Here Are Key Terms in Lean Management That You Need to Know

From ProSales. By Scott Morrison.

Many Lean terms come from Japan, where Lean started as the Toyota Production System around 1950. Here are some key definitions.

Lean: Eliminating sources of waste.

Muda: Japanese for waste, which has eight sources.

  • Overproduction: Producing more than is required.
  • Processing: Work that adds no value.
  • Motion: Unnecessary movement of people.
  • Delay: Idle time when you should be working.
  • Conveyance: Unnecessary transport.
  • Inventory: Excess materials.
  • Defects: Anything requiring correction.
  • Loss of creativity: Unengaged workers.

Core Elements of Lean

  • Visual management: Signage that allows understanding of what’s happening in a work area.
  • Single-piece flow: Executing a process in the same sequence every time.
  • Process smoothing: Every business process within the work area is completed within a set schedule.
  • Production smoothing: Making products within a set, repetitive schedule.
  • Error proofing (pokayoke): Devices that prevent errors prior to passing them along to your customer.
  • Versatile workers: Defining standard work, ensuring your workforce is cross-trained to perform all jobs.
  • Rapid turnarounds: Minimizing the time that any of your equipment or processes are idle between jobs.
  • 5S: A disciplined approach to organizing, cleaning, and maintaining all work areas, following a loop of Standardize, Sort, Set in Order, Shine, and Sustain.

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle: The problem-solving process, driven by developing and executing a plan, reviewing results, and adjusting plans.

To learn more, I suggest 2 Second Lean, by Paul Akers.