Dictionary of TQM Terms


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for lecture web pages, course notes, in-class PowerPoint presentations, Excel templates, papers, etc. for TQM, QFD, Hoshin, and related topics.

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary. If the term you are looking for starts with a digit or symbol, choose the '#' link. Follow greater details by pressing the arrow.

- A -

Activities Network Diagram
Ackoff, Russel
Democratic Corporation
Adobe Acrobat
A cross-platform viewer of documents for the internet. Get your free copy of Acrobat Reader here.

Affinity Diagram

Akao Yoji

Co-founder of QFD with Mizuno Shigeru, and hoshin leader. Co-editor of QFD: The Customer-Driven Approach to Quality Planning and Deployment. [Translated by Glenn Mazur] Asian Productivity Organization. ISBN 92-833-1122-1 The bible of QFD.

Editor of QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT: Integrating Customer Requirements into Product Design [Translated by Glenn Mazur] Productivity Press. ISBN 0-915299-41-0 The best collection of advanced QFD case studies.

Americans with Diasabilities Act (ADA)

A US program to assure businesses and their goods and services are accessible to people with disabilities. The law defines defines accessibility on the basis of function, and thus is a good fit with QFD to priorotize functions according to customer needs. Thus, with a cleasr definition of customer driven functions, we can craft job descriptions and tasks to take advantage of the abilities of people with disabilities.

Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)

Detailed description of AHP.

Download the Expert Choice software developed to do AHP. DOS and Windows versions available. A manual workaround is described by clicking here.

AHP has been applied to many situations. Industry, government, education, and other templates have been developed. Click here for details.

You don't like grade point averages (GPA). Guess what? They're mathematically meaningless, which means that you can't tell if it's right or wrong! Click here to see why.

And be sure not to commit "ordinal sins." Learn the truth about scales by clicking here.

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- B -

Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is a revolutionary framework which translates a company's vision and strategy into a coherent set of performance measures. In addition, it is a tool to channel the energies, abilities, and specific knowledge held by employees toward achieving long-term goals. 'A landmark achievement.'--Michael Hammer, author of Reengineering the Corporation.

Dr. Norton's approach

Samples from US governemt

Bar Chart


Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

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- C -

Cause and Effect Diagram

Chaos Theory and Complexity

...and Healthcare Management by Doug Hutchinson.

Control Chart

Control Points and Check Points

Probably the most important and least understood aspect of TQM. They pervade every TQM system, method, and approach as shown by the table below.

TQM Method Control Point Check Point
SPC process outputs process inputs
Kaizen results process
Fishbone Diagram effect cause
QI Story target or goal improvement results
Daily Managment control point check point
Hoshin Mgt. target means
Cross Function Mgt target means
QFD demanded quality quality characteristics
Taguchi Methods trial results controllable factors

The control point is the desired result of a process. In understanding variation and SPC, the control point is some aspect of the process output that we measure and use a control chart to assure statistical stability. Once statistically stable, we can only improve the process outputs by more tightly controlling process inputs, since we cannot directly improve process outputs themselves. These process inputs are called check points.

This mechanical concept is carried over to business processes in TQM. Unlike other management approaches such as "Management by Objectives (MBO), TQM manages by both objectives and the way in which we achieve them. It is as important to follow the standards as it is to achieve the results. Why? Let's say a business objective is achieved (such as reduced costs) because of outside uncontrollable influences such as the price of oil going down. Competitors will receive the same benefit and so there will be no net market gain. If both process and results are pursued, than the company might actually realize a better cost reduction that the competition. Conversely, if the cost of oil goes up, all competitors will be effected, but the TQM company will have offsetting gains from following the business process as well.

The same concept can be extended to the roles of managers. Each manager has both control points and check points on the job. At the higher management level, the control points are policy targets and the check points policy means to achieve them. The manager's check points may become the subordinate's control points.

Both control points and check points should contain direction (improve, decrease, etc.) + indicator (quality, customer satisfaction, etc.) + target value (how much, #, %, etc.) + time limit (by when).


Cost management systems

Covey's Principle-Centered Leadership

Creativity , See also Invention.

Creativity Page

deBono, Edward and Lateral Thinking

Design Management Institute Journal

Index of books on Creativity Website

National Center for Creativity

Critical Chain Project Management

Larry Leach's web site on Critical Chain Project Management

Schedule Management by Richard Zultner

Cross-Function Management

Cross Functional Teams

Multi-disciplinary teams assembled often to focus on a specific project requiring multiple skills and perspectives. This is not the same as Cross-Function Management.

University Programs:

San Jose State University Continuing Education


Clemson University

Customer visits

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- D -

Daily Management

Data Sheet

deBono, Edward

Biography and works

Direct Attention Thinking Tools (DATT)

Discussion list: how to join.

Lateral Thinking

Six Thinking Hats


Deming, W. Edwards

14 Points
From Out of the Crisis, Deming gives his guidelines for successful management.
Biographical Sketch
Deming Homepage at MIT
Deming Institute
Deming Prize

One of the top Quality Awards in the world today. It is given annually to companies that achieve an ever invreasing rigorous level of quality.

Out of the Crisis
One of Deming's definitive books.
System of Profound Knowledge

Design Management

Design Management Institute

Design for Manufacturability (DFM)

University Programs:

San Jose State University Continuing Education

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- E -

Expert Choice software for AHP.

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- F -

Fault Tree Analysis

Force Field Analysis

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- G -

Gage Study and Capability

Gantt Chart

Guiding Principles, Vision, Mission

Guiding Principles should reflect the philosophy of the company throughout its life. It sets boundaries on what activities will be acceptable. Issues of contribution to society, respect for environment and people, commitment to quality for customers, suppliers, employees, pride in workmanship, etc. These are superordinate in that they transcend all other issues. They are purposely fuzzy so that they can be held to under any and all circumstances.

Definitions by Satoshi Nakui

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- H -


One of America's most quality conscious companies. Click here for their approach to PDCA and problem solving.


Hoshin Management

Hoshin software by Pete Babich. For a demo, click here.

Satoshi Nakui's definition of hoshin management click here and here.

Japanese characters.

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- I -




ISO 9000

Comparison of MBNQA and ISO 9000 standards by Marc Smith at Caymen Systems International.

ISO 9000:2000, ISO 14000 website at the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

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- J -

Japanese Society for Quality

This organization represents the academic community in the Japanese quality movement. Based on the 40th Symposium of the JSQ, TQC Systemization Committee, I have updated and added some North American approaches to their basic program. Click here for details.

Japan Standards Association

JSA 10 Week TQM Course outline

JUSE. See Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers

Just-in-Time (JIT)

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- K -

KJ Methods™

This is the grouping method that creates the Affinity Diagram. Developed and trademarked by Japanese cultural anthropologist Kawakita Jiro, there are several methods for organizing data based on the inherent structures of the data itself. This method has proven most useful in uncovering the latent structures of customer needs in QFD.


Kano, Noriaki

Paper on state of US industry.

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- L -

Lanchester Strategy

Background on Lanchester by John Schuler, Manager of Equipment Programs, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International

New Lanchester Strategy by Shinichi Yano. 3 Volume comic books explaining the use and details of this strategy for marketing, sales, and new product development. Considered by many to be a significant reason for Japanese domination of certain markets.

Volume 1 explains the principles.

Volume 2 is strategies for the weak.

Volume 3 is strategies for the strong.

Lanchester Strategy at work in the hard drive market.

Lateral Thinking

Learning Organization

Review or join the Learning Organization Mail list.

Learning Organization Home Page.

Spiritual Organizations

5th Discipline, by Peter Senge.

5th Discipline Field Book.

NASA's Bibliography

Long Term Business Plan

Loss Function

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- M -

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

Click here to download a copy of the latest version of the MBNQA booklet. It is in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format or *.pdf. This format can be read on any platform with an Adobe Acrobat reader. To obtain a free copy of the Adobe Acrobat reader for your type of computer, please click here.

Comparison of MBNQA and ISO 9000 standards by Marc Smith at Cayman Systems International.


Mazur, Glenn

Instructor for Sections 001 and 002 of ENG 401, TQM at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. For details about Mazur's background, papers and publications, and how to contact him, click here.

Mission Statement

Mission describes the activities for achieving the Vision. The Mission is the cause and the Vision the effect. The Mission statement may also contain verb (design, train, maintain, etc.) + object (system, strategy, etc.) + target value (how much, #, %, etc. This is optional) + time limit (should be same time frame as Vision)

Other Definitions

Mizuno Shigeru

Co-founder of Quality Function Deployment with Yoji Akao. Co-editor of QFD: The Customer-Driven Approach to Quality Planning and Deployment. [Translated by Glenn Mazur] Asian Productivity Organization. ISBN 92-833-1122-1 The bible of QFD.

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- N -

Nakui, Satoshi (Cha)

One of the sharpest of the the young Japanese TQM consultants.

Home Court Advantage A sports methophor for TQM.

 New Product Development

Nominal Group Technique

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- P -

Pareto Chart


Pie Chart

Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA or PDCA)

Originally Shewhart's Plan-Do-Check-Act or the application of the scientific method to engineering and management. Deming later changed Check to Study. A look-before-you-leap approach to standardization or maintenance (Standardize-Do-Check-Act), solving problems and improvement or reactive mode (Check-Act-Plan-Do) and achieving opportunities and new developments or proactive mode (Plan-Do-Check-Act).
PDSA at Hewlett-Packard.
Detailed explanation from the Deming Library at Clemson University (zipped).


Japanese approach to mistake proofing. Primarily activities for front-line employees empowered to make changes to their work processes to enchance accuracy, safety, and efficiency.

John Grout's Pokayoke homepage

Problem solving methods

Process capability


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- Q -

QC Story

QFD (Quality Function Deployment)

QFD Software. A free demo of QFD Capture™ is available from ITI.

QFD Institute

Discussion list: how to join

QFDI Forums

QFD Master Class

QFD Symposia Transactions (papers and case studies)

QFD Demo Software

US Software

QFD Designer from Qualisoft. Integrates many modern hyperlink and web features. Nicely thought out.

QFD Capture from ITI. A sophisticated commercial QFD software.

Japanese and European Software

A report evaluating QFD software was published in 1997 by the QFD Institute of Germany.

QFD Trial from Prof. Shindo or Yamanashi University, winner of the 1997 Akao Prize for Excellence in QFD. This is a 30 day beta that does several linked matrices and the Quantification Method III, the first time available in English.

QFD 2000 from TQS in England has a 30 day demo that supports several QFD deployments.

Portuguese QFD Software.

QFD Books

Akao, Yoji, ed. 1990. QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT: Integrating Customer Requirements into Product Design [Translated by Glenn Mazur] Productivity Press. ISBN 0-915299-41-0 The best collection of advanced QFD case studies.

Cohen, Lou. 1995. Quality Function Deployment: How to Make QFD Work for You. Addison-Wesely. ISBN 0-201-63330-2

Daetz, Doug et al. 1995. Customer Integration: The Quality Function Deployment (QFD) Leader's Guide for Decision Making. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0471-13277-2

Mazur, Glenn. Comprehensive QFD for Products.

Mazur, Glenn. Comprehensive QFD for Services.

Mazur, Glenn. QFD for Small Business.

Mazur, Glenn. QFD for Food Products.

Mizuno, Shigeru and Yoji Akao, ed. 1994. QFD: The Customer-Driven Approach to Quality Planning and Deployment. [Translated by Glenn Mazur] Asian Productivity Organization. ISBN 92-833-1122-1 The bible of QFD.

QFD Institute. 1989-present annual editions of Transaction of the Symposia on QFD. Click here for contents and title search function. Annual proceedings,  case studies, and methodology papers on QFD and related topics from the QFD Symposia.

Revelle, Jack et al. 1998. The QFD Handbook. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-17381-9

Shillito, M. Larry. 1994. Advanced QFD: Linking Technology to Market and Company Needs. Wiley-Interscience. ISBN 0-471-03377-4


Comparison of MBNQA and ISO 9000 standards by Marc Smith at Caymen Systems International.

QS-9000 website at American Society for Quality (ASQ).

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- R -

Radar Chart

Relations Diagram (Interrelationship Digraph)


Results Focus Tools

See Statistical Process Control.

Risk Management

The simplest and possibly best definition of risk is: The possibility of loss, injury, disadvantage or destruction. Apply this definition to the issues of program management and you have the starting point for successful risk management.

Run Chart

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- S -

SAE Auto Product News

Press releases from suppliers and automakers regarding new products and other news, courtesy of the Society for Automotive Engineers.

Scatter Diagram


Don't commit an "ordinal sin."

Senge, Peter

Systems Thinking

Learning Organizations

Shewhart, Walter

Father of statistcial quality control.

Six Sigma

American Society for Quality Six Sigma Forum website

Software Quality Maturity Model

The Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University has developed a 5-stage model for determining the degree of quality in software development. This is an important step, since unlike a hardware or service product where defects are more easily visible and detectable, software defects may not emerge until an information system is up and running and some untested convergence of data or circumstances occurs. Thus, the software maturity model measures not the quality of the software, but the quality of the software development process - how the people, processes, systems, compliance, etc. work. This is truly quality assurance at its best.

Other sites.

Summary of the Software Quality Maturity Model

Process Perspectives Forum

Spider Chart




Statistical Quality Control (SQC)

Statistical Process Control (SPC)

On-line software demos from Ganesha.

Free software demos from IQD.

Suggestions Systems (Teian)

Systems Thinking

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- T -

Taguchi Methods

Loss Function

Task Deployment

Analysis of people processes and work to determine who, what, when, where, why, how, how measured, etc. Used in:

Click here for a detailed report on Task Deployment.

Team Memory Jogger™

A collection of the some of the best tips and practices on team skills. Published by GOAL/QPC in this handy pocket-size book. Click here for details and ordering information.

Theory of Constraints

Larry Leach's TOC Website:

Tools of Theory of Constraints.

David Schucavage's "Crazy About Constraints" Website

Matchstick and Die Roll Inventory. On-line simulation from The Goal by Goldratt and Cox. This demonstrates that in a system of sequential dependent processes, throughput is not the average of the all the process steps. Gains (above average) in one step can be lost by subsequent steps performing below average. Delays, however will accumulate. The effect on project management is the theme of Goldratt's later book, Critical Chain.

TQM implementation timeline

Total Quality Management (TQM)

TQM is management and control activities based on the leadership of top management and based on the involvement of all employees and all departments from planning and development to sales and service. These management and control activities focus on quality assurance by which those qualities which satisfy the customer are built into products and services during the above processes and then offered to consumers. --JSQC

TQM model developed by Satoshi Nakui.

Other TQM Websites


Tree Diagram

TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving)


Glenn Mazur's at University of Michigan



Invention Machine

John B. Opfell

The TRIZ Journal


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- U -

Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE)


Unorganisation: Downstructuring towards Collapsible Corporations is all about how economic, social and political institutions dominate individuals. This domination has adverse affects because managers and politicians only partially understand the new unorganised world and have not changed their behaviour to adjust to it.
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- V -

Value Engineering, Value Analysis


Managing Variation

Some interesting shareware programs have been developed to demonstrate the effects of variation on a system.
Click here to download and evaluate a program called vari.zip or its new version tennis.zip. Another program , funnel.zip, animates Deming's funnel experiment. These are zipped (compressed) files. If you do not already have the program to unzip these files, click here to download pkunzip. If you can't get this software to work, read Variation and Accuracy from SPC Essentials and Productivity Improvement: A Manufacturing Approach.

A case study about variation and Deming's 14 points. Click here.


Vision Statement

Vision and Mission have a cause and effect relationship. Vision should reflect what the organization sees for itself 5-10 years down the road. The short time frame helps assure that the organization revitalizes itself every decade or so. The Vision statement should contain direction (improve, decrease, etc.) + indicator (quality, customer satisfaction, etc.) + target value (how much, #, %, etc.) + time limit (by when).

Other Definitions

Voice of Customer

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- W -

World Wide Web Editing Software. I love Two Cows for getting shareware and careware programs. Here are some examples that I hope you will enjoy using to build and publish your World Wide Web Site.

Windows 95. Arachnophilia http://www.arachnoid.com/arachnophilia/
Windows 3.x. Hot Dog http://www.sausage.com/
Mcintosh. BBEdit Lite http://www.barebones.com/freeware.html
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- # -

3 Mu

Three Japanese words that mean waste (muda), strain (muri), and discrepancy (mura). Here's my version.

Look for muddling, muscling, or murkiness in
manpower facilities
techniques materials
methods products
time services
equipment activities


Five Japanese words that describe workplace and individual cleanliness activities.

  1. Straighten up your workplace or desk. (Seiri)
  2. Sort out your equipment. (Seiton)
  3. Sweep and clean your workplace. (Seiso)
  4. Spotlessly maintain your appearance and character. (Seiketsu)
  5. Self-discipline to follow rules, procedures, and standards. (Shitsuke)


A simple, but effective way to get to the root of a problem. Keep asking why at each successive level of detail. Ex.

  1. Why is there oil on the floor? There's a leaky forklift.
  2. Why does the forklift have a leak? It has a bad hydraulic hose.
  3. Why is the hydraulic hose bad? It is frayed at the fitting end and so oil leaks out under high pressure, such as lifting heavy loads.
  4. Why is the fitting end frayed? The hose is getting too old and soft.
  5. Why has it not been replaced? We have no one who is specifically responsible for equipment maintenance.

6 Sigma

7 Management and Planning Tools (7MP)

Check out a free software demo at http://www.iqd.com/updates.htm

7 Product Planning Tools (7PP)

These tools, when used in the manner prescribed by the JUSE, allow product planners to apply QFD to totally new products. While the tools are commonly used individually, the power of the 7PP tools is their flow and systematic approach. The tools are:

  1. Group Interview
  2. Questionnaire Survey
  3. Positioning
  4. Concept Checklist
  5. Concept Table
  6. Conjoint Analysis
  7. Quality Table (House of Quality).
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