Glossary – Q

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Quality assurance.


Quality control.

Qualification testing

Testing conducted to determine whether a system or component is suitable for operational use.


Research results that cannot be quantified; for example, the results of focus groups and interviews.

Qualitative data

Data measured on a nominal scale. Also called discrete data. See also data types.

Qualitative market research

Research designed to guide organizations in their decision-making.

Qualitative research

A study of how people interpret their experiences in relation to the world around them. See also quantitative research.

Qualitative research methods

See biography, case study, ethnography, focus group, grounded theory, interview, non-participant observation, participant observation, phenomenology, pilot testing, quantitative research methods, questionnaire, sample, structured interview, survey, unstructured interview.

Qualitative risk analysis

Performing a qualitative assessment of risks and conditions to prioritize their effects on project objectives. It involves assessing the probability and impact of project risks and using methods such as the probability and impact matrix to classify risks into categories of high, moderate, and low for prioritized risk response planning.

Qualitative variable

A variable that is measured on a nominal scale; for example, marital status. See also quantitative variable, variable types.


The extent to which a product or service meets customer requirements and is fit for use.

Quality assurance (QA)

Planned or systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service is of the type and quality that the customer needs and expects, and that management and technical planning and controls are adequate to establish correct technical requirements for design and manufacturing. See also software quality assurance.

Quality Assurance Plan

A project document that ensures that the system satisfies contractual agreements, meets or exceeds quality standards, and complies with approved systems development life cycle (SDLC) processes. The plan describes the actual QA activities (audits, testing, problem reporting, and corrective action) that will be integrated with the project plan and schedule. The level of detail contained within is consistent with the complexity, size, intended use, mission criticality, and cost of failure of the system development effort.

Quality audit

A systematic and independent examination to determine whether quality activities and related results comply with planned arrangements, and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve objectives. Also, a structured review of quality management activities to identify lessons learned and improve performance.

Quality control (QC)

The process of monitoring specific project results to determine whether they comply with relevant quality standards, and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.

Quality gate

Predefined completion criterion for a task, including audits, walk-throughs, and inspections that provide an assessment of progress, processes used, and project products to be offered.

Quality management

The aspect of the overall management function that determines and implements the quality policy.

Quality planning

Identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project, and determining how to satisfy them.

Quality policy

The overall intentions and direction of an organization regarding quality as formally expressed by top management.

Quality surveillance

Ongoing monitoring and verification of the status of procedures, methods, conditions, processes, products, and services, and the analysis of records related to stated requirements, to ensure that specified quality requirements are being met.

Quality system

The organizational structure, procedures, processes, resources, and responsibilities for implementing quality management.

Quantitative data

Data measured on an interval, ordinal, or rational scale. See also data types.

Quantitative market research

Research that focuses on the incidence and statistical relationship of variables, typically using structured questionnaires and large samples.

Quantitative research

Research that measures and determines the relationship between one thing (the independent variable) and another (the dependent variable). See also qualitative research.

Quantitative research methods

See qualitative research methods, survey.

Quantitative risk analysis

Measuring the probability and consequences of risks and estimating their implications for project objectives.

Quantitative variable

Variables that already exist as numbers; for example, age and weight. See also qualitative variable, variable types.

QuarkXpress (Quark)

A desktop publishing page layout application.


In statistics, a division of ordered data into four groups that contain an equal (or close to equal) number of observations.


A search request submitted to a database to find information that meets the search criteria.


A written document with a series of questions that require respondents to provide some form of objective response.

QuickTime (Apple)

An application used to play cross-platform, real-time video and multimedia, including virtual reality.

QuickTime Pro (Apple)

An application used to capture, create, save, and share movies.

Quotation marks

The double or single, straight or curved characters used to surround a quotation. See also close quote, open quote, smart quotes.

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