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Lean Dictionary

Glossary of Lean Terms, Definitions and Use

 

-- 1 --

6S:
A foundational Lean tool used for improving organization of the workplace. Used to describe each step (each starting with S) more...

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-- A --

A3:
The nomenclature for a metric paper size, similar to 11" x 17". Used for Strategy, TPOC, VSA, RIE, problem solving more...

A3 Thinking:
A process for knowledge transfer, communication, consensus building, and
transforming culture more..

Affinity Diagram:
A process to organize disparate language /thoughts by placing individual ideas on cards and grouping the more...

Andon:
A device that calls attention to defects, equipment abnormalities, other problemsin a process. Reports the more...

Annual Objectives:
Used in Policy Deployment. The current year objectives that impact the achievement of the 3-5 year breakthrough objectives Strategic focus more...

Autonomation:
Described as "intelligent automation" or "automation with a human touch." If an abnormal situation arises more...

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-- B --

Bottleneck:
The place in the value stream that negatively affects throughput; as a resource capacity limitation, more...

Bowling Chart:
A form used to track performance (plan vs actual) on Policy Deployment objectives. Usually reviewed with more...

Breakthrough Objectives:
In Policy Deployment, those objectives characterized by multi-functional teamwork, significant change in the more...

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-- C --

Catch Ball:
The process of selecting strategies to meet an objective at any level then getting managers and their teams to more...

Cause and Effect Diagram (CEDAC):
A problem-solving tool used to establish relationships between effects and multiple causes. Assists with getting more...

Cellular Manufacturing:
An approach in which manufacturing work centers (cells) have the total capabilities needed to produce an item or group of similar more...

Cellularization:
Grouping machines or processes that are connected by work sequence in a pattern that supports flow production Creating flow and more...

Chaku-Chaku:
Japanese term for "Load-Load". It refers to a production line raised to a level of efficiency that allows the operator to simply load more...

Changeover:
As used in manufacturing, the time from when the last "good" piece comes off of a machine until the first "good" piece of the next more...

Continuous improvement process (CIP or CI):
An ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. These efforts can seek "incremental" improvement over time or more...

Counter Measures:
Immediate actions taken to bring performance that is tracking below expectations back into the proper trend. Requires root cause more...

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-- F --

Fishbone Diagram:
Another name for a cause-and-effect diagram, where the "spine" denotes an effect and the "bones" are cause factors. Used more...

Five Why's:
The practice of asking "why" five times whenever a problem is encountered; repeated questioning helps identify the more...

Flow:
The progressive achievement of tasks and/or information as it proceeds along the value stream. Flow challenges us to reorganize the more...

Flow Cell:
A logical, efficient, and usually physically self contained arrangement of supplies, equipment, and personnel to complete a service sequence; a more...

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-- G --

Gemba:
Japanese word of which the literal translation is "the real place." Where the actual services are provided or where the work is done. Go and more...

Gemba Walk:
The process by which leadership spend planned and purposeful time, daily, walking their value streams, coaching and mentoring others more...

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-- H --

Hanedashi:
Automatic unload of the work piece from one operation or process, providing the proper state for the next work piece to be loaded. Essential more...

Hansei:
Japanese term meaning to acknowledge your own mistake and to pledge improvement. Deep personal reflection and  more...

Heijunka:
Production leveling process that attempts to minimize the impact of peaks and valleys in customer demand. It includes level production-volume more...

Hoshin Kanri:
Strategic Planning / Strategic Management methodology, developed by Dr. Yoji Akao. Also known as Policy Deployment. Used for more...

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-- J --

Jidoka:
A form of automation in which machinery automatically inspects each item after producing it, ceasing production and notifying humans more...

Just-in-Time (JIT):
A system of managing production processes that results in line-balancing, one-piece flow, and little or no excess material inventory on more...

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-- K --

Kaizen:
A Japanese term meaning "change for the better". Applied to business organizations, it implies continuing improvement involving everyone. Used for more...

Kanban:
A card or sheet used to authorize production or movement of an item; The number of available kanban for an item is determined by the demand rate for more...

Kanban Rules:
When fully implemented, kanban (the plural is the same as the singular) operate according to the following rules more...

Key Performance Indicators (K.P.I.):
A method of tracking or monitoring the progress of existing daily management Systems. A daily management tool more...

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-- L --

Lead Time:
The total time it takes for a process to convert a raw material to a finished quality part. Data Collection more...

Lean:
more...

Lean Principles:
The five-step thought process for guiding the implementation of lean techniques is easy to remember, but not always easy to achieve more...

Line Balancing:
Equalizing cycle times (productive capacity, assuming 100% capacity utilization) for relatively small units of the manufacturing process, through proper more...

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-- M --

Machine Cycle Time:
The time it takes for an individual piece of equipment to complete its functions to produce a quality part independent of the operator's unloading more...

Mizusumashi (Water Strider or Water Spider)
Someone who moves quickly and efficiently from place to place to collect and deliver material/supplies to the primary members of a flow cell; move more...

Muda:
A traditional Japanese term for activity that is wasteful and doesn't add value or is unproductive. Removing waste is an effective way to improve more...

Mura:
A traditional Japanese term for unevenness. It is the waste of variation in a process. Seeing and eliminating the waste more...

Muri:
A traditional Japanese term for overburden or unreasonableness. Can be eliminated with the employment of standard work. Seeing and eliminating more...

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-- N --

Nagara:
Smooth production flow, ideally one piece at a time (balancing) of production processes and maximum utilization of available time, including more...

Non Value Added (NVA):
Those process steps in a Value Stream that take time, resources or space, but do not transform or shape the product or service to meet the needs more...

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-- O --

Operator Cycle Time:
The total time it takes an operator to complete one cycle of all the standard work elements in his job. Data collection more...

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-- P --

P.D.C.A. or P.D.S.A. Cycle:
Plan-Do-Check (Study)-Act. An iterative four-step problem-solving process typically used in quality control. It is also known as the Deming Wheel or more...

Paradigm:
Basic assumptions which form a conceptual framework which conditions our thinking about, and even our physical perceptions of the world more...

Paradigm Shift:
A radical change in somebody's basic assumptions about or approach to something. used to help thinking outside the box more...

Perfection:
A never ending pursuit of the complete elimination of non-value adding waste so that all activities along a value stream create value; perfection more...

Point of Use:
The condition in which all supplies are within arms reach and positioned in the sequence in which they are used to prevent extra reaching, lifting, straining, more...

Poka-Yoke:
A Japanese expression meaning "common or simple, mistake proof". A method of preventing errors by putting limits on how an operation more...

Policy Deployment Action Plan:
Form used by the team working on a Policy Deployment objective, detailing specific activities required for success, milestones, responsibilities and due more...

Policy Deployment Bowling Chart:
Monthly performance tracker that shows how successful a level of the organization is at deploying their PD goals and hitting their targets more...

Policy Deployment Matrix:
Form used to show relationships between 3-5 year objectives, improvement priorities, targets, resources required and benefits to the more...

Process Map:
A visual representation of the sequential flow of a process. Used as a tool in problem solving. Problem Solving more...

Process Improvement:
Process improvement is a series of actions taken by a Process Owner to identify, analyze and improve existing processes within an organization more...

Pull:
Principle the no one upstream function or department should produce a good or service until the customer downstream asks for it. A Principle of more...

Pull System:
A planning system that is based on the communication of real-time needs from downstream operations - ultimately final assembly or the equivalent more...

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-- Q --

Quality Improvement:

It is the organised creation of beneficial change.It is the last step in the quality journey. All quality improvement begins with data collection. The more...

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-- R --

Rapid Improvement Event (RIE):
A 4.5 day process utilizing a team based methodology to apply the lean tools for seeing waste and making immediate improvement. Used for more...

Root Cause:
The ultimate reason for an event or condition. Problem Solving more...

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-- S --

Sensei:
Teacher; One who has gone before. A person who has learned by great personal experience and exposure the power of continuous improvement and more...

Set-up Time:
Work required to change over a machine or process from one item or operation to the next item or operation. For Seeing and more...

Shojinka:
Continually optimizing the number of workers in a work center to meet the type and volume of demand imposed on the work center. Creating Flow and more...

Simpler Business System® (SBS)

1) Customer defines value
2) Deliver value to customers on demand more...

Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED):
Method of increasing the amount of productive time available for a piece of machinery by minimizing the time needed to change from one model to more...

Six Sigma:
A statistical term used to refer to a process that generates a maximum defect probability of 3.4 parts per million (PPM). When the amount a process shifts more...

Standard Work:
An agreed upon set of work procedures that effectively combines people, materials, and machines to maintain quality, efficiency, safety, and predictability; establishes a more...

Standard Work in Progress (SWIP):
The minimum amount of material or given product, which must be in process at any time to insure proper flow of the operation. Elimination of more...

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-- T --

Transformation Plan of Care (TPOC):
The plan for transforming the culture of an organization to one of continuous improvement; documented using an A3, this is the executive level lean more...

Takt Time:
The maximum time per unit allowed to produce a product or deliver a service in order to meet customer demand. Calculated by dividing the time available to produce the product or service by customer demand. Used to Set the Pace for a Flow Cell.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM):
A program for planning and achieving minimal machine downtime. Equipment and tools are put on defined maintenance schedules to keep them running efficiently and more...

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-- V --

Value:
When a product or service has been perceived or appraised to fulfill a need or desire--as defined by the customer-it is said to have value or worth. Components more...

Value Stream:
All the activities (both value-added and non-value added) required to deliver a specific product / service to the customer. A Principle of more...

Value Stream Analysis:
Physical mapping of each process step in the value stream; identifying waste, unevenness, and overburden, speaking with data, sizing the opportunity for more...

Voice of the Customer (VOC):
The desires and expectations of the customer, which are of primary importance in the development of new products, services, and more...

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-- W --

Waste (Lean):
Any operation or activity that takes time and resources but does not add value to the product or service sold to the customer. Non-value added more...

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-- Y --

Yokoten:
Japanese for "across everywhere". Knowledge is shared and plant related activities and countermeasures may be communicated plant wide and more...

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Acronyms:

A3 Metric Size of Paper = 11" x 17" - 9 boxes design to tell the event story Tool
RIE: Rapid Improvement Event Tool
POU: Point of Use Tool
SBS: Simpler Business System Philosophy
TPM: Total Preventive Maintenance Tool
TPOC: Transformation Plan Of Care A3 Type
TPS: Toyota Production System Philosophy
VOC: Voice Of Customer Tool
VSA: Value Stream Analysis Tool

Japanese English:
Chaku-Chaku: Load - load
Gemba: Go and see the work
Hanedashi: Automatic ejection of a part
Hansei: Deep personal reflection
Heijunka: Leveling production by volume and type
Hoshin Kanri: Policy Deployment
Jidoka: Intelligent automation
Kaizen: Rapid Improvement Event (RIE)
Kanban: Visual pull system
Mura: Unevenness
Muri: Overburden, unreasonableness or absurdity
Nagara: Smooth production flow
Mizusumashi: Water strider or water spider
Muda: Waste
Poka-yoke: Mistake or error proof
Sensei: Teacher
Shojinka: Load balancing
Yokoten: Best practice sharing

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