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Facilitation: Facilitation is the design and management of processes and structures that enable groups to succeed in their missions. Facilitation helps ensure the following:

  1. The right resources are in hand and are being used.
  2. Useful information is generated, shared, and used.
  3. Useful information is generated, shared, and used.
  4. Quality decisions are made.
  5. Quality decisions are implemented.
  6. Desired outcomes are realized.

Facilitator: A specifically trained person who functions as a teacher, coach and moderator for a group, team or organization.

Failure: The inability of an item, product or service to perform required functions on demand due to one or more defects.

Failure cost: The cost resulting from the occurrence of defects.

Failure mode analysis (FMA): A procedure to determine which malfunction symptoms appear immediately before or after a failure of a critical parameter in a system. After all the possible causes are listed for each symptom, the product is designed to eliminate the problems.

Failure mode effects analysis (FMEA): A procedure in which each potential failure mode in every subitem of an item is analyzed to determine its effect on other subitems and on the required function of the item.

Failure mode effects and criticality analysis (FMECA): A procedure that is performed after a failure mode effects analysis to classify each potential failure effect according to its severity and probability of occurrence.

Fault tree analysis: An analytical tool that graphically renders the combination of faults that lead to the failure of a system.

Feedback: Communication from customers about how delivered products or services compare with customer expectations.

Feigenbaum, Armand V.: The founder and president of General Systems Co., an international engineering company that designs and implements total quality systems. Feigenbaum originated the concept of total quality control in his book, Total Quality Control, published in 1951. The book has been translated into many languages, including Japanese, Chinese, French and Spanish. Feigenbaum is an ASQ Honorary Member and served as ASQ president for two consecutive terms.

Fishbone diagram: See "cause and effect diagram."

Fitness for use: A term used to indicate that a product or service fits the customer's defined purpose for that product or service.

Five Ss: Five terms beginning with "S" utilized to create a workplace suited for visual control and lean production. Seiri means to separate needed tools, parts, and instructions from unneeded materials and to remove the latter. Seiton means to neatly arrange and identify parts and tools for ease of use. Seiso means to conduct a cleanup campaign. Seiketsu means to conduct seiri, seiton, and seiso at frequent, indeed daily, intervals to maintain a workplace in perfect condition. Shitsuke means to form the habit of always following the first four Ss.

Five whys: A technique for discovering the root causes of a problem and showing the relationship of causes by repeatedly asking the question, "Why?"

Flowchart: A graphical representation of the steps in a process. Flowcharts are drawn to better understand processes. The flowchart is one of the "seven tools of quality."

Focus group: A group, usually of 8 to 10 persons, that is invited to discuss an existing or planned product, service or process.

Force field analysis: A technique for analyzing the forces that aid or hinder an organization in reaching an objective. An arrow pointing to an objective is drawn down the middle of a piece of paper. The factors that will aid the objective's achievement, called the driving forces, are listed on the left side of the arrow. The factors that will hinder its achievement, called the restraining forces, are listed on the right side of the arrow.

14 Points: W. Edwards Deming's 14 management practices to help companies increase their quality and productivity: 1. create constancy of purpose for improving products and services, 2. adopt the new philosophy, 3. cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality, 4. end the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier, 5. improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service, 6. institute training on the job, 7. adopt and institute leadership, 8. drive out fear, 9. break down barriers between staff areas, 10. eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce, 11. eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management, 12. remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system, 13. institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone and 14. put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.

Frequency distribution (statistical): A table that graphically presents a large volume of data so the central tendency (such as the average or mean) and distribution are clearly displayed.

FS 9100: A quality management standard developed by the FS 9000 Association for the financial services industry.

f-test w/requirements: Compares different populations to check for a shift in variation.

Function: A group of related actions contributing to a larger action.

Funnel experiment: An experiment that demonstrates the effects of tampering. Marbles are dropped through a funnel in an attempt to hit a flat surfaced target below. The experiment shows that adjusting a stable process to compensate for an undesirable result or an extraordinarily good result will produce output that is worse than if the process had been left alone.

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