Every quality management practitioner needs a handy reference of quality terms and acronyms.

If you have ideas for new quality terms or would like to add to an existing term, contact us at info@roveconsultancy.co.uk

A - Z quality management terminology

A is for...

Affinity diagram: A business tool used to organise ideas and data. It is the organised output from a brainstorming session. It will prove useful when a large amount of information needs to be analysed.

Audit: A systematic assessment of an organisation’s QMS to ensure compliance to requirements.  It can be applied to a whole organisation, or look at particular functions, processes or production measures.

B is for...

Balanced scorecard: Developed in the 1990’s by Kaplan & Norton the balanced scorecard is a framework used for monitoring and managing an organisation’s strategy. The balanced scorecard will help clarify your team’s vision and strategy for improvement and then turning them into clear objectives and measures.

Benchmarking: A practice of comparing business processes and performance metrics against industry standards and best practices from other companies. It is used to determine how these are achieved and this information is used to improve its own performance.

C is for...

Cause: An identified explanation for the existence of a problem or defect.

Cause and effect diagram (also known as an Ishikawa or “fishbone” diagram): Is a graphical tool used to logically organise the many possible causes for a specific problem or effect by displaying them graphically. https://www.quality.org/knowledge/quality-tool-cause-and-effect-diagram

Change management: The application of a structured process, tools and techniques used to manage change and achieve a desired effect.

Charter: A written document, issued and approved by management which defines the scale of authority for an improvement project or team.

Continuous improvement (CI): Continuous improvement is the ongoing improvement of all areas of an organisation, ie: processes, tools, products, or services, through incremental and breakthrough improvements.

D is for...

DFMEA:  Design failure mode and effect analysis (DFMEA) is a systematic group of activities used to recognise and evaluate potential systems, products, or process failures. DFMEA identifies the effects and outcomes of these failures or actions.

DMADV: Define—Measure—Analyze—Design—Verify (DMADV) is a data driven quality strategy for designing products and processes – it is an integral part of a Six Sigma quality initiative.

F is for...

FMEA: Failure mode effects analysis (FMEA) is a systematised group of activities to recognise 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.

P is for...

PDCA: Plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle is 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.

PDPC: The process decision program chart (PDPC) provides a systematic means of finding errors in a plan – while it is being created. Once potential issues are found, preventive measures are developed, allowing the problems to either be avoided or a contingency plan to be in place should the error occur.

PESTLE, PESTEL or PEST: Is a strategic framework used to identify macroenvironmental influences on an organisation or a business. The PESTLE framework divides external influences into six sections: Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental.

Poka-Yoke: A 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.

Q is for...

QFD: Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a structured approach to defining customer needs or requirements and translating them into specific plans to produce products to meet those needs.

R is for...

RACI:  responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. Describes the contribution of various roles in completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process.

S is for...

SPL:  single point lesson, also known as one point lesson. This is a one-page procedure that uses images and short-form text to communicate the expectations of a process. It is intended to be a quick and precise way to learn about a complex process.