A Lean Glossary, Part One


Term Definition
Autonomation or Jidoka A semi-automatic process; human and machine working together.
Benchmarking Measuring products, processes, services, etc. against the highest standard.
Blitz A fast, structured, focused process for improving something (a process, a workspace, etc.).
Cycle Time The time required to complete one cycle of a particular operation.
Five S (5S) The principles for achieving and maintaining an effective workplace: Seiri, Seiketsu, Seiso, Seiton, and Shitsuke.
Flow The way production moves from the beginning (raw material) to the end (customer). This is a key principle of Lean – Lean envisions the flow as one smooth process.
Gemba A Japanese term meaning, “Where the action is.”
Genchi Genbutsu A Japanese term meaning, “Go and see for yourself.”
Heijunka The process of leveling the workload between resources.
Just-in-Time (JIT) A production system where each item required is produced and available precisely when needed, in the exact amount.
Kaikaku A fast, radical change process.