Imagineering: Developing in the mind’s eye a process without waste.
Imperfection: A quality characteristic’s departure from its intended level or state without any association to conformance to specification requirements or to the usability of a product or service. Also see “blemish,” “defect” and “nonconformity.”
Improvement: The positive effect of a process change effort.
In-control process: A process in which the statistical measure being evaluated is in a state of statistical control; in other words, the variations among the observed sampling results can be attributed to a constant system of chance causes. Also see “out-of-control process.”
Incremental improvement: Improvement implemented on a continual basis.
Indicators: Established measures to determine how well an organization is meeting its customers’ needs and other operational and financial performance expectations.
Information flow: The dissemination of information for taking a specific product from order entry through detailed scheduling to delivery. Also see “value stream.”
Informative inspection: A form of inspection for determining nonconforming product. Also see “judgment inspection.”
Inputs: The products, services and material obtained from suppliers to produce the outputs delivered to customers.
Inspection: Measuring, examining, testing and gauging one or more characteristics of a product or service and comparing the results with specified requirements to determine whether conformity is achieved for each characteristic.
Inspection cost: The cost associated with inspecting a product to ensure it meets the internal or external customer’s needs and requirements; an appraisal cost.
Inspection, curtailed: Sampling inspection in which inspection of the sample is stopped as soon as a decision is certain. Thus, as soon as the rejection number for defectives is reached, the decision is certain and no further inspection is necessary. In single sampling, however, the whole sample is usually inspected in order to have an unbiased record of quality history. This same practice is usually followed for the first sample in double or multiple sampling.
Inspection lot: A collection of similar units or a specific quantity of similar material offered for inspection and acceptance at one time.
Inspection, normal: Inspection used in accordance with a sampling plan under ordinary circumstances.
Inspection, 100%: Inspection of all the units in the lot or batch.
Inspection, reduced: Inspection in accordance with a sampling plan requiring smaller sample sizes than those used in normal inspection. Reduced inspection is used in some inspection systems as an economy measure when the level of submitted quality is sufficiently good and other stated conditions apply. Note: The criteria for determining when quality is “sufficiently good” must be defined in objective terms for any given inspection system.
Inspection, tightened: Inspection in accordance with a sampling plan that has stricter acceptance criteria than those used in normal inspection. Tightened inspection is used in some inspection systems as a protective measure when the level of submitted quality is sufficiently poor. The higher rate of rejections is expected to lead suppliers to improve the quality of submitted product. Note: The criteria for determining when quality is “sufficiently poor” must be defined in objective terms for any given inspection system.
Instant pudding: A term used to illustrate an obstacle to achieving quality or the supposition that quality and productivity improvement are achieved quickly through an affirmation of faith rather than through sufficient effort and education. W. Edwards Deming used this term, which was coined by James Bakken of Ford Motor Co., in his book Out of the Crisis.
Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC): A cooperative organization of accreditation bodies.
Intermediate customers: Organizations or individuals who operate as distributors, brokers or dealers between the supplier and the consumer or end user.
Internal customer: The recipient (person or department) within an organization of another person’s or department’s output (product, service or information). Also see “external customer.”
Internal failure: A product failure that occurs before the product is delivered to external customers.
Internal setup: Die setup procedures that must be performed while a machine is stopped; also known as inner exchange of die. Also see “external setup.”
International Accreditation Registry (IAR): A not-for-profit organization that accredits training and certification program results to international standards and guidelines.
International Aerospace Quality Group: A cooperative organization of the global aerospace industry that is mainly involved in quality, cost reduction and process improvement efforts.
International Automotive Task Force (IATF): A cooperative group of automotive manufacturers and others primarily responsible for the development and launch of International Organization for Standardization Technical Specification 16949.
International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC): A cooperative organization of laboratory accreditation bodies.
International Organization for Standardization: A network of national standards institutes from 157 countries working in partnership with international organizations, governments, industry, business and consumer representatives to develop and publish international standards; acts as a bridge between public and private sectors.
Interrelationship diagram: A management tool that depicts the relationship among factors in a complex situation; also called “relations diagram.”
Intervention: The action of a team facilitator when interrupting a discussion to state observations about group dynamics or the team process.
Inventory: In lean, the money invested to purchase things an organization intends to sell.
Ishikawa diagram: See “cause and effect diagram.”
ISO 14000: An environmental management standard related to what organizations do that affects their physical surroundings.
ISO 26000: International Organization for Standardization standard on social responsibility, under development.
ISO 9000 series standards: A set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system. The standards, initially published in 1987, are not specific to any particular industry, product or service. The standards were developed by the International Organization for Standardization (see listing). The standards underwent major revision in 2000 and now include ISO 9000:2000 (definitions), ISO 9001:2000 (requirements) and ISO 9004:2000 (continuous improvement).
ISO/TS 16949: International Organization for Standardization international technical specification for quality management systems, with particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2000 for automotive production and relevant service part organization; generally replaced the U.S. QS-9000 standard. Now in its second edition.