Mayberry Chair of Excellence

TNCPE Glossary


An inherent characteristic of a product, program, or service such as its cost, color, function, duration, etc.


An improvement process in which an organization compares its performance against "best-in-class" organization, determines how those organizations achieved their performance levels, and uses information to improve its own performance. The subjects that can be benchmarked include: strategies, programs / services, operations, processes, and procedures.


An affirmative indicator or judgment that a product, program, or service has met the agreed-upon requirements of * A customer, or * A relevant specification, contract, or regulation.

Continuous improvement:

The ongoing improvement of programs, services, or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements.

Customer (external):

A person or organization who receives a product, service, or information, but is not part of the organization supplying it (also called a patient in the health care sector and a student in the education sector).

Customer (internal):

A person or unit who receives output (product, service, or information) from another person or unit within the same unit -or from another unit within the larger organization of which it is a part.

Cycle time:

The interval required to complete a task, or function, starting from the beginning of the first step until the completion of the last.

Data management:

The process by which the reliability, timelines, and accessibility of an organization's database is assured.


The condition whereby employees have the authority to make decisions and take action in their work areas without prior approval. For example, a park employee can issue a refund of an entrance fee if the customer has a complaint.

Improvement cycle:

An action or series of actions (taken as a result of an organized and planned review) which make the process better. To ensure that continuos improvement becomes a way of life, all processes should provide for periodic improvement cycles.


The establishment of a long-term relationship between two parties characterized by teamwork and mutual trust, enabling both parties to focus on the needs of a mutual customer. Partners have risks well as benefits.

An organization can establish partnering agreements with its unions, suppliers, customers, local businesses, and / or educational institutions. "Cooperation" differs from partnering in that the relationship is less formal, either by choice or due to the fact that the parties involved are not part of the formal organization.

Performance standard:

A goal against which actual performance is measured.


A particular method of doing something, generally involving a number of steps or operations.

Quality assessment:

The operational techniques and activities used to evaluate the quality of processes, practices, programs, and services.

Quality control:

The operational techniques and activities used to ensure that that quality standards are met.

Quality values:

The principles and beliefs that guide an organization and its people toward the accomplishment of its vision, mission, and quality goals. Examples might be "meeting our customers' needs is always our first priority" or "we build quality widgets, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always quality widgets."

Root cause:

The original cause or reason for a condition. The root cause of a condition is that cause which, if eliminated, guarantees the condition will not recur.


A set of well-defined and well-designed processes for meeting the organization's quality and performance requirements.


The union and non-union employees of an organization, as well as the labor union(s) where applicable. The term "workforce" is generally used to describe non-management employees, unless otherwise indicated.

College of Business

Follow Us on Social Media

Instagram Icon  Facebook Icon  LinkedIn Icon