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5W2H approach  A set of basic questions, five that begin with a W (Who? What? Where? When? Why?) and two that begin with an H (How? and How much?). Used as a basis for process improvement.
Benchmarking  the process of measuring performance against the best in the same or another industry.
Brainstorming  a technique for generating a free flow of ideas in a group of people.
cause-and-effect diagram  also called a fishbone diagram; a problem solving tool resembling the skeleton of a fish.
check sheet  a tool for recording data to identify a problem.
conformance  the characteristics of the product satisfy the established standard for the characteristics.
continuous improvement  philosophy that seeks to make never-ending improvements in the process of converting inputs into outputs.
control chart  a statistical of time-ordered values of a sample statistic.
fail-safe  elements are incorporated into the design of the product which make it virtually impossible for an employee or a customer to do something incorrectly.
fishbone diagram  see cause-and-effect diagram.
histogram  a chart of an empirical frequency distribution.
interviewing  a technique for identifying problems and collecting information.
kaizen  Japanese term for continuous improvement.
Pareto analysis  analysis that organizes categories of items according to degree of importance or frequency of occurrence. The purpose is to direct efforts to those items which have the greatest potential for improvement.
plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle  is the conceptual basis for continuous improvement. It provides a structure for improvement efforts.
process improvement  a systematic approach to improving a process.
quality at the source  making each worker responsible for the quality of his or her work.
quality circles  groups of workers who meet to discuss ways of improving products or processes.
run chart  a tool for tracking results over a period of time.
scatter diagram  a graph that shows the degree and direction of the relationship between two variables.
total quality management (TQM)  a philosophy that involves everyone in an organization in a continual effort to improve quality and achieve customer satisfaction.

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