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.