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.