Introduction to Quality

Quality is a perceptual, conditional, and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people. Consumers may focus on the specification quality of a product/service, or how it compares to competitors in the marketplace. Producers might measure the conformance quality, or degree to which the product/service was produced correctly. Support personnel may measure quality in the degree that a product is reliable, maintainable, or sustainable. Simply put, a quality item (an item that has quality) has the ability to perform satisfactorily in service and is suitable for its intended purpose.

There are five aspects of quality in a business context:

  • Producing – providing something.
  • Checking – confirming that something has been done correctly.
  • Quality Control – controlling a process to ensure that the outcomes are predictable.
  • Quality Management – directing an organization so that it optimizes its performance through analysis and improvement.
  • Quality Assurance – obtaining confidence that a product or service will be satisfactory. (Normally performed by a purchaser)

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