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Terminology Definition
5 whys A method of root cause analysis that entails the progressive asking of "Why?" at least 5 times or until the root cause is discovered.
5S A method to create a clean and orderly workplace that exposes waste and errors.
Accountable Accountability equals Responsibility plus Authority
Activity The work or effort needed to achieve a result.
Activity Description A statement specifying what must be done to achieve a desired result.
Andon A signal to alert people to problems at a specific location in the work process.
Authority The power or right to take decisions.
Autonomous Responding or reacting independent of human control
Basis of Design (BOD) The basis of design is the documentation of the design decisions made to meet the owner's project requirements.
Batch Processing The movement of products through the manufacturing process in large numbers as a group.
Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) A highly focused, compelling goal that is seen as attainable but the means to achieve it is not yet known.
Bottleneck A process that constricts and limits the flow of the overall process.
Breakthrough Kaizen See Kaikaku.
Capacity The rate at which a process can produce products in a continuous manner.
Cause and Effect Diagram A graphic that layouts out the various causes that effect a result. Commonly called a fishbone diagram. Officially known as an Ishikawa diagram.
Change Order A document that authorizes a change in some aspect of a project.
Changeover The time it takes to convert a work center from one process to another.
Consult Seek an opinion.
Continuous Flow The state where products move through a manufacturing process one at a time, without stopping or waiting - similarly the way people deliver a service.
Control The practice of monitoring progress against a plan so that corrective steps can be taken when a deviation from plan occurs.
Critical Path The longest sequential path of activities that are absolutely essential for completion of the project.
Current State Map A Value Stream map that depicts the current work flow.
Customer The user of the project deliverables or product.
Cycle Time The total elapsed time from the time a task, process or service is started until it is completed.
Decision A choice made from among several alternatives.
Decision Analysis Is a methodology for facilitating high quality decisions.
Defect The output of a process that fails to meet the required specification or performance standard.
Deliverable An agreed outcome.
Deviation Any variation from planned performance - usually in terms of schedule, cost, functionality, operability or scope of work.
Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) The method used to identify, assess and mitigate potential failure modes in a product, process or system.
Fish Bone Diagram See Cause and Effect Diagram
Float A measure of how much an activity can be delayed before it begins to affect the project finish date.
Flowchart The graphical representation of all activities that occur in a process including activities, delays, decision, movements, wait time, etc.
Future State Map A Value Stream map that depicts the desired (improved) future work flow.
Gantt Chart A bar chart that indicates the start date / time, the end date / time and the duration of each activity in a project.
Inform Make known the outcome of decisions.
Inventory The raw materials, purchased parts, work in process and finished goods that are not yet sold to a customer.
Ishikawa Diagram See Cause and Effect Diagram
Kaikaku Radical improvement activity that causes a step change in the process.
Kaizen Incremental and continuous improvement of an activity to produce more value and less waste.
Kaizen Blitz Massive focus on change of a process or activities within the process in a short period - akin to Kaikaku.
Kanban The organization of materials, components or work in process that triggers replenishment when required for smooth work flow.
Lead time The elapsed time from the initiation of a project, product or service until completion in terms of sale to the customer or delivery of economic value internally.
Lean Manufacturing An improvement methodology based on the Toyota Production System. Focuses on delivering maximum value with least effort. Name coined by MIT in a landmark late 1980\'s study (doing more with less).
Learning The process of gaining insights from the current process / activity or new knowledge from other processes / activities whose implementation will improve the planned or current process or activity.
Milestone An event of special importance, usually representing the completion of a major phase of project work.
Muda Japanese term for waste - any activity that consumes resources but creates no value in the view of the customer.
Ongoing Operations Repetitive work with no defined end.
Peer Review A review of a design or plan made by a team of experts with the aim of increasing confidence in the design or plan.
Process A time ordered set of activities that transforms material and information into a defined output.
Product Family A group of products or services that have similar attributes which enable them to be grouped into common process steps for completion.
Project Work that happens one-time only and has both a clear beginning and end.
Project Execution Plan (PEP) A plan that provides a macro view of what is to be done - it summarizes the project itself.
Project Management The planning, scheduling and controlling of those activities that must be performed to achieve project objectives.
Project Management Plan (PMP) A plan that summarizes how the project will be managed.
Project Manager The person who has total responsibility for ensuring that the project is completed on time, within budget, within scope and at the desired performance level.
Purpose The reason an organization exists - besides making money!
Quality Assurance The design and implementation of design features and procedures to ensure that specification can be verified.
Quick changeover A method of analysis and improvement to dramatically reduce set up time.
RACI Chart A matrix that defines roles in terms of who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed.
Responsible Performs the work.
Risk The possibility that something can go wrong and interfere with the completion of project work.
Risk Log An interactive log containing a description of all identified risks, their rating and the actions planned to overcome them.
Root Cause Analysis A method to break down a problem to identify and correct the underlying or "root" causes.
Scenarios Alternative sequences of possible future business environment events (stories about the future).
Shadow Board A board with images showing where objects are stored on it.
SMED Single minute exchange of dies - tools and techniques to dramatically reduce change over time in a process (9 minutes or less).
Spaghetti Diagram A graphical representation of the movement of materials, information, tools, WIP and people in order to identify and remove wasted motion.
Sponsor The person who orders that a project be done.
Stage Gates These are defined management decisions that are planned at discrete points in a controlled business process.
Stakeholder Any individual, group or organization that can affect, or be affected by, the project
Standardized Work A clear, written definition of how a process is executed.
Statement of Work (SOW) A formally agreed list of the goals, constraints and success criteria for a project.
Strategy the pattern of moves and approaches devised to achieve organizational objectives
SWOT analysis Analysis of an organization's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Throughput The amount of product or service that can be produced by a system within a defined period of time.
Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) A proactive approach to maintaining equipment that addresses autonomous maintenance, planned maintenance and predictive maintenance. The aim is to minimize production losses from equipment malfunction.
Toyota Production System (TPS) The manufacturing system by Toyota Motor Corporation that became known as Lean Manufacturing.
Trim tab principle The rudder of a ship contains a trim tab, the rear edge of an aircraft wing contains a trim tab; these are small movable surfaces that have a huge impact on the control of the craft. The principle states that a small adjustment made in the right place and right way has a huge impact.
Uncertainty Something that is partially or completely unknown.
Value Delivery System (VDS) The end-to-end system that functions to deliver value to customers.
Value Stream Map A graphical representation describing the steps and their duration in a process to produce a product or service including wait points and information flow.
Values Standards an organization lives by.
Variance Any deviation from plan (cost, schedule, performance, etc).
Vision A description of the future you wish to create.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) A method of subdividing work into smaller and smaller increments to permit accurate estimates of durations, resources required and costs as well as to assign tasks.
Work in Process (WIP) In process inventory of product that has started to be produced but is not yet finished.