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Pareto chart: A graphical tool for ranking causes from most significant to least significant. It is based on the Pareto principle, which was first defined by J. M. Juran in 1950. The principle, named after 19th century economist Vilfredo Pareto, suggests most effects come from relatively few causes; that is, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the possible causes. The Pareto chart is one of the "seven tools of quality."

Partnership/alliance: Both a strategy and a formal relationship between a supplier and a customer that engenders cooperation for the benefit of both parties.

P chart: See "percent chart."

PDCA cycle: See "plan-do-check-act cycle."

Percent chart: A control chart for evaluating the stability of a process in terms of the percentage of the total number of units in a sample in which an event of a given classification occurs. The percent chart is also referred to as a proportion chart.

Performance standard: The metric against which a complete action is compared.

Plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle: A four-step process for quality improvement. In the first step (plan), a plan to effect improvement is developed. In the second step (do), the plan is carried out, preferably on a small scale. In the third step (check), the effects of the plan are observed. In the last step (act), the results are studied to determine what was learned and what can be predicted. The plan-do-check-act cycle is sometimes referred to as the Shewhart cycle, because Walter A. Shewhart discussed the concept in his book Statistical Method From the Viewpoint of Quality Control, and as the Deming cycle, because W. Edwards Deming introduced the concept in Japan. The Japanese subsequently called it the Deming cycle. Also called the plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle.

P95' P50' P10' P05' and so forth: The submitted quality in fraction defective for which the probability of acceptance is 0.95, 0.50, 0.10, 0.05, and so forth, for a given sampling plan. Note: The exact value of P95' P50' Pl0' P05' and so forth, depends on whether "submitted quality" relates to lot quality or process quality.

Points of control: Areas where process measurement indicates the level of process performance.

Poka-yoke: Japanese term that means mistake-proofing. A poka-yoke device is one that prevents incorrect parts from being made or assembled or easily identifies a flaw or error.

Policy: An overarching plan (direction) for achieving an organization's goals.

Population: The complete set of items from which a sample can be drawn. The entire collection of items about which a researcher seeks to draw conclusions. All items in a population share at least one measurable feature.

Pp: Capability index used when measuring a system's actual process performance. Measures the ability of a process to produce compliant products or services for an extended period of time.

Ppk: Capability index used when measuring a system's actual process performance. Similar to Pp except that Ppk takes into account process centering.

Precision: The aspect of measurement that addresses repeatability or consistency when an identical item is measured several times.

Preventative action: Action taken to remove or improve a process to prevent potential future occurrences of a nonconformance.

Prevention cost: The cost incurred by actions taken to prevent a nonconformance from occurring.

Prevention vs. detection: A term used to contrast two types of quality activities. Prevention refers to activities designed to prevent nonconformances in products and services. Detection refers to activities designed to detect nonconformances already in products and services. Another phrase to describe this distinction is "designing in quality vs. inspecting in quality."

Probability (statistical): A term referring to the likelihood of occurrence of an event, action or item.

Probability of rejection: The probability that a lot will be rejected.

Problem solving: The act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution.

Procedure: The steps in a process and how these steps are to be performed for the process to fulfill customer's requirements.

Process: A set of interrelated work activities characterized by a set of specific inputs and value added tasks that make up a procedure for a set of specific outputs.

Process average quality: Expected or average value of process quality.

Process capability: A statistical measure of the inherent process variability for a given characteristic. The most widely accepted formula for process capability is six sigma.

Process capability index: The value of the tolerance specified for the characteristic divided by the process capability. The several types of process capability indexes include the widely used Cpk and Cp .

Process control: The methodology for keeping a process within boundaries; minimizing the variation of a process.

Process improvement: The application of the plan-do-study-act (PDSA) philosophy to processes to produce positive improvement and better meet the needs and expectations of customers (see "plan-do-check-act cycle").

Process improvement team: A structured environment often made up of cross functional members who work together to improve a process or processes.

Process kaizen: Improvements made at an individual process or in a specific area. Sometimes called "point kaizen."

Process management: The pertinent techniques and tools applied to a process to implement and improve process effectiveness, hold the gains and ensure process integrity in fulfilling customer requirements.

Process map: A type of flowchart depicting the steps in a process, with identification of responsibility for each step and the key measures.

Process owner: The person who coordinates the various functions and work activities at all levels of a process, has the authority or ability to make changes in the process as required and manages the entire process cycle to ensure performance effectiveness.

Process performance management (PPM): The overseeing of process instances to ensure their quality and timeliness. Can also include proactive and reactive actions to ensure a good result.

Process quality: The value of percentage defective or of defects per hundred units in product from a given process. Note: The symbols "p" and "c" are commonly used to represent the true process average in fraction defective or defects per unit; and "l00p" and "100c" the true process average in percentage defective or in defects per hundred units.

Process reengineering: A strategy directed toward major rethinking and restructuring of a process; often referred to as the "clean sheet of paper" approach.

Production part approval process (PPAP): A Big Three automotive process that defines the generic requirements for approval of production parts, including production and bulk materials. Its purpose is to determine during an actual production run at the quoted production rates whether all customer engineering design record and specification requirements are properly understood by the supplier and that the process has the potential to produce product consistently meeting these requirements.

Product or service liability: The obligation of a company to make restitution for loss related to personal injury, property damage or other harm caused by its product or service.

Product warranty: An organization's stated policy that it will replace, repair or reimburse a buyer for a product in the event a product defect occurrs under certain conditions and within a stated period of time.

Productivity (cost/ quality/delivery): The Larger the better economic figure of merit equal to the value added by the process divided by the value of the labor and capital consumed. Given by: P= stable value added/cost consumed. (Quality Council of Indiana)

Profound knowledge, system of: Defined by W. Edwards Deming, a system that consists of an appreciation for systems, knowledge of variation, theory of knowledge and understanding of psychology.

Project management: The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities to meet the requirements of the particular project. Project management knowledge and practices are best described in terms of their component processes. These processes can be placed into five process groups (initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing) and nine knowledge areas (project integration management, project scope management, project time management, project cost management, project quality management, project human resource management, project communications management, project risk management and project procurement management).

Project scope: The defined boundaries of a project, including established starting and ending points and project duration.

Project team: Manages the work of a project. The work typically involves balancing competing demands for project scope, time, cost, risk and quality, satisfying stakeholders with differing needs and expectations and meeting identified requirements.

Pull system: An alternative to scheduling individual processes, in which the customer process withdraws the items it needs from a supermarket, and the supplying process produces to replenish what was withdrawn. Used to avoid push. See also "kanban."

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