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Lean Glossary

Heijunka is a Japanese term that means “levelling” and refers to the smoothing of manufacturing production in the face of fluctuating demand. The method was developed as part of the Toyota Production System as a way to react to demand changes without overburdening production. Instead of over-producing products in batches, the method responds directly to consumer demand. For a better

The scientific method is a process of research where a problem is identified, relevant data is gathered, a hypothesis is formed based on the collected data and the hypothesis is tested. If the theory proves to be false the cycle repeats. This method is the foundation for both continuous improvement methods PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) and DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and

Hoshin Kanri (aka Policy Deployment) where “hoshin” means “compass needle” and “kanri” means “management,” is the process of ensuring that organizational strategy results in relevant priorities supported throughout the organization. The technique of “Catchball” ensures involvement and input for goal setting at every level of the organization from leadership to employees and back again to leadership.

Catchball is an approach, inspired by Hoshin Kanri, designed to incorporate feedback from employees when determining organizational direction. It’s often used when developing things like mission statements and goals with the expectation that leadership and employees “toss” and “catch” each other’s ideas and collaborate on the end result.

Hoshin Kanri (aka Policy Deployment) where “hoshin” means “compass needle” and “kanri” means “management,” is the process of ensuring that organizational strategy results in relevant priorities supported throughout the organization. The technique of “Catchball” ensures involvement and input for goal setting at every level of the organization from leadership to employees and back again to leadership.

Lean Six Sigma is the name given to the combination of the top two process improvement methods, Lean and Six Sigma. Lean traditionally focuses on removing waste from the system with the objective of a streamlined process. Six Sigma focuses on reducing variation in the system with the focus on increasing predictability. Both models focus on the satisfying the needs

The System of Profound Knowledge outlines Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s philosophy based on the view that all elements of an organization should work in concert together as an interdependent system. The four elements lay out a framework for managers to reduce costs while increasing quality, customer loyalty, worker satisfaction and, ultimately, profitability. Below are the four key parts of the

The 14 Points for the Transformation of Management was Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s guide for organizational leadership to better use their role to improve the effectiveness of any organization. These come from Dr. Deming’s book, Out of the Crisis. Clarify Purpose: Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay

TQM was an organizational approach developed in the late 80’s to create a culture of continuous improvement by focusing on customer satisfaction. The idea was that all levels and all members of an organization are responsible for improving its products, services and culture. Both Lean and Six Sigma build on the successes of TQM. For a better understanding of the

Total Quality Management was an organizational approach developed in the late 80’s to create a culture of continuous improvement by focusing on customer satisfaction. The idea was that all levels and all members of an organization are responsible for improving the products, services and culture. Both Lean and Six Sigma build on the successes of TQM. For a better understanding

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