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Quality Glossary - I


IATF 16949: A harmonized set of supplier quality management system requirements for automotive suppliers released in October 2016 by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). IATF 16949 replaced ISO/TS 16949.

New! Idea creation tools: Tools that encourage thinking and organization of new ideas around issues or opportunities, either individually or with other people. Examples are brainstorming, the Delphi method, role-playing, TRIZ and visioning.

Imagineering: Developing in the mind’s eye a process without waste.

Impact effort matrix: A technique for determining the best action to take once the root cause of a problem has been identified. By creating a matrix with four quadrants and plotting the potential solutions based on the effort required to implement (x-axis) and the impact (y-axis), the solutions falling into the upper left-hand quadrant will be the best action to take.

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.”

New! Innovation: New value created at an optimal cost—not at any cost—through the development of new products, services or processes.

Inputs: The products, services and material obtained from suppliers to produce the outputs delivered to customers.

Inspection: A verification activity. For example, 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, 100%: Inspection of all the units in the lot or batch.

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, 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.

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 passed downstream—for example, delivered to external customers.

Internal setup: Setup procedures that must be performed while a machine or piece of equipment 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 (IAQG): An international nonprofit aerospace and defense industry legal entity (registered in Brussels) to continuously improve the industry’s processes used by its supply chain to consistently deliver high-quality products or services and to make significant improvements in quality performance and reductions in cost.

International Automotive Task Force (IATF): An ad hoc group of automotive manufacturers (for example, General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, BMW, Volkswagen and Renault) and their respective trade associations (for example, Automotive Industry Action Group, the German Association of the Automotive Industry and the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders) formed to provide improved quality products to automotive customers worldwide.

International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC): A cooperative organization of laboratory accreditation bodies.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO): An independent, nongovernmental international organization with a membership of 161 national standards bodies that unites experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market-relevant international standards, guidelines and other types of documents.

Interrelationship diagram: A management tool that depicts the relationship among factors in a complex situation; also called “interrelationship diagram” or “relations diagram.”

Intervention: The action of a team facilitator when interrupting a discussion to state observations about group dynamics or the team process.

Inventory: A term for assets (for example, materials, supplies, work in process and finished goods) held by an organization.

Ishikawa diagram: See “cause and effect diagram.”

ISO 14000: A series of international, voluntary environmental management standards, guides and technical reports developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

New! ISO 14001: A voluntary environmental management standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

New! ISO 19011: A guideline for the auditing of management system standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

ISO 26000: An international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to help organizations effectively assess and address those social responsibilities that are relevant and significant to their mission and vision; operations and processes; customers, employees, communities and other stakeholders; and environmental impact.

ISO 9000 series standards: A set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help organizations 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 (ISO) (see listing). The standards underwent major revision in 2000 and now include ISO 9000:2005 (definitions), ISO 9001:2008 (requirements), ISO 9004:2009 (continuous improvement) and ISO 9001: 2015 (risk management).

New! ISO 9001: A voluntary quality management system standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). First released in 1987 and one of several documents in the ISO 9000 family.