Moffittlean Assiociates


14 Points

A theory for management founded by Dr. W. Edwards Deming:

  1. Create Constancy of Purpose toward improvement of product and service,
  2. Adopt the model across the board,
  3. Cease dependence on mass inspection,
  4. End the practice of awarding business on pricetag,
  5. Constantly and forever improve the system of production and service to improve quality and productivity and thus constantly decrease costs,
  6. Institute value adding methods of training,
  7. Institute value enhancing methods of leadership both in supervision and in management - leaders whose purpose is to help people and machines and fixtures do a better job,
  8. Drive out Fear,
  9. Break down barriers between departments,
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations and meaningless "fads of the month".
  11. Eliminate quotas.
  12. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of pride of workmanship.
  13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
  14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.

3 M's

Muda - waste, Mura - irregular actions, and Muri - strain make up the 3 M's.

5 M's

Manpower, Machine, Material, Method and Measurement, the 5 M's, are tried and true headlines for fishbone diagrams illustrating process cause and effect, each headline it's own path of inquiry for cause and effect analysis.

5 S's

The five degrees of world-class workplace organization and cleanliness translated from the Japanese as Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke meaning Sort, Situate, Shine, Safeguard and Standardize.

7 Flows

Flow of: People, Raw Material, Sub Parts, Final Products, Equipment, Information and Engineering. All of these must be evaluated in setting up a flow layout.

7 Wastes

Waste of: overproduction,correction, transporting, unnecessary stock, unnecessary motion, waiting, and waste from the process itself. Also: add waste of a person.

80 / 20 rule

Italian mathematician, Pareto, showed that 80 % of frequency is caused by 20% of the issues.

Activity Based

Method in accounting to allocate costs on the basis of cost drivers such as number of purchase orders issued, may encourage larger batches in order to spread the cost over a larger number of units to reduce the cost per unit. Compare to lean thinking which drives us to reduce or eliminate the cost, not just spread it out over more products or services.

Affinity Diagram

Tool used in initial stages of brainstorming to get the most thinking out a diverse group of people regarding a wicked problem. The brainstorming topic is posed in a question such as: "What issues are involved with solving X?" The group silently writes each possible issue component on sticky notes, one for each thought. The large number of sticky notes are arranged silently into related groups. Titles are written for each group. The groups with titles form the affinity diagram.

Annual Inventory

Annual inventory turns -- A measure of asset management that is calculated by dividing the annual cost of goods sold (for the most recent full year) by the average on-hand total inventory value at plant cost. Total inventory includes raw materials, work in process, and finished goods. Plant cost includes material, labor, and plant overhead.

Auto-NO- mation

Equipment running by itself that can stop if there is a defect, which takes one piece at a time - loads, processes, unloads, triggered by an operator who needs the part. Several autonomated pieces set together in a circular feed pattern make up a chuka chuka line.

Back Office

The administration area of the company or organization that supports the core business, for example in the case of a community college: Admissions, Human Resources, Security, Community Relations are back office processes, where instruction is the core business.

Bar Codes

Bar coding -- A coding system used to identify products, packages or services by encoding identification data in a printed pattern that is then placed on an object. Data is retrieved with an electronic scanning device linked to a computer.


Bottleneck -- Any point in operations at which movement is slowed because demand placed on a resource is equal to or more than capacity.


A confirmed process to creatively and efficiently generate a high volume of ideas through an approach that is free of criticism and judgment.


Inventory - or a stack of files - put in a flow as a protection against fluctuations. A necessary evil which should be relentlessly pursued.

CAD - Computer

Computer-aided design (CAD) -- Computer-based systems for product design that may incorporate analytical and "what if" capabilities to optimize product designs. Many CAD systems capture geometric and other product characteristics for engineering-data-management systems, produce- ability and cost analysis, and performance analysis. In many cases, CAD-generated data is used to generate tooling instructions for computer-numerical-control (CNC) systems.


Process of passing requests for resources and responses of commitments up and down the organizational food chain.


Cellular production -- an approach in which equipment and workstations are arranged to facilitate small-lot, continuous-flow production -- often in a U-shaped cell. In a "cell," all operations necessary to produce a component or subassembly are performed in close proximity, thus allowing for quick feedback between operators when quality problems and other issues arise. Workers in a cell typically are cross-trained and, hence, able to perform multiple tasks as needed.


Conscious intervention by the leadership of a company to force different behavior by the people in the company, to build a new cycle of better actions causing better results that will in turn reinforce a new company culture. The intervention should be strong, immediate, clearly explained, sustained, and supported by expert knowledge of the improved actions system (such as lean enterprise).

Change Over

Single Minute Exchange of Die


A clear, complete and easy way to collect process performance measures in the work area as they happen. A count, a yes/no audit, as little subjective decision making - no analysis - all just the primary element under study - whether number of defects, time lost in machine downtime, the time spent in design of checksheet to save the operators time which should not be taken away from the value stream to the customer. A pilot's takeoff checksheet. Not to be insulting, or trying to remember - critical source of raw data with as little interpretation as possible.

Chucka Chucka

A line set up with self loading and unloading equipment, triggered by an operator who is smoothly moving in a circular pattern between stages - taking/checking/placing parts from one station to the next in a choreography of value adding motions.

Code of Conduct

Ground Rules for Company Behavior, such as Respect Others, Tell the Truth, Be Fair, Try New Ideas, Ask Why, Keep the Promises and Do your Share.

Common Cause

Abnormality that occurs within the control limits of a process.

Company Culture

Companies are made up of people who work towards something, under some common understanding about how certain actions bring certain results. This common understanding tends to be reinforced over time, often becoming numb to actual or potential changes outside.


Formal programs that compare a plant's practices and performance results against "best-in-class" competitors or against similar operations.


The prevention of motion towards a desired goal except in a reduced manner or direction that causes wasted time and effort.


Anything that carries parts in a kanban system. Cleverly designing and using containers for competitive advantage is breakthrough thinking put into profitable action.

Control Chart

A run chart with upper and lower control limits showing the essence of common and special caused variation.

Critical Path

Tool to schedule sequential and simultaneous tasks to allow a team to find both the most efficient path and most realistic schedule for the completion of a project.

Customer Service

100% Customer Service - often measured as 100% on time at a level of quality that surpasses expectation.

Cycle Time

How long it takes in seconds to do something from start to finish.


DMAI - From the 6 Sigma Approach: DEFINE - A project team will be set up to tackle a quality issue based on business and/or customer needs. A list of 'Critical to Quality Characteristics' (CTQs) drawn up and measured. The best ones to look at are termed as the 'Big Y' the customers’ highest priority. MEASURE - From definition of CTQs, the next step is to look at processes which affect CTQs. For instance if one of the CTQs is to look at customer returns based on damaged packaging, then obviously the effectiveness of your packaging process is measured. ANALYZE - From looking at the processes which affect the CTQs the next step is to analyze which factors are causing the processes to vary in quality. In the packing example it could be that one packaging team may be using a different method to pack the products IMPROVE - The project team from measuring and analyzing the CTQs should now be in a position quantify maximum and minimum ranges for acceptable performance.


Design of experiments is the application of geometric principles to statistical sampling to obtain desired results such as minimizing the number of experiments necessary to obtain the answer to a problem or minimizing the variance of estimated coefficients obtained through regression. The first result above affects quantity of effort and, hence, cost. The second affects quality of result. Cost and quality are the basic elements of value. Thus, DOE is a powerful tool in designing for value.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming

Internationally renowned consultant whose work led Japanese industry into new principles of management and revolutionized their quality and productivity. See also - Deming's 14 points for management.


Net Earnings adjusted to exclude Provision for Income Taxes, Interest and Other Expensis, and Amortization of Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.


Net Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. EBITDA can be used to analyze the profitability between companies and industries, because it eliminates the effects of financing and accounting decisions.


Engineering Change Notice, an essential process that should be highly understood and documented by a process flow chart.


Electronic Data Interchange Information-system linkages, based on communication protocols and document formats, which permit inter-company computer-to-computer communications. EDI links not only speed communication, but also eliminate re-keying of information and reduce the opportunity to introduce errors. A typical EDI application might speed information exchange between a customer and supplier company for purchase orders, invoices, or other transactions. EDI communications often are facilitated through "electronic mailbox" systems on third-party value- added networks.


A slang verb meaning to go out and look at something. In value stream mapping, a symbol to indicate the need for direct decision-making at that point in the process. The decision point may also be represented by a pair of eyeglasses.

Facilitator Role

Supporter of the process more than the topic, the facilitator does not contribute directly to the objectives of the team, but rather keeps the team on track along a standard approach.


Finished Goods


First In First Out - as in inventory flow to a rack

Fishbone Diagram

Originally developed by Professor Kaoru Ishikawa to show causes (the ribs) and the effect (the head). A negative fishbone can be replaced by a positive one - as one of the 7 basic tools of problem-solving.

Flow Chart

Illustration of sequence of steps of any process using appropriate symbols to show inputs, outputs, actions, decisions, and direction.

Flow of Equipment

Equipment must be arranged in the sequence of processes and should make the flow of people and materials easy. Equipment should have narrow fronts. Loaded in the front, with waste and maintenance items in the back. Right sized, small, economical, modular, home built equipment that is easily movable is best. Poka yoke and hanedashi devices must bee incorporated into equipment design.

Flow of Final Product

Consider the assembly of the final product from the bottom up, along a continuously moving line, with test and audits included.

Flow of Information

Information should always travel with the material, coming in such forms as signals, kanbans, lights, sounds, music, spaces etc. Only release the information needed at that time. Don't allow information to stack up and become a push out on the floor. Don't allow people to sort through kanban cards to pick the job they want to do next. Don't have routine activities require lights or bells - you will wind up with a floor full of cacophony. Have a regular route set up to pick up and/or drop of routine items. Have the route illustrated by standard work, and have a card travel with the part. Use lights or bells to signal non-routine events - and work to make non- routine events not occur.

Flow of People

Standard work shows people's movement between process steps - movement should be unimpeded by equipment, tools, materials and other team members. Watch eyes, hands and feet for stopping or backing up - indicating disruption of the flow. Observe people flow between steps, and at the step itself: it should be one touch - for loading a machine, making an assembly installation, quality check, etc. Each "one touch" should be less than 10 seconds.

Flow of Process

The arrangement of machines, materials, people, and information in the order of processing so that work flows without interruptions or waste.

Flow of Raw Material

Make a fishbone on the table or floor, with the exploded parts - showing how they come together. Connect the fish bones to maximize the control of production on minimize the amount of material in the system - materials should be ordered, produced and delivered when they are needed, where they are needed, in the amount needed, presented in order of use.

Flow of Sub Parts

Flow of sub assemblies to a main line should be single piece, fed to the main line at point of use, with sub assemblies as complete as possible so that hooking up to the main line does not slow it down. Modules should plug in easily.


Failure Mode and Effect Analysis - tool used to predict and eliminate in advance any potential design defect in a new product by analyzing the effects of failure modes of component parts on the final product.

Fresh Eyes

Has no knowledge of existing process, responsible to ask why and help team find new ideas.

Gantt Chart

Tool that uses horizontal bars to show which tasks can be done simultaneously over the life of the project. Its primary disadvantage is that it cannot easily show which tasks are specifically dependent on each other.


The place where the work is done. "Go to the Gemba!" is the constant refrain of people who know how to practice the Toyota Production System. In Japanese, gemba means 'real place' the place where real action occurs. Japanese use the word gemba in their daily speech. When the earthquakes shook Kobe in January, 1995, TV reporters at the scene referred to themselves as 'reporting from gemba'…In business, the value- adding activities that satisfy the customer happen in gemba." Quoted from Gemba Kaizen by Masaaki Imai, McGraw Hill, 1997, page 13.

Group Norms

Form, Storm, Norm, Perform

Heijunka (Heijunka Box)

A "heyjunka" box is where production instruction kanban cards are sorted into the most economical and effective order for quickly meeting customer demand. An essential tool for level loading. It takes the shape of a matrix of slots, horizontally and vertically arranged by chunks of time and work cells. Production instruction cards representing chunks of time are placed into each slot as the signal for what to make, where.

Heinrich's Law

A principle related to occurrence ratio of accidents with injuries. Serious injury is to minor injury is to no injury = 1:29:300


One of the seven data tools for problem solving - a bar chart that shows the curve of variation in the output data of a process, collected over time, illustrating the process output's center, spread, and shape by presenting its frequency distribution in a bar form.

Hoshin Kanri

From the Japanese meaning the physical property of magnetically charged iron pointing in the same direction. In organizations, the unified pull towards a long term strategy - a continuing cycle of planning built on open discussion of available resources and prioritization of breakthrough themes down to the few simple goals agreed upon by leadership expressed in measurable targets to be achieved by a given point in time. These targets, resources and dates are shared through a policy deployment process and grid.

House of Quality

The HOQ is a storehouse of information that the team analyzes to make decisions as to the most important and most difficult areas for improvement. The input to the HOQ are the Customer needs, called the "WHATS". These WHATS are translated into performance measurables, called the "HOWS". The HOWS represent the measurement systems we will use to compare concepts in order to select the best one. The HOWS are not design solutions. In addition to the customer needs, the needs of the organization and the mandates of the regulatory agencies need to be addressed through the HOQ

Interrelationship Diagraph

Tool to systematically identify, analyze and classify the cause and effect relationships that exist among all critical issues so that key drivers or outcomes can become the heart of an effective solution. Topics are arranged in a large circle, and one way arrows are assigned from cause to affect. The topics with the higher number of outgoing arrows are the most likely candidates for immediate action.


Intranet -- A secure, internal corporate Internet- based network.

ISO 9000-9004

ISO is the general name for the quality standard accepted throughout the European Economic Community, initially adopted in 1987, a series of documents on quality assurance published by the Geneva-based International Standards Organization. Contents of each: 9000 = selection and use of quality systems contained in 9001-9003. 9001 QA in design, development, production, installation and servicing. 9002= QA in production and installation. 9003 = QA for final inspection and testing. 9004 = guidelines for QA management and quality system elements.

ISO International Standards

A worldwide federation of national bodies, established in 1947, representing approximately 90 member countries, covering standardization in all fields except electrical and electronic engineering standards, which are the responsibility of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Together, the ISO and IEC form the specialized system for worldwide standardization - the world's largest nongovernmental system for voluntary industrial and technical collaboration at the international level. Published standards include those for grading of steel, testing strength of woven textiles, storage of fruits, magnetic codes on credit cards, for automobile safety, and for ensuring the quality and performance of the world's diversity of products.


A device that stops a machine whenever a defective product is produced. It was the essential introduction of true JIT to Mr. Toyoda - thorough his mother's weaving equipment - a steel wire would drop when a thread was broken, saving endless hours of rework and waste. Mr. Toyoda built on this central idea to found the Toyota Production System.

Just In Time

Produce only what is needed, where it is needed, when it is needed.


Larger than kaizen, radical change, reform and innovation beyond the scope of average operations. Rethinking the very purpose of what you do -along the lines of 3P


Defined in 1993 edition of the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc. as a business philosophy. Kaizen is Japanese for ‘a change for better’ which results in ‘continuous improvement’. Kaizen logic was first enshrined in written text with Masaaki Imai’s book ‘KAIZEN - The Key To Japan’s Competitive Success’ (1996). Kaizen uses the Japanese logic of bringing improvements internally from within the workplace along with the American logic of scientific thing and data-based decision making.

Kaizen Forms

THE WAY KAIZEN FORMS ARE USED TO SAVE TIME AND MAKE EACH EVENT A ROUTINE. The names of the sheets may vary in translation such as the BIG IDEA SHEET is called a summary sheet, but it has also been translated as an area profile or activity sheet.

Kaizen Promotion

People helping others practice kaizen have many titles. A KPO (kaizen promotion officer), Kaizen Coordinator, Internal or external consultant, all are experts charged with promoting a successful kaizen event that results in the safe and significant achievement of company goals.


A kanban is a signal to produce or to withdraw supplies. Kanban is attached to a given number of parts or products or files in the process, instructing the delivery of a given quantity. In the case of a withdrawal kanban, when the parts/supplies have all been used, the kanban is returned to its origin as a signal for re-supply. As a kanban for production instruction; the kanban represents a set of work and goes to where it becomes an order to produce more.

Kanban Post

Place to hold kanban cards

Key Measures

Key Measures reflect progress towards the overall goals through numbers unclouded by ratios and complex formulas focusing on the health of the organization and the joy of the customer.


Scaled map of an area showing position of people, equipment and wip - using the standard work form.

Lead Time

Process time plus inspection time plus move time plus wait time.


Has clearest view of vision and objectives; keeps team on track; assigns action items; leads presentations

Lean Sigma

Advanced version of statistical process analysis and control put forth in TQC of the 80's, centering improvement activities on the reduction of variation combined with lean practices and application of the Toyota Production System. See also Six Sigma, Control Charts and design of experiments to achieve best practices in meeting or exceeding customer requirements.


The lowest, repeatable, reasonably understood to be the best way to do something with the least possible non-value-adding action or expense.

Lengthy Setup Causes

Setup procedure is not standardized. Procedure is not properly practiced. Completion of setup is uncertain to operator. Adjustments and re- adjustments. Materials & tools not properly prepared beforehand. Attaching & detaching fixtures, tooling, etc... The setup has not been properly evaluated. Unproven & incorrect CNC programs.

Level Loading

many methods to make work processes smooth in the face of changing customer demands, including product family grouping / streamlining, product design to eliminate unneeded variations, flexible staffing, smed, cell layout for flexibility, mixed modeling and heijunka systems.

Lot Size

Size of batch of work sent through the stream of events

Material Control Board

Place where cards, or magnets representing cards, are visually displayed and acted upon. Usually divided into zones for SKU types, various suppliers, areas of use, etc. Usually using color codes of red, yellow and green to indicate danger level of "running out"


From mathematics: An array of elements in rows and columns, as the coefficients of a set of linear equations, treated as a unit to make the relations between elements visible. From the latin meaning womb, source, that which originates, used as breeding records, turned into the meaning for public registers, original music recordings, host rock for crystal formations and intercellular substances in biology.

Matrix Diagram

Tool to systematically identify, analyze and rate the presence and strength of relationships between two or more sets of information, such as customer criteria to functions responsible (HOQ) or target dates and teams responsible (Policy Deployment) or possible kaizen topics to impact on key measures.

Mixed Modeling

Making daily totals in a pattern of A B A B A C instead of 3 A's, 2 B's and 1 C, reducing lead time and increasing production flexibility through seamless changeovers.


Waterspider or waterstrider to provide just what is needed in value stream. Please see Waterspider.


Has knowledge of kaizen format, forms, data collection and charting; responsible for the construction, documentation and presentation of standard work.


Overall Equipment Effectiveness. Outdated ratio measurement best replaced by real time data posted on the equipment by operators and reviewed regularly by leaders and TPM to take action on.


Original Equipment Manufacturer

One Piece Flow

One Piece Flow is one of three primary principles of lean enterprise - make it one at a time - it is not more efficient to batch, when considering the performance of the whole company.


Has most extensive knowledge of existing process; is responsible for keeping an open mind, communicating possible issues, and participating in improvements.

Overall Quality

is measured and communicated differently in every organization. Quality can mean % of things done right the first time, relying on after the fact inspection. In lean enterprise, it more likely means upstream audit of process and is measured as: (# audits - # defects) / # audits. Ultimately, the customer of the process is the only entity that decides quality.


is any business expense such as rent, office expense, taxes or depreciation which is not directly chargeable to production.

Overhead Projector

The least-waste-way of making real-time presentations during the kaizen event - reducing the cycle time of preparing and giving presentations through computers

P/E Ratio

Price/Earnings ratio, a metric used to evaluate a company's stock.The current stock prices of a company divided by its earnings per share (EPS).Simple to calculate, difficult to interpret because earnings is an accounting figure that includes non-cash items, can be applied differently in different countries,affected by inflation, and can change over time.


A paradigm is defined as the basic way of perceiving, thinking, valuing, and doing associated with a particular vision of reality. A dominant paradigm is seldom if ever stated explicitly; it exists as unquestioned, tacit understanding that is transmitted through culture and to succeeding generations through direct experience rather than being taught.


One of the seven data tools for problem solving - a bar chart that shows the greatest potential for improvement by showing issues ranked by their frequency in a descending bar chart. The chart also shows a running sum of the percentage of each


Numeric indicators or metrics of specific process outputs that illustrate the company's competitive strengths and weaknesses in achieving goals. The "score." The true picture of a company to evaluate progress. Lean performance measures should:

  1. support the company's strategy,
  2. be few in number,
  3. be mostly non-financial,
  4. be structured to motiviate the right behavior,
  5. be visual and easy to understand
  6. measure the process, not the people,
  7. measure actual results versus goals,
  8. not combine measures of different things into a single index,
  9. be timely, e.g., weekly, daily or hourly,
  10. show trend lines.

Plan Do Check Act

Plan, Do, Check and Act is the Shewhart Cycle of Process Improvement, which became known as the Deming Cycle because as Shewhart's protégé, Dr. Deming put the cycle to use across the world.

Plan To Actual

Boards showing production plan based on customer demand - against actual performance.

Plan, Do, Check and Act

Plan, Do, Check and Act is the Shewhart Cycle of Process Improvement, which became known as the Deming Cycle because as Shewhart's protégé, Dr. Deming put the cycle to use across the world.


Product Lifecycle Management - information driven approach to all aspects of a product's life from design thru manufacture, deployment, maintenance, removal from service and final disposal that facilitates horizontal collaboration with multiple suppliers and business partners. Born in Auto and aerospace industries but also applied to service industries.

Poka Yoka

Commonly referred to as "fool proofing", poka yoka is uncommon genius built into products and processes to prevent defects. At the heart of the Toyota Production System, along with Jidoka, a poke yoke can be as simple as a half moon hole for a half moon grommet to prevent the improper placement of the grommet into the hole. It can be a fixture that is shaped in such a way as to physically prohibit the improper assembly of a part.

Post, Kanban Post

Place to hold kanban cards.

Process Capability

A mathematical analysis of a collection of output data to determine whether a process, given its natural variation, is capable of meeting established customer requirements or specifications.

Process Capacity

The analysis and display of the maximum possible output of each primary step of a process. Such analysis illustrates where the constraint is.

Process Improvement

Take a process, and improve it. Lean enterprise is a business model that combines Deming's quality theory:( How do you know you are really improving the process, and not tampering with the structure of the organization?) with 50+ years of best practices of the Toyota Production System


A kanban card that instructs production to make something the customer has bought


Major tool of product or process development, bigger than a kaizen, could be a kaizen theme or hoshin. Standard work for profitable creativity. Prerequisite: profound knowledge of customer criteria.


SALES PER EMPLOYEE = last 12 months net sales divided by total FTE (full time equivalent)headcount SALES PER EMPLOYEE = last 12 months net sales divided by total FTE headcount

Pull Systems

Pull production is one of the three basic requirements of JIT production: the previous process produces only as many products as are consumed by the following process.

Push production

The opposite of pull production. The previous process produces as much as it can without regard to the actual requirements of the next process, and sends them to the next process whether there is a need or not.


Quality Function Deployment - a practice using visual tools such as a "house of quality" matrix which illustrates the voice of the customer throughout the design and implementation of a new product, or the overhaul of an existing product.


"Anything that can be improved." Masaaki Imai

Quality Function

A proactive development methodology that can be used for products and services. By using QFD, a team can systematically translate the voice of the customer (VOC) into appropriate requirements at all stages of development. A concise definition is "Customer Driven Product Development"

Quality Goal

50% Reduction in Defects - Each Year

Radar Chart

Shows the gaps among a number of current and ideal performance measures


Return on Investment: An accounting summation of all the activities of every individual on every day of the period being measured. ROI is a resulting affect, not a cause in itself. Working on the right causes will result in an improved ROI affect.

Root Cause Analysis

Asking why 5 times to get to the real bottom of a problem.

Run Chart

A graph plotting individual points over time. Y axis is the measure being studied; X axis is always in sequence of date/time.

Scatter Diagram

Tool to measure relationships between variables, especially helpful in measuring the changes in experiments, before and after; such as in design of experiments.

Scientific Approach

Observation and analysis of cause and effect, careful measures of "before" and "after" in controled experiments to determine solutions such as best practices.


the word used in Japan to refer with repect to a teacher who has mastered the subject. Dr. Deming repeatedly asserted: "There is no substitute for profound knowledge!"

Setup Reduction

Analyze current situation, take time study. Separate Internal Time from External Time. Identify and reduce waste in Internal Time. Identify and reduce waste in External Time. Repeat Process.

Setup Time

The total length of time between the last good part of the previous run & the“first good part of the next run. It is the time the machine is down & not running parts. It is NOT the labor time for the Setup operation. In service industries, setup can be for example how long to change between softwares, how long to get a room ready for the next patient, etc.

Seven Flows

Flow of: People, Raw Material, Sub Parts, Final Products, Equipment, Information and Engineering. All of these must be evaluated in setting up a flow layout.

SIC Code

A coding system of the U.S. Government used to identify specific economic sectors. Coding for manufacturers encompasses the two-digit numbers of 20 through 39. Service Industries have another set of numbers.

Signal Kanban

A more passive visual kanban that uses the eye to see that something is needed rather than having to use a card. A signal might be an empty spot on a shelf, a magnet on a board, a weight on a string that swings free when the level is low enough for re-supply. Operator knows exactly what to do when they see the signal. If a decision must be made between multiple signals, breakdowns will occur. Eliminate the need for multiple signals, either through further streamlining the supply chain (good), or installing a physical kanban that can be level-loaded (less good).

Six Sigma

Powerful statistical tool for reducing variation in batches. Better as an array of measures to reflect total quality than as an umbrella improvement program: six sigma converts yield% , defects per million opportunities (DPMO) into a number from 0 to 6, with 6 sigma equivalent to 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A good way for a large company to unify its leaders around a productive series of steps. Using ego-stroking titles such as black belts and green belts to reward ambitious people for learning how to study the workplace, take accurate measures and implement improvements. A lengthy process better done with kaizen and lean enterprise transformation, but that's too holistic for most western organizations. Some combinations by companies and consultants called "lean sigma." see also lean sigma, six sigma approach.

Six Sigma Approach

Based upon the General Electric model of six sigma: DMAI - DEFINE - A project team will be set up to tackle a quality issue based on business and/or customer needs. A list of 'Critical to Quality Characteristics' (CTQs) drawn up and measured. The best ones to look at are termed as the 'Big Y' the customers’ highest priority. MEASURE - From definition of CTQs, the next step is to look at processes which affect CTQs. For instance if one of the CTQs is to look at customer returns based on damaged packaging, then obviously the effectiveness of your packaging process is measured. ANALYZE - From looking at the processes which affect the CTQs the next step is to analyze which factors are causing the processes to vary in quality. In the packing example it could be that one packaging team may be using a different method to pack the products IMPROVE - The project team from measuring and analyzing the CTQs should now be in a position quantify maximum and minimum ranges for acceptable performance.

SMED Single

A process for significantly reducing Setup times, to permit more frequent Setups, resulting in smaller batches and increased machine availability.

Special Cause

An abnormality which occurs outside the control limits of a process output.

Standard Work

The optimum combination of people, equipment, materials into a method providing reliable achievement of customer requirements documented in time and space by the standard work combination sheet and the standard work sheet (layout and WIP). The use of stable, repeatable methods everywhere to maintain predictability, timing and output of processes. Standard work is the absolute key to achieve takt time, one piece flow, and pull.

Statistical Process

To monitor, control, and improve process performance over time by studying variation and its source


Approach based on achieving the vision that lasts over several years. Often confused with Tactics which results in a "fad of the month" cynicism

Strategy Deployment

A process for illustrating and communicating company breakthrough goals, target dates, resources and teams allocated towards each activity. The process is illustrated by a grid of resources to targets, which cascades through multiple layers of the organization, each layer turning the grid 90 degrees. The process is a communication loop rather than a top-down proclamation.


A storage area that is on a pull system

Systems Thinking

Mental model based on process focus. Taught by Deming, looks for root causes, understands and applies profound knowledge in discerning between special and common causes. Avoids jumping to conclusions or blaming people for poor process design. Supports visual controls and flow of operations by understanding the performance, characteristics, and predictability of a system of interrelated processes.


Actions taken to address immediate concerns. Often confused with Strategy.

Taguchi Loss

By superimposing a histogram of the process over the range of specification, GenichiTaguchi showed in 1960 that loss occurs inside the requirement range, not just outside. Taguchi Loss Function illustrates the need for rational continuous improvement beyond simple delivery of product or service within specifications or contractual limits.

Taichii Ohno

Father of Kanban at Toyota

Takt Time

The speed of customer consumption of the process under study, always calculated by Available Work Time divided by Units Sold. Takt Time is not based on forecast of sales. The faster the organization can respond to variations in demand, the more accurately Takt Time can be calculated. The longer the response time, the more layers of wasteful thinking and actions will accumulate between what the customer actually wants and when, and our actions to accomplish those customer desires. Takt Time is one leg of a three-legged stool; Takt Time, One Piece Flow, and Pull. Without all three legs, the seat will tip over.


Actions taken on a stable system in response to variation within statistical control, in an effort to compensate for this variation is tampering - i.e. results of which will inevitably increase the variation and will increase costs.

Target Costing

Requires the selling price to be determine at the beginning of the product development process with desired profit subtracted in order to determine a cost target. This specification is folded into a cross-functional product development process such as QFD.


Group of people working together towards a common goal.

Time Study

Process of capturing and documenting profound understanding of the sequence, value and type of execution of events to complete a process in terms of seconds.


Major timeline marker for a project

Toyota Production

TPS means to relentlessly pursue non-value adding activities that occur anywhere from the moment of the initial contact with the customer /client/patient to the point when the transaction is entirely completed: when all cash transferred and ready to use. Pathways for work are visible, simple, direct, clear. Continuous improvement and standard work are understood as the basic job description for everyone in the organization.


Total Productive Maintenance maximizing equipment effectiveness throughout its entire life, involving everyone through small group and individual activities building a maintenance system dependant on data, education, housekeeping, problem-solving and kaizens to achieve zero breakdowns and accident-free performance.


Total Quality Management - organized activities involving everyone in a company towards continuous improvement at every level satisfying cross functional goals of quality, cost, profit, and development.


Brainstorming in action developing at least 7 different ideas to solve a problem, judging each idea against the goals of the kaizen, selecting at least 3 to mock up and test against each other, measuring safety, time and space along with any further kaizen goals. Inspired by examples from solutions found in nature, Trystorming has a detailed sequence of steps outlined by theprocess map, trystorming forms and judging matrix. To carry brainstorming to the Gemba - to quickly make models of ideas using cardboard and tape, and very little time. To complete such ideas off line - out of the bright lights of criticism - to just try it and measure it against goals.

Value Stream

A specialized Gantt Chart organized by value stream loops, cascading objectives, measures and actions, including follow up and status. See also value stream map

Value Stream Map

A specialized flow chart that illustrates steps to satisfy the customer along with information flow on a time line that differentiates value adding from non value adding elements - using standard icons for work areas, materials, conveyance, work planning and information flow. Current State is compared to Future State to help develop improvement plan (Value Stream Improvement Plan).


An ever present fact of life: variation exists in that no two things are exactly alike. The challenge of continuous improvement is to continuously change the method to continuously reduce the variation. The difference between archaic management and profitable leadership lies in the analysis and response to variation in a system.


A statement of business philosophy to drive the organization, or a joke if the organization makes pretty posters that mean nothing in the face of adversity. Example: Our Company Vision is to provide a continuing growth opportunity and a good place to work

Visual Controls

Method to provide information in clearly visible manner to associates and leaders showing the current state of operations and targets for improvement; also helps people to identify abnormalities promptly.

Voice of the customer

Face to face interviews, focus groups, telephone interviews and observations of the product being used with a single customer or focus groups.


Anything that takes up resources and does not directly contribute to customer satisfaction is waste. Categories of waste include: making corrections, overproducing, waiting, transporting, and unnecessary stock on hand, unnecessary motion, waste from processing itself, and waste of a person.


A Water strider, or spider, (from the Japanese Mizusumashi) is defined as an ultra high frequency method or person used to collect and deliver things such as parts or kits to multiple value-adding processes that need those items just when they need them. Water spider is not initially a means to enhance the efficiency of transportation, but rather a means to:

  1. Eliminate the motion of the operator turning back
  2. Eliminate the work of choosing parts
  3. Speed up the process of developing multi-skilled cross-functional workers
  4. Prevent mistakes and mismatches
  5. Make line delays visible

Withdrawal Card

A kanban card to pull a replacement for something that was taken

Work in Process

Pieces of work in partial completion along the flow of value

Work Standards

A best way to do the job - that is published - understandable and measurable. Work Standards are a SUBSET of Standard Work as understood through the Toyota Production System

Work Study Trip

Combined tour, class and kaizen trip hosted by such teachers of world class lean production systems as the Shingijutsu Company. For further information, see their website at

Working Capital

YTD Net Sales divided by working capital, where YTD net sales = last 12 months net sales and where working capital = current month FIFO inventory + (current month Accounts Receivable minus Reserves) minus current month Accounts Payable

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