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6 Sigma Glossary

Availability ­
The ability of a resource to be ready to perform its designated function under defined conditions at a given time. Availability can be expressed as the ratio of Uptime to Downtime

Black Belts
Under the direction of the Master Black Belt, the Black Belts assist Champions and Team Leaders to schedule, plan and execute Kaizens

Includes any combination of two consisting of Black and/or Green Belts

Boundaries and Limitations
Identify all boundaries or limitations that may come into play in the planning, execution, or follow­up to the event. Fence steps.

Current State
Current State refers to mapping the existing process (the thing) to reflect how the work is executed today – It is the “As is” state of the process.

Current State Issues
Identify all current state issues impacting the current process (the thing).

People affected by the process.

Deliverables ­
output of the process  

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) ­
The activity and actions that attempt to integrate the data for decision­making and actions of all departments and functions within a company into a common planning process. This is usually accomplished through installation of an ERP software package. ERP goes beyond MRP and MRPII by attempting to integrate all parts of the organization, not just the production and production planning aspects.

Event  Constraints
(Financial, Personnel, and Equipment) Identify any/all constraints to the planning, execution, or follow­up to the event

Expected Cost Savings
This identifies areas and projects cost savings that will be realized as a result of the event

Facilitator (Usually Lean Belts)
Leads the Kaizen and works with the Belts on the Planning, Execution and Follow­up activities associated with the event.

A checklist for good housekeeping to achieve greater order, efficiency and discipline in the workplace. It is derived from the Japanese words seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shituke. The English equivalents are sort, straighten, scrub (or shine), systematize and standardize. Another popular version of the five S’s is sort, simplify, sweep, standardize and sustain. Safety is often referred to as the sixth “S.”

5Why ­ A root­cause analysis technique used whenever a problem is encountered, to identify the true root cause of the problem for corrective action. The question “why” is asked a sufficient number of times to get to the level of the root cause.

Flow ­
The smooth, uninterrupted movement of a product or service through a process.

Flow Chart ­
A graphical representation of the steps in a process.

Flow Production ­
One of the basic pillars of just­in­time (JIT) production systems. In flow production, machines (resources) are arranged in the order of processing so that the work piece flows between operation steps without interruption and/or stagnation.

Flow Time
The total elapsed time a customer must wait to receive the product or service after placing a request (order). In some industries, Flow Time is referred to as throughput Time, Turnaround Time or Lead Time. Touch Time is included in the Flow Time. Therefore, Flow Time minus waiting and/or interruptions equals Touch Time.

Full Time Equivalence (manpower)

Functional Arrangement ­
The grouping and co­locating resources performing like operations. Functional Arrangement is in contrast to Cellular Arrangement.

Future State
Future TO BE state of a process.

Green Belts
An individual who can plan and execute the Kaizen cycle in support of identified Team Leaders, and assists the planning and execution of the Kaizen. Green Belts normally work for the Champion and may be part­time or full­time depending on position in the organization.

Heijunka ­
Equalization of quantities and types of products/services demanded by the customer. This is sometimes referred to as load smoothing.

Jidoka (Autonomation) ­
A device that stops a machine or process whenever a defective. Product is produced. This device is an essential element in introducing JIT to a process. Could be a legal flag in a transaction.

Just In Time Training

Just­In­Time (JIT) ­
A system designed to achieve the best possible quality, cost and delivery time of products or services to exactly meet customer(s) requirements by delivering the right products or services at exactly the right time. Important elements of JIT are Flow, Takt Time, Pull and Standard Work.

Job order number

Continuous, incremental improvement of an activity to create more value with less muda or waste.

The total time a customer must wait to receive a product after placing an order.

Master Black Belts
This individual provides leadership and guidance for Lean implementation. The Master Black Belt (Sensei) will provide guidance and counsel to the Commander, Lean Office, Senior Leadership, Value Stream Champions, Black Belts, Green Belts, and Lean event participants in the conduct of Kaizens, advanced Lean Techniques, goal setting, training, and qualifications. The Master Black Belt/Sensei may also be assigned large complex projects. i

Materials and Supplies
Identify all/any special materials or supplies required for execution of the Kaizen event.

Metrics Based Process Mapping
A method of quantifying the mapping the Current State (AS IS) and Future State (TO BE) Processes of the during the KAIZEN. The method visually captures all the relevant metrics (Flow Time, Touch Time, % C&A, etc) associated with each of the process steps including any/all functional area swim lanes, which show the parallel process steps within the selected fence posts or process steps.

Japanese word for WASTE.  Capacity exceeds load.

Necessary Non­Value Added (N­NVA)
An activity or step that does not meet the value added description, but is required and cannot be changed.

Non­Value Added (NVA) ­
Any activity that consumes resources but creates no value.

Parking Lot Items ­
Parking Lot Items are issues and concerns that could not be addressed by the Team during the Kaizen.  As part of the post­event activities, the Team Lead should address the items with the Black Belt.

A set of individual operations required to create a design, completed order, or product.

A system of cascading production and delivery instructions from downstream to upstream activities in which nothing is produced by the upstream supplier until the downstream customer signals the need.

Return on Investment

SIPOC Diagram
High level diagramming to determine the boundaries (fence posts) of the event. SIPOC stands for Supplier, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customer.

Subject Matter Experts

Spaghetti Chart
A map of the path taken by a specific product as it travels down the value stream in mass­production organization, so­called because the product’s route typically looks like a plate of spaghetti.

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) ­
Team Members – includes individuals doing the work from the process areas being evaluated during the Kaizen. Doers of the process. Responsible for full time participation during the Kaizen, may be assigned lead for actions, projects, or do its identified during the Kaizen.

Team Lead (TL)
Affected Area Team Leader – Knowledgeable about the process and lean tools. Participates in the Kaizen event, and is designated the POC and responsible for working with the Belts on all actions that come out of the Kaizen. Implements the future process (TO BE).

Time it would take to work on “the thing” from beginning to end without any interruptions. Actual hands on time required to complete the step.

What initiates the start of the process? What input did the supplier provide?

Value­added %
(Touch Time/Flow Time) X 100%

Value Added (VA)
Any step or activity in a process is considered Value Added if it meets all of the following:
• If the customer wants it
• If it changes the product or service
• If it is done right the first time (i.e. not rework)

Value Stream
The specific activities required to design, order, and provide a specific product, from concept to launch, order to delivery, and raw materials into the hands of the customer.

Value Stream Champion or Champion (VSC)
Overall ownership of the process, attends the Kaizen and pre­kaizen meetings, manages participation decisions, asks questions, and approves the Kaizen and results.

Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
A VSM is a visual representation of major process steps, information flow, and material flow from customer request to customer receipt of product or services. It contains relevant metrics at a roof­to macro level perspective. As part of VSM, you must walk the process as if you are the “thing (product/service).”

WIP ­ Work­In­Process

Black Belt
Six Sigma project team leaders, who become expert in the use of the Lean Six Sigma methodologies and tools. A key responsibility of Black Belts is to share their knowledge and to train others. Black Belts are normally full­time on business improvement activities.

A technique used by teams to generate ideas on a particular subject or to explore a particular problem. Each individual involved is asked to think creatively about the issue, and write down as many possible ideas. Following this, each point raised is then discussed in more detail.

Business case
A structured proposal for business process improvement that functions as a decision package for enterprise leadership. A business case includes an analysis of business process needs or problems, proposed solution, assumptions and constraints, alternatives, life cycle costs, benefits/cost analysis, and investment risk analysis.

A written commitment, between a six sigma team and the organization; it includes the business case, problem and goal statements, constraints and assumptions, roles, preliminary plans, scope and the roles of participants in the project etc. This document states the scope of authority for an improvement project or team, and is approved by management. Periodic reviews with the sponsor ensure alignment with business strategies; review, revise, refine periodically throughout the DMAIC process based on data.

Company culture
A system of values, beliefs and behaviors inherent in a company. The company culture has a strong effect on business performance, and so top management needs to define and create the correct culture in order to ensure optimum performance.

DMAIC phase C; once solutions have been implemented, ongoing measures track and verify the stability of the improvement and the predictability of the process. This stage often includes process management techniques and systems including process ownership, cockpit charts and/or process management charts, etc.

The person, place, or thing for which a particular process adds value (Individuals, teams, companies, groups, etc). Customers can be grouped as internal customers and External Customers.

Cycle Time
Cycle time is the total time from the beginning to the end of your process, as defined by you and your customer.

Data are factual information used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation; often this term refers to quantitative information. There are two basic classifications of numerical data.
1) Measured, variable, or continuous data.
2) Attribute or counted data

Any result that does not conform to the standard needed to satisfy the customer's requirements. The propensity to generate defects increases, as process capability is lost, which in turn increases process variation. The creation of defects results in extra cost, delay, inventory, debtors, loss of capacity, stress and frustration etc as well as damaging customer relationships.

The first DMAIC phase which defines the problem/opportunity, process, and customer requirements. Because the DMAIC cycle is iterative, the process problem, flow, and requirements should be verified and updated for clarity, throughout the other phases.

Dispersion, dissemination, broadcasting or spreading of a communication downward and laterally throughout an organization. It also describes the putting into action of a strategy, improvement plan or process.

Deployment Champion (also known as Deployment Director)
A senior level manager, normally reporting to an Executive Team, who is responsible for the successful management of the deployment plan. Coordinates Lean 6 Sigma policy, planning and execution. Generally a command will have a full time Deployment Champion if they have 15 or more Black Belts assigned.

Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. The steps of a Lean 6 Sigma project. Define the real problem to be solved; collect data that defines the issues; analyze the data using statistical techniques; develop an improvement based on the analysis; put the improvement in place and control it, so that it continues to provide benefit over time.

First Time Through
The idea that quality is achieved at its lowest cost by producing your product or service right the first time, without rework.

Goal Statement
A description of the intended target or desired results of Process Improvement or Design/Redesign activities. It is usually included in a team charter and supported with actual numbers and details once data has been obtained.

Green Belt
The team member who demonstrates an interest in, and aptitude, for the Lean Six Sigma methodologies and tools. They receive basic training in the techniques, which they use either in support of a Black Belt project, or to run their own projects typically in their own area of responsibility. Green Belts are normally part time on Six Sigma project activities, although in most cases they use Six Sigma methods as part of their normal jobs.

Hypothesis Testing
The application of statistical tests to a data sample, in order to determine what cannot be concluded based on the data (the results of hypothesis testing are either a rejection of the hypothesis or a failure to reject). Hypothesis testing can be conducted with attribute and continuous data and on normal and non­normal samples.  The actual tests will be different based on the nature of the data.

Hidden Factory
A concept for showing the costs of creating quality without using lean or 6 sigma. In the hidden factory, there are a number of stations where rework or scrap is created, in order to achieve a quality target. The goal of Lean 6 Sigma is to remove the requirement for rework and scrap, while increasing quality.  The result is higher quality at a lower cost.

Hoshin Kanri Strategy.
Literally it means “to move the whole ship in the right direction.” It refers to the requirement that all improvement projects meet the strategic needs of the organization.

DMAIC phase where solutions and ideas are creatively generated and decided upon. Once a problem has been fully identified, measured, and analyzed, potential solutions can be determined to solve the problem in the problem statement and support the goal statement.

Just in Time
A lean concept that aims to deliver products and services to the customer only as they are requested.  It goes beyond the Pull Systems concept, in that it addresses the timing of the process and process communications. It answers questions such as: when must I start this process step in order to have a product ready for the customer, when they ask for it?

A term meaning Continuous Improvement. In Lean 6 Sigma terms, it refers to a project performed at the work­group level that will remove waste from a process. These types of projects can be performed quickly (usually less than 2 months).

Lean 6 Sigma
A method by which processes are improved for quality; cost; speed and accuracy.  It is the combination of Lean Methods and 6 Sigma.

Lead Time
The amount of time, defined by the supplier, that is required to meet a customer request or demand. (Note, Lead Time is not the same as Cycle Time).

Lean Methods
A set of tools designed to improve a process on a continuous basis. Lean is designed to remove waste from a process by identifying non­value added steps. Lean will improve process speed to conform to customer requirements. With lean, we say that waste is the enemy. It was developed by Taichi Ohno at Toyota Motor Co. from the 1950’s to the 1980’s.

Lean Six Sigma
Business improvement methodology that maximizes shareholder value by achieving the fastest rate of improvement in customer satisfaction, cost, quality, process speed, and invested capital.

Master Black Belt
Master Black Belts are Six Sigma Quality experts that are responsible for the strategic implementations within an organization. Master Black Belt main responsibilities include training and mentoring of Black Belts and Green Belts; helping to prioritize, select and charter high­impact projects; maintaining the integrity of the Six Sigma measurements, improvements and tollgates; and developing, maintaining and revising Six Sigma training materials.

The Master Black Belt should be qualified to teach other Six Sigma facilitators the methodologies, tools, and applications in all functions and levels of the company, and should be a resource for utilizing statistical process control (typically just outside the Black Belt's knowledge base) within processes.

DMAIC phase M, where key measures are identified, and data are collected, compiled, and displayed.

Metrics, Process (or Input)
The subset of measures, the improvement of which has a direct positive effect on Results Metrics.

Metrics, Results
The subset of measures, the improvement of which are critical to the success of the organization. A change in Results Metrics, will directly and significantly affect customer or stakeholder satisfaction.

The result of a process. The deliverables of the process; such as products, services, processes, plans, and resources.

A direction plan for achieving an organization’s goals.

A term that means error­proof. Error­proofing is one of the holy grails of Lean 6 Sigma projects. It means that because of the process improvement, it is impossible for an error to occur. Examples are computer fields that automatically fill in, based on other information entered; or an email that is automatically sent when an event occurs.

A series of steps and interrelated work activities, characterized by specific inputs, and tasks which add value, and make up a procedure for a set of specific outputs.

Process Map
Type of flow chart that provides an Illustrated description of how things get done. It enables participants to visualize an entire process and identify areas of strength and weaknesses. It helps reduce cycle time and defects while recognizing the value of individual contributions.

Process Owner
The individual(s) responsible for process design and performance. The process owner is accountable for sustaining the gain and identifying future improvement opportunities on the process.

Project Scoping
The general term used for the process of developing project ideas. A well scoped project will have the following characteristics:
• Can be completed within 4­6 months
• Will solve a defect that is within the commands’ span of control
• Will deal with a process that repeats itself quite often
• The defect is measurable and the possibility to collect data exists
• Will result in an improvement that is important to the customers of the process
• Will result in a 50% process improvement or Rs.250,000 savings

Project Sponsor (also known as Project Champion)
Senior/middle level managers who are responsible for the selection and support of Black & Green Belts, and with the selection and management of Six Sigma improvement projects.

Project Team
A team managing the work and activities of a project. The work typically involves balancing competing demands for project scope, time, cost, risk and quality, satisfying stakeholders with differing needs and expectations and meeting identified requirements.

Pull Systems
A process that only responds to customer demand. The idea being, that work done that is not in response to customer demand is wasted effort.

Root Cause
An identified reason for the presence of a defect or problem. The most basic reason, which if eliminated, would prevent recurrence. The source or origin of an event.

A Sample is a portion of the whole collection of items (population).

Six Sigma
The term used to describe a system of process improvement. The goal of 6 Sigma is to identify customer requirements; reduce variation of a process that is targeted at that requirement; and center the process results on the customer target. In 6 Sigma, we say variation is the enemy.  It was invented by Mikel Harry in the early 1980’s at Motorola.

People who will be affected by the project or can influence it but who are not directly involved with doing the project work. Examples are Managers affected by the project, Process Owners, People who work with the process under study, Internal departments that support the process, customers, suppliers, and financial department.

Takt Time
The pace of customer demand. If a customer demands 8 products per 8 hour day, then the takt time is one hour. You must have the capacity to produce 1 product every hour, in order to meet customer demand.

Tollgate Review
component of DMAIC that helps to ensure that the project requirements of a phase are met before starting the next phase At the end of each phase the Black belt and team members meet to review that the requirements of the DMAIC phase have been completed. Excellent communication tool for keeping the team on the same page and involved in the process.

Upper and Lower Statistical Limits
These are the limits that define quality. They are set by the customer. If a customer demands that deliveries be made within 2­4 days, then those are your LSL and USL.  Any delivery that falls outside those limits are defects.

Value Added
Activities or work essential to ensure a product or service meets the needs of the customer.

Value Stream Mapping
A method of visualizing a process, so that improvements can be made to it. Includes process steps, methods for communicating requirements to each process step and data that describes each process step. VSM is an important starting point for most DMAIC projects. There are three processes associated with VSM: the current state (what you think the process is); the current state (what the process really is) and the future state.

Visual Factory
All lean improvement rests on the idea that everything should be visible, so that if there is a problem someone will notice and take action.  The visual factory has 6 levels: Share information; Share standards at the site; Build standards into the workplace; Warn about abnormalities; Stop abnormalities; Prevent abnormalities.

Voice of the Customer (VOC)
The customer feedback system. It may consist of meetings, surveys or interviews that gather customer feedback in a form that may be acted upon. Since the vast majority of improvements are designed to improve customer service, this is critical.

Any activity or product that consumes resources and produces no added value to the product or service a customer receives.

Refers to cause and effect and is a tool for root cause analysis. An output variable Y is dependent on the inputs of one or more independent variables, X. Lean 6 Sigma projects focus on improving Y, through the improvement of a ‘key’ X variable. That means we should be treating causes, not symptoms. Y=f(X) analysis is used as a brainstorming tool for identifying project opportunities and as a tool to ensure that the project is properly focused.

Affinity Diagram
To gather and organise ideas from a brainstorming session. Ideas are grouped into themes by the team. It is most easily done with sticky notes.

The comparison of an organisation’s measures with similar measures in other organisations. Shows gaps for improvement

Change Management
Is defned as being the processes and actions to take into account all human and social aspects of the change from the launch of the project to its end

Common Cause Variation
Cause a ‘natural variation’ in the process. Always present, predictable and expected

Continuous Data
Also known as variable, quantitative or measurable data. Data that can take any value i.e. can be to any degree of accuracy. Can be measured on a scale and compared with, added to or subtracted from other continuous data of the same type e.g. weight, pressure, cost etc

Critical to Quality

Customer CTQ
Quality is defned in all aspects of a product (i.e. competitive cost, defect-free, rapid delivery etc) needed by the customer

An association between the change in one variable and the change in another. Statistically measured by the correlation coeffcient.

Correlation coeffcients
These are numbers that indicate the strength of the relationship between two factors (linear only)

CuSum charts
Statistical method (Cumulative Sum). These detect process changes more sensitively

Defect Anything not done right the frst time

Defect Opportunity Any event which can be measured that provides a chance of not meeting a Value Requirement

Discrete Data
Any data that is not continuous. Can only have a fnite set of values. Can be counted and has whole numbers (Integers)

DMIAC Process
Defne, Measure, Improve, Analyse, Control

Defects Per Million Opportunities

DRIVER Defne, Review, Investigar, Verbessern, Execute, Renforcer. An improvement methodology.

Error-proofng methods 4 main methods according to Shingo: Elimination, Flagging, Facilitation, Mitigation.

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis
Uses Probability, Severity, Detectability and Criticality or Risk Priority Number (RPN).

First In First Out

Final Yield (FY)
Yield at the end of the process excluding scrap

Force Field Analysis A graphical method for comparing the forces for and against change – the positive and negative.

Frame A frame is a limited description of a problem that flters what is relevant

Gauge R & R
A procedure for executing the tests.Handoffs A procedure for executing the tests

A bar chart which shows the frequency distribution of the data.

ICOR Chart
Inputs, Constraints, Outputs, Resources. ICOR, derived from IDEFO, is a top down method and uses simple rules to ensure clarity of the defnitions.

Key Output measure Y

Kano Model
A model/diagram used to analyse what is delivered to the customer in terms of 1) basics, 2) performance items, 3) ‘delighters’. It helps think about customer expectations

Measurement Systems Analysis
The effect of measurement and testing error. Gauge R & R is a popular structured method of MSA.

Any process measurement. A metric quantifes the performance of a specifed element of a process.

Mistake proofng
Error proofng. Poka Yoke.

Moving Range Chart (MR)
Used to obtain an estimate of the spread of data

Normalised Yield (NY)
Is the average yield per process step or opportunity.

np Chart Monitors the proportion of defectives in constant
n – number of items in the sample,
p – proportion defective (as a decimal)

Operational Defnition
s a clear, concise description of a measurement and the process by which it is to be collected

On Time On Quality Demand

The product or services produces by a process step. May be physical, information or human.

Output Characteristic
What you must focus on to measure your performance.

Pareto Chart or Diagram
This enables improvement efforts to be focused on the few causes that have the greatest effect. A Pareto diagram is a bar chart that displays by frequency on the Y axis, in descending order across the categories on the X axis, the number of defects in each category.

Pareto Principle or Pareto Rule (80/20).
Based on a 19th Century economist philosophy that 80% of the country’s wealth was owned by 20% of the population. Thereby, we say 80% of the problem is created by 20% of the causes.

Plan, Do, Check, Act an improvement methodology

A framework of direction & guidance for a process

Prioritisation matrix
A team tool matrix method to analyse priorities for project selection and/or action.

A description of how a process or parts of a process is managed and operated

A structured set of activities that transform a set of inputs into specifed outputs that provide value to customers and stakeholders

Process Capability
It is a means of establishing the extent a process is likely to produce items acceptable to the design i.e. within specifed tolerances

Process mapping
Process Mapping is a diagrammatic representation of the operation of a process. Process Mapping is essential for process improvement, and is a picture of how things happen

Process Sigma
A measurement scale that compares the output of a process (Key Output Measure Y) to the Value requirements (Performance Standards)

Quality Uniformity around a target value

A simple method of managing who does what for routine activities. Table is flled in with names against - R: Responsible; A: Accountable; C: Consulted and I: Informed. Every name must have only one ‘A’.

RAG Colour Coding
Red, Amber and Green – visual performance trends.

Relations Diagram
It helps to see relationships between issues.

Rolled Throughput Yield (RTY)
Product of throughput yields across the entire process.

Run Charts
Run charts show the variation of a measure over time

Scatter Diagram
A graph with X and Y axes on which data points are plotted according to their X and Y values

Specifc, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Times

Special Cause Variation Causes a process to go out of control, as typically seen on a control chart. Unpredictable and unexpected.

Stakeholder Analysis
Stakeholder analysis is a term that refers to the action of analysing the attitudes of stakeholders towards something (most frequently a project). It is frequently used during the preparation phase of a project to assess the attitudes of the stakeholders regarding the potential changes

Stakeholder Mapping
A demonstrable analysis of Synergy (common goal) versus Antagonism (personal game).

Can also be known as segmentation. The division of a data set by separating it into categories.

Statistical Process Control (SPC)
SPC is an approach that uses statistical techniques to make continuous improvements in quality and productivity by reducing variation in processes

Taguchi Method
A design of experiments which aims to fnd how to set up processes that produce quality product whilst being insensitive to variations in the input variables.

Throughput Yield (TPY)  
TPY = Units Through the Process, Right The First Time/Units Submitted

End of phase

Change in a process with time.

Visual Management
The use of visible graphs, charts, inventory arrangements, and storage methods that aid in implementing and maintaining lean manufacturing
within a plant. An excellent communication means.

Voice of Business

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