Balanced scorecard: A new management concept that helps managers at all levels monitor their results in their key areas.
Baldrige Award: See "Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award."
Baseline measurement: The beginning point, based on an evaluation of the output over a period of time, used to determine the process parameters prior to any improvement effort; the basis against which change is measured.
Benchmarking: An improvement process in which a company measures its performance against that of best in class companies, determines how those companies achieved their performance levels and uses the information to improve its own performance. The subjects that can be benchmarked include strategies, operations, processes and procedures.
Benefit-cost analysis: An examination of the relationship between the monetary cost of implementing an improvement and the monetary value of the benefits achieved by the improvement, both within the same time period.
Best practice: A superior method or innovative practice that contributes to the improved performance of an organization, usually recognized as "best" by other peer organizations.
Big Q, Little Q: A term used to contrast the difference between managing for quality in all business processes and products (big Q) and managing for quality in a limited capacity—traditionally only in factory products and processes (little q).
Bilateral tolerance: Both an upper specification limit and a lower specification limit simultaneously expressed for a single specified parameter. The characteristic must fall above the lower specification limit and below the upper specification limit. Also called "bilateral tolerance" and "two-sided alternative." Given by: nominal +_ tolerance. (Quality Council of Indiana)
Binomial distribution (double specification limit): A discrete probability that applies to random samples for attributes data that are each identified in terms of one of two attribute classifications, such as "go" and "no go," or "conforming" and "nonconforming." This distribution underlies p charts and np charts. (Quality Council of Indiana)
Black Belt (BB): Full-time team leader responsible for implementing process improvement projects—define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) or define, measure, analyze, design and verify (DMADV)—within the business to drive up customer satisfaction levels and business productivity.
Blemish: An imperfection severe enough to be noticed but that should not cause any real impairment with respect to intended normal or reasonably foreseeable use (see also "defect," "imperfection" and "nonconformity").
Block diagram: A diagram that shows the operation, interrelationships and interdependencies of components in a system. Boxes, or blocks (hence the name), represent the components; connecting lines between the blocks represent interfaces. There are two types of block diagrams: a functional block diagram, which shows a system's subsystems and lower level products and their interrelationships and which interfaces with other systems; and a reliability block diagram, which is similar to the functional block diagram except that it is modified to emphasize those aspects influencing reliability.
Board of Standards Review (BSR): An American National Standards Institute board responsible for the approval and withdrawal of American National Standards.
Body of knowledge (BOK): The prescribed aggregation of knowledge in a particular area an individual is expected to have mastered to be considered or certified as a practitioner.
Bottom line: The essential or salient point; the primary or most important consideration. Also, the line at the bottom of a financial report that shows the net profit or loss.
Box, George E.P.: A native of England, Box began his career during World War II with the British Army Engineers, where he learned statistics. He studied at University College, became head of the statistical techniques research section at Imperial Chemical Industrials and obtained a doctorate. He moved to the United States and was a founder of Technometrics, published by ASQ and the American Statistical Association. A professor at the University of Wisconsin, Box is an Honorary Member of ASQ.
Brainstorming: A technique teams use to generate ideas on a particular subject. Each person in the team is asked to think creatively and write down as many ideas as possible. The ideas are not discussed or reviewed until after the brainstorming session.
Breakthrough improvement: A dynamic, decisive movement to a new, higher level of performance.
Brumbaugh, Martin A. (deceased): The founder and first editor of Industrial Quality Control magazine. A former professor of statistics at the University of Buffalo, Brumbaugh published regularly on applied statistics. Brumbaugh was instrumental in getting two separate quality organizations—the Federated Societies and the Society for Quality Control—merged into one national organization: ASQ (then ASQC). Brumbaugh was an ASQ Honorary Member.
BS 7799: British commerce, government and industry stakeholders wrote BS 7799 to address information security management issues, including fraud, industrial espionage and physical disaster. May become ISO standard.
Business process reengineering (BPR): The concentration on the improvement of business processes that will deliver outputs that will achieve results meeting the firm's objectives, priorities and mission.