DEFINITION 1: Quality is the degree to which an object (entity) [e.g., process, product, or service] satisfies a specified set of attributes or requirements.
SOURCE: Basic Principles and Concepts for Achieving Quality. Emanuel R. Baker Process Strategies Inc. Matthew, J. Fisher and Wolfhart Goethert, SEI, Software Engineering Process Management, Carnegie Mellon University, 2007.
DEFINITION 2: The quality of something can be determined by comparing a set of inherent characteristics with a set of requirements. If those inherent characteristics meet all requirements, high or excellent quality is achieved. If those characteristics do not meet all requirements, a low or poor level of quality is achieved.
NOTE: Quality is, therefore, a question of degree.. According to this definition, quality is a relative concept. By linking quality to requirements, ISO 9000 argues that the quality of something cannot be established in a vacuum.
Quality is always relative to a set of requirements.
SOURCE: ISO 9000, 9001, and 9004 Quality management definitions. Praxiom Research Group Limited (2001-2010)
DEFINITION 3: Quality is the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements.
COMMENT: Quality is a multi-faceted concept. The dimensions of quality that are considered most important depend on user perspectives, needs and priorities, which vary across groups of users. Several statistical organisations have developed lists of quality dimensions, which, for international organisations, are being harmonised under the leadership of the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA). The European Statistics Code of Practice defines quality in terms of the institutional environment, statistical processes and statistical output.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO Standard 9000/2005: "Quality management systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary", Geneva, 2005
SOURCE: ESS Quality Glossary 2010 Developed by Unit B1 "Quality; Classifications”, European Union, 2010.
DEFINITION 4: A subjective term for which each person or sector has its own definition. In technical usage, quality can have two meanings: 1. the characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs; 2. a product or service free of deficiencies. According to Joseph Juran, quality means “fitness for use;” according to Philip Crosby, it means “conformance to requirements”.
SOURCE: American Society for Quality (ASQ) Glossary
DEFINITION 5: All characteristics of an entity that bear on its ability to satisfy stated and implied needs.
Source: ISO 8402.
Degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements.
SOURCE: ISO, 2000.
SOURCE: Glossary: quality in education and training, CEDEFOP, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2011.
RELATED TERMS: quality assurance, quality assessment, quality control, quality culture, quality improvement, quality review