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Quality - short version

Products, processes, or services that meet their specified performance standards.

Quality - long version

Quality in business, engineering and manufacturing has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or superiority of something. 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.

Numerous definitions and methodologies have been created to assist in managing the quality-affecting aspects of business operations. Many different techniques and concepts have evolved to improve product or service quality. There are two common quality-related functions within a business. One is quality assurance which is the prevention of defects, such as by the deployment of a quality management system and preventative activities like failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA). The other is quality control which is the detection of defects, most commonly associated with testing which takes place within a quality management system typically referred to as verification and validation.

The common element of the business definitions is that the quality of a product or service refers to the perception of the degree to which the product or service meets the customer's expectations. Quality has no specific meaning unless related to a specific function and/or object. Quality is a perceptual, conditional and somewhat subjective attribute.


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