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Quality

From Academic Kids

Quality refers to the inherent or distinctive characteristics or properties of a person, object, process or other thing. Such characteristics or properties may set a person or thing apart from other persons or things, or may denote some degree of achievement or excellence. When used in relation to people, the term may also signify a personal character or trait.

The term is sometimes contrasted with the concept of quantity. In science, the work of Aristotle focused on measuring quality, whereas the work of Galileo resulted in a shift towards the study of quantity.

Contents

In manufacturing

In manufacturing, quality is the concept of making products fit for a purpose and with the fewest defects. Many different techniques and concepts have been tried to minimize defects in products, including Zero Defects, Six Sigma, and the House of Quality.

Most of these techniques and concepts are controversial to one degree or another, since there are two opposing schools of thought with regard to quality. One school subcribes to a statistical approach to quality, measuring defects and then taking corrective action. The other school subscribes to a more organic approach, arguing that one should "design in quality" rather than trying to "test in quality".

Historical development of the concept

The meaning for the term quality has developed over time. Four distinctive interpretations:

  1. "Conformance to specifications" (Phil Crosby in the 1980s). The difficulty with this is that the specifications may not be what the customer wants; Crosby treats this as a separate problem.
  2. "Fitness for use" (Joseph M. Juran). Fitness is defined by the customer.
  3. A two-dimensional model of quality (Noriaki Kano and others). The quality has two dimensions: "must-be quality" and "attractive quality". The former is near to the "fitness for use" and the latter is what the customer would love, but has not yet thought about. Supporters characterise this model more succinctly as: "Products and services that meet or exceed customers' expectations". One writer believes (without citation) that this is today the most used interpretation for the term quality.
  4. "Value to some person" (Gerald M. Weinberg)
  5. (W. Edwards Deming), "Quality is pride of workmanship." See http://www.deming.org/

In music

In music quality refers primarily to the timbre, but also dynamics and musical texture, of a section or piece.

See also

Finding related topics

de:Qualitt fa:کیفیت fr:gestion de la qualit it:Qualit mk:Квалитет nl:Kwaliteit (eigenschap) pl:Jakość pt:Qualidade fi:laatu

External Links

  • treqna.com (http://www.treqna.com/) An Open Source Six Sigma Approach, making it free and usable.
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