Lean Six Sigma Dictionary

Lean and six sigma can significantly improve cycle time and speed up the manufacturing process. LeSaint Logistics and other third party logistics companies will take these manufactured goods and transport them to retailers and distributors.



4 Blocker Project Description, Project Scope, Metrics/Benefits, Project Plan/Timeline
4E Edge Enthusiasm Energy Execution
4M+I Mistaking Proofing – Me (Operator) Materials Machine Method + Information
5 S Sort (Seiri), Straighten (Seiton), Shine (Seiso), Standardize (Seiketsu), Sustain (Shitsuke)
5 Whys? Find Root Cause by asking Why? five times.
80/20 Rule Pareto Principal. 20 percent of the defects causing 80 percent of the problems
85/15 Rule 85% of problems only managers can fix. 15% Operators can fix.
AAR After Action Review
Affinity chart (diagram) Brainstorming tool used to gather large quantities of information from many people; ideas usually are put on sticky notes, then categorized into similar columns; columns are named giving an overall grouping of ideas.
Analyze DMAIC phase where process detail is scrutinized for improvement opportunities. Note that: 1. Data is investigated and verified to prove suspected root causes and substantiate the problem statement (see also Cause and Effect). 2. Process analysis includes reviewing process maps for value added/non-value-added activities. See also Process Map; Value- Adding Activities; Non-Value-Adding Activities.
Andon Board A visual control device in a production area, typically a lighted overhead display, giving the current status of the production system and alerting team members to emerging problems.
APS Advanced Production Scheduling
Attribute data Any data not quantified on an infinitely divisible scale. Includes a count, proportion, or percentage of a characteristic (e. g region, location, room type …) or category (e.g., gender: male / female …). This is in contrast to “continuous” data that is not limited to categories (e.g. cost in dollars).
Autonomation  Automation with a human touch. Refers to semi-automatic processes where the operator and machine work together.  Autonomation allows man-machine separation. Also referred to Jidoka.
B vs C Better vs Current
Balanced production All operations or cells produce at the same cycle time. In a balanced system, the cell cycle time is less than takt time.
Balanced scorecard Categorizes ongoing measures into four significant areas: finance, process, people, and innovation. Used as a presentation tool to update sponsors, senior management, and others on the progress of a business or process; also useful for process owners
Baseline measures Data signifying the level of process performance as it is/was operating at the initiation of an improvement project (prior to solutions).
BAT Business Action Team
Batch-and-Queue  Producing more than one piece of an item and then moving those items forward to the next operation before that are all actually needed there. Thus, items need to wait in a queue.
Benchmarking  The process of measuring products, services, and practices against those of leading companies.
Best practice A completed project (usually, but not always a Six Sigma project) that is particularly valuable for use in other properties based on meeting these three conditions:

  • Success
  • Transferability and
  • Speed of benefit realization

A small proportion of projects will be Best Practices and an even smaller proportion will be required Best Practices.

Best-in-Class  A best-known example of performance in a particular operation. One needs to define both the class and the operation to avoid using the term loosely.
Big Y’s Why we’re focused on an Activity
Black Belt A team leader, trained in the DMAIC process and facilitation skills, responsible for guiding an improvement project to completion.
Blitz A blitz is a fast and focused process for improving some component of business ¬ a product line, a machine, or a process. It utilizes a cross-functional team of employees for a quick problem-solving exercise, where they focus on designing solutions to meet some well-defined goals.
Bottleneck Any resource whose capacity is equal to, or less than the demand placed on it.
Box Plot A graphic display of groupings of data that compares the groupings to the others on one chart. An example of the tool would be looking at the variation in check-in time by different front desk associates.
BPR Business Process Reengineering
BPx Business Process x = Reengineering, design, improvement, innovation…
CANDO Cleanup Arrange Neatness Discipline Ongoing Improvement
Capacity Constraint Resources Where a series of non-bottlenecks, based on the sequence in which they perform their jobs can act as a constraint.
Catch-Ball A series of discussion between managers and their employees during which data, ideas, and analysis are thrown like a ball. This opens productive dialogue throughout the entire company.
Cause and Effect diagram Also known as a “Fishbone” or “Ishikawa Diagram”; categorical brainstorming tool used for determining root-cause hypothesis and potential causes (the bones of the fish) for a specific effect (the head of the fish)
CEDAC Cause and effect with addition of cards
Cells The layout of machines of different types performing different operations in a tight sequence, typically in a U-shape, to permit single piece flow and flexible deployment of human effort.
Champion Project Sponsor
Change Agent The catalytic force moving firms and value streams out of the world of inward-looking batch-and-queue.
Changeover The installation of a new type of tool in a metal working machine, a different paint in a painting system, a new plastic resin and new mold in an injection molding machine, new software in a computer, and so on.
Charter Team document defining the context, specifics, and plans of an improvement project; includes business case; problem and goal statements; constraints and assumptions; roles; preliminary plan; and scope. Periodic reviews with the sponsor ensure alignment with business strategies; review, revise, refine periodically throughout the DMAIC process based on data
Checksheet Forms, tables, or worksheets facilitating data collection and compilation; allows for collection of stratified data. See also Stratification.
CLM Career Limiting Move
Common cause variation Normal, everyday influences on a process. This form of variation is usually harder to eliminate and will require changes to the process. Problems from common causes are referred to as “chronic pain”. An example of a Common Cause variation is the number of Employee Call-outs when there is a change in weather conditions, i.e. snow days in the Rocky Mountains, where properties commonly experience a greater number of call outs.
Complexity Matrix A tool used to assist teams in determining the level of complexity of a project.  This tool is used by the property Six Sigma Council to estimate the resources required for transfer projects. Understanding the levels of organizational complexity (change management) and availability of reliable data will assist the Six Sigma Council in determining how much time & which resources will be required to implement a project.
Constraint Anything that limits a system from achieving higher performance, or throughput.
Continuous data Any variable measured on a continuum or scale that can be infinitely divided; primary types include time, dollars, size, weight, temperature, and speed; also referred to as “variable data.” See also Attribute Data.
Continuous Flow Production Means that items are produced and moved from one processing step to the next one piece at a time. Each process makes only the one piece that the next process needs, and the transfer batch size is one. Also called “single-piece flow” or “one-piece flow.”
Control charts Specialized time plot or run chart showing process performance, mean (average), and control limits; helps determine process influences of common (normal) or special (unusual, unique) causes.
Control Phase (of DMAIC) DMAIC phase C; once solutions have been implemented, ongoing measures track and verify the stability of the improvement and the predictability of the process. Often includes process management techniques and systems including process ownership, cockpit charts and/or process management charts, etc. See  also Cockpit Charts; Process Management A statistical concept indicating that a process operating within an expected range of variation is being influenced mainly by “common cause” factors; processes operating in this state are referred to as “in control.” See also Control Charts; Process Capability; Variation.
CONWIP Constant Work In Progress
Correlation A measure of the degree to which two variables (such as thunder and lightning or tardiness and/or low productivity) are related (the extent to which they move together).
Cost of Poor Quality, or COPQ A dollar measures depicting the impact of problems (internal and  external failures) in the process as it exists; include labor and material  costs for handoffs, rework, inspection, and other non value adding  activities.
Covariance The impact of one variable upon others in the same group.
CPI Continuous Process Improvement (Kaizen)
Cpk or Cp (Process capability) Process capability or the degree to which a process can meet customer requirements. It is measured against an upper and/or lower specification limit representing the “extremes” of customer requirements/demands on the process. Values > 1 indicate a capable process, values < 1 indicate a process that is not meeting customer requirements
CQI Continuous Quality Improvement
Criteria matrix also known as Cause and Effect Matrix Decision-making tool used when potential choices must be weighed against several key factors (e.g., cost, ease to implement, impact on customer.). Encourages use of facts, data, and clear business objectives in decision making.
CTQ (Critical to quality) Refers to what customers consider important in any given process. Collecting Voice of the Customer data leads to the discovery of CTQs, which are translated into distinct requirements that can be measured.
Current State Map Helps visualize the current production process and identify sources of waste.
Customer Any internal or external person/organization who receives the output (product or service) of the process; understanding the impact of the process on both internal and external customers is key to process management and improvement.
Customer requirements Defines the needs and expectations of the customer; translated into measurable terms and used in the process to ensure compliance with the customers’ needs
Cycle time All time used in a process; includes actual work time and wait time.
Dashboard (or Process Scorecards) A graphical tool that provides a summary update on key indicators of process performance. It can include “alarms” to show if and when a key indicator is nearing a problem level. A dashboard is an evolutionary picture of a process; it changes over time based on what measures are appropriate for the current process.
Data Collection Plan A structured approach to identifying the required data to be collected and the approach to collecting it; typically performed during the Measure phase of a DMAIC project. The Data Collection Plan includes: the measure, the measure type, data type, operational definition, and the sampling plan if new data is necessary.
Decision tree Used during the SIXSIGMA Council process to determine project selection weighting. Focuses properties on the area (either Revenue, Cost Reduction or ASI, GSI) that needs the greatest attention to achieve overall property goals.
Defect Any instance or occurrence where the product or service fails to meet customer requirements.
Defect opportunity A type of potential defect on a unit of throughput (output) which is important to the customer; example: specific fields on a form which creates an opportunity for error that would be important to the customer.
Defective Any unit with one or more defects. See also Defects.
Define Phase (DMAIC) First DMAIC phase defines the problem/opportunity, process, and customer requirements; because the DMAIC cycle is iterative, the process problem, flow, and requirements should be verified and updated for clarity, throughout the other phases. See also Charter, Customer Requirements, Process Map, VOC.
Dependent Events Events that occur only after a previous event.
Deployment Process Map A map or graphical view of the steps in a process shows the sequence as it moves across departments, functions, or individuals. This type of process map shows “hand-offs” and the groups involved. It is also known as a functional or cross-functional flowchart or map.
Descriptive Statistics A statistical profile of the collected data; these measures include measures of averages, variation, and other numbers which help team members assess “how bad” a problem is and to pinpoint where to focus further analysis and solutions.
DEx Design Excellence
DFSS Acronym for “Design for Six Sigma.” Describes the application of Six Sigma tools to product development and Process Design efforts with the goal of “designing in” Six Sigma performance capability.
DFx Design For (x) assembly, manufacture …
Discrete data Any data not quantified on an infinitely divisible scale. Includes a count, proportion, or percentage of a characteristic or category (e.g., gender, loan type, department, location, etc); also referred to as “attribute data.”
DMADV Define, Measure, Analyze, Design Verification Validate
DMAIC Acronym for a Process Improvement/Management System which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control; lends structure to Process Improvement, Design or Redesign applications.
Documentation Documentation is a historical account of the activities and decisions made throughout a DMAIC project, Quick Hit, and iDMAIC project. Used to facilitate sharing of best practices across an organization and as part of the project close-out process.
DOE Design of Experiments (Statistical Analyze Term)
Downstream Processes (activities) occurring after the task or activity in question
DPMO, or Defects per Million Opportunities Calculation used in Six Sigma Process Improvement initiatives indicating the amount of defects in a process per one million opportunities; number of defects divided by (the number of units times the number of opportunities) = DPO, times 1 million = DPMO. See also DPO; Six Sigma; Defect Opportunity).
Drum Buffer Rope Monitor inventory at drum, Profile inventory at time buffer, How before inventory is turned into cash.
Effectiveness Measures related to how well the process output(s) meets the needs of the customer (e.g., on-time delivery, adherence to specifications, service experience, accuracy, value-added features, customer satisfaction level); links primarily to customer satisfaction.
Efficiency Measures related to the quantity of resources used in producing the output of a process (e.g., costs of the process, total cycle time, resources consumed, cost of defects, scrap, and/or waste); links primarily to company profitability
EMT Executive Management Team (Mike’s Staff)
EPA Every Product Every (interval in days between running a product)
Error Proofing Designing a potential failure or cause of failure out of a product or process.
External failure When defective units pass all the way through a process and are received by the customer.
Five Whys Five Whys are often used to generate a cause and effect.  It is the technique of asking “Why” five times in order to dig into each potential cause. “Why” is asked until the root cause is revealed. Additional questioning then becomes meaningless. 5 questions is just a reference point, at times it may take you 3, 10 or more to get to the root cause.
Flow A main objective of the lean production effort, and one of the important concepts that passed directly from Henry Ford to Toyota. Ford recognized that, ideally, production should flow continuously all the way from raw material to the customer and envisioned realizing that ideal through a production system that acted as one long conveyor.
FMEA A useful technique for preventing future problems and reducing risks to a solution. Acronym for Failure Modes and Effects Analysis.  Used to identify and assess errors & defects which could result in a threat to quality, safety or reliability; it is useful in implementing improvements, redesign or design of processes. Also a tool for process owners to build prevention and contingency steps into the project plan.
Force field analysis Identifies forces/factors supporting or working against an idea; “restraining” factors listed on one side of the page, “driving forces” listed on the other; used to reinforce the strengths (positive ideas) and overcome the weaknesses or obstacles.
Functional Layout The practice of grouping machines or activities by type of operation performed.
Future State Map A blueprint for lean implementation. Your organization¹s vision, which forms the basis of your implementation plan by helping to design how the process should operate.
Gantt Chart A project planning and management tool that displays all the tasks or activities associated with a project or initiative as well as the relationships/dependencies between these tasks. Resources, completion status, timing and constraints are all shown in the chart.
Gemba Place of Action
Goal statement Description of the intended target or desired results of Process Improvement or Design/Redesign activities; usually included in a team charter and supported with actual numbers and details once data has been obtained.
Green Belt Associates trained to the same level as Black Belts, but not on full-time assignment to SIXSIGMA. Green Belts assignments will vary. They may do DMAIC projects, lead smaller SIXSIGMA projects on a part-time basis, serve on larger projects as team members, and/or undertake implementation of Quick Hits or Innovation Transfer projects.
GRR Gauge Repeatability Reproducibility
GT Group Technology – Simplify Products
Handoff Any time in a process when one person (or job title) passes on the item moving through the process to another person; potential to add defects, time, and cost to a process.
Hawthorne Effect An increase in worker productivity that results from the psychological stimulus of being temporarily singled out and made to feel important. A group working on a project may be receiving a lot of attention and their performance may temporarily improve; when this attention decreases, the worker motivation may decline.
Heijunka A method of leveling production at the final assembly line that makes just-in-time production possible. This involves averaging both the volume and sequence of different model types on a mixed-model production line.
Histogram or Frequency Plot Chart used to graphically represents the frequency, distribution and “centeredness” of a population.
Hosin Planning (HP) Also known as Management by Policy or Strategy Deployment. A means by which goals are established and measures are created to ensure progress toward those goals. HP keeps activities at all levels of the company aligned with its overarching strategic plans. HP typically begins with the “visioning process” which addresses the key questions: Where do you want to be in the future? How do want to get there? When do you want to achieve your goal? And who will be involved in achieving the goals? HP then systematically explodes the whats, whos and hows throughout the entire organization.
Hypothesis statement A complete description of the suspected cause(s) of a process problem
IDDOV Identify Define Develop Optimize Verify
Impact/Effort Matrix A graphical representation of different projects plotted along two axes (Y = Impact, X = Effort). A project selection tool that allows comparison of dissimilar projects during the project selection portion of the SSC process.
Implementation Plan A project management tool used in the “Improve” stages of DMAIC and iDMAIC, compiling tools such as Stakeholder Analysis, FMEA, Poka-yoke, SOP’s and pilot results (if conducted) in a consolidated format.  Implementing a process improvement – or a new process design . requires diligent project management skills. Any project begins with a plan: What do we have to do? How long will it take? Who will do the work? What order will things get done and when? Executing the implementation needs to be proactive and focused. Using this project management document makes it possible to coordinate all of these aspects in a timely manner.
Improve Phase  DMAIC phase where solutions and ideas are creatively generated and decided upon. Once a problem has been fully identified, measured, and analyzed, potential solutions can be determined to solve the problem in the problem statement and support the goal statement. See also Charter.
Innovation Transfer The successful transfer of a new idea, method or solution from one property to another may be a Quick Hit, Best Practice, or any other innovation.
Input Any product, service, or piece of information that comes into the process from a supplier.
Input measures Measures related to and describing the input into a process; predictors of output measures.
Institutionalization Fundamental changes in daily behaviors, attitudes, and practices that make changes “permanent”, cultural adaptation of changes implemented by Process Improvement, Design or Redesign-including complex business systems such as HR, MIS, Training, etc.
IRR Internal Rate of Return. A way to compare potential projects by calculating the financial value of a project against the investment required. All else being equal, projects with a larger internal Rate of Return are more attractive investment opportunities.
IS Instrument Systems / Services
ISO-9000 Standard and guideline used to certify organizations as competent in defining and adhering to documented processes; mostly associated with quality assurance systems, not quality improvement.
Jidoka Improve Quality
Job Jar List of Prioritized Projects to be Done
Judgment sampling Approach that involves making educated guesses about which items or people are representative of a whole, generally to be avoided.
Just-in-Time (JIT) Principles that are fundamental to Time-Based Competition ¬ waste elimination, process simplification, set-up and batch-size reduction, parallel processing, and layout redesign ¬ are critical skills in every facet of the lean organization. JIT is a system for producing and delivering the right items at the right time, in the right amounts. The key elements of Just-in-Time are Flow, Pull, Standard Work, and Takt Time.
Kaikaku Improvements (large gains) as opposed to Kaizen (small gains)
Kaisen Burst Focused Effort to Resolve a Bottleneck
Kaizen Continuous, incremental improvement of an activity to create more value with less waste. The term Kaizen Blitz refers to a team approach to quickly tear down and rebuild a process layout to function more efficiently.
Kamishabi ‘T’ Card display board with a column for each day of the week
Kanban A signaling device that gives instruction for production or conveyance of items in a pull system. Can also be used to perform kaizen by reducing the number of Kanban in circulation, which highlights line problems.
Kano Kano Factor Dr. Noriaki Kano Basic must be, Performance more is better, delighter excitement
Lead Time The total time a customer must wait to receive a product after placing an order. When a scheduling and production system is running at or below capacity, lead time and throughput time are the same. When demand exceeds the capacity of a system, there is additional waiting time before the start of scheduling and production, and lead time exceeds throughput time.
Lean Business processes requiring less human effort, capital investment, floor space, materials, and time in all aspects of operation.
LPO Lean Promotion Office
Management-by-fact A decision making using criteria and facts; supporting “intuition” with data; tools used include process measurement, process management techniques, and rational decision-making tools (e.g., criteria matrix).
Master Black Belt Expert at the level to be able to teach Black Belts
MBO Management By Objectives
MBWO Management By Walking Around
Measure 1. DMAIC phase M, where key measures are identified, and data are collected, compiled, and displayed 2. A quantified evaluation of specific characteristics and/or level of performance based on observable data.
Milkround Pick up & deliver parts between supply chain members (Water Spider or runner is inside the plant)
Mistake Proofing Any change to an operation that helps the operator reduce or eliminate mistakes.
Moment of truth Any event or point in a process when the external customer has an opportunity to form an opinion (positive, neutral, or negative) about the process or organization.
MRP Forecast Based System
MSA Measurement System Analysis
Muda Anything that interrupts the flow of products and services through the value stream and out to the customer is designated Muda ¬ or waste.
Multivoting Narrowing and prioritization tool. Faced with a list of ideas, problems, causes, etc., each member  a group is given a set number of “votes.” Those receiving the most votes get further attention/consideration
MURA Unevenness
MURI Unreasonableness
Nemawashi Consensus building
Non-value-adding activities Steps/tasks in a process that do not add value to the external customer and do not meet all three criteria for value-adding; includes rework, handoffs, inspection/control, wait/delays, etc. See also Value-Adding Activities.
OEE Overall Equipment Effectives
Operating Expenses The money required the system to convert inventory into throughput.
Operational definition A clear, precise description of the factor being measured or the term being used; ensures a clear understanding of terminology and the ability to operate a process or collect data consistently.
OPT Computer based finite scheduling package developed by Goldratt.
Output Any product, service, or piece of information coming out of, or resulting from, the activities in a process.
Overproduction Producing more, sooner or faster than is required by the next process.
PACER Meeting Management: Purpose Agenda Code of Conduct Expectations Roles
Pareto Chart Quality tool based on Pareto Principle; uses attribute data with columns arranged in descending order, with highest occurrences (highest bar) shown first; uses a cumulative line to track percentages of each category/bar, which distinguishes the 20 percent of items causing 80 percent of the problem.
Pareto Principle The 80/20 rule; based on Vilfredo Pareto’s research stating that the vital few (20 percent of causes have a greater impact than the trivial many (80 percent) causes with a lesser impact.
PDCA Plan Do Check Act cycle “The Stewart Cycle”
PE, PEx Product Excellence
Pilot Trial implementation of a solution, on a limited scale, to ensure its effectiveness and test its impact; an experiment verifying a root cause hypothesis.
Plan-Do-Check-Act, or PDCA Basic model or set of steps in continuous improvement; also referred to as “Shewhart Cycle” or “Deming Cycle.”
Poka-Yoke A mistake-proofing device or procedure to prevent a defect during order taking or manufacture. An order-taking example is a screen for order input developed from traditional ordering patterns that question orders falling outside the pattern. The suspect orders are then examined, often leading to the discovery of inputting errors or buying based on misinformation. A manufacturing example is a set of photocells in parts containers along an assembly line to prevent components from progressing to the next stage with missing parts. A poka-yoke is sometimes called a baka-yok.
POLCA Paired cells Overlapping Loops Of Cards with Authorization
Precision The ability of the measurement to measure consistently. This links to the type of scale or detail of your operational definition, but it can have an impact on your sample size, too.
Preliminary plan Used when developing milestones for team activities related to process improvement; includes key tasks, target completion dates, responsibilities, potential problems, obstacles and contingencies, and communication strategies.
Problem/Opportunity statement Description of the symptoms or the “pain” in the process; usually written in noun-verb structure: usually included in a team charter and supported with numbers and more detail once data have been obtained. See also Charter.
Process The flow of material in time and space. The accumulation of sub-processes or operations that transform material from raw material to finished product.
Process capability Determination of whether a process, with normal variation, is capable of meeting customer requirements; measure of the degree a process is/is not meeting customer requirements, compared to the distribution of the process. See also Control; Control Charts.
Process design Creation of an innovative process needed for newly introduced activities, systems, products, or services
Process improvement Improvement approach focused on incremental changes/solutions to eliminate or reduce defects, costs or cycle time; leaves basic design and assumptions of a process intact. See also Process redesign.
Process Kaizen Improvements made at an individual process or in a specific area. Sometimes called “point kaizen”.
Process management Defined and documented processes, monitored on an ongoing basis, which ensure that measures are providing feedback on the flow/ function of a process; key measures include financial, process, people, innovation. See also Control.
Process map, or flowchart Graphic display of the process flow that shows all activities, decision points, rework loops, and handoffs.
Process measures Measures related to individual steps as well as to the total process; predictors of output measures.
Process redesign Method of restructuring process flow elements eliminating handoffs, rework loops, inspection points, and other non-value-adding activities; typically means “clean slate” design of a business segment and accommodates major changes or yields exponential improvements (similar to reengineering). See also Process Improvement; Reengineering
Processing Time The time a product is actually being worked on in a machine or work area.
Project rationale or “Business Case” Broad statement defining area of concern or opportunity, including impact/benefit of potential improvements, or risk of not improving a process; links to business strategies, the customer, and/or company values. Provided by business leaders to an improvement team and used to develop problem statement and Project Charter.
Proportion defective Fraction of units with defects; number of defective units divided by the total number of units; translate the decimal figure to a percentage. See also Defects; Defective
PULL A system of cascading production and delivery instructions from downstream to upstream activities in which the upstream supplier waits until the downstream customer signals a need. A pull system means producing only what has been consumed by downstream activities or customers.
Pull System One of the 3 elements of JIT. In the pull systems, the downstream process takes the product they need and pulls it from the producer. This customers pull is a signal to the producer that the product is sold. The pull system links accurate information with the process to minimize waiting and overproduction
Push System In contrast to the pull system, product is pushed into a process, regardless of whether it is needed. The pushed product goes into inventory, and lacking a pull signal from the customer indicating that it has been bought, more of the same product could be overproduced and put in inventory.
QCC Quality Control Complexity
QFD See Quality Function Deployment
QRC Quality and Regulatory Compliance
Quality A broad concept and/or discipline involving degree of excellence; a distinguished attribute or nature; conformance to specifications; measurable standards of comparison so that applications can be consistently directed toward business goals.
Quality assurance, or QA Discipline (or department) of maintaining product or service conformance to customer specifications; primary tools are inspection and SPC.
Quality council Leadership group guiding the implementation of quality or Six Sigma within an organization; establishes, reviews, and supports the progress of quality improvement teams.
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) A visual decision-making procedure for multi-skilled project teams which develops a common understanding of the voice of the customer and a consensus on the final engineering specifications of the product that has the commitment of the entire team. QFD integrates the perspectives of team members from different disciplines, ensures that their efforts are focused on resolving key trade-offs in a consistent manner against measurable performance targets for the product, and deploys these decisions through successive levels of detail. The use of QFD eliminates expensive backflows and rework as projects near launch.
Queue Time The time a product spends in a line awaiting the next design, order processing, or fabrication step.
Quick Changeover The ability to change tooling and fixtures rapidly (usually minutes), so multiple products can be run on the same machine.
R&R Repeatability & Reproducibility
Random sampling Method that allows each item or person chosen to be measured is selected completely by chance.
Reengineering Design or redesign of business; similar to Process Redesign, though in practice usually at a much larger scale or scope.
Repeatability Measurement stability concept in which a single person gets the same results each time he/she measures and collects data; necessary to ensure data consistency and stability. See also Reproducibility.
Reproducibility Measurement stability concept in which different people get the same results when they measure and collect data using the same methods; necessary to ensure data consistency and stability. See also Repeatability.
Resource Utilization Using a resource in a way that increases throughput.
Revision plans A mechanism (process) for updating processes, procedures, and documentation.
Rework loop Any instance in a process when the thing moving through the process has to be corrected by returning it to a previous step or person/organization in the process; adds time, costs, and potential for confusion and more defects. See also Non-Value-Adding Activities.
RING Shared decision making
ROI Return on Investment
Rolled throughput yield or RTY The cumulative calculation of defects through multiple steps in a process; total input units, less the number of errors in the first process step number of items “rolled through” that step; to get a percentage, take the number of items coming through the process correctly divided by the number of total units going into the process; repeat this for each step of the process to get an overall rolled-throughput percentage. See also Yield.
ROP Re Order Point
Run chart, or time plot Measurement display tool showing variation in a factor over time; indicates trends, patterns, and instances of special causes of variation. see also Control Chart; Special Cause; Variation.
Sampling Using a smaller group to represent the whole; foundation of statistics which can save time, money, and effort; allows for more meaningful data; can improve accuracy of measurement system.
Sampling bias When data can be prejudiced in one way or another and do not represent the whole.
Scatter plot or diagram Graph used to show relationship-or correlation-between two factors or variables. See also Correlation Coefficient.
Scope Defines the boundaries of the process or the Process Improvement project; clarifies specifically where opportunities for improvement reside (start- and end-points); defines where and what to measure and analyze; needs to be within the sphere of influence and control of the team working on the project-the broader the scope, the more complex and time-consuming the Process Improvement efforts will be.
Sensei An outside master or teacher that assists in implementing lean practices.
Sequential Changeover Also sequential set-up. When changeover times are within Takt time, changeovers can be performed one after another in a flow line. Sequential changeover assures that the lost time for each process in the line is minimized to one Takt beat. A set-up team or expert follows the operator, so that by the time the operator has made one round of the flow line (at Takt time), it has been completely changed over to the next product.
Seven wastes Taiichi Ohno¹s original catalog of the wastes commonly found in physical production. These are overproduction ahead of demand, waiting for the next processing stop, unnecessary transport of materials, overprocessing of parts due to poor tool and product design, inventories more than the absolute minimum, unnecessary movement by employees during the course of their work, and production of defective parts.
Should-be process mapping Process-mapping approach showing the design of a process the way it should be (e.g., without non-value-adding activities; with streamlined workflow and new solutions incorporated). Thus contrasts with the “As-Is” form of process mapping. See also Process Redesign, Value- Adding Activities; Non-Value-Adding Activities.
SILO Service In Logical Order
SILS Sequenced In Line Storage
Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) A series of techniques designed for changeovers of production machinery in less than ten minutes. Obviously, the long-term objective is always Zero Setup, in which changeovers are instantaneous and do not interfere in any way with continuous flow.
Single-Piece Flow A situation in which products proceed, one complete product at a time, through various operations in design, order taking, and production, without interruptions, backflows, or scrap.
SIPOC Acronym for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customer; enables an “at-a-glance,” high-level view of a process.
Six Sigma
Six Sigma or 6 Sigma Methodology that attacks Process Variability to Eliminate Defects1. Level of process performance equivalent to producing only 3.4defects for every one million opportunities or operations. 2. Term used to describe Process Improvement initiatives using sigma-based process measures and/or striving for Six Sigma-level performance.
SLT Site Leader Team
SMART Define: Specific Measurable Actionable Realistic Time Bound
SMED Change over reduction
Solution statement A clear description of the proposed solution(s); used to evaluate and select the best solution to implement.
SPC Statistical Process Control is use of data gathering and analysis to monitor processes, identify performance issues, and determine variability/ capability. See also Run Charts; Control Charts.
Special cause variation Instance or event that impacts processes only under “special” circumstances -i.e., not part of the normal, daily operation of the process. See Common Cause; Variation.
Sponsor (or Champion) Person who represents team issues to senior management; gives final approval on team recommendations and supports those efforts with the Quality Council; facilitates obtaining of team resources as needed; helps Black Belt and team overcome obstacles; acts as a mentor for the Black Belt
SS Safety Stock
ST Safety Lead Time for Safety Stock
Standard Work A precise description of each work activity specifying cycle time, takt time, the work sequence of specific tasks, and the minimum inventory of parts on hand needed to conduct the activity.
Standards These involve comparison with accepted norms, such as are set by regulatory bodies.
Storyboard A pictorial display of all the components in the DMAIC process, used by the team to arrive at a solution; used in presentations to Sponsor, senior management, and others.
STP Straight Through Processing
Stratification Looking at data in multiple layers of information such as what (types, complaints, etc.), when (month, day, year, etc.), where (region, city, state, etc.), and who (department, individual).
Stratified sampling Dividing the larger population into subgroups, then taking your sample from each subgroup.
Sub-Optimization A condition where gains made in one activity are offset by losses in another activity or activities, created by the same actions crating gains in the first activity.
Supplier Any person or organization that feeds inputs (products, services, or information) into the process; in a service organization, many times the customer is also the supplier.
SWOT Strength Weakness Opportunities Threats
System Kaizen Improvement aimed at an entire value stream.
Systematic sampling Sampling method in which elements are selected from the population at a uniform interval (e.g., every half-hour, every twentieth item); this is recommended for many Six Sigma measurement activities.
Takt Time The available production time divided by the rate of customer demand. For example, if customers demand 240 widgets per day and the factory operations 480 minutes per day, takt time is two minutes; if customers want two new products designed per month, takt time is two weeks. Takt time sets the pace of production to match the rate of customer demand and becomes the heartbeat of any lean system.
TAT Turn Around Time
TEMBA There exits many better alternatives
Theory of Constraints A lean management philosophy that stresses removal of constraints to increase throughput while decreasing inventory and operating expenses.
Throughput Time The time required for a product to proceed from concept to launch, order to delivery, or raw materials into the hands of the customer. This includes both processing and queue time.
Tim Wood Transport Inventory Motion Waiting Over Production Over Processing Defects
TOC Theory of Constraints: The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) A series of methods, originally pioneered to ensure that every machine in a production process is always able to perform its required tasks so that production is never interrupted.
TP Thinking Process (Eli Goldratt)
TPM Total Productive Maintenance
TPS Toyota Production System
TQM Total Quality Management (By Deming)
Upstream Processes (tasks, activities) occurring prior to the task or activity in question.
Value A capability provided to a customer at the right time at an appropriate price, as defined in each case by the customer.
Value Chain Activities outside of your organization that add value to your final product, such as the value adding activities of your suppliers.
Value Stream The specific activities required to design, order and provide a specific product, from concept to launch, order to delivery, and raw materials into the hands of the customer.
Value Stream Mapping Highlights the sources of waste and eliminates them by implementing a future state value stream that can become reality within a short time.
Value-Added Analysis With this activity, a process improvement team strips the process down to it essential elements. The team isolates the activities that in the eyes of the customer actually add value to the product or service. The remaining non-value adding activities (“waste” are targeted for extinction.
Value-adding activities Steps/tasks in a process that meet all three criteria defining value as perceived by the external customer: 1) the customer cares; 2) the thing moving through the process changes; and 3) the step is done right the first time.
Value-enabling activities Steps/tasks in a process enabling work to move forward and add value to the customer but not meeting all three of the value-adding criteria; should still be scrutinized for time and best practices-can it be done better?
Variation Change or fluctuation of a specific characteristic which determines how stable or predictable the process may be; affected by environment, people, machinery/equipment, methods/procedures, measurements, and materials; any Process Improvement should reduce or eliminate variation. See also Common Cause; Special Cause.
Visual Control The placement in plain view of all tools, parts, production activities, and indicators of production system performance so everyone involved can understand the status of the system at a glance.
VMI Vendor Managed Inventory
Voice of the Customer, or VOC Data (complaints, surveys, comments, market research, etc.) representing the views/needs of a company’s customers; should be translated into measurable requirements for the process.
VSM Value Steam Mapping
Waste Anything that uses resources, but does not add real value to the product or service.
Water Spider Runner pick up & deliver parts inside the plant, light but often (Milkround between plants)
Work in Progress (WIP) Product or inventory in various stages of completion throughout the plant, from raw material to completed product.
WPM Workflow Process Model
X or Input Variable used to signify factors or measures in the Input or Process segments of a business process or system.
Y or Output Variable used to signify factors or measures at the Output of a business process or system. Equivalent to “results.” A key principle of Six Sigma is that Y is a function of upstream factors; or Y = f(x).
Yield Total number of units handled correctly through the process step(s).

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