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Quality Assurance Terms Glossary/O

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Off-Line Experimentation - A method for determining the best configurations of processes. Usually uses a design of experiments (DOE) format such as the taguchi method or plackett-burman experiments.

On-The-Job Training aka OJT - Training that an employee receives at work during the normal work day.

Operating Characteristic aka OC - curve an assessment of the probability of accepting a shipment, given the existing level of quality of the shipment. There are three types: type a curves which give the probability of acceptance for an individual lot coming from finite production (will not continue into future); type b curves which give the probability of acceptance from lots coming from a continuous process; type c curves which for a continuous sampling plan, give the long run percentage of product accepted during the sampling phase.

Operating Results - Measures that are important to monitoring and tracking the effectiveness of a company’s operations.

Operational Auditing - Modern auditing practices that focus on operational efficiencies.

Operational Definition - "...Puts communicable meaning into a concept." "An operational definition is one that reasonable men can agree on." (Dr. Deming) example: customer and supplier agree to a defined method by which an item or group of items can be determined to meet requirements or not.

Optimization - Achievement of the aim of a system; when all processes and sub-systems within an organization or system work together to create results that are congruent with the system's or organization's aim [see also sub-optimization].

Orchestra Director - Deming uses the example of an orchestra to make the point that the individual components of any system must work together to accomplish the aim of the system...They cannot each be just doing their individual best. In any organization, it is the top person's job to be the "orchestra director"...To see that all the components work together toward the aim.

Ordinal Data - Ranked information.

Organization - group of people and facilities with an arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships - acc to ISO 9000:2005, 3.3.1

Organizational Structure - arrangement of responsibilities, authorities and relationships between people - acc to ISO 9000:2005, 3.3.2

Organizational Design - The process of defining the best structure to meet company objectives.

Organizational Learning - The sum of the changes in knowledge among the employees of a firm.

Orthogonal Arrays - Experimental design tools that ensure independence between iterations of an experiment.

Outlier - An observation that is many standard deviations from the mean. It is sometimes tempting to discard outliers, but this is imprudent unless the cause of the outlier can be identified, and the outlier is determined to be spurious. Otherwise, discarding outliers can cause one to underestimate the true variability of the measurement process.

Outsourcing - To send out (work, for example) to an outside provider or manufacturer in order to cut costs. Plating has been an outsourced 'service' for some years for many companies now because of the risks and the environmental aspects, rules and regulations. The emphasis is on the movement of work or product originally performed by the customer to an outside company to reduce costs. Many tend to use some terms interchangeably. ISO 9001:1994 used supplier and subcontractor to designate Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers without regard to the definitions. TS may do likewise, so you should ask your registrar how they define it. For discussion, also see: Outsource - Outsourcing - Subcontracting - Definition - TS 16949 and ISO 9001

Over The Wall Syndrome - Difficulties that arise when different types of professionals working in totally different departments in the same firm. Lack of communication is typically the primary failure mode.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness - aka OEE