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the ability of a product or service to consistently meet or exceed customer expectations

quality of design

intention of designers to include or exclude features in a product or service

quality of conformance

the degree to which goods or services conform to the intent of the designers

appraisal costs

costs of activities designed to ensure quality or uncover defects

prevention costs

costs of preventing defects from occurring

failure costs

costs caused by defective parts or products or by faulty service.

internal failures

failures discovered during production

external failures

failures discovered after delivery to the customer

return on quality

an approach that evaluates the financial return of investments in quality

Deming Prize

Prize established by the Japanese and awarded annually to firms that distinguish themselves with quality management programs

Baldrige Award

Annual award given by the U.S. government to recognize quality achievements of U.S. companies.

European Quality Award

European award for organizational excellence

ISO 9000

a set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance, critical to international business

ISO 14000

A set of international standards for assessing a company's environmental performance

ISO 24700

set of international standards that pertain to the quality and performance off office equipment that contains reused components

Total Quality management

a philosophy that involves everyone in an organization in a continual effort to improve quality and achieve customer satisfaction


incorporating design elements that prevent incorrect procedures

continuous improvement

philosophy that seeks to make never-ending improvements to the process of converting inputs into outputs


Japanese term for continuous improvement

Quality at the source

the philosophy of making each worker responsible for the quality of his or her work

six sigma

a business process for improving quality, reducing costs, and increasing customer satisfaction


a six-sigma process; define, measure, analyze, improve, and control

Lean/six sigma

an approach to continuous improvement that integrates lean operation principles and six-sigma techniques


a framework for problem solving and improvement activities

process improvement

a systematic approach to improving a process


a diagram of the steps in a process

check sheet

a tool for recording and organizing data to identify a problem


a chart of an empirical frequency distribution

pareto analysis

technique for classifying problem areas according to degree of importance, and focusing on the most important

scatter diagram

a graph that shows the degree and direction of relationship between two variables

control chart

a statistical chart of time-ordered values of a sample statistic

cause-and-effect diagram

a diagram used to search for the cause of a problem

run chart

tool for tracking results over a period of time


technique for generating a free flow of ideas in a group of people

quality circles

groups of workers who meet to discuss ways of improving products or processes


process of measuring performance against the best in the same or another industry

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