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Capability is the total range of inherent variation in a stable process. It is determined using data from control charts. The control charts shall indicate stability before capability calculations can be made. Histograms are to be used to examine the distribution pattern of individual values and verify a normal distribution. When analysis indicates a stable process and a normal distribution, the indices Cp and Cpk can be calculated. If analysis indicates a non normal distribution, advanced statistical tools such as PPM analysis, will be required to determine capability. If control charts show the process to be non stable, the index Ppk can be calculated.
CAR Corrective Action Request
Care mapping Medical procedure for a particular diagnosis in a diagrammatic form that includes key decision points used to coordinate care and instruct patient.
Cause That which produces an effect or brings about a change.
Cause & Effect diagram A tool used to analyze all factors (causes) that contribute to a given situation or occurrence (effect) by breaking down main causes into smaller and smaller sub-causes. It is also known as the Ishikawa or the fishbone diagram.
Cause effect graphing(1) Test data selection technique The input and output domains are partitioned into classes and analysis is performed to determine which input classes cause which effect. A minimal set of inputs is chosen which will cover the entire effect set. (2) (Myers) A systematic method of generating test cases representing combinations of conditions. See: testing, functional.
Centre Line The line on a statistical process control chart which represents the characteristic's central tendency.
CFT Cross Functional Team.
Change control The processes, authorities for, and procedures to be used for all changes that are made to the computerized system and/or the system's data. Change control is a vital subset of the Quality Assurance [QA] program within an establishment and should be clearly described in the establishment's SOPs, See: configuration control.
Change tracker A software tool which documents all changes made to a program.
Characteristics A definable or measurable feature of a process, product, or variable.

Central Tendency Numerical average, e.g., mean, median, and mode; center line on a statistical process control chart.
CHART A form used to display information obtained through data collection when measuring defects and/or problems.
CHARTER A document that specifies the purpose of a team, its power, it's reporting relationships, and its specific responsibilities.
Check sheet A customized form used to record data. Usually, it is used to record how often some activity occurs. A list of things to do.
CIM Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Client/server A term used in a broad sense to describe the relationship between the receiver and the provider of a service. In the world of microcomputers, the term client-server describes a networked system where front-end applications, as the client, make service requests upon another networked system. Client-server relationships are defined primarily by software. In a local area network [LAN], the workstation is the client and the file server is the server. However, client-server systems are inherently more complex than file server systems. Two disparate programs must work in tandem, and there are many more decisions to make about separating data and processing between the client workstations and the database server. The database server encapsulates database files and indexes, restricts access, enforces security, and provides applications with a consistent interface to data via a data dictionary.
Clinical practice guidelines A general term for statements of accepted medical procedure for a particular diagnosis.
CMI Certified Mechanical Inspector
Code audit An independent review of source code by a person, team, or tool to verify compliance with software design documentation and programming standards. Correctness and efficiency may also be evaluated. Contrast with code inspection, code review, code walkthrough. See: static analysis.
Code inspection (Myers/NBS) A manual [formal] testing [error detection] technique where the programmer reads source code, statement by statement, to a group who ask questions analyzing the program logic, analyzing the code with respect to a checklist of historically common programming errors, and analyzing its compliance with coding standards. Contrast with, code audit, code review, code walkthrough. This technique can also be applied to other software and configuration items. Syn: Fagan Inspection. See: static analysis.
Code program, source code.
Code review (IEEE) A meeting at which software code is presented to project personnel, managers, users, customers, or other interested parties for comment or approval. Contrast with code audit, code inspection, code walkthrough. See: static analysis.
Code walkthrough (MyersINBS) A manual testing [error detection] technique where program (source code] logic [structure] is traced manually [mentally] by a group with a small set of test cases, while the state of program variables is manually monitored, to analyze the programmer's logic and assumptions. Contrast with code audit, code inspection, code review. See: static analysis.
Coding standards Written procedures describing coding [programming] style conventions specifying rules governing the use of individual constructs provided by the programming language, and naming, formatting, and documentation requirements which prevent programming errors, control complexity and promote understandability of the source code. Syn: development standards, programming standards.
Common Cause Variation is variation caused by the process. It is produced by the interaction of aspects of the process that affect every occurrence
Common Cause Variation that affects all the individual values of a process Common causes Inherent causes of variation in a process. They are typical of the process, not unexpected. That is not to say that they must be tolerated; on the contrary, once special causes of variation are largely removed, a focus on removing common causes of variation can pay big dividends.
Comparitor (IEEE) A software tool that compares two computer programs, files, or sets of data to identify commonalities or differences. Typical objects of comparison are similar versions of source code, object code, data base files, or test results.
Completeness (NIST) The property that all necessary parts of the entity are included. Completeness of a product is often used to express the fact that all requirements have been met by the product. See: traceability analysis.
Complexity (IEEE) (1) The degree to which a system or component has a design or implementation that is difficult to understand and verify. (2) Pertaining to any of a set of structure based metrics that measure the attribute in (1).
Computer aided software engineering (CASE)An automated system for the support of software development including an integrated tool set, i.e., programs, which facilitate the accomplishment of software engineering methods and tasks such as project planning and estimation, system and software requirements analysis, design of data structure, program architecture and algorithm procedure, coding, testing and maintenance.
Computer system audit (ISO) An examination of the procedures used in a computer system to evaluate their effectiveness and correctness and to recommend improvements. See: software audit.
Computer system security(IEEE) The protection of computer hardware and software from accidental or malicious access, use, modification, destruction, or disclosure. Security also pertains to personnel, data, communications, and the physical protection of computer installations.
Confidence Level The probability that a random variable x lies within a defined interval.
Confidence Limit The two values that define the confidence interval.
Configurable, off-the-shelf software (COTS)Application software, sometimes general purpose, written for a variety of industries or users in a manner that permits users to modify the program to meet their individual needs.
Configuration control (IEEE) An element of configuration management, consisting of the evaluation, coordination, approval or disapproval, and implementation of changes to configuration items after formal establishment of their configuration identification. See: change control.
Configuration management (IEEE) A discipline applying technical and administrative direction and surveillance to identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of a configuration item, control changes to those characteristics, record and report change processing and implementation status, and verifying compliance with specified requirements. See: configuration control, change control
Conformance Meeting requirements or specifications.
Confouding Allowing two or more variables to vary together so that it is impossible to separate their unique effects.
Consensus Acceptance of a team decision so that everyone on the team can live with the decision and support it.
Consensus Method used in reaching unanimous agreement by voluntarily giving consent. An agreement to support a decision.
consistency checker A software tool used to test requirements in design specifications for both consistency and completeness.
Consistency (IEEE) The degree of uniformity, standardization, and freedom from contradiction among the documents or parts of a system or component.
Consumers Risk Probability of accepting a lot when, in fact, the lot should have been rejected (see BETA RISK).
Continuous Data Numerical information at the interval of ratio level; subdivision is conceptually meaningful; can assume any number within an interval, e.g., 14.652 amps.
Continuous improvement On-going improvement of any and all aspects of an organization including products, services, communications, environment, functions, individual processes, etc.
Continuous Process Improvement A policy that encourages, mandates, and/or empowers employees to find ways to improve process and product performance measures on an ongoing basis.
Continuous Random Variable A random variable which can assume any value continuously in some specified interval.
Control Chart is a line chart with control limits. It is based on the work of Shewhart and Deming. By mathematically constructing control limits at 3 standard deviations above and below the average, one can determine what variation is due to normal ongoing causes (common causes) and what variation is produced by unique events (special causes). By eliminating the special causes first and then reducing common causes, quality can be improved.
Control Charts Statistical charts used in process measurement. Used to differentiate process variation caused by common cause versus special cause or assignable cause.
Control flow analysis (IEEE) A software V&V task to ensure that the proposed control flow is free of problems, such as design or code elements that are unreachable or incorrect.
Control flow diagram. (IEEE) A diagram that depicts the set of all possible sequences in which operations may be performed during the execution of a system or program. Types include box diagram, flowchart, input-process-output chart, state diagram. Contrast with data flow diagram. See: call graph, structure chart.
Control limit A statistically-determined line on a control chart used to analyze variation within a process. If variation exceeds the control limits, then the process is being affected by special causes and is said to be "out of control." A control limit is not the same as a specification limit.
Control Plans Control Plans are written descriptions of the systems for controlling parts and processes. They are written by suppliers to address the important characteristics and engineering requirements of the product. Each part shall have a Control Plan, but in many cases, "family" Control Plans can cover a number of parts produced using a common process. Customer approval of Control Plans may be required prior to production part submission.
Control Plans Written descriptions of the systems for controlling parts and processes.
Control Point is the desired result of a process.
Control Specifications Specifications called for by the product being manufactured.
Corrective Action Documented and purposeful change implemented to eliminate forever a specific cause of an identified non conformance.
Corrective Action Action(s) designed to identify and eliminate root causes of non-conformances and non-conformities.
Corrective Action Plan A Corrective Action Plan is a plan for correcting a process or part quality issue.
Corrective maintenance (IEEE) Maintenance performed to correct faults in hardware or software. Contrast with adaptive maintenance, preventative maintenance.
Correctness (IEEE) The degree to which software is free from faults in its specification, design and coding. The degree to which software, documentation and other items meet specified requirements. The degree to which software, documentation and other items meet user needs and expectations, whether specified or not.
Cost of Poor Quality Internal and External Failure Cost plus Appraisal and Prevention Costs
Cost of poor quality The costs incurred by producing products or services of poor quality. These costs usually include the cost of inspection, rework, duplicate work, scrapping rejects, replacements and refunds, complaints, and loss of customers and reputation.
Cost of Quality The total labor, materials, and overhead costs attributed to: 1) preventing nonconforming products products or services, 2) appraising products or service to ensure conformance, or 3) correcting or scrapping nonconforming products products or service.
Count chart (c chart) An attributes data control chart that evaluates process stability by charting the counts of occurrences of a given event in successive samples.
Count-per-unit chart (u chart) A control chart that evaluates process stability by charting the number of occurrences of a given event per unit sampled, in a series of samples.
Coverage analysis (NIST) Determining and assessing measures associated with the invocation of program structural elements to determine the adequacy of a test run. Coverage analysis is useful when attempting to execute each statement, branch, path, or iterative structure in a program. Tools that capture this data and provide reports summarizing relevant information have this feature See: testing, branch; testing, path; testing, statement.
Cp Commonly used process capability index defined as [USL (upper spec limit) - LSL(lower spec limit)] / [6 x sigma], where sigma is the estimated process standard deviation.
Cp/Cpk Capability Ratio/Capability Index
Cpk Commonly used process capability index defined as the lesser of USL - m / 3sigma or m - LSL / 3sigma, where sigma is the estimated process standard deviation.