Common Lean Six Sigma Terms

Here is a collection of common Lean Six Sigma terms

5S is a five-step system for order and cleanliness in the workplace; Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain. The 5 S’s are based on Japanese words that also starting with S: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke.

CI Continuous Improvement is a common term

CT or C/T Cycle Time

CVA Customer Value Add

DMAIC is a data driven improvement cycle or framework that breaks down problem solving into five steps, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control

DOE Design of Experiments using statistics to design controlled experiments targeted at determining root causes when there are multiple potential variables which would be too exhaustive to test each individually.

FMEA Failure Modes and Effects Analysis is a thorough step-by-step approach to collecting all potential risks and ways that a process or product could fail. Failure modes are what happens to the product or process that is considered a fail and the effects are the resulting consequences of that failure. This usually populates a large spreadsheet and can then be used to prioritize and analyze to create plans for preventing failures.

Gemba is a Japanese term for the place where the work is done.

Kaizen a Japanese term typically translated to “Continuous improvement”, a change for the better.

Kaizen Event is a micro process improvement project happening typically within seconds, minutes or hours. A team comes together at the place where the work is done and makes a small change and immediately validates if the change improves the process. These small, gradual changes are the reason for calling it a Kaizen event or continuous improvement event.

Kanban Signal board or billboard. A scheduling system for lean production

KPI Key Performance Indicator

LSS Lean six Sigma

MBB Master Black Belt

Muda Japanese for “waste” or “futility”

NVA Non-Value Add

PDCA / PDSA Plan-Do-Check-Act / Plan-Do-Study-Adjust

PLT Process Lead Time

VSM Value Stream Mapping

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