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Quality Glossary - V


Validation: The act of confirming a product or service meets the requirements for which it was intended.

Validity: The ability of a feedback instrument to measure what it was intended to measure; also, the degree to which inferences derived from measurements are meaningful.

Value added: A term used to describe activities that transform input into a customer (internal or external) usable output.

Value analysis: Analyzing the value stream to identify value added and nonvalue added activities.

Value engineering: Analyzing the components and process that create a product, with an emphasis on minimizing costs while maintaining standards required by the customer.

Values: The fundamental beliefs that drive organizational behavior and decision making.

Value stream: All activities, both value added and nonvalue added, required to bring a product from raw material state into the hands of the customer, bring a customer requirement from order to delivery and bring a design from concept to launch. Also see “information flow” and “hoshin planning.”

Value stream loops: Segments of a value stream with boundaries broken into loops to divide future state implementation into manageable pieces.

Value stream manager: Person responsible for creating a future state map and leading door-to-door implementation of the future state for a particular product family. Makes change happen across departmental and functional boundaries.

Value stream mapping: A pencil and paper tool used in two stages. First, follow a product’s production path from beginning to end and draw a visual representation of every process in the material and information flows. Second, draw a future state map of how value should flow. The most important map is the future state map.

Variable data: Measurement information. Control charts based on variable data include average (X-bar) chart, range (R) chart, and sample standard deviation (s) chart (see individual listings).

Variation: A change in data, characteristic or function caused by one of four factors: special causes, common causes, tampering or structural variation (see individual entries).

Verification: The act of determining whether products and services conform to specific requirements.

Virtual team: Remotely situated individuals affiliated with a common organization, purpose or project, who conduct their joint effort via electronic communication.

Vision: An overarching statement of the way an organization wants to be; an ideal state of being at a future point.

Visual controls: Any devices that help operators quickly and accurately gauge production status at a glance. Progress indicators and problem indicators help assemblers see when production is ahead, behind or on schedule. They allow everyone to instantly see the group’s performance and increase the sense of ownership in the area. Also see “andon board,” “kanban,” “production board,” “painted floor” and “shadow board.”

Vital few, useful many: A term Joseph M. Juran used to describe the Pareto principle, which he first defined in 1950. (The principle was used much earlier in economics and inventory control methods.) The principle suggests most effects come from relatively few causes; that is, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the possible causes. The 20% of the possible causes are referred to as the “vital few;” the remaining causes are referred to as the “useful many.” When Juran first defined this principle, he referred to the remaining causes as the “trivial many,” but realizing that no problems are trivial in quality assurance, he changed it to “useful many.” Also see “eighty-twenty (80-20).”

Voice of the customer: The expressed requirements and expectations of customers relative to products or services, as documented and disseminated to the providing organization’s members.

Voluntary standard: A standard that imposes no inherent obligation regarding its use.