The Elsmar Cove Forum and Site Map The Elsmar Cove Wiki More Free Files The Elsmar Cove Forums Discussion Thread Index Post Attachments Listing Failure Modes Services and Solutions to Problems Elsmar cove Forums Main Page Elsmar Cove Home Page

Quality Assurance Terms Glossary/S

From Elsmar Cove Quality Assurance and Business Standards Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Index: # 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


SA8000 - social accountability standard for decent working conditions

SAE - Society of Automotive Engineers

SAE AS9100 - See AS9100.

Sample - A subset of data which depicts the population.

Sampling plan - A determination of how data are to be gathered and evaluated.

Sarbanes Oxley Act - aka SOX

Scatter Diagram - A scatter plot used to examine the relationships between variables.

Scientific Method - "The totality of principles and processes regarded as characteristic or necessary for scientific investigation, generally taken to include rules for concept formation, conduct of observations and experiments, and validation of hypotheses by observation or experiments." (New American Heritage Dictionary) similar to the Shewhart Cycle.

Seiketsu - A term that refers to standardization.

Seiri - A term that refers to organizing and throwing away things you don’t use.

Seiso - A term that suggests that a highly productive workplace should be clean.

Seiton - A term that refers to neatness in the workplace.

Selection - The process of evaluating and choosing the best qualified candidate for a particular job.

Self-Directed Work Teams - Work teams that have a considerable degree of autonomy.

Self-Direction - A term that refers to providing autonomy to employees (or other recipients of training) in terms of facilitating their own training needs.

Sequential Approach to Design aka Departmental Approach to Design - An approach to design that requires product designers, marketers, process designers, and production managers to work through organizational lines of authority to perform work.

Service - A mix of intangibles and tangibles that are delivered to the customer.

Services Blueprinting - A chart that depicts service processes and potential fail points in a process.

Service Reliability - A dimension of service quality that refers to the ability of the service provider to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.

Serviceability - A dimension of quality that refers to a product’s ease of repair.

Servqual - A survey instrument designed to assess service quality along five specific dimensions consisting of tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy.

Seven Quality Tools - Sometimes referred to as the seven statistical tools, or seven traditional tools, these methods to organize or summarize data are an important part of any improvement methodology: histogram (or bar chart), pareto chart, run chart [or line chart], control chart, scatter diagram, flow diagram (flow chart) and cause and effects diagram. Some people list the PDSA cycle rather than the run chart as the seventh tool.

Seven (b7 or Big 7) - See Seven Quality Tools above. Tools of quality these are the fundamental methods for gathering and analyzing quality-related data. They are: fishbone diagrams, histograms, pareto analysis, flowcharts, scatter plots, run charts, and control charts.


Shewhart Cycle - A cycle for learning and for improvement. Also called PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) or the Deming cycle:

Shitsuke - A term that refers to the discipline required to maintain the changes that have been made in a workplace.

Sigma - The term used in statistics to refer to the standard deviation, a measure of the spread or variation, in data. Represented by the greek letter σ.

Signal Factors - Factors in a taguchi experiment that are not under control of the operator. Examples include small variations in ambient temperature and variability in material dimensions.

Simpson's Paradox - What is true for the parts is not necessarily true for the whole.

Single Minute Exchange of Dies - See SMED

Sipoc - A diagrammatic technique for determining the suppliers, inputs, major steps, outputs and customers of a process.

Situational Leadership Model - A model of leadership proposed by hersey and blanchard that clarifies the interrelation between employee preparedness and effectiveness in leadership.

Six Sigma - aka 6 Sigma.

SMED - Single Minute Exchange of Dies

S.M.A.R.T - An acronym for guidelines in creating goals and strategies: S-specific, M-measurable, A-agreed upon and attainable, R-realistic and rewarded, T-timely.

Societal Environment - The portion of a firm’s environment pertaining to cultural factors such as language, business customs, customer preferences, and patterns of communication.

Soft Data - Data that cannot be measured or specifically quantified, such as survey data that asks respondents to provide their “opinion” about something.

Sole Sourcing - Using only one supplier for a single component.

SOX - Sarbanes Oxley Act

SPC - See Statistical Process Control .

Special Cause - A cause of variation which is localized, or acts at one period of time, or in one set of circumstances. A cause not common to all outcomes of a process.


Stable - A synonym for variation that is in a state of statistical control (or in statistical control). Variation due only to common causes.

Stable Process - A process in which the variation is due to common causes only, i.E. Is free of special (assignable) causes. It is said to be in statistical control.



Standard Deviation - (1) A statistic that reflects the degree of variation in a collection of results. Whereas the range reflects only the difference between the high and low values in the sample data, the standard deviation uses all numbers and therefore reports more information about the data. In small sets of numbers, the standard deviation and the range are similar as descriptions of variability.(2) A measure of variation in observed values. (3) Standard deviation, σ, a measurement that defines the spread of data around the average value or mean. The lower the value of standard deviation the better the process is running. Standard deviation of a population is denoted by sigma s, and for a sample it is denoted by s.

Standardization - Providing for uniformity of use of a method.

Statistical Analysis

Statistical Control - A stable process. I.E. Is free of special causes.

Statistical Process Control aka SPC - (1) A technique that is concerned with monitoring process capability and process stability. (2) The application of statistical techniques for measuring and analyzing the variation in processes. SPC generally refers to the use of various types of control charts that use historical data to calculate control limits. (Juran)

Statistical Quality Control aka SQC - The application of statistical techniques for measuring and improving the quality of processes. SQC includes statistical process control, diagnostic tools (pareto charts, flowcharts, fishbone etc.), Sampling plans, and other statistical techniques. (Juran)

Statistical Thinking - Deming’s concept relating to data-based decision making.

Storming - The second stage of team development, in which the team begins to get to know each other but agreements have not been made to facilitate smooth interaction among team members.

Strategic Benchmarking - A type of benchmarking that involves observing how others compete. This type of benchmarking typically involves target firms that have been identified as “world class.”

Strategic Partnership - An association between two firms by which they agree to work together to achieve a strategic goal. This is often associated with long-term supplier-customer relationships.

Strategy - (1) The art of planning military operations; (2) What a firm does; (3) A firm’s long-term plan for attaining objectives. (4) an approach to achieving a particular end, or plan as to how an end may be achieved.

Stratification - A technique for organizing data to better understand the process producing the data and to identify potential improvement opportunities. Stratification groups individual numbers into meaningful categories or classifications according to some criterion such as time, location, type, source, reason, etc.

Stratified Sample - Subsets of sampling units are selected separately from different strata, rather than from the frame as a whole.

Stretch Target - A challenging goal or objective requiring significant effort to achieve.

Structural Measures - Measures that include objectives, policies, and procedures that are followed by a firm.

Student's t Curve - A family of curves indexed by a parameter called the degrees of freedom, which can take the values 1, 2, . . . Student's t curve can be used to test hypotheses about the population mean and construct confidence intervals for the population mean, when the population distribution is known to be nearly normally distributed.

Suboptimization - When individual components of an organization attempt to maximize the performance or results of that component without regard for whether that is in the best interest of the whole organization. For example, goals such as increasing sales, reducing inventory or cycle times are usually thought of as desirable things for a business to do, but myopic pursuit of those goals may not compatible with the organization's plan or supportive of its aim. "Optimization" is a process of orchestrating the components to move toward achievement of the organization's aim.

Superordinate Goals - Goals that transcend individual needs to reflect group objectives.

Superstitious Learning - Formation of beliefs about cause and effect based on observation without knowledge. Often happens when correlation is confused with cause and effect. Appears to be accompanied by a tendency to ignore variation, to interpret each result as if it came from a single cause and to ignore delays between actions and effects.


Supplier Audit - The auditing portion of supplier development programs.

Supplier Certification or Supplier Qualification programs - Programs designed to certify suppliers as acceptable for a particular customer.

Supplier Development - Training and other 'help' programs provided by firms to their suppliers.

Supplier Evaluation - A tool used by many companies to differentiate and discriminate among suppliers. Supplier evaluations often involve report cards where potential suppliers are rated based on different criteria such as quality, technical capability, or ability to meet schedule demands.

Supplier Partnering - A term used to characterized the relationship between suppliers and customers when a high degree of linkages and interdependencies exist.

Supply Chain - A network of facilities that procures raw materials, transforms them into intermediate subassemblies and final products, and then delivers the products to customers through a distribution system.

Surveying - Generating a list of strengths and weaknesses in a firm in generic internal assessment.

Synergy aka Synergism - A condition in which the combined results of a group of elements or people are greater or better than the individual elements could have produced separately. A list of ideas from an interactive group is likely to be more creative than adding together the lists produced by those same people working independently.

System - A collection of interdependent components that interact with one another. For example, an organization is a system; an automobile is a system; an office is a system, a family is a system. According to Deming, to be a system, all the components must have a common aim... "Without an aim, there is no system."

Systematic Error - An error that affects all the measurements similarly. Systematic errors do not tend to average out.

System of Profound Knowledge aka SOPK - the foundation for Deming's theory of management is composed of four interdependent parts: 1. Appreciation for a system 2. Knowledge about variation 3. Theory of knowledge 4. Psychology. One of Deming's contributions is the synthesis of these components into a theory for management.

System Reliability - The probability that components in a system will perform their intended function over a specified period of time.

Systems View - A management viewpoint that focuses on the interactions between the various components (i.e., People, policies, machines, processes, and products) that combine to produce a product or service. The systems view focuses management on the system as the cause of quality problems.