Terms I-J


As a part of a successful Kaizen strategy, "improvement" goes beyond the dictionary definition of the word. Improvement is a mindset of maintaining and improving standards. In a still broader sense, improvement can be defined as Kaizen and Innovation, where a Kaizen strategy maintains and improves working standards through small, gradual improvements, and innovation calls for radical improvements as a result of large investments in technology, processes, and/or equipment. The Kaizen strategy clearly delineates responsibilities: workers are to maintain standards, and managers are to improve standards. The Japanese perception of management boils down to one precept: maintain and improve standards.


Indirect Worker

A person who is involved in the manufacture of product but does not directly participate in the transformation of that product. Indirect workers may either be doing physical work (receiving, shipping, moving, etc.) or may be doing knowledge work (supervising, scheduling, engineering, etc.).


Information Management Task

The task of taking a specific product from order-taking through detailed scheduling to delivery. [See Value Stream]


Informative Inspection

A form of inspection used to determine non-conforming product. [See Inspection or Judgment Inspection]



Comparing product, or component against specifications to determine if such product or component meets requirements. [See Judgment Inspection or Informative Inspection]


Internal Setup (IED)

Tasks associated with switching a process from one product to another that can only be performed with the process stopped. Also known as IED - "inner exchange of die" [See: Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED), External Setup] 



All goods, which have been or are going to be worked on to produce products for customer consumption. There are 3 basic categories of inventory:

  • Raw: material sent by suppliers but not yet worked on by internal personnel/processes.
  • Work In Process: raw material which has had some value added (it has been through some transformational steps).
  • Finished Goods: final product(s) completed and on the shelf, waiting customer orders.

Inventory = Throughput Rate x Cycle Time (Little’s Law)


Inventory Turns

A measure of the capital efficiency of an operation. One turn is equal to the complete consumption and replenishment of the inventory in question. The number of inventory turns is usually based on a calendar year and is a commonly used indicator for the lean-ness of an organization.

Inventory Turns = 365 / Inventory Days of Supply Or = 365 / Inventory $/ Daily Sales $ Or = Throughput Rate / Inventory


ISO 9000 Series Standards

A set international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document required quality system elements. The standards are not specific to any particular industry, product, or service. They were developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an agency composed of the national standards bodies of ninety-one countries.




A form of automation in which machinery automatically inspects each item after producing it, ceasing production and notifying humans if a defect is detected; Toyota expands the meaning of jidoka to include the responsibility of all workers to function similarly, i.e. to check every item produced and to make no more if a defect is detected, until the cause of the defect has been identified and corrected. [See: Kaizen]


Jishu Kanri 

Self-management, or voluntary participation.


Judgment Inspection

A form of inspection used to determine non-conforming product. [See: Inspection or Informative Inspection]


Just-In-Time (JIT)

A manufacturing philosophy that seeks to make exactly what is needed, when it is needed in the current quantity with no waste. The groundwork for JIT was based on work by Kiichiro Toyoda who studied Henry Ford’s methods and tried to adapt them to small lot production.

Principles that are fundamental to Time-Based Competition are waste elimination, process simplification, set-up and batch-size reduction, parallel processing, and layout redesign, and are critical skills in every facet of the lean organization. The key elements/concepts of JIT are Flow, Pull, Standard Work, and Takt.

A production scheduling concept that calls for any item needed at a production operation - whether raw material, finished item, or anything in between, to be produced and available precisely when needed, neither a moment earlier nor later.

A system of managing production processes that result in line- balancing, one-piece flow, little or no excess material inventory on hand at the plant site and little or no incoming inspection. This system was developed at Toyota under the leadership of Taiichi Ohno and is sometimes referred to as "The Toyota Production System".



The art of something (i.e., 'leanjutsu: the art of lean production'). 



Click Below to Translate Website!

Looking for LEAN Implementation Tips?  Subscribe to our FREE "Learning to Lean" Newsletter!

Looking for LEAN Definitions?  

Click below to access our Lean Glossary!

Print Print | Sitemap
© GDC Total Business Solutions