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ABC Inventory - A methodology for determining inventory levels based on value, space consumption, and turns.

Abilene Paradox - based on a story of a group of people that ended up agreeing to go to Abilene, when in reality none of them wanted to go.

Acceptable Quality Level
- aka AQL - The maximum percentage or proportion of non-conformities in a lot or batch that can be considered satisfactory as a process average.

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

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 Sampling Plan - A specific plan that indicates the sampling sizes and associated acceptance or non acceptance 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/ASQ A3534-2-1993: Statistics—Vocabulary and Symbols—Statistical Quality Control.

Acceptance Sampling - Statistical quality control technique used in deciding to accept or reject a shipment of input or output. 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. OR Statistical quality control technique used in deciding to accept or reject a shipment of input or output.

Accountability
- Holding an individual or group subject to blame or penalty for the results of specified tasks, functions or results. The risk can be that the individual or group, while having responsibility to make a contribution to the task or result, cannot control all of the factors affecting the outcome and may be blamed (or credited) undeservedly for effects of other factors.

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

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. Or Certification by a duly recognized body of the facilities, capability, objectivity, competence, and integrity of an agency, service or operational group or individual to provide the specific service(s) or operation(s) needed.

Accredited Registrars
- Qualified organizations certified by a national body (e.G., The registrar accreditation board in the U.S.) To perform audits to the qs-9000 and to register the audited facility as meeting these requirements for a given commodity.

Accuracy
- The degree of agreement of the results of a measurement process with an established standard (see "precision"). Assumes the measurement process is in statistical control. Or The characteristic of a measure.

Active Data Gathering
- A method for gathering data that involves approaching respondents to get information.

Actively Solicited Customer Feedback
- Proactive methods for obtaining customer feedback such as calling customers on the telephone or inviting customers to participate in focus groups.

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.

Activity network Diagram - Also knows as a PERT diagram, an activity network diagram is a tool used in controlling projects. An arrow diagram used in planning.

Activity Plan - To define all of the steps needed to complete a project. For the implementation of complex solutions to indicate who will do what by when. Include all tasks even if they seem to be small. Allow appropriate lag times between related tasks.

Activity-Based Costing (ABC) - A costing system that identifies the various activities performed in a firm and uses multiple cost drivers (non-volume as well as the volume based cost drivers) to assign overhead costs (or indirect costs) to products. ABC Costing considers the impact and relationship of cost drivers with activities performed.

Advanced Product Quality Planning
- aka APQP - Tool of automotive industry sponsored by the Big 3 (GM, Ford, Daimler Chrysler)which includes investigating and managing all requirements of the customer in developing the product and manufacturing process

Adverse Event -
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.

Aesthetics - A dimension of quality that refers to subjective sensory characteristics such as taste, sound, look, and smell. OR A term used to describe appearance attributes; more often referred to as “cosmetics,” it deals with subjective criteria used to evaluate how well a thing conforms to customer requirements for pleasing or unobtrusive appearance.

Affinity Diagram
- A tool that is used to help groups identify the common themes that are associated with a particular problem. A process to organize disparate language information by placing it on cards and grouping the cards that go together in a creative way. “Header” cards are then used to summarize each group of cards. OR A tool that is used to help groups identify the common themes that are associated with a particular problem. (usually gathered during a brainstorming activity).

Agile Manufacturing
- Is the ability to accomplish rapid changeover between the manufacture of different assemblies. Rapid changeover is further defined as the ability to move from the assembly of one product to the assembly of a similar product with a minimum of change in tooling and software. Rapid changeover enables the production of small lot sizes, allowing for `just-in-time' production.

Aka
- Abbreviation of "Also Known As".

Algorithm
- A procedure for carrying out a task.

Alignment
- Term that refers to optimal coordination among disparate departments and divisions within a firm.

Alignment -
Actions to ensure that a process or activity supports the organization’s strategy, goals and objectives. It is usually a term that refers to optimal coordination among disparate departments and divisions within a firm.

Alpha Value - The risk of being wrong when completing a hypothesis test. The chi-square table is computed in such as way that if the assumption of "normal data" is true for a given X-bar and sigma, the results of the chi-square test will be incorrectly rejected only 5% of the time. This calculation reflects the alpha value.

Alternative Hypothesis
- A null hypothesis (typically that there is no effect) is compared with an alternative hypothesis (typically that there is an effect, or that there is an effect of a particular sign).

American National Standards Institute-American Society for Quality (ANSI-ASQ) -
Organization that accredits certification bodies for ISO 9001 quality management systems, ISO 14001 environmental management systems and other industry specific requirements.

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

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 more than 108,000 individuals and 1,100 corporate members in the United States and 108 other countries.

American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) - Name of ASQ from 1946 through the middle of 1997, when the name was changed to ASQ.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International - Not-forprofit 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) - Not-forprofit 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) - A membership organization providing materials, education and support related to workplace learning and performance.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) - Basic computer characters accepted by all American machines and many foreign ones.

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 non statisticians 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) - 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.

Andon
- A Japanese term that refers to the warning lights on an assembly line that light up when a defect occurs. When the lights go on, the assembly line is usually stopped until the problem is diagnosed and corrected.

Andon Board -
A "Visual Control" (from andon, a Japanese word meaning “light”). device that indicates the "Status" of a machine, line, or process. Frequently audible alarms or warning messages accompany ANDON status lights as a secondary method of communicating a problem has arisen. ANDON's can be very effective in highly automated processes to alert support personnel of problems who must attend to several automated processes at a time or are not located in close proximity to the machines they oversee.

Annuity Relationship
- This occurs when a business receives many repeat purchases from a customer. The income is received steadily over time from a single customer.

Anova - ANalysis Of Variance
- A statistical method for understanding the similarities and differences between different distributions.

Anova Studies
- Similar to t tests, except that more statistical information is obtained about the components of product and process variation.

Appraisal Cost -
The cost of ensuring an organization is continually striving to conform to customers’ quality requirements. OR Expenses associated with the direct costs of measuring quality.

APQP
- Advanced Product Quality Planning: Tool of automotive industry sponsored by the Big 3 (GM, Ford, Daimler Chrysler)which includes investigating and managing all requirements of the customer in developing the product and manufacturing process.

AQL
- Acceptable Quality Level: the maximum percentage or proportion of non-conformities in a lot or batch that can be considered satisfactory as a process average.

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
- SAE AS9100 is the quiding document for quality system requirements for suppliers to the aerospace industry.

Assessment
- An evaluation process including a document review, an on-site audit and an analysis and report. OR 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
- (1) Outside influences on the process's performance that change the nature and add variation to a process. One should look for assignable causes for points outside the control limits or points inside the limits with unnatural patterns. (2) (also special cause) A source of variation that is not part of the inherent variation for which it is often possible to assign the reason for the variation. OR 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.” (3) An assignable cause is a source of variation that is intermittent, not predictable. It is sometimes called "special cause" variation. On a control chart, an assignable cause is signaled by points beyond the control limits or nonrandom patterns within the control limits.

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

Assurance
- A dimension of service quality that refers to the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence.

Attribute
- A binomial state of being. OR A characteristic that can take only one value.

Attribute Data
- (1) (also discrete data) can be described as the number of times something happens or not and is therefore an integer quantity. Attribute data cannot be logically subdivided; you cannot have 0.4 Of a ‘defect’. (2) data arising by classifying the individual outcomes of a process into two or more categories or by counting the number of occurrences per unit of time, area or volume. OR 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. (3) Attributes data is data that can be classified and counted. There are two types of attributes data: counts of defects per item or group of items (nonconformities) and counts of defective items (nonconforming). For example, yes/no, good/bad, pass/fail, and go/no go.

Attributes, Method of -
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.

Attrition
- The practice of not hiring new employees to replace older employees who either quit or retire.

Audit
(1) An on-site verification activity used to determine the effective implementation of a supplier's documented quality system. (2) Systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which audit criteria are fulfilled. (3) A timely process or system, inspection to ensure that specifications conform to documented quality standards. An Audit also brings out discrepancies between the documented standards and the standards followed and also might show how well or how badly the documented standards support the processes currently followed.

Audit Conclusion
- Outcome of an audit provided by the audit team after consideration of the audit objectives and all audit findings.

Audit Criteria
- Set of policies, procedures or requirements used as a reference (while conducting an audit).

Audit Evidence
- Records, statements of fact or other information which are relevant to the audit criteria and verifiable.

Audit Findings
- Results of the evaluation of the collected audit evidence against audit criteria.

Audit Program
- set of one or more audits planned for a specific time frame and directed towards a specific purpose.

Audit Team
- one or more auditors conducting an audit.

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.

Auditee
- Client organization or person requesting an audit.

Auditor
- Person with the competence to conduct an audit.

Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) -
A global automotive trade association with about 1,600 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.

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

Average
- (1) Aka Arithmetic Average when dealing with numbers (Data). (2) Another term for a mean, it is an indicator of the center of a set of data points. It is found by adding all the individual values and dividing by the number of values.

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
- aka AOQ - the expected average quality level of outgoing product for a given value of incoming product quality. OR The expected average quality level of an outgoing product for a given value of incoming product quality.

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. OR The maximum average outgoing quality over all possible levels of incoming quality for a given acceptance sampling plan and disposal specification.

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) The average number of sample units inspected per lot in reaching decisions to accept or reject.

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).

Award Audits
- Site visits relating to award programs.

Axioms of Probability
- There are three axioms of probability: (1) chances are always at least zero. (2) The chance that something happens is 100%. (3) If two events cannot both occur at the same time (if they are disjoint or mutually exclusive), the chance that either one occurs is the sum of the chances that each occurs.