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Quality Assurance Terms Glossary/F

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Facilitate – (1) In a group meeting, to serve as a supporter of the meeting process, helping the group move through its agenda to its desired outcome, but not getting personally involved in the meeting content. (2) To "facilitate" efforts means to be help make things happen more readily or effectively.

Facilitation - Helping a team or individual achieve a goal. Often used in meeting or with teams to help the teams achieve their objectives.

Facilitator - The person who performs facilitation. This person may be trained in group dynamics, teamwork, and meeting management methods.

Factorial Experiments - Structured techniques for building a model of how two or more input variables affect an output variable. This technique is allows the discovery of interactions between input variables. The result of factorial experiment is a model that predicts how much each input, and all possible combinations of the inputs, influence the output.

FAI - First Article Inspection.

Failure Costs - Two sets of costs — internal failure costs and external failure costs. Internal failure costs include those costs that are associated with failure during production, whereas external failure costs are associated with product failure after the production process.

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis - (FMEA) - Method for systematically considering each component of a system by identifying, analyzing, and documenting the possible failure modes within a system and the effects of each failure on the system.

Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis - (FMECA) - An extensive but simple method for identifying ways in which an engineered system could fail. The primary goal of FMECA is to develop priorities for corrective action based on estimated risk.

False Discovery Rate - The fraction of rejected null hypotheses that are rejected erroneously (the number of type i errors divided by the number of rejected null hypotheses), with the convention that if no hypothesis is rejected, the false discovery rate is zero.

Fault Tree Analysis - An analytical tool that graphically renders the combination of faults that lead to the failure of a system.

Features - A dimension of quality that refers to those attributes of a product that supplement the item’s basic performance.

Final Product Definition - The process of articulating the final drawings and specifications for a product.

Financial Benchmarking - A type of benchmarking that typically involves using cd rom databases such as lexis/nexis or compact disclosure to gather information about competing firms to perform financial analyses and compare results.

Financial Ratios - Numerical ratios of firm performance such as return on equity, return on assets, and earnings per share.

Fishbone Diagram - Also known as a Cause and Effect Diagram or an Ishikawa Diagram, this is a tool for study of processes. It shows possible causes of an effect on the "bones" branching out from a line representing the process which produces the effect. Its primary limitation is that it has no means for adequately showing the possible inter-relationships of the various causes.

First Article - Including First Article Inspection

Fishing Expedition - Gathering data without any clear idea of what you are looking for, nor any plan for carefully investigating an issue.

Fitness For Use - A term used to indicate that a product or service fits the customer’s defined purpose for that product or service.

Fire Fighting - Spending one's time solving endless daily problems without improving the process or system that created them.

Five S (aka 5S) - Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke - A process for inducing discipline in an organization. Five terms beginning with "s" utilized to create a workplace suited for visual control and lean production. Seiri (sort) means to separate needed tools, parts, and instructions from unneeded materials and to remove the latter. Seiton (set in order) means to neatly arrange and identify parts and tools for ease of use. Seiso (shine) means to conduct a cleanup campaign. Seiketsu (standardize) means to conduct Seiri, Seiton, and Seiso at frequent, indeed daily, intervals to maintain a workplace in perfect condition. Shitsuke (sustain) means to form the habit of always following the first four s's.

Five Whys - A technique for discovering the root causes of a problem and showing the relationship of causes by repeatedly asking the question, "why?"

5W2H - Who, What, When, Where, Why, Wow, and Wow Wuch.

Flowchart, Flow Chart - A pictorial representation of the progression of a particular process over time. Generally, a pictorial display of the sequence of actions taken in a process or in carrying out a task. There are several types of flow charts or flow diagrams: 1) top down - detailed steps are listed under headings describing major actions. 2) Logic flow - a symbolic display of the logical sequence of actions and decisions in a process. 3) Deployment flow - actions, decisions, meetings, etc., Are listed sequentially and in columns according to the individual, group or function responsible for, or participating in, the particular step. 4) Organization viewed as a system - a picture of an entire organization's components and its customers and suppliers as a system, beginning with customer research and ending with customers who use the output.

FMEA - Failure modes effects analysis. A quality planning method that involves thinking about what might go wrong, what are the chances of it going wrong and what might be the consequences of it going wrong, leading to a plan for prevention and/or containment.

Focus Group - A group of people who are brought together and are asked to share their opinions about a particular product or service.

Force Field Analysis - A commonly used method of examining the conditions or forces which tend to drive a particular action or change as well as the forces which tend to prevent that action or change from occurring or succeeding. Once listed, strategies can then be devised to either increase one or more of the driving forces or decrease one or more of the blocking forces or some combination of both in order to move closer to the desired goal.

Forming - The first stage of team development, where the team is formed and the objectives for the team are set.

Frequency Distribution - A statistical table that presents a large volume of data in such a way that the central tendency (average/mean/median) and distribution are clearly displayed.

FTA - Fault Tree Analysis

Full-Baldrige Approach - Term used to depict states’ quality award programs using the same criteria as the Malcolm Baldrige national quality award.

Functional Benchmarking - A type of benchmarking that involves the sharing of information among firms that are interested in the same functional issues.

Fundamental Rule of Counting - If a sequence of experiments or trials t1, t2, t3, . . . , tk could result, respectively, in n1, n2 n3, . . . , nk possible outcomes, and the numbers n1, n2 n3, . . . , nk do not depend on which outcomes actually occurred, the entire sequence of k experiments has n1_ n2 _ n3_ . . . _ nk possible outcomes.

Funnel Experiment - A term referring to the experiment Deming describes to illustrate the futility and damage of adjusting a stable process in reaction to each outcome to try to affect subsequent results as desired. There are four rules of the funnel, three of which amount to tampering and produce more variation than if the process were left alone [see chapter 11 in Deming's out of the crisis]. See "tampering".