IDOV: An alternative to DMADV, a Six Sigma strategy for designing products and processes. This Design for Six Sigma process consists of four phases: identify, design, optimize, and validate.
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 (see also "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 (see also "out-of-control process").
Incremental improvement: Improvements that are implemented on a continual basis.
Indicators: Established measures used to determine how well an organization is meeting its customers' needs as well as other operational and financial performance expectations.
Inputs: The products, services, material and so forth obtained from suppliers and used 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 usually is 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 in accordance with a sampling plan that is used 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. It is expected the higher rate of rejections will 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 initially coined by James Bakken of Ford Motor Co., in his book Out of the Crisis.
Intermediate customers: Organizations or individuals who operate as distributors, brokers or dealers between the supplier and the consumer/end user.
Internal customer: The recipient (person or department) within an organization of another person's or department's output (product, service or information) (see also "external customer").
Internal failure: A product failure that occurs before the product is delivered to external customers.
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 Organization for Standardization, known as ISO: A network of national standards institutes from 140 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 digraph: A management tool that depicts the relationship among factors in a complex situation. Also called a "relations diagram."
Intervention: The action of a team facilitator when interrupting a discussion to state observations about group dynamics or the team process.
Ishikawa diagram: See "cause and effect diagram."
Ishikawa, Kaoru (deceased): A pioneer in quality control activities in Japan. In 1943, he developed the cause and effect diagram. Ishikawa, an ASQ Honorary Member, published many works, including What Is Total Quality Control?, The Japanese Way, Quality Control Circles at Work and Guide to Quality Control. He was a member of the quality control research group of the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers while also working as an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo.
ISO 14000: An environmental management standard related to what organizations do that affects their physical surroundings. In the process of being made compatible with ISO 9000.
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, known as ISO, a specialized international agency for standardization composed of the national standards bodies of 91 countries. 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: The International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO, 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. Now in its second edition.