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Facilitator Person who helps a team with issues of teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. A facilitator should not contribute to the actual content of the team's project, focusing instead as an observer of the team's functioning as a group.
Factorial Design Factorial design are generally employed in engineering and manufacturing experiments. It is appropriate when several factors are to be investigated at two or more levels and interaction of factors may be important. Also see Design of Experiments. 
FACTORS Independent variables. 
Fail-safe (IEEE) A system or component that automatically places itself in a safe operational mode in the event of a failure,
Failure analysis Determining the exact nature and location of a program error in order to fix the error, to identify and fix other similar errors, and to initiate corrective action to prevent future occurrences of this type of error. Contrast with debugging.
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is systematized technique which identifies and ranks the potential failure modes of a design or manufacturing process in order to prioritize improvement actions. 
Failure Mode Effects Analysis A technique that systematically analyzes the types of failures which will be expected as a product is used, and what the effects of each "failure mode" will be.
Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (IEC) A method of reliability analysis intended to identify failures, at the basic component level, which have significant consequences affecting the system performance in the application considered.
Failure Modes and Effects Criticality Analysis (IEC) A logical extension of FMEA which analyzes the severity of the consequences of failure
Failure (IEEE) The inability of a system or component to perform its required functions within specified performance requirements. See: bug, crash, exception, fault.
Fault An incorrect step, process, or data definition in a computer program which causes the program to perform in an unintended or unanticipated manner. See: anomaly, bug, defect, error, exception.
Fault seeding See: error seeding.
Fault Tree Analysis (IEC) The identification and analysis of conditions and factors which cause or contribute to the occurrence of a defined undesirable event, usually one which significantly affects system performance, economy, safety or other required characteristics.
FEA Finite Element Analysis 
Feasibility A determination that a process, design, procedure, or plan can be successfully accomplished in the required time frame. 
Feasibility study Analysis of the known or anticipated need for a product, system, or component to assess the degree to which the requirements, designs, or plans can be implemented.
Finite Element Analysis A technique for modeling a complex structure. When the mathematical model is subjected to known loads, the displacement of the structure may be determined. 
FISHBONE DIAGRAM Also known as a Cause and Effect Analysis Diagram, used by a problem solving team during brainstorming to logically list and display known and potential causes to a problem. Analysis of the listed causes is done to identify root causes.
Fishbone Diagram A problem-solving tool that uses a graphic description of the various process elements to analyze potential sources of variation , or problems. [Same as Cause and Effect Diagram, or Ishikawa Diagram] 
Fishbone diagram Another name for a cause & effect diagram, derived from the original shape of the diagram as used by its creator, Kaoru Ishikawa.
Fixed Cost A cost that does not vary with the amount or degree of production. The costs that remain if an activity or process stops. 
FIXED EFFECTS MODEL Experimental treatments are specifically selected by the researcher. Conclusions only apply to the factor levels considered in the analysis. Inferences are restricted to the experimental levels. 
FIXING Temporary actions taken to make the output of a process conform to its specifications.
Flow Chart is a pictorial representation showing all of the steps of a process. 
Flowchart A graphical representation of a given process delineating each step. It is used to diagram how the process actually functions and where waste, error, and frustration enter the process.
Flowchart lists the order of activities. The circle symbol indicates the beginning or end of the process. The box indicates action items and the diamond indicates decision points. A beneficial technique is to map the ideal process and the actual process and identify the differences as targets for improvements.
Flowchart or flow diagram (2) (ISO) A graphical representation in which symbols are used to represent such things as operations, data, flow direction, and equipment, for the definition, analysis, or solution of a problem. (2) (IEEE) A control flow diagram in which suitably annotated geometrical figures are used to represent operations, data, or equipment, and arrows are used to indicate the sequential flow from one to another. Syn: flow diagram. See: block diagram, box diagram, bubble chart, graph, input-process-output chart, structure chart.
FLUCTUATIONS Variances in data, which are caused by a large number of, minute variations or differences 
FMA Failure Mode Analysis. 
FMEA Failure Mode and Effects Analysis 
FMEA Failure Mode Effects Analysis: An analytical technique used to assure that potential failure modes and associated causes have been considered and addressed.   
Force Field Analysis A technique used to identify the restraining and driving forces of a problem. Restraining forces keep the problem at its current level and driving forces push the problem toward improvements. 
Force Field Analysis A problem-solving tool that helps people evaluate the driving and restraining forces in a change situation. 
Force Field Analysis A tool, developed by social psychologist Kurt Lewin, which is used to analyze the opposing forces involved in causing/resisting any change. It is shown in balance sheet format with forces that will help (driving forces) listed on the left and forces that hinder (restraining forces) listed on the right.
Force Field Analysis is an analysis tool that uses a creative process for forcing agreement about all facets of a desired change.
Formal qualification review (IEEE) The test, inspection, or analytical process by which a group of configuration items comprising a system is verified to have met specific contractual performance requirements. Contrast with code review, design review, requirements review, test readiness review.
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION The pattern or shape formed by the group of measurements in a distribution 
Frequency distribution An organization of data, usually in a chart, which depicts how often an different events occur. A histogram is one common type of frequency distribution, and a frequency polygon is another.
FTC First Time Capability. 
Function A specific set of skills and resources that can be used to perform one or more activities that make up a process. Usually several functions are associated with a single process. 
Function (1) (ISO) A mathematical entity whose value, namely, the value of the dependent variable, depends in a specified manner on the values of one or more independent variables, with not more than one value of the dependent variable corresponding to each permissible combination of values from the respective ranges of the independent variables. (2) A specific purpose of an entity, or its characteristic action. 
functional analysis (IEEE) Verifies that each safety-critical software requirement is covered and that an appropriate criticality level is assigned to each software element.
Functional configuration audit (IEEE) An audit conducted to verify that the development of a configuration item has been completed satisfactorily, that the item has achieved the performance and functional characteristics specified in the functional or allocated configuration identification, and that its operational and support documents are complete and satisfactory. See: physical configuration audit.
Functional design (IEEE) (1) The process of defining the working relationships among the components of a system. See: architectural design. (2) The result of the process in (1).
Functional Economic Analysis (FEA) A technique for analyzing and evaluating alternative information system investments and management practices. Within DoD, FEA is a business case. Also, a document that contains a fully justified proposed improvement project with all supporting data. 
Functional Process Improvement A structured approach by all or part of an enterprise to improve the value of its products and services while reducing resource requirements. Also referred to as business process improvement (BPI), business process redesign, and business reengineering. 
Functional requirement (IEEE) A requirement that specifies a function that a system or system component must be able to perform.
Functional Verification Functional Verification is testing to ensure the part conforms to all customer and supplier engineering performance and material requirements. Functional verification (to applicable customer engineering material and performance standards) may be required by some customers annually unless another frequency is established in a customer approval control plan. Results shall be available for customer review upon request. 

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