality Management Center of the VDA, see VDA-QMC.

See Quality management representative.

See Quality management system.

Quality Policy Deployment. See Management by policy.

Quality Steering Committee.

Fulfillment of the requirements for the current condition that is verified in a unit. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Qualification process
Process to demonstrate the suitability to fulfill specified requirements. The term “qualified” indicates the corresponding status. Qualification can relate to people, products, processes or systems, e.g., auditor qualification process, material qualification process. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Qualitative characteristic
Values of a characteristic that are assigned to a scale without stipulated intervals. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Qualitative data
Characteristics that allow statements such as yes/no or good/poor.

Qualitician: Someone who functions as a quality practitioner and a quality technician.

Quality: A subjective term for which each person or sector has its own definition. In technical usage, quality can have two meanings: 1) the characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs; 2) a product or service free of deficiencies. According to Joseph Juran, quality means “fitness for use”; according to Philip Crosby, it means “conformance to requirements.”

Quality (Scrap Rate)
The proportion or percentage of defective or unusable items or materials produced within a manufacturing process.

Quality 4.0
Quality 4.0: Quality 4.0 brings together Industry 4.0’s advanced digital technologies with quality excellence to drive substantial performance and effectiveness improvements.

Quality assurance
Part of quality management that is used to instill confidence that the quality requirements are fulfilled. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Quality assurance agreement
Contractual agreement between a supplier and its customer as a supplement to the purchase or supply agreements. A QAA contains agreements on the sequence organization and actions for quality assurance before, during and after production. For example, this includes the quality management system evaluation, system audits, first article inspections, evidence of process and machine capability, inspections, evidence, documents, complaint handling, guarantee regulations, handling technical changes and also product liability questions.

Quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC)
Quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC): Two terms that have many interpretations because of the multiple definitions for the words “assurance” and “control.” For example, “assurance” can mean the act of giving confidence, the state of being certain or the act of making certain; “control” can mean an evaluation to indicate needed corrective responses, the act of guiding or the state of a process in which the variability is attributable to a constant system of chance causes. (For a detailed discussion on the multiple definitions, see ANSI/ISO/CiCC A3534-2, Statistics—Vocabulary and Symbols—Statistical Quality Control.) One definition of quality assurance is: all the planned and systematic activities implemented within the quality system that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that a product or service will fulfill requirements for quality. One definition for quality control is: the operational techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality. Often, however, “quality assurance” and “quality control” are used interchangeably, referring to the actions performed to ensure the quality of a product, service or process.

Quality audit
Quality audit: A systematic, independent process of gathering objective evidence to determine whether audit criteria are being met. Audits are based on a sample and are independent of the system, process or product being audited, unlike verification activities, which are part of a process.

Quality audit finding
See Audit findings.

Quality audit report
See Audit report.

Quality audit types
See Audit types.

Quality auditor
See Auditor.

Quality capability
Suitability of an organization or parts of an organization to realize a product that will fulfill the quality requirement for this unit.

Quality capable process The distinguishing features are:
Systematic influences no longer interfere with the process. The measured values vary only due to random influences. The distribution of the measured values is stable over time. It is possible to predict future measurement series. The process lies within the tolerance range and has sufficient safety margins to the limiting values.

Quality characteristic
Inherent characteristic of a product, process, or system that refers to a requirement. Inherent means “existing in a unit“, particularly when it involves a permanent characteristic. A characteristic that is assigned to a product, process, or system (e.g. the price or owner of a product) is not seen as a quality characteristic of that product, process, or system. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Quality circle
Quality circle: A quality improvement or self-improvement study group composed of a small number of employees (10 or fewer) and their supervisor. Quality circles originated in Japan, where they are called quality control circles.

Quality control
Quality control: See “quality assurance/quality control.”

Quality control chart
The quality control chart is a quality tool (Q7) for monitoring and controlling a manufacturing process on a statistical basis. Process data (measured values or performance data) are collected over a longer time and graphically represented with the help of a control chart (form with coordinate system). The mean value, warning limits, action limits and tolerance limits are drawn in ahead of time. The plot of the data makes it possible to draw conclusions about the process capability.

Quality Control Process Charts
Charts or diagrams illustrating quality control processes, depicting steps, measures, or checkpoints in a production or service process.

Quality costs
Quality costs: The total costs of quality-related activities. Generally considered to be the sum of prevention, appraisal, internal and external failure costs.

Quality Council
A group or committee within an organization responsible for setting quality goals, standards, and overseeing quality-related initiatives.

Quality data
Data regarding the quality of units. They provide information on the applied quality inspections, the general conditions that prevailed during the inspections, and possibly on the particular associated requirement while determining the quality. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Quality department
That part of the organizational structure that deals primarily with quality management activities. On the basis of the quality policy, the quality department specifies objectives and responsibilities in order to satisfy legitimate customer requirements. Its assignment is the planning, control, assurance and improvement while using all available resources, such as finances, personnel and equipment. In a certain sense, quality management is the task of all employees. In contrast, the quality department means those departments, locations and inspection bodies in which quality control activities predominate.

Quality element
Unit that contributes to quality. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Quality engineering
Quality engineering: The analysis of a manufacturing system at all stages to maximize the quality of the process itself and the products it produces.

Quality evidence
Quality record that serves as evidence that the quality requirement placed on a product is fulfilled.

Quality Excellence for Suppliers of Telecommunications (QuEST) Forum
Quality Excellence for Suppliers of Telecommunications (QuEST) Forum: A partnership of telecommunications suppliers and service providers. The QuEST Forum developed TL 9000 (see listing).

Quality Function Deployment
Method in quality management that is used to conceive, manufacture and sell products and services that are what the customer really wants. All departments are included in this process. Yoji Akao from Japan developed this method as a basic concept for quality planning. The QFD quality method is one of the methods that is used to prevent nonconformities. It is used during the product planning phase. QFD is often called the “voice of the customer“. This is because QFD‘s systematic approach does not end with the comparison of customer requirements and product characteristics. Instead, it continues through to the observation of process characteristics in line with the requirements.

Quality function deployment (QFD)
Quality function deployment (QFD): A structured method in which customer needs or expectations are translated into appropriate technical requirements for each stage of product development and production. The QFD process is often referred to as listening to the voice of the customer.

Quality improvement
Part of quality management that focuses on increasing the ability to fulfill quality requirements. The requirements can involve any aspect such as effectiveness, efficiency or traceability, (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Quality indicator
Relative or scaled characteristic value to assess quality; it is determined according to the selected performance measurement system.

Quality inspection
Inspection to determine the degree to which a unit fulfils the quality requirement. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Quality level
Proportion of nonconforming units or number of nonconformities in percent in relation to the lot or sampling unit. (On the basis of ISO 3534-2:2013)

Quality loop
See PDCA cycle.

Quality loss function
Quality loss function: A parabolic approximation of the quality loss that occurs when a quality characteristic deviates from its target value. The quality loss function is expressed in monetary units: the cost of deviating from the target increases quadratically the farther the quality characteristic moves from the target. The formula used to compute the quality loss function depends on the type of quality characteristic being used. The quality loss function was first introduced in this form by Genichi Taguchi.

Quality losses
Losses in processes and activities caused by the use of unsuitable resources, the failure to exhaust available resources, and the waste of available resources.

Quality Maintenance (TPM)
Maintenance activities and strategies aimed at sustaining or improving the quality of processes or products within Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).

Quality management
Coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to quality. Normally this also includes establishing the quality policy and quality objectives, quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Quality management (QM)
Quality management (QM): Managing activities and resources of an organization to achieve objectives and prevent nonconformances.

Quality management agreement
Agreement formally concluded between the customer or client and the supplier or contractor to stipulate the responsibilities for quality management jobs before and after the passing of risk.

Quality management demonstration
Part of quality management intended to generate trust that the quality requirements can be fulfilled.

Quality management document
See Document.

Quality management element
See Quality element.

Quality management evaluation
See Management review.

Quality management leadership element
Management element in which the rules regarding management in implementing the policy are defined.

Quality management principles
The seven principles of quality management systems are described in the ISO 9000:2015 standard. They constitute the basis for the standards on quality management systems in the ISO 9000 family:

Quality management procedure instruction
See Procedure instruction.

Quality management representative
Representative of top management. Management member appointed by top management. He/she has the authority and responsibility to introduce and maintain a quality management system.

Quality management system
Management system used to direct and control an organization with regard to quality. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Quality management system (QMS)
Quality management system (QMS): A formal system that documents the structure, processes, roles, responsibilities and procedures required to achieve effective quality management.

Quality manual
Document in which an organization‘s quality management system is defined and anchored. Quality manuals can vary in detail and format depending on an organization‘s size and complexity. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Quality manual record
See Record.

Quality number
Estimate acquired during an inspection by variables to describe the distribution of actual values with regard to a limiting value, limiting amount of deviation, limiting amount, or limiting quantile.

Quality objective
Something regarding quality that is aimed for or to be attained. As a rule, quality objectives are based on the organization’s quality policy. They are usually specified for relevant functions and levels in the organization. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Quality plan
Quality plan: Documented information that provides the activities or methods to be taken to achieve objectives and meet specified requirements.

Quality planning
Part of quality management. This part includes setting the quality objectives, necessary operational processes and related resources in order to reach the quality objectives. Preparing quality management plans can be a part of quality planning. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Quality policy
Quality policy: A documented statement of commitment or intent to be implemented to achieve quality.

Quality promotion
Optimization of the quality capability. Quality promotion is a part of quality improvement. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Quality rate
Quality rate: See “first pass yield.”

Quality record
See Record.

Quality requirement
See Requirement.

Quality score chart
Quality score chart: A chart for evaluating the stability of a process. The quality score is the weighted sum of the count of events of various classifications in which each classification is assigned a weight.

Quality tool
Quality tool: An instrument or technique to support and improve the activities of quality management and improvement.

Quality tools
The “Q7“, also called the seven basic tools of quality, are a collection of quality tools. They were originally compiled to use in the quality circles of Kaoru Ishikawa. These are visualization aids. They are used to detect, understand and finally solve problems. In detail, these are: Inspection list, histogram, quality control chart, Pareto diagram, scatter diagram, brainstorming, and cause and effect diagram (Ishikawa diagram).

Quality trilogy
Quality trilogy: A three-pronged approach to managing for quality. The three legs are quality planning (developing the products and processes required to meet customer needs), quality control (meeting product and process goals) and quality improvement (achieving unprecedented levels of performance).

Quality-capable process
A process that is capable of realizing a unit that fulfills the quality requirements for this unit. (DGQ Volume 11-04:2009). The CP and CPK values are indicators used to review processes. The Cp value indicates the dispersion of a quantitative variable with respect to the specification limits. The Cpk value additionally takes the position of the limiting values into account. These indicators are defined in such a way that a process that is just barely usable is assigned a value of “1“.

Quality-related costs
Prevention, inspection and nonconformity costs that arise in the framework of quality management. These also include costs for quality audits conducted by customers and certifying bodies. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Quality-related document
Document that contains instructions for an activity in quality management, a quality requirement for a product, or results of quality inspections.

Points of a distribution function (values of a measuring scale) that describe the set relationships of all points (all measured values). A common quantile is the quartile that divides all points (values) into 4 uniform sets. For example, 25% of all points (measured values) lie below the 1st quartile, 75% lie above the 3rd quartile. The minimum quantile is the name for a specified characteristic value that describes a specified lower limiting proportion and an actual quantile is the name for a characteristic value that is established for a stipulated distribution proportion.

Quantitative characteristic
Values of a characteristic that are assigned to a scale with stipulated intervals. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Quantitative data
Measurable and countable data.

A statistical term representing values that divide a dataset into four equal parts, each containing a quarter of the data.

The three values dividing a dataset into four equal parts: lower quartile, median, and upper quartile, indicating data distribution.

Queue time
Queue time: The time a product spends in a line awaiting the next design, order processing or fabrication step.

Quick changeover
Quick changeover: The ability to change tooling and fixtures rapidly (usually within minutes) so multiple products can be run on the same machine.

Quincunx: A tool that creates frequency distributions. Beads tumble over numerous horizontal rows of pins, which force the beads to the right or left. After a random journey, the beads are dropped into vertical slots. After many beads are dropped, a frequency distribution results. Quincunxes are often used in classrooms to simulate a manufacturing process. The quincunx was invented by English scientist Francis Galton in the 1890s.


R (Range)
A measure of variation within a dataset, representing the difference between the highest and lowest values in the data.

R Chart
A control chart used in quality control to monitor and assess the variability or dispersion of a process over time using range measurements.

R Squared
A statistical measure indicating the proportion of variation in a dependent variable explained by an independent variable in regression analysis.

R Squared Adjusted
A modified version of R-squared in regression analysis, adjusted for the number of predictors, providing a better fit assessment.

R Squared Predicted
The proportion of variation in a dependent variable predicted or explained by an independent variable in regression analysis.

Repeatability and Reproducibility: A measure evaluating the consistency and agreement among different appraisers or equipment in measurements.

Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed: A framework delineating roles and responsibilities within a project or process.

RACI Chart Method
A method utilizing RACI charts to identify and clarify roles and responsibilities among stakeholders in a project or process.

Method to assess an organization‘s maturity level. RADAR stands for Results, Approach, Deployment, Assessment and Refine. It belongs to the model prepared by the EFQM which is used to assess an organization‘s progress towards the achievement of excellent results. The assessment method is based on relevance and usability, the Results, the Approach that leads to them, the degree of Deployment and the Assessment and Refinement (EFQM Excellence Model 2010). The individual assessments of the 32 sub-criteria can be combined into a total assessment between 0 and 1000 points.

A unit of measurement for angles, representing an angle subtended by an arc equal in length to the radius of the circle.

Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung e.V., Sankt Augustin. Non-profit institution founded in 1925 under the name Reichs-Ausschuss für Lieferbedingungen (RAL – Imperial Commission for Delivery Terms and Quality Assurance). Today its fundamental functions are: creating quality marks, delivering globally binding color references, awarding the “Blue Angel” environmental label and the European eco label, registrations, agreements, and RAL attestations.

RAM: Reliability/availability/maintainability (see individual entries).

Random cause
Random cause: A cause of variation due to chance and not assignable to any factor.

Random deviation of measurement
Non-controllable, random deviation of the measurement result from the expectation. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Random Sample
A subset of individuals or items drawn from a larger population in a manner that ensures each member has an equal chance of being selected.

Random sampling
Random sampling: A commonly used sampling technique in which sample units are selected so all combinations of n units under consideration have an equal chance of being selected as the sample.

Random Variable
A variable whose value is determined by chance or probability, with possible outcomes subject to randomness.

Random word analysis
Creativity technique in which ideas are derived from randomly selected words (or images). The random element is used to produce completely new associations and ideas. Procedure: First a word is selected from a random source that has nothing to do with the initial problem (for example, a random word from the dictionary). This word is used as a stimulus for a solution. In the next step, all participants note what this word brings to mind (brainstorming). Then the noted ideas are analyzed and applied to the starting problem.

The process of assigning subjects or items to different groups or treatments randomly, reducing bias and ensuring equal distribution.

Difference between the largest individual actual value and the smallest individual actual value. (On the basis of DGQ Volume 11-04:2012)

Range (statistical)
Range (statistical): The measure of dispersion in a data set (the difference between the highest and lowest values).

Range chart (R chart)
Range chart (R chart): A control chart in which the subgroup range, R, evaluates the stability of the variability within a process.

A position or level of importance assigned to an item, variable, or individual in relation to others within a specific context or dataset.

Rapid Improvement Event (RIE)
A focused and time-bound event involving cross-functional teams to rapidly identify and implement improvements in a specific process or area.

Rate of Availability
The percentage or ratio of time a system or asset is available and operational compared to the total available time within a specific period.

Rate of Performance
The speed, efficiency, or output level achieved by a system, process, or individual, often measured against established standards or benchmarks.

Rate of Quality
The level or proportion of defect-free products or services produced within a system or process, indicating the quality performance rate.

Ratio Effects
Effects or impacts resulting from changes in ratios or proportions of variables or factors within a system or model, context-dependent.

Ratio Residuals
Residuals in statistical analysis specifically related to ratios, potentially indicating deviations or discrepancies in ratio-related models.

Reliability-Centered Maintenance: A maintenance strategy focusing on optimizing maintenance efforts based on the criticality of assets or systems.

Re-engineering: A process for restructuring an entire organization and its processes.

Recall: The act of officially summoning someone or something back to its place of origin.

Receiving inspection
Quality inspection for accepting a product. The customer (further processor, dealer or end customer), the client or a representative body conducts the receiving inspection. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Renewed certification. Before a certificate expires, a re-certification can be performed. Certificates for management systems are usually valid for three years. See also: Repeat audit.

Evaluation of an audit finding. Example: A required procedure of a normative requirement is completely fulfilled, or a required procedure is completely installed in the company. Planning, performance of the planned activities, and effectiveness of the activities can be proven. The recommendation points out a potential for increasing the effectiveness. A corrective action is not absolutely required, and the issuing or maintenance of a certificate is also not called into question. Recommended actions can be carried out.

1. Verification document that reflects a situation (e.g., after an activity has been carried out) or an achieved result at a specific time. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Red bead experiment
Red bead experiment: An exercise developed by W. Edwards Deming to illustrate that results are largely dependent on the management system—which is owned by top management—and not the employees who work in the system

Red X
Concept from the Six Sigma methodology. It describes the core factors that influence a process. These are identified and optimally adjusted in the Six Sigma DMAIC project management phases. The objective is to increase the process capability.

See Business process reengineering.

Reference conditions
Fixed ranges for permissible values of influencing factors. The ranges are defined by target values with limiting values or tolerance zones. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Reference Line
A line or marker used as a benchmark or reference point in graphs, charts, or diagrams to denote specific thresholds, targets, or averages.

Reference management standard
Measurement standard with the highest locally available precision. The measurement made there is derived from this measurement standard (reference). (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Reference material
Material or substance with characteristics whose values are fixed with sufficient precision and time dependency. These refer to the calibration, evaluation of a measurement procedure or quantitative determination of a material‘s characteristic values. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Reference model
(Process) model to structure/prepare the processes in a company that is typical for the sector and that has a certain degree of general validity.

Reference procedure
Stipulated procedure used to determine a sequence of characteristic values of a continuous characteristic that is valid on the basis of an agreement. (DGQ Volume 11-04:2009)

Reference Value
A specific value used as a standard, benchmark, or point of comparison within a dataset or process for evaluating performance or outcomes.

Registrar: Generally accepted equivalent term for “certification body.”

Registration: The act of including an organization, product, service or process in a compilation of those having the same or similar attributes.

Registration to standards
Registration to standards: A process in which an accredited, independent third-party organization conducts an on-site audit of an organization's operations against the requirements of the standard to which the organization wants to be registered. Upon successful completion of the audit, the organization receives a certificate indicating it has met the standard requirements. In countries outside the United States, this generally is known as certification.

Assignment of a nonconforming product into a different grade with the objective of satisfying the requirements that could not be fulfilled in the original grade due to a deviation from the required specification. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Statistical model for the quantitative description of a correlation between an input variable and an output variable. A regression function describes the model, and a regression line, for example, shows it graphically. There are simple, multiple, linear and nonlinear regressions.

Regression analysis
Regression analysis: A statistical technique for determining the best mathematical expression describing the functional relationship between one response and one or more independent variables.

Regression Model Order
The order or complexity of a regression model, indicating the number of predictors or terms used in the model to predict the response variable.

Regulatory body for the telecommunication and postal sectors in Germany. The organization was founded on January 1, 1998 and renamed as the Bundesnetzagentur on July 13, 2005. See BNetzA.

A document that has binding, statutory stipulations and that is prepared by a public authority. (On the basis of DIN 45020-21)

Regulation (EC) No. 1221/2009
See EMAS. This regulation replaces Regulation (EC) No. 761/2001 and entered into force on January 11, 2010.

Regulation (EC) No. 761/2001
See EMAS. This regulation was repealed by Regulation (EC) No. 1221/2009 from November 25, 2009.

Nonconforming product that can no longer be used for the originally intended purpose and that should be disposed of. The disposal can be in the form of recycling, destruction or scrapping. Nonconforming products that, for example, are not reworked because of cost considerations, are likewise rejects. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Rejectable Quality Level
The level of defects or quality issues within a product or process that can still be accepted or tolerated without causing significant concerns.

Rejection number
Rejection number: The smallest number of defectives (or defects) in the sample or samples under consideration that will require rejection of the lot.

Relations diagram
Relations diagram: See "interrelations diagram."

Relationship management
You can find out more about this in the Quality management principles.

Relative Position
The position or ranking of an item, variable, or entity concerning others, often expressed in terms of higher or lower position within a context.

Approval for the next step in a process. In conjunction with software, the word “release“ often refers to the version of the software. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Reliability: The probability of a product performing its intended function under stated conditions without failure for a given period of time.

Reliability Test Plan
A plan outlining the procedures, criteria, and methodologies used to assess the reliability and durability of systems, products, or processes.

Remote location
Location that is not the site of any production processes but that supports production sites. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Action taken on a nonconforming product in order to make it acceptable for the intended use. Repairs also include remedial actions taken on a product that is now nonconforming but that was previously conforming in order to restore it for use (for example, as part of maintenance). A repair can affect or change parts of the nonconforming product, unlike rework. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Repairable System
A system or asset that can be repaired or restored to its operational state after failure or breakdown, typically through maintenance activities.

Repeat audit
Audit that is conducted before the validity of the certificate has expired in order to verify the effectiveness of the quality management system and its conformity with the standard with respect to the certifier again. See also Recertification.

Repeat inspection
Quality inspection that takes place when an undesirable result was determined on a unit (same type or on the improved unit) in a previous, authorized quality inspection. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Repeatability: The variation in measurements obtained when one measurement device is used several times by the same person to measure the same characteristic on the same product.

Replenishment Time
The time required to restock or refill inventory, materials, or resources to maintain the desired or optimal levels within a system or process.

Duplicate or multiple observations or experiments performed under similar conditions to ensure consistency or validate results.

The process of repeating or duplicating experiments, studies, or observations to validate findings, enhance reliability, or confirm consistency.

Potentially a specific software tool, application, or platform used for generating or creating reports, context-dependent.

Reproducibility: The variation in measurements made by different people using the same measuring device to measure the same characteristic on the same product.

Required Waste
The amount of waste considered necessary or unavoidable within a process or system due to inherent constraints or limitations.

Expectation or need that is specified, usually assumed or obligatory. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Requirement specification
Rough concept that describes the requirements, expectations and wishes for a planned product.

Requirements: A need or expectation, generally mandatory or compulsory.

Residual Plots
Graphical representations displaying the residuals or differences between observed and predicted values against predictor variables in regression analysis.

Deviations or differences between observed and predicted values in statistical analysis, indicating the model's error or unexplained variance.

Residuals for Orthogonal Regression
Residuals specifically related to orthogonal regression analysis, representing unexplained variability or error within the regression model.

Measure of the distance between neighboring measured values that a measuring instrument can still unambiguously distinguish. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1)

Resource Calendar 
A calendar or schedule indicating the availability, allocation, or planned usage of resources such as manpower, equipment, or facilities.

Resource Leveling 
The process of adjusting resource allocation or schedules to optimize resource utilization, preventing overloading or underutilization.

Resource utilization
Resource utilization: Using a resource in a way that increases throughput.

Response and Predictor Variables
Variables used in statistical models, where predictor variables predict or explain changes in response variables in regression or modeling analyses.

Response Optimization
The process of fine-tuning or optimizing responses or outcomes within a system or process to achieve desired performance or efficiency levels.

Response Surface Design
An experimental design methodology used to model and optimize the relationship between multiple variables and a response in a complex system.

Part of competence that specifies which activities are to be carried out.

Responsibility diagram
Depiction of all necessary process details. The flow is divided in such a way that all process steps that belong to a person, department or company (or sphere of responsibility) are drawn in a separate area of the diagram. It is particularly well-suited to visualize problems that are based on structural causes.

Responsible Care
This global initiative stands for the chemical industry‘s intention to strive for the continuous improvement of the companies in the areas of the environment, safety and health (independently of statutory provisions) and also to report the progress to the public on a regular basis.

Restricted and Unrestricted
Terms referring to constraints or limitations (restricted) and absence of limitations or freedom (unrestricted) within a specific context.

Result of determination
Characteristic value that is ascertained by determination. Depending on the type of determination, the result of determination can be called the assessment result, observation result, measurement result, calculation result or statistical estimation result. It can refer to any type of characteristic. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Results: Outcomes that can be qualitative or quantitative.

An analysis or examination conducted after an event or project, focusing on evaluating outcomes, lessons learned, or performance retrospectively.

Products or items sent back or refunded to a manufacturer or seller due to defects, damages, customer dissatisfaction, or other issues.

1. Activity to determine if an object is suitable, adequate and effective for achieving established objectives, e.g., management review, design and development review, review of customer requirements or review of corrective actions. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Review technique
Method to review the development quality. With the help of a questionnaire, the project or product is technically and organizationally analyzed and critically judged. The military sector developed the review technique method in the mid-1960s.

Revision Plans
Plans or strategies detailing modifications, updates, or changes to existing processes, products, or systems based on identified needs or improvements.

Action taken on a nonconforming product so that it can still satisfy the requirements. Rework does not affect or change parts of the nonconforming product; repair can affect or change parts of the nonconforming product. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Rework Loop
A repetitive cycle involving reworking or revisiting processes or products to address quality issues or defects until satisfactory standards are met.

Rapid Improvement Event: See Rapid Improvement Event.

Right size
Right size: Matching tooling and equipment to the job and space requirements of lean production. Right sizing is a process that challenges the complexity of equipment by examining how equipment fits into an overall vision for workflow through a factory. When possible, right sizing favors smaller, dedicated machines rather than large, multipurpose batch processing ones.

Right the first time
Right the first time: Meeting specified requirements with the initial attempt.

Consequence (effect) of uncertainty. Uncertainty is characterized by a lack of information or knowledge with respect to an event, its consequences or probability. Any deviation from expectations (either positive or negative) is called an effect. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Risk management
Risk management: The identification, evaluation and prioritization of risks to eliminate or mitigate their probability or severity or to leverage opportunities.

Risk priority number
This value can be used to help quantify potential failures (nonconformities) for risk assessment (in the framework of the FMEA). The risk priority number (RPN) is calculated as follows:

Robustness: The condition of a product or process design that remains relatively stable, with a minimum of variation, even though factors that influence operations or usage, such as environment and wear, are constantly changing.

Rolled Throughput Yield (RTY)
The probability or measure of the total output or yield of a multi-step process, considering all potential points of failure or defects.

Root cause
Root cause: A factor that caused a nonconformance and should be addressed with corrective action.

Root cause analysis
Root cause analysis: The method of identifying the cause of a problem, solving it and preventing it from occurring again. Uncovering the correct and accurate reason(s) why something is happening or has already occurred.

Root Cause Hypothesis
A proposed explanation or assumption regarding the fundamental cause or origin of a problem, guiding investigation and problem-solving efforts.

A mathematical operation to approximate a number to a specified decimal place or significant figure, typically based on specific rounding rules.

See Risk priority number.

A mnemonic or acronym used to define criteria or expectations: Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Believable, Achievable.

Run chart
Run chart: A chart showing a line connecting numerous data points collected from a process running over time.

Run Chart, or Time Plot
A visual display representing data points plotted against time or sequential order to observe patterns, trends, or shifts in a process or system.

Runner: A person on the production floor who paces the entire value stream through the pickup and delivery of materials through kanban (see listing) usage.

Runs DOE
Experimental design methodology used to analyze the effects of sequence or order in an experiment.


s (or sd)
Symbol for the standard deviation, a measure of the dispersion or spread of values within a dataset.

S chart
A control chart used to monitor the variability of a process over time based on the standard deviation.

Potentially context-dependent, referring to different meanings or uses based on specific contexts or industries.

SAE International
SAE International: Professional organization of individual engineers and related disciplines; formerly Society for Automotive Engineers.

Safety: The state of being free from harm or danger.

Safety Lunches
Potentially a term referring to organized sessions or meetings to discuss safety-related topics or practices.

Safety management
All planning, actions or procedures that guarantee the safety of a company or organization and that are intended to limit effects and repercussions in the event that a disturbance occurs. The functions include threat and weak point analyses, formulation of safety objectives and actions, preparation of a safety concept and the specification of responsibilities in all areas. Safety management furthermore includes reviewing the safety concept implementation, performance of the planned actions, compliance with safety guidelines, and the effectiveness of the implemented safety actions.

Safety management system
Procedures and processes to prevent breakdowns and to limit their effects. A safety management system regulates the following aspects: Organization and personnel; determination and evaluation of the risks of breakdowns; monitoring of the operation; safe performance of changes; planning for emergencies; monitoring the safety management system performance; and systematic examination and review.

Safety, Health And Environment (TPM)
A part of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) focusing on ensuring safety, health, and environmental standards in operations.

Sample: In acceptance sampling, one or more units of product (or a quantity of material) drawn from a lot for purposes of inspection to reach a decision regarding acceptance of the lot.

Sample inspection
When a sample is subjected to a quality inspection. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Sample n
The number of observations or entities included in a sample selected from a larger population.

Sample size
The number of observations or individuals included in a sample, impacting the accuracy of inferences drawn from it.

Sample size [n]
Sample size [n]: The number of units in a sample.

Sample standard deviation chart (S chart)
Sample standard deviation chart (S chart): A control chart in which the subgroup standard deviation, s, is used to evaluate the stability of the variability within a process.

Sample variance
Sum of the squares of the deviations of the actual values from their arithmetic mean divided by one less than the number of actual values.

The process of selecting a subset (sample) from a larger population to draw conclusions or perform analysis.

Sampling at random
Sampling at random: As commonly used in acceptance sampling theory, the process of selecting sample units so all units under consideration have the same probability of being selected. Note: Equal probabilities are not necessary for random sampling; what is necessary is that the probability of selection be ascertainable. However, the stated properties of published sampling tables are based on the assumption of random sampling with equal probabilities. An acceptable method of random selection with equal probabilities is the use of a table of random numbers in a standard manner.

Sampling bias
Systematic error or distortion introduced in a sampling process, leading to a non-representative sample.

Sampling distribution
The distribution of a sample statistic derived from multiple samples taken from the same population.

Sampling plan
Specification of the increments to be taken, samples to be constituted and measurements to be made. (On the basis of ISO 3534-2)

Sampling risk
The risk associated with making inferences about a population based on a sample, potentially leading to incorrect conclusions.

Sampling scheme
Combines sampling plans with sampling purposes. (On the basis of ISO 3534-2)

Sampling size
Number of units that are withdrawn for a sample. Often the characteristic values found in the units are called a sample instead of the units of the sample. This can result in confusion with regard to the sampling size. Ultimately the number of the characteristic values and the number of sample units can be different. (On the basis of DIN 55350-14)

Sampling, double
Sampling, double: Sampling inspection in which the inspection of the first sample leads to a decision to accept a lot, reject it or take a second sample; the inspection of a second sample, when required, then leads to a decision to accept or reject the lot.

Sampling, multiple
Sampling, multiple: Sampling inspection in which, after each sample is inspected, the decision is made to accept a lot, reject it or take another sample. But there is a prescribed maximum number of samples, after which a decision to accept or reject the lot must be reached. Note: Multiple sampling as defined here has sometimes been called “sequential n sampling” or “truncated sequential e sampling.” The term “multiple sampling” is recommended.

Sampling, single
Sampling, single: Sampling inspection in which the decision to accept or reject a lot is based on the inspection of one sample.

Sampling, unit
Sampling, unit: Sequential sampling inspection in which, after each unit is inspected, the decision is made to accept a lot, reject it or inspect another unit.

Sanitizing: English translation of seiso, one of the Japanese five S’s used for workplace organization. Sanitizing (also referred to as shining or sweeping) is the act of cleaning the work area. Dirt is often the root cause of premature equipment wear, safety problems and defects.

SAP Quality Management: A module in the SAP ERP system focusing on quality control and assurance.

Swiss Association for Quality, Kirchberg (Switzerland).

Satisfier: A term used to describe the quality level received by a customer when a product or service meets expectations.

SBAR: Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) is a verbal or written communication tool that helps provide essential, concise information, usually during crucial situations.

Simpler Business System: A methodology focusing on streamlining business processes and reducing complexity.

Potentially context-dependent, could refer to different terms or acronyms based on specific industries or contexts.

Scatter diagram
Scatter diagram: A graphical technique to analyze the relationship between two variables. Two sets of data are plotted on a graph, with the y-axis being used for the variable to be predicted and the x-axis being used for the variable to make the prediction. The graph will show possible relationships (although two variables might appear to be related, they might not be; those who know most about the variables must make that evaluation). One of the “seven tools of quality” (see listing).

Scatter Plot Glossary
Glossary or collection of terms related to scatter plots, a graphical representation showing relationships between two variables.

Scatter plot or diagram
A visual representation depicting the relationship or correlation between two variables through plotted points.

Safety Certificate for Contractors. Requirements for safety, health and environmental management systems. Standard developed by the Dutch mineral oil and petroleum industry in 1989. The objective was to place uniform requirement criteria on the contractor‘s safety management when awarding contracts for maintenance and installation work and construction projects.

Scientific management/approach
Scientific management/approach: A term referring to the intent to find and use the best way to perform tasks to improve quality, productivity and efficiency.

See Supply chain management.

The defined boundaries, objectives, and limitations of a project or process, outlining what is included and excluded.

Scope creep
The gradual expansion or changes beyond the original project scope, potentially leading to increased project complexity.

Scorecard: An evaluation device, usually in the form of a questionnaire, that specifies the criteria customers will use to rate your business’ performance in satisfying customer requirements.

Scoring model
See EFQM Excellence Award.

See Supply chain quality.

Action on a nonconforming product with the objective of precluding its originally intended use (e.g., by recycling, destruction). In the case of a nonconforming service situation, use is precluded by discontinuing the (provision of the) service. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Scree plot
A graphical tool used in factor analysis to determine the number of factors to retain based on eigenvalues.

Screening design
An experimental design used to identify critical factors or variables affecting a process or system efficiently.

Screening inspection
100% inspection in which all units that are found to be nonconforming are sorted out.

Scrum Master
A key role in the Scrum framework responsible for facilitating team processes and removing obstacles to progress.

Scrum Master certification
Certification validating expertise in Scrum framework methodologies and roles in agile project management.

Second-party audits
Second-party audits are audits conducted by the customer or on behalf of the customer (supplier audits). Second-party audits are external audits. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Secondary nonconformity
See Finding.

See also Hypothesis.
Hypothesis tests are statistical procedures to confirm or refute assumptions that have been made regarding differences between groups of measured samples. They can be used both to compare average values and variances.

Seiban: The name of a Japanese management practice taken from the words sei, which means manufacturing, and ban, which means number. A seiban number is assigned to all parts, materials and purchase orders associated with a particular customer job, project or anything else. This enables a manufacturer to track everything related to a particular product, project or customer, and facilitates setting aside inventory for specific projects or priorities. That makes it an effective practice for project and build-to-order manufacturing.

Personal sense of order. Each employee must maintain high standards of housekeeping and workplace organization at all times. Cleanliness and order should become a habit. Japanese term, see also 5S.

Set in order. This Japanese term means that only the work materials that are actually needed should be at the workplace. Nonessential tools and machines, defective parts and unnecessary papers and documents should be removed from the workplace so as to bring about order. See also: 5S.

Shine or sanitize (cleanliness). Workplace, machines and tools must be kept clean. Japanese term, see also 5S.

Straighten (tidiness). In order to maintain order at the workplace, the necessary work materials must be in perfect condition. Furthermore, they should be either readily available or kept at the right place. Japanese term, see also 5S.

Comprehensive and systematic review of the organization’s activities. These refer to the quality management system or to an excellence model. Self-assessment can give the organization an overall view of its performance and the degree of maturity of its quality management system. (On the basis of DIN 9000:2015)

Also Supplier‘s declaration or vendor declaration Written declaration given by a supplier according to a defined procedure that indicates that a unit that it is to supply, but that has not yet been realized, will fulfill the quality requirements, or that a unit that has already been realized fulfils the quality requirements, or that both statements are true.

Self-directed work team (SDWT)
Self-directed work team (SDWT): A type of team structure in which much of the decision making regarding how to handle the team’s activities is controlled by the team members themselves.

Semi-autonomous work group
With a view to a common objective, members of a group produce or complete products or services on their own responsibility and according to their own planning. This requires a certain level of autonomy. The individual groups are conceded the freedom needed to act and make decisions independently.

Change in the measured value of the quantity output by a measuring instrument relative to the change in the input quantity that caused it. (On the basis of DIN 1319-1:1195)

Sentinel event
Sentinel event: A healthcare term for any event not consistent with the desired, normal or usual operation of the organization; also known as an adverse event.

An organization’s (process) output, where at least one activity must be performed between organization and customer. A service’s essential elements are mostly intangible in nature, with software being a prime example, since information is at its core, regardless of the medium. As a rule, a service includes activities at the interface with the customer and is directly experienced by the customer. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Service level agreement
Service level agreement: A formal agreement between an internal provider and an internal receiver (customer).

Session window
A specific timeframe allocated for a session, meeting, or a window of time for performing particular tasks or activities.

Set-up Reduction
A technique or methodology aiming to minimize the time required for machine or process setup in manufacturing.

Set-up Time
The time taken to prepare or set up equipment, machinery, or processes before starting production or operations.

Seven Basic Tools of Quality
A set of fundamental quality improvement tools including Pareto charts, cause-and-effect diagrams, histograms, etc.

Seven new management and planning tools
Seven new management and planning tools: Tools to promote innovation, communicate information and successfully plan major projects. The tools are: affinity diagrams, matrix diagrams, interrelationship digraphs, process decision program charts, tree diagrams, activity network diagrams and prioritization matrixes.

Seven tools of quality
Seven tools of quality: Tools that help organizations understand their processes to improve them. The tools are the cause and effect diagram, check sheet, control chart, flowchart, histogram, Pareto chart and scatter diagram (see individual entries).

Seven wastes
Seven wastes: See “eight wastes.”

Shadow board
Shadow board: A visual management tool painted to indicate where tools belong and which tools are missing.

Experimental design technique that was named after its creator Dorian Shainin (1914-2000). Shainin developed a strategy to solve problems which, like the Pareto rule, assumes that a multitude of problems are associated with only a few causes.

Shainin method
See Design of experiments.

Shainin System
Shainin System: Named after its developer, Dorian Shainin, this problem-solving system focuses on identifying the dominant cause of process variation called the Red X. Also called statistical engineering.

Stockholder, financier, investor in a company.

Safety, Health, and Environment: Emphasizing the integration of safety, health, and environmental practices in operations.

SHE management system
Safety, health, environmental management system. See also: SCC.

Shewhart cycle
Shewhart cycle: See “plan-do-check-act cycle.”

Shewhart quality control chart
See Quality control chart.

Sustain (discipline). There must be compliance with standards, rules and regulations that concern the work process. Japanese term, see also 5S.

A Lean manufacturing concept aiming to adjust workforce levels based on production needs to maintain efficiency.

Short term and long term Z
Potentially context-specific terms related to statistical analysis or quality control involving short and long-term performance metrics.

Should-be process mapping
A mapping technique focusing on designing or documenting future-state processes based on improvement goals.

Sifting: English translation of Japanese seiri, one of the five S’s used for workplace organization. Sifting is separating the essential from the nonessential. It involves screening through unnecessary materials and simplifying the work environment.

Sigma: One standard deviation in a normally distributed process.

Sigma Level
A measure indicating process performance, often associated with the number of standard deviations a process deviates from a specification.

Sigma Score
A numerical measure reflecting the performance or capability of a process in terms of sigma levels.

Sigma value
The sigma value provides information about the process capability. With a normal distribution, the sigma value indicates how many standard deviations there are from the average value to the next (customer) specification limit. The sigma value (called the z value in mathematics) can be calculated for both qualitative and quantitative data. The sigma values can make it possible to compare different processes because they compare the processes by looking at their dispersion with regard to the customer requirements, or by looking at the capability of the process to fulfill the customer requirements.

Signal factor taguchi
In Taguchi methods, factors or variables that significantly affect product or process quality, emphasizing control.

Signal to noise ratio (S/N ratio)
Signal to noise ratio (S/N ratio): An equation that indicates the magnitude of an experimental effect above the effect of experimental error due to chance fluctuations.

Signal to noise ratio def taguchi
In Taguchi methods, the ratio comparing the strength of a signal (desired outcome) to the level of noise (undesired variation).

Potentially context-dependent, referring to different meanings or uses based on specific contexts or industries.

Simplex centroid and simplex lattice designs
Experimental designs used in mixture experiments for optimizing the combination of components or factors.

Simulation: A 3-D technique to balance a line. It involves using cardboard, wood and plastic foam to create full-sized equipment mock-ups that can be easily moved to obtain an optimum layout.

Simultaneous engineering
Special form of project organization during product development in order to shorten the development time. When developing products, the individual steps are worked off in parallel, not sequentially. This results in simultaneous or overlapping product development stages. Suppliers and system manufacturers are included in this process at an early point in time and to a large extent.

The trigonometric function sine, representing the ratio of the length of the side opposite an angle to the hypotenuse in a right-angled triangle.

Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)
A lean manufacturing technique focused on reducing changeover or setup times between different production runs.

Single sampling
A sampling plan or technique involving inspection or testing of individual items or products to determine quality.

Single sourcing
Concentration of the procurement on a few system suppliers, i.e., suppliers who offer many products or services from one source.

Single-minute exchange of dies
Single-minute exchange of dies: A series of techniques pioneered by Shigeo Shingo for changeovers of production machinery in less than 10 minutes. The long-term objective is always zero setup, in which changeovers are instantaneous and do not interfere in any way with continuous flow. Setup in a single minute is not required, but used as a reference (see “one-touch exchange of dies,” “internal setup” and “external setup”).

Single-piece flow
Single-piece flow: A process in which products proceed, one complete product at a time, through various operations in design, order taking and production without interruptions, backflows or scrap.

Supplier – Input – Process – Output – Customer.

SIPOC diagram
SIPOC diagram: A tool used by Six Sigma process improvement teams to identify all relevant elements (suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, customers) of a process improvement project before work begins.

Six Sigma
Six Sigma fundamentally has two meanings: On the one hand, six sigma is a statistical measurand for process capability and consequently a measurand for the quality of a process with regard to fulfilling customer requirements. 6 Sigma process capability means that the specification limits are 6 standard deviations, or 6 sigma, removed from the average value. If this process capability has been reached then there are only 3.4 defective parts in 1 million possibilities. On the other hand, the term Six Sigma also refers to a corporate strategy. The strategy starts with the customer expectations and aims at optimizing all of a company‘s processes and ultimately increasing the profit. Key people are the Champion, the Master Black Belt, the Black Belt, the Green Belt and the Yellow Belt. (Also see each term). The Six Sigma method was created in 1979 when enormous quality problems at Motorola led to a search for methods for product and process improvement.

Six Sigma quality
Six Sigma quality: A term generally used to indicate process capability in terms of process spread measured by standard deviations in a normally distributed process.

Six Sigma tools
Six Sigma tools: The problem-solving tools used to support Six Sigma and other process improvement efforts. This includes voice of the customer, value stream mapping, process mapping, capability analysis, Pareto charts, root cause analysis, failure mode and effects analysis, control plans, statistical process control, 5S, mistake proofing and design of experiments.

A measure indicating the asymmetry of a probability distribution, showing the deviation of data from a normal distribution.

Stock Keeping Unit: A unique identifier assigned to an item in inventory management.

Service level agreement: Interface agreement for the provision of services. An SLA governs the cooperation between an (internal or external) customer and an (internal or external) service provider with a view to the type, scope and cost of the services to be provided.

Slope and intercept
Components of a linear regression equation representing the relationship between two variables.

Slope taguchi
A factor in Taguchi methods representing the effect of a parameter on process performance.

Small business
Small business: Privately owned corporations, partnerships or sole proprietorships that have fewer employees and less annual revenue than a regular-sized business or corporation. The definition of “small”—in terms of being able to apply for government support and qualify for preferential tax policy—varies by country and industry.

Smallest and largest extreme value distributions
Statistical distributions modeling extreme values, such as minimum and maximum observations.

Smart dialog boxes
Interactive dialog boxes in software applications that adapt or respond intelligently to user input.

SMART goals
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound goals used in project management or personal development.

SMART matrix
SMART matrix: A SMART matrix is a communication and planning tool used to identify the specifics of actions or tasks. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, resources, and time.

Small and medium sized enterprises.

Single Minute Exchange of Die: A methodology aiming to minimize equipment changeover time in manufacturing.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd., London.

Schweizerische Normen-Vereinigung [Swiss Association for Standardization], Winterthur, Switzerland.

Social responsibility
Social responsibility: The concept that business entities should balance profit-making activities with activities that benefit society.

Social environment in which an organization operates.

See Product.

Software development life cycle
The process comprising stages from initial conception to software retirement or replacement.

Software quality assurance (SQA)
Software quality assurance (SQA): A systematic approach to evaluating the quality of and adherence to software product standards, processes and procedures. SQA includes ensuring standards and procedures are established and followed throughout the software acquisition life cycle.

Solution Parking Lot
A space or tool to gather, store, and track potential solutions or ideas for future consideration or implementation.

Solution statement
A clear and concise declaration outlining proposed resolutions to a problem or challenge.

Somers D
A statistical measure indicating the strength and direction of association between two ranked variables.

Standard Operating Procedure

Standard Operating Procedures: Established guidelines detailing steps to accomplish tasks or processes.

Sort: English translation of the Japanese word seiri, one of the five S’s (see listing) used for workplace organization. Sorting (also referred to as structuring or sifting) involves organizing essential materials. It helps the operator find materials when needed.

Spaghetti diagram
Spaghetti diagram: A visual representation using a continuous flow line tracing the path of an item or activity through a process. The continuous flow line enables process teams to identify redundancies in workflow and opportunities to expedite process flow.

See Statistical Process Control.

SPC Techniques
Various methods and tools employed in Statistical Process Control (SPC) for analyzing and improving processes.

Spearman's rho
A statistical measure of correlation assessing the relationship between two ranked variables.

Special Cause
In quality management, an exceptional or non-routine factor contributing to process variation or defects.

Special causes
Special causes: Causes of variation that arise because of special circumstances. They are not an inherent part of a process. Special causes are also referred to as assignable causes. Also see “common causes.”

Special characteristic
Special characteristic: Automotive ISO TS 16949 term for key product or process characteristics.

Special characteristics
Product characteristics or production process parameters. These can affect safety, compliance with regulatory demands, fit, function, performance or further processing of the product. (On the basis of IATF 16949:2016)

Special process
Process in which the quality inspections either cannot determine the result with regard to quality, cannot determine it completely, can only determine at a disproportionately high expenditure or cannot determine it on time. In principle, special processes are therefore qualified ahead of time and monitored. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Specification: A document that states the requirements to which a given product or service must conform.

Specification limit
In its requirements for a product or service, the customer specifies a desired value that should be achieved. The customer additionally specifies specification limits that show the tolerated fluctuations. This results in a lower tolerance limit, also called lower specification limit (LSL) and an upper tolerance limit, also called upper specification limit (USL).

Specification limits
Predetermined boundaries or criteria defining acceptable variations or tolerances in a process or product.

Strategic Planning Institute. See PIMS study.

Split plot design
An experimental design featuring nested factors, often used in situations where randomization is limited.

Sponsor: The person who supports a team’s plans, activities and outcomes.

Sponsor (or Champion)
A person providing support, resources, and advocacy for a project or initiative within an organization.

Safety Quality Assessment System. Standard from the European Chemical Industry Council CEFIC. Quality, safety, occupational health and safety, and environmental management system for service providers in the logistics and chemical sectors with the objective of a uniform evaluation by independent assessors who use the same standard/questionnaire.

Statistical quality control.

Safety, Quality, Delivery, Cost: Essential elements often used to assess overall manufacturing performance.

Square Root: A mathematical operation returning a value when multiplied by itself equals a specified number.

Sum of Squares: A statistical measure representing the sum of squared deviations from the mean.

St dev
Standard Deviation: A statistical measure of data dispersion, showing the average distance from the mean.

In process control, the state of a process remaining consistent and predictable over time.

Stacked and unstacked
Descriptions potentially referring to different data representations or organizational structures.

Distinct phases or steps within a process, project, or system, indicating progression or completion.

Stages of team growth
Stages of team growth: Four stages that teams move through as they develop maturity: forming, storming, norming and performing.

Stakeholder: Any individual, group or organization that will have a significant impact on or will be significantly impacted by the quality of a specific product or service.

Potentially context-dependent, referring to different meanings or uses based on specific contexts or industries.

NATO Standardization Agreement: Standardization agreement involving NATO member countries on the use of standardized procedures or similar equipment. The objective is to achieve the most standardized equipment for all NATO troops possible in various areas.

Standard: The metric, specification, gauge, statement, category, segment, grouping, behavior, event or physical product sample against which the outputs of a process are compared and declared acceptable or unacceptable. Also, documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.

Standard Cost
A predetermined cost used as a benchmark for calculating the cost of goods or services in accounting or manufacturing.

Standard deviation
A statistical measure of dispersion that is based on the square of the deviation of the individual values from the average.

Standard deviation (statistical)
Standard deviation (statistical): A computed measure of vari- ability indicating the spread of the data set around the mean.

Standard deviation process capability
A measure assessing the ability of a process to produce within specification limits based on standard deviation.

Standard deviation taguchi
In Taguchi methods, a measure indicating variability that affects product quality or process performance.

Standard error estimate
An estimation of the variability between sample statistics and population parameters in inferential statistics.

Standard error of coefficient
The standard deviation of the coefficient in a statistical model, measuring the uncertainty in the estimate.

Standard error of fits
The standard deviation of predicted values from a regression model compared to observed values.

Standard Error of the Mean
A measure indicating the variability or spread of sample means around the population mean.

Standard in-process stock
Standard in-process stock: One of the three elements that make up standard work. It is the minimum quantity of parts always on hand for processing during and between subprocesses. It allows workers to do their jobs continuously in a set sequence, repeating the same operation over and over in the same order. Also see “standard work.”

Standard value
Measured value or numerical value that must be met or reached without the stipulation of concrete limiting values. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Standard work
Standard work: A precise description of each work activity, specifying cycle time, takt time, the work sequence of specific tasks and the minimum inventory of parts on hand needed to conduct the activity. All jobs are organized around human motion to create an efficient sequence without waste. Work organized in such a way is called standard(ized) work. The three elements that make up standard work are takt time, working sequence and standard in-process stock (see individual listings).

Standard Work Combination Sheet
A reference document detailing sequences and times for performing tasks in standardized work.

Standard Work in Process
Work in progress adhering to established standards or procedures within a production or manufacturing process.

Standard Work in Progress
Work undergoing processes following standardized methods or protocols.

Standard work instructions
Standard work instructions: A lean manufacturing tool that enables operators to observe a production process with an understanding of how assembly tasks are to be performed. It ensures the quality level is understood and serves as an excellent training aid, enabling replacement or temporary individuals to easily adapt and perform the assembly operation.

Standard Work Sheet
A document detailing step-by-step instructions or procedures for performing tasks following standard practices.

Standardization: When policies and common procedures are used to manage processes throughout the system. Also, English translation of the Japanese word seiketsu, one of the Japanese five S’s (see listing) used for workplace organization.

Standardized log residuals
Logarithmically transformed residuals standardized for use in statistical analysis.

Standardized residuals
Residuals standardized to have a mean of zero and a standard deviation of one for regression analysis.

Standards organization
The task of a national standards organization is to determine the necessity of a planned standard, as well as its requirements and contents. These are subsequently stipulated and published as a national standard. The standardization work in Germany is organized in standardization committees and work groups within the DIN. Representatives from business, science, the state and interested parties cooperate on working out standards. In Germany, industry-wide standardization is the task of the business sector‘s self-regulation. The DIN is a member of CEN, whose main task is to develop European standards. The ISO is responsible for international standardization; it unites the national standards organizations around the world.

Start learning with Coursera
A promotional statement potentially referring to Coursera as a platform for accessing educational courses.

Condition of a unit at a particular point in time of the observation. (On the basis of DIN 40041:1990)

Statement of work (SOW)
A document outlining project deliverables, scope, timelines, and expectations between a client and contractor.

Potentially a tool or guide providing instructions, tips, or resources related to statistical analysis or software usage.

A numerical value derived from a dataset used to describe or summarize aspects of that dataset.

Relating to statistics or employing statistical methods and techniques for analysis or inference.

Statistical methods
Statistical methods that are used for statistical process control are, for example, control charts to check and monitor process stability or process capability analyses.

Statistical Process Control
Statistical quality control for processes (DGQ Volume 11-04:2009). Tool based on fundamental mathematical and statistical principles. It is used to stabilize an optimized process by means of constant monitoring and, where applicable, corrections in this optimized state. The tool was developed by the American Shewhart.

Statistical process control (SPC)
Statistical process control (SPC): The application of statistical techniques to control a process; often used interchangeably with the term “statistical quality control” (see listing).

Statistical quality control
Part of quality control with the use of statistical procedures. (On the basis of DIN 55350-11)

Statistical quality control (SQC)
Statistical quality control (SQC): The application of statistical techniques to control quality. Often used interchangeably with the term “statistical process control” (see listing), although statistical quality control includes acceptance sampling, which statistical process control does not.

Statistical quality inspection
Quality inspection using statistical methods. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)

Statistically significant
A result deemed to be not likely to occur by chance alone, indicating a strong likelihood of a true effect or relationship.

Statistics: A field that involves tabulating, depicting and describing data sets; a formalized body of techniques characteristically involving attempts to infer the properties of a large collection of data from inspection of a sample of the collection.

Stem and Leaf Glossary
Potentially a reference guide or glossary explaining the components and use of stem-and-leaf plots in data visualization.

Stepwise regression
A method of building regression models by adding or removing variables based on their statistical significance.

Stop the line authority
Stop the line authority: Power given to workers to stop the process when abnormalities occur, allowing them to prevent the defect or variation from being passed along.

A sequence of illustrations or visual representations outlining a process, narrative, or project plan.

Strategic planning
Strategic planning: The process an organization uses to envision its future and develop the appropriate strategies, goals, objectives and action plans.

Plan to achieve long-term or overall objectives. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Stratification: The act of sorting data, people and objects into distinct groups or layers.

Stratified sampling
A sampling method where the population is divided into subgroups (strata), and samples are taken from each subgroup.

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis: A strategic technique used to assess what an organization is facing.

Potentially referring to stress levels, a measure of psychological or physical stress experienced by an individual or system.

Stretch goals
Stretch goals: A set of goals designed to position an organization to meet future requirements.

Structural organization
An organization’s hierarchical framework or structure. The structural organization regulates responsibilities, work assignments and resource allocation. The structural organization includes the company hierarchy (shown, for example, in an organizational chart), the structure of the areas or departments, the job plan, the geographic distribution (locations, branches) and the relationship to affiliated companies such as subsidiaries, parent company or partner firms. Together, the structural organizational and process organization form the business or company organization.

Structural variation
Structural variation: Variation caused by regular, systematic changes in output, such as seasonal patterns and long-term trends.

Studentized residuals
Residuals in a statistical model scaled by an estimate of their standard deviation for outlier detection.

Study variation
The exploration or analysis of variations in a study or experiment that might affect outcomes or conclusions.

Potentially context-dependent, referring to different meanings or uses based on specific contexts or industries.

Divisions within a sample or population used for analysis, often categorized based on specific criteria or factors.

Suboptimization: A condition in which gains made in one activity are offset by losses in another activity or activities that are caused by the same actions that created gains in the first activity.

Subset of a population. (On the basis of DIN 55350-14)

Subdivision of core, support or management processes or a combination of activities. Several subprocesses form a main process.

Symbols or characters written below and to the right of other symbols, typically indicating variables or indices in mathematics or science.

A portion or part of a larger set or group that shares specific characteristics or meets certain criteria.

Success and effects diagram
Success and effects diagram: The success and effects diagram is a hybrid of the fishbone diagram that uses 'five whats' instead of 'five whys' as the analysis tool to help uncover the root success of a process, rather than the root cause.

Suggestion plan
See Employee suggestion plan.

The result of adding numbers or values together to get a total.

Sum of squares
A statistical measure representing the sum of the squared deviations from a reference point or mean.

Summary data
Condensed or aggregated information summarizing larger datasets or detailed information.

Supermarket: The storage locations of parts before they go on to the next operation. Supermarkets are managed by predetermined maximum and minimum inventory levels. Each item in the plant is at a designated location.

Supplier: A source of materials, service or information input provided to a process.

Supplier audit
Quality audit by the customer and a means for rating suppliers. See Second-party audit.

Supplier evaluation
Evaluation of a supplier‘s performance by the client. Quality management systems offer various procedures for supplier evaluation.

Supplier management
Management of the relationships with suppliers. This includes the selection of suppliers for products that are to be procured and the stipulations for monitoring and ongoing supplier evaluation.

Supplier quality
Supplier quality: A supplier’s ability to deliver goods or services that will satisfy customers’ needs.

Supplier quality assurance
Supplier quality assurance: Confidence a supplier's product or service will fulfill its customers’ needs. This confidence is achieved by creating a relationship between the customer and supplier that ensures the product will be fit for use with minimal corrective action and inspection. According to Joseph M. Juran, nine primary activities are needed: 1) define product and program quality requirements; 2) evaluate alternative suppliers; 3) select suppliers; 4) conduct joint quality planning; 5) cooperate with the supplier during the execution of the contract; 6) obtain proof of conformance to requirements; 7) certify qualified suppliers; 8) conduct quality improvement programs as required; and 9) create and use supplier quality ratings.

Supplier quality management
Supplier quality management: A system in which supplier quality is managed by using a proactive and collaborative approach. This management approach begins early in the product design and supplier selection process. It continues through the entire life cycle of a product and for the duration of the relationship with that particular supplier.

Supplier rating
Periodic evaluation of the supplier by the customer on a regular basis and according to specific criteria, i.e., the evaluation after commencement of customer-supplier relationships.

Supplier relationship
Mutually beneficial supplier relationships are one of the eight quality management principles (see Quality management principles).

Supplier‘s declaration
See Self-declaration.

Supply chain
Supply chain: The series of suppliers to a given process.

Supply chain management
Optimization of the flows of materials, good and information among several partners with the use of logistics service providers.

Supply Chain Quality
Optimization of all elements in a value chain.

Support from management,
Sufficient participant knowledge of the methods regarding the performance of group work.

Support process
Process that fulfils supporting tasks for the core processes. Support processes accompany the core processes and supply data and information or regulate administrative sequences. They do not have a directly value-added character and the customer is not willing to pay directly for support processes. However maintaining these processes can be just as important as maintaining core processes (see Key process). Example: A functioning computer system has a strategic significance for data administration in banks.

Surface Wireframe
A graphical representation in three dimensions showing the surface of an object with a grid of lines or curves.

Surveillance: The continual monitoring of a process; a type of periodic assessment or audit conducted to determine whether a process continues to perform to a predetermined standard.

Surveillance audit
Audit that is primarily conducted annually by the certification company in order to monitor the organization‘s quality management system. Periodic surveillance audits are required in order for the certificate to remain valid throughout its term. These audits are usually not as extensive as the certification audit.

Survey: The act of examining a process or questioning a selected sample of individuals to obtain data about a process, product or service.

Survival plot
A graphical representation displaying survival probabilities over time in survival analysis or reliability studies.

Survival probability
The likelihood of an event or entity to survive or endure for a specified period, often used in survival analysis.

Sustain: The English translation of shitsuke, one of the five S’s (see listing) used for workplace organization. Sustaining (also referred to as self-disciplining) is the continuation of sorting, setting in order and sanitizing. It addresses the need to perform 5S on an ongoing and systematic basis.

Strength – Weakness – Opportunity – Threats:

SWOT analysis
A strategic planning technique evaluating Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats concerning a project or business.

A visual representation, character, or sign used to represent an idea, quantity, or concept.

Symmetry plot
A graphical representation indicating symmetry or lack thereof in a dataset or distribution.

Symptom: An observable phenomenon arising from and accompanying a defect.

Synchronous Production
A production system where operations or processes occur in coordination or simultaneously, minimizing delays or idle time.

Synectics meeting
Creativity technique and problem-solving method for complex tasks that stimulates thought processes that run without the person being conscious of them. It was developed by the American William Gordon (1961). In this method, apparently unrelated facts are brought together. The problem is first made unfamiliar through the formation of analogies and then confrontation with independent structures is used to find a link that leads to surprising solutions.

Rules or guidelines governing the arrangement or structure of language, programming code, or mathematical notation.

System: A group of interdependent processes and people that together perform a common mission.

System approach to management
The system approach to management is one of the quality management principles (see Quality management principles).

System audit
Tool for the evaluation of the management system with regard to the fulfillment of the corporate policy and the comprehensive sets of rules. The system audit comprises the following phases: Preparation, document inspection, performance, audit report preparation, initiation of corrective actions. See Audit.

System FMEA
See Failure Mode and Effects Analysis.

System kaizen
System kaizen: Improvement aimed at an entire value stream.

Systematic sampling
A sampling method involving selecting samples at regular intervals or using a systematic approach within a population.


t distribution
A statistical distribution used in hypothesis testing when sample sizes are small or population standard deviation is unknown.

t test
A statistical test assessing if means of two groups are significantly different from each other.

t value
The calculated value from a t-test indicating the difference between groups' means relative to their standard deviation.

T-test: A method to assess whether the means of two groups are statistically different from each other.

The process of assigning tags or labels to items, data, or content for organization, identification, or retrieval purposes.

Genichi Taguchi (1924-2012) from Japan is one of the pioneers and important figures in quality science. His core activities were the “quality loss function“ and “experimental design“, also known as “design of experiments“.

Taguchi design
Experimental designs developed by Genichi Taguchi emphasizing robustness against variations in manufacturing processes.

Taguchi Loss Function
A mathematical model emphasizing the cost of deviation from the target value in quality and manufacturing processes.

Taguchi Method
An approach to engineering and quality improvement focusing on minimizing variation and achieving robust product design.

Taguchi Methods
Taguchi Methods: The American Supplier Institute’s trademarked term for the quality engineering methodology developed by Genichi Taguchi. In this engineering approach to quality control, Taguchi calls for off-line quality control, on-line quality control and a system of experimental design to improve quality and reduce costs.

Takt time
Takt time: The rate of customer demand, takt time is calculated by dividing production time by the quantity of product the customer requires in that time. Takt is the heartbeat of a lean manufacturing system. Also see “cycle time.”

Tampering: Action taken to compensate for variation within the control limits of a stable system; tampering increases rather than decreases variation, as evidenced in the funnel experiment.

A mathematical function representing the tangent of an angle in trigonometry.

Target costing
Cost planning system. The planned values are derived on the basis of prices that can be obtained on the market. It is important to know the customer expectations with regard to price and quality in order to break down the allowed costs (target costs).

Target value
The desired or optimal value set as a goal or reference point in various processes or activities.

Targeted sampling
Withdrawal of certain representative sub-quantities (samples) from a sampling unit. Here, a decision was made on the basis of information known in advance to take exactly these sub-quantities into consideration in the sampling. (On the basis of DIN 55350-14)

Task: A specific, definable activity to perform an assigned piece of work, often finished within a certain time.

Task forces
Concept from the military sector. It is also used for project groups that are deployed to solve problems.

Task management
The process of planning, organizing, and executing tasks or activities to achieve specific goals or objectives.

Turn Around Time

A methodology for breaking up workflows into smaller units to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Named after its founder, Fredrick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915).

Technical Committee. Workgroup at the ISO for standards. See ISO/TC 176.

Total Customer Satisfaction.

Potentially context-dependent, referring to different meanings or uses based on specific contexts or industries.

Team: A group of individuals organized to work together to accomplish a specific objective.

Technical expert
Person who provides the audit team with special knowledge or expertise. This can be special knowledge or expertise regarding the organization, the process, the product, the service, the activity to be audited, the language or the culture. A technical expert is not an auditor in the audit team. (On the basis of ISO 19011:2018)

Technical report (TR)
Technical report (TR): A type of document in the International Organization for Standardization portfolio of deliverables.

Technical rules
Recommendations, action guidelines or suggestions that demonstrate how laws, ordinances and technical facts can be implemented. Some examples of technical rules are DIN standards, VDE provisions, and VDI guidelines. They are essentially used to secure life, health and material goods, to protect the environment, and to ensure the quality of products and services.

Technical specification (TS)
Technical specification (TS): A type of document in the International Organization for Standardization portfolio of deliverables.

Characteristic values of one or more characteristics that are determined according to a procedure. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Test for special causes
A procedure or analysis used to identify exceptional or non-routine factors influencing process variation.

Test of equal variances
A statistical test assessing if two sample variances are significantly different from each other.

Test R squared
A statistical measure assessing the proportion of variance explained by predictors in a regression model.

Test statistic
A value calculated from sample data used in statistical hypothesis testing to make inferences about population parameters.

Trägergemeinschaft für Akkreditierung GmbH, Frankfurt. The accreditation assignments were combined in a new structure in the DAkkS as Germany‘s national accreditation body as of January 1, 2010. The TGA entered the DAkkS via the DGA.

Potentially an abbreviation or reference to specific practices or procedures, context-dependent.

The Joint Commission
The Joint Commission: A U.S. healthcare accreditation body; formerly known as Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Theory of constraints
This theory, which was developed by the American physicist Goldratt, says that each system is limited in its performance by at least one element. The system‘s overall performance can only be improved over the long term by considering it as a whole.

Theory of constraints (TOC)
Theory of constraints (TOC): A lean management philosophy that stresses removal of constraints to increase throughput while decreasing inventory and operating expenses. TOC’s set of tools examines the entire system for continuous improvement. The current reality tree, conflict resolution diagram, future reality tree, prerequisite tree and transition tree are the five tools used in TOC’s ongoing improvement process. Also called constraints management.

Third party audit
Audit by external, independent organizations such as certification or accreditation companies, for example. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Throughput: The rate the system generates money through sales, or the conversion rate of inventory into shipped product.

Throughput yield
In contrast to the term yield, throughput yield takes into account rework of nonconforming parts during production and does not include the reworked parts in the figure. Throughput yield accordingly determines the number of conforming parts without rework in the upstream process steps. Throughput yield is also called the first pass rate, which means the number of parts/products that pass through production in one pass (without rework).

Marks or divisions along an axis indicating specific points or intervals in a graphical representation.

Time from text TIME
Potentially a reference to extracting time-related information from text or data containing timestamps.

Time series
A sequence of data points measured or recorded at successive time intervals, often used for forecasting and analysis.

Time series plot
A graphical representation displaying time-based data points or observations, showing trends or patterns over time.

Time to market
Time from the origination of a product idea until the finished product is introduced on the market. Reducing this time (product innovation, development, production, market launch, and marketing) is a crucial factor for competition.

Time-weighted charts
Charts or graphs adjusted to account for the time duration or weighted averages of different time periods.

TL 9000
TL 9000: A quality management standard for the telecommunications industry based on ISO 9000. Its purpose is to define the requirements for the design, development, production, delivery, installation and maintenance of products and services. Included are cost and performance-based measurements that measure reliability and quality performance of the products and services.

See Theory of constraints.

Referring to the current day or the present moment.

Tolerance: The maximum and minimum limit values a product can have and still meet customer requirements.

Tolerance interval
A range or span of values within which data points or observations are considered acceptable or valid.

Tolerance zone
Range of permitted characteristic values that are located between the lower and upper limiting values. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Toolbox talks
Short safety discussions or meetings focused on workplace safety, hazards, or specific work-related topics.

Tools of quality
See Quality tools.

Top management
A person or group of people that directs and controls an organization at the highest level. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Top management commitment
Top management commitment: Participation of the highest level officials in their organization’s quality improvement efforts. Their participation includes establishing and serving on a quality committee, establishing quality policies and goals, deploying those goals to lower levels of the organization, providing the resources and training lower levels need to achieve the goals, participating in quality improvement teams, reviewing progress organization wide, recognizing those who have performed well and revising the current reward system to reflect the importance of achieving the quality goals.

Total productive maintenance
System for maintaining production means. Behind this Japanese concept is the philosophy that the machine operator has a certain responsibility for the functionality of his/her workplace. This includes machines, tools and maintenance activities.

Total productive maintenance (TPM)
Total productive maintenance (TPM): A series of methods, originally pioneered by Nippondenso (a member of the Toyota group), to ensure every machine in a production process is always able to perform its required tasks so production is never interrupted.

Total quality
Total quality: A strategic integrated system for achieving customer satisfaction that involves all managers and employees, and uses quantitative methods to continuously improve an organization’s processes.

Total quality control
Quality strategy that comprises the entire company and that targets the customer needs. See Feigenbaum.

Total quality control (TQC)
Total quality control (TQC): A system that integrates quality development, maintenance and improvement of the parts of an organization. It helps an organization economically manufacture its product and deliver its services.

Total Quality Management
A concentrated focus of all company activities on (absolute) quality and dependability from the customer‘s point of view in line with the other corporate objectives. In particular, it strives for: an optimal competitive situation through improvement of the quality of products and services; improvement of the relation between costs and earnings; and greater employee commitment and qualification. This involves an analysis of the actual state, the detection of weaknesses until they have been completely eliminated, the continuous commitment to improvement in the entire company, and a systematic structuring of environmental relationships (natural and social environments). Success by means of TQM is based on the use of systematic methods and tools and the active participation of all employees. This total quality management definition makes it clear that it is more than just a corporate philosophy that has to be put into practice in order to motivate its implementation.

Total quality management (TQM)
Total quality management (TQM): A term first used to describe a management approach to quality improvement. Since then, TQM has taken on many meanings. Simply put, it is a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction. TQM is based on all members of an organization participating in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work. The methods for implementing this approach are found in the teachings of such quality leaders as Philip B. Crosby, W. Edwards Deming, Armand V. Feigenbaum, Kaoru Ishikawa and Joseph M. Juran.

Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR)
A safety metric measuring the total number of work-related injuries per million hours worked.

Total time on test plot
A graphical representation displaying the total time a system or component is under observation or testing.

Toyota Production System
A management philosophy and production system developed by Toyota, emphasizing efficiency, quality, and continuous improvement.

Toyota production system (TPS)
Toyota production system (TPS): The production system developed by Toyota Motor Corp. to provide best quality, lowest cost and shortest lead time through eliminating waste. TPS is based on two pillars: just-in-time and jidohka (see listings). TPS is maintained and improved through iterations of standardized work and kaizen (see listing.)

See Total productive maintenance.

TPM – 5S
Total Productive Maintenance - 5S, an approach combining TPM principles with the 5S methodology for workplace organization.

TPM Cell
A dedicated area or section within a facility implementing Total Productive Maintenance practices.

TPM COP Kaizen Database
A database or repository housing continuous improvement (Kaizen) initiatives related to Total Productive Maintenance.

TPM Loss
Refers to losses or inefficiencies targeted for improvement in Total Productive Maintenance strategies.

TPM Pillar
A fundamental element or principle within the Total Productive Maintenance framework.

Total Productive Maintenance - Safety and Autonomous Maintenance, integrating safety practices with TPM initiatives.

Potentially an acronym or abbreviation with context-specific meaning or significance.

Toyota Production System.

See Total quality control.

See Total quality management.

Possibility to trace the history, application or location of the object that is being considered. Traceability of a product can refer to the origin of materials and parts, the processing sequence, or the distribution or location of the product after delivery. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Traditional Manufacturing
Conventional or older methods and practices in manufacturing before the adoption of modern or lean production techniques.

Transaction data
Transaction data: The finite data pertaining to a given event occurring in a process. Examples are the data obtained when an individual checks out groceries (the grocery shopping process) and the data obtained from testing a machined component (the final product inspection step of the production process).

The movement or transfer of goods, materials, or people from one place to another within a supply chain or logistics system.

Specific factors, conditions, or interventions applied or studied in an experiment or research setting.

Tree diagram
Tree diagram: A management tool that depicts the hierarchy of tasks and subtasks needed to complete an objective. The finished diagram bears a resemblance to a tree.

Trend: The graphical representation of a variable’s tendency, over time, to increase, decrease or remain unchanged.

Trend control chart
Trend control chart: A control chart in which the deviation of the subgroup average, X-bar, from an expected trend in the process level is used to evaluate the stability of a process.

Triangular distribution
A probability distribution characterized by a triangular shape, defined by minimum, maximum, and most likely values.

Trimmed Mean
A statistical measure calculated by excluding a certain percentage of data points from both ends of a distribution.

TRIZ: A Russian acronym for a theory of innovative problem solving.

True value
Value of a quantitative characteristic or quantity. Most of the time, the true value is a theoretical concept and not known exactly. (On the basis of ISO 3534-2)

Technical specification.

Tsquared generalized variance chart
A statistical control chart used for detecting changes in the variance of a process or system over time.

Potentially an acronym or abbreviation with context-specific meaning or significance.

Time To First Failure (see OTTFF). The operating time until the first failure.

Tukey's method
A statistical method used for analyzing multiple pairwise comparisons in experimental studies, often used after ANOVA.

A term potentially associated with processes or actions aimed at reversing or correcting a deviation or error.

Two level factorial
An experimental design considering two levels of each factor, often used to study main effects and interactions between factors.

Type I and II error
Type I error refers to rejecting a true null hypothesis, while Type II error refers to failing to reject a false null hypothesis.

Type I error
Type I error: An incorrect decision to reject something (such as a statistical hypothesis or a lot of products) when it is acceptable.

Type II error
Type II error: An incorrect decision to accept something when it is unacceptable.

Type test
Inspection of a product to test its suitability. (On the basis of DIN 55350-17)


U chart
U chart: Count-per-unit chart.

Similar to U chart, a control chart monitoring the average number of defects per unit in a process.

U-shaped cells
A production layout design resembling the letter 'U' where workstations are arranged in a U-shape for efficient flow and communication.

Upper Control Limit, representing the upper boundary in a control chart indicating statistically significant variations.

Union internationale des télécommunications. See International Telecommunication Union.

United Kingdom Accreditation Service. National British accreditation body.

Unbiasing constant
A constant or factor applied to adjust or correct bias in statistical estimators or calculations.

Underpinning knowledge
The foundational or fundamental knowledge required to understand or support a concept or practice.

Uniform distribution
A probability distribution where all outcomes or values within a range have an equal probability of occurrence.

Unit: An object for which a measurement or observation can be made; commonly used in the sense of a “unit of product,” the entity of product inspected to determine whether it is defective or nondefective.

Upper Control Limit
The upper boundary in a control chart, indicating when a process is out of control due to statistically significant variations.

Upper control limit (UCL)
Upper control limit (UCL): Control limit for points above the central line in a control chart.

Upper limiting deviation
Highest value minus the reference value. (On the basis of DIN 55350-12)

Upper Specification Limit
The maximum allowable limit or threshold set for a specific quality characteristic or parameter in a process.

Referring to processes or actions occurring earlier or preceding a particular stage within a production or supply chain.

Uptime: See “equipment or system availability.”

User acceptance testing (UAT)
A testing phase where end-users verify and validate software or systems to ensure they meet requirements and function as intended.


Validation: The act of confirming a product or service meets the requirements for which it was intended.

Validity: The ability of a feedback instrument to measure what it was intended to measure; also, the degree to which inferences derived from measurements are meaningful.

The worth, importance, or utility assigned to something based on its benefits, usefulness, or significance.

Value added
Value added: A term used to describe activities that transform input into a customer (internal or external) usable output.

Value Added Time
Time spent on activities that directly contribute to creating value for the customer within a process or production.

Value analysis
Value analysis: Analyzing the value stream to identify value added and nonvalue added activities.

Value engineering
Value engineering: Analyzing the components and process that create a product, with an emphasis on minimizing costs while maintaining standards required by the customer.

Value order
A sequence or priority of tasks, activities, or steps based on their perceived value or significance within a process.

Value stream
Value stream: All activities, both value added and nonvalue added, required to bring a product from raw material state into the hands of the customer, bring a customer requirement from order to delivery and bring a design from concept to launch. Also see “information flow” and “hoshin planning.”

Value Stream Analysis
The assessment and analysis of a value stream to identify inefficiencies, waste, and opportunities for improvement.

Value stream loops
Value stream loops: Segments of a value stream with boundaries broken into loops to divide future state implementation into manageable pieces.

Value stream manager
Value stream manager: A person responsible for creating a future state map and leading door-to-door implementation of the future state for a particular product family. Makes change happen across departmental and functional boundaries.

Value Stream Map
A visual representation of a value stream, detailing the flow of materials, information, and processes from start to end.

Value stream mapping
Value stream mapping: A pencil-and-paper tool used in two stages. First, follow a product’s production path from beginning to end and draw a visual representation of every process in the material and information flows. Second, draw a future state map of how value should flow. The most important map is the future state map.

Value-Adding Activities
Activities within a process that directly contribute to creating value for the customer or meet their requirements.

Value-Enabling Activities
Supportive or auxiliary activities within a process that facilitate or enable value-adding activities to function effectively.

Values: The fundamental beliefs that drive organizational behavior and decision making.

The extent of variation or deviation from the mean or expected value within a dataset or a process.

A factor or quantity that can vary or change within a dataset or a process, influencing the outcome or result.

Variable data
Variable data: Measurement information. Control charts based on variable data include average (X-bar) chart, range (R) chart, and sample standard deviation (s) chart (see individual listings).

Variable x
A variable representing one set of data or factors within a statistical or mathematical model, often denoted as 'x'.

Variable y
A variable representing another set of data or factors within a statistical or mathematical model, often denoted as 'y'.

Variables chart
A graphical representation showing how variables change or behave over time or across different conditions.

Measure of the deviation of a random variable from its expectation. This value is calculated by dividing the sum of the squared deviations by the mean by the number of measured values.

Variance covariance matrix
A matrix displaying the covariance between multiple variables in a dataset, used in statistical modeling and analysis.

Variance inflation factor
A factor used to detect and address multicollinearity issues in regression analysis, indicating inflated variance in predictors.

Quantity whose range of values is known but where it is not known which characteristic value it randomly takes on in a particular case.

Variation: A change in data, characteristic or function caused by one of four factors: special causes, common causes, tampering or structural variation (see individual entries).

Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V., Frankfurt.

Verband der Automobilindustrie – Quality Management Center.

Verband der Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik e. V., Frankfurt.

Verein Deutscher Ingenieure, Düsseldorf.

Verification: The act of determining whether products and services conform to specific requirements.

Potentially an acronym or abbreviation with context-specific meaning or significance.

Virtual team
Virtual team: Remotely situated individuals affiliated with a common organization, purpose or project, who conduct their joint effort via electronic communication.

Vision: An overarching statement of the way an organization wants to be; an ideal state of being at a future point.

Visual controls
Visual controls: Any devices that help operators quickly and accurately gauge production status at a glance. Progress indicators and problem indicators help assemblers see when production is ahead, behind or on schedule. They allow everyone to instantly see the group’s performance and increase the sense of ownership in the area. Also see “andon board,” “kanban,” “production board,” “painted floor” and “shadow board.”

Visual Factory
A manufacturing or production environment where information is displayed visually to convey processes, metrics, or instructions.

Visual Management
A management approach utilizing visual aids or tools to communicate information, goals, or standards within an organization.

Vital few, useful many
Vital few, useful many: A term Joseph M. Juran used to describe the Pareto principle, which he first defined in 1950. (The principle was used much earlier in economics and inventory control methods.) The principle suggests most effects come from relatively few causes; that is, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the possible causes. The 20% of the possible causes are referred to as the “vital few;” the remaining causes are referred to as the “useful many.” When Juran first defined this principle, he referred to the remaining causes as the “trivial many,” but realizing that no problems are trivial in quality assurance, he changed it to “useful many.” Also see “eighty-twenty (80-20).”

Voice of the Business, referring to information or insights representing the business's needs, goals, or priorities.

Voice of the Customer, insights or feedback directly obtained from customers to understand their needs, preferences, or expectations.

VOC (see also: Customer requirement)
“Voice of the Customer”

Voice of the customer
Voice of the customer: The expressed requirements and expectations of customers relative to products or services, as documented and disseminated to the providing organization’s members.

Voice of the Customer (VOC)
Customer feedback, opinions, or preferences that guide decision-making and product/service development strategies.

Voice of the Process (VOP)
Information or data derived from internal processes, operations, or systems within an organization.

Voluntary standard
Voluntary standard: A standard that imposes no inherent obligation regarding its use.

Potentially an acronym or abbreviation with context-specific meaning or significance.

Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, representing the challenges in today's dynamic business environment.


Delays or idle time experienced by resources, materials, or processes, often resulting in inefficiencies or waste.

Warning limit
Limiting values in a quality control chart that lie between the desired value (mean value) and the values for the action limits. If the characteristic value falls above or below this value, this usually leads to intensified monitoring of the process. (On the basis of DIN 55350-33)

Warranty prediction
Predictive analysis or modeling techniques aiming to forecast warranty-related expenses or issues in products or services.

Waste: Any activity that consumes resources and produces no added value to the product or service a customer receives. Also known as muda.

Waste / Muda
A term used in lean methodologies referring to any non-value-adding activities or practices within a process.

Waste types
See Muda.

Water Strider or Water Spider / mizusumashi
A lean manufacturing concept describing a worker who supplies materials or components to assembly lines in a just-in-time manner.

Waterfall model
A sequential software development methodology involving linear and phased progression through defined stages or phases.

Potentially an acronym or abbreviation with context-specific meaning or significance.

Weibull distribution
A probability distribution commonly used to model reliability or failure rates in engineering and reliability analysis.

Weighed voting
Weighed voting: A way to prioritize a list of issues, ideas or attributes by assigning points to each item based on its relative importance.

Weighted regression
A regression analysis method where different data points or variables are assigned different weights based on their importance.

When from text WHEN
Potentially a reference to extracting temporal information or timestamps from text data.

White Belt
Entry-level certification or role in Six Sigma or Lean methodologies, often representing basic knowledge and participation.

World Health Organization.

Whole plot and subplot error
A statistical term related to experimental design, denoting errors associated with experimental units and treatments.

Why Why
An iterative questioning technique used in root cause analysis to delve deeper into underlying causes or factors.

Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney test
Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney test: Used to test the null hypothesis that two populations have identical distribution functions against the alternative hypothesis that the two distribution functions differ only with respect to location (median), if at all. It does not require the assumption that the differences between the two samples are normally distributed. In many applications, it is used in place of the two-sample t-test when the normality assumption is questionable. This test can also be applied when the observations in a sample of data are ranks, that is, ordinal data rather than direct measurements.

Potentially an acronym or abbreviation with context-specific meaning or significance.

Work breakdown structure
The work breakdown structure is the hierarchical breakdown of the project tasks into sub-tasks, down to level of the sub-tasks that are relevant for the person or the department. It comprises the description of the main tasks, sub-tasks and work packages. The work breakdown structure can be function-based (activities), object-based, or mixed (object and function).

Work environment
Environmental conditions at the workplace. This can include physical conditions such as temperature, social conditions such as working hours, psychological conditions such as working atmosphere, or environmental factors. (On the basis of ISO 9000:2015)

Work in process
Work in process: Items between machines or equipment waiting to be processed.

Work in Process (WIP)
Inventory or materials in various stages of completion within a production or manufacturing process.

Work instruction
See Document.

Work team
Work team: See “natural team.”

Days considered as operational or workable within a specific context, often excluding weekends or holidays.