Lean Agile and Six Sigma

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Kanban is derived from two Japanese words, "Kan" meaning visual and "Ban" meaning board or card. Kanban is a visual signal that triggers the transportation, production, or replenishment of an entity (product, a group of the same products, a container, etc.). For example, a Production Kanban is used as a signal to production that a production step can begin. Kanban is a crucial tool for introducing a 'Pull' system and for Just-in-Time (JIT) manufacturing.
Kano Model
The instrument used to identify the 'Critical to Quality' characteristics of a product is typically referred to as a House of Quality or QFD (Quality Function Deployment). In this tool, customer requirements are categorized into three groups: Must be: These are product characteristics that are essential; failure to meet these will likely result in customer dissatisfaction or loss. More is better: These represent qualities where exceeding customer expectations can enhance satisfaction. Delighter: These are unexpected qualities that, when delivered, delight the customer and provide a competitive advantage.
Key Performance Indicator
A Key Performance Indicator, or KPI, is a variable used to analyze the performance of a process or business. It provides insight into the performance of a process compared to the planning and long-term goals. This is essential for understanding the performance of a process and knowing the factors that influence it. It provides information for effective decision-making.
Impact-Ease Matrix
An affinity diagram that incorporates scoring based on Ease and Impact involves evaluating options based on their potential Impact on the organization (in terms of money, manpower, time, etc.) and the Ease of achieving each option, considering factors such as investment in time, money, or effort. This scoring method helps prioritize options by considering their overall impact and the feasibility of implementation.
The recipient of a product or service. This can be either an internal or external party. The customer is the focal point in Lean Six Sigma.
Meeting the requirements and desires of the customer. It's essential to view quality from the customer's perspective.
A bottleneck is a process or process step that serves as the limiting factor for the entire process.
Short term sigma
The short-term sigma of a process indicates how the process performs relative to customer requirements in the short term, for example, by taking a sample. This is generally better than on the long term. As a rule of thumb, the long-term sigma is 1.5 sigma smaller than the short-term sigma.
Critical X
The output of a process (y) is determined by several factors (x's) that together shape that output. In Six Sigma terms, the problem to be addressed is described as y, and causes of this problem are sought in terms of x's. The goal is to identify x's that have the most impact on the problem y. These are called critical x's: the factor that contributes the most to solving the problem. Addressing these critical x's resolves the problem.
Master Black Belt
Master Black Belts are Six Sigma specialists who train and coach Black Belts and Green Belts, and lead more complex projects or guide the implementation of Lean Six Sigma programs.
The middle observation from a set of data when arranged from smallest to largest. Fifty percent of the data falls below this value, and fifty percent falls above it.
Measurement System Analysis
Measurement System Analysis (MSA) is an experiment designed to identify the components of variation in a measurement. MSA evaluates the measurement method, measuring instruments, and the entire process of obtaining measurements. This is done to ensure the integrity of the data used for analysis (usually quality analysis) and to understand the impact of measurement error on decisions regarding a product or process.
Muda is the Japanese word for waste. Waste refers to any activity that does not add value for the customer. See also 3M.
Mura is the Japanese word for irregularity or imbalance. It can exist within the process (one part runs smoothly, another part stalls) or in the process input, for example, Mondays are busy, Fridays are quiet. The goal is to achieve balance in the process. See also 3M.
Muri is the Japanese word for irregularity or imbalance. It can occur within the process (one part runs smoothly, another part stalls) or in the process input, for example, Mondays are busy, Fridays are quiet. The goal is to achieve balance in the process. Muri also refers to strenuous work; when people exert excessive effort, they burn out, and when machines or resources are overused, they may break down. This disrupts the process, and the objective is to achieve balance. See also 3M.
Must criteria
These are process criteria that must be met regardless of customer or company preferences, often due to legal regulations or other external requirements.
Non value adding (NVA)
Non-value adding activities, also known as waste, refer to tasks that do not contribute value to the customer. These activities are considered unnecessary or inefficient in the context of delivering a product or service.
Normal distribution
The normal distribution is characterized by a bell-shaped curve that is symmetric around the mean. It is the most commonly used statistical distribution as it occurs frequently in nature and social sciences. The normal distribution enables various statistical analyses, making it widely used in Six Sigma.
Null hypothesis
Hypothesis testing involves formulating two hypotheses: the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. The probability that the null hypothesis is true is tested. If this probability becomes very small, the null hypothesis is rejected, and the alternative hypothesis is accepted. The null hypothesis is formulated as "there is no difference between..." (e.g., group 1 is equal to group 2). The alternative hypothesis is formulated as "there is a difference between..." (e.g., group 1 is not equal to group 2, indicating a statistically significant difference).
An OCAP (Out-of-Control-Action Plan) is created in the control phase and is a step-by-step plan to quickly bring a critical X back within specification limits. It is activated when the X has gone beyond the specification limits.
OEE stands for Overall Equipment Effectiveness, representing the actual utilization rate of machines. Components of OEE include availability, performance, and quality.
One proportion test
A statistical hypothesis test for discrete data. It compares the proportion of a characteristic in a population with the target value.
One sample t-test
A statistical hypothesis test for continuous data. It compares the average value of a normally distributed population with the target value.
One way Anova
Statistical hypothesis test that examines whether the average values of three or more populations are equal. The null hypothesis assumes that all averages are equal, while the alternative hypothesis suggests that at least one average is different. ANOVA stands for Analysis of Variance.
Cause and effect diagram
Also known as a cause and effect diagram, fishbone analysis, or Ishikawa diagram. This is a tool for brainstorming all (possible) causes of a problem or event. Causes are clustered into categories, with the most common categories being 6M: Material, Measurements, Men (People), Mother Nature, Methods, Machines.
Operational definition
An operational definition provides clear and precise instructions on how to perform a measurement of a specific variable. The goal is to ensure that the measurement can be repeated under exactly the same conditions, ensuring consistency.
De term om het eindresultaat van een proces te beschrijven is "Output." It refers to the final product or service that is produced for the customer.
The RACI model is a matrix used to represent the roles and responsibilities of individuals involved in a project or regular activities. It helps identify who should be involved in the project at various stages. RACI stands for: Responsible: The one(s) performing the work. Accountable: The one ultimately answerable for the correct and thorough completion. Consulted: Those whose opinions are sought. Informed: Those kept up-to-date on progress, decisions, and outcomes.
Queue Time
Wait time of a product or service between different steps.
The range is a measure of dispersion and was popular on the shop floor for Statistical Process Control (SPC) activities before the computer era due to its simplicity. Even operators with minimal training can calculate and monitor the range. The range is the difference between the maximum and minimum outcomes.
Reliability Center of Maintenance is an information environment (dashboard) that tracks the optimal moments for maintenance on machines and tools. It collects data on the frequency of breakdowns/maintenance and the success of machine operation. It aims to contribute to better performance in the machine park (OEE).
Regression Analysis
A hypothesis test to establish the statistical relationship between variable y and variables x. In the simplest case, there is only one explanatory variable x, known as simple linear regression. Regression demonstrates a relationship, and the formula y = ax1 + bx2 … + c determines if a relationship exists.
Quality function deployment
QFD (Quality Function Deployment) is a method to systematically recognize and score the underlying customer needs, determining which functional requirements of processes or products have the most impact. It is a crucial tool in DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) projects.
Repeatability is one of the two ways to assess a measurement system. It refers to the extent to which repeated measurements of the same product by the same person under consistent conditions yield the same value. If this is not the case, there is an issue with the repeatability of the measurement, and the repeatability measurement error is high. See also Gauge R&R and Measurement System Analysis.
Reproducibility is one of the two ways to assess a measurement system. It measures the extent to which repeated measurements on different products by different individuals agree. See also Gauge R&R and Measurement System Analysis.
Residual analysis
Using residual analysis, one can assess the quality of a statistical model, such as after performing an ANOVA or regression analysis. The goal is for all residuals to be mutually independent and (approximately) normally distributed. If this holds true, there is no underlying cause for concern.
Also known as RPN. Resulting from an FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis), it indicates the risk of something going wrong based on the severity of the problem, frequency, and detection likelihood. If the RPN is high, action must be taken to reduce the risk.
Rolled throughput yield
An indicator determining the likelihood of a defect-free product passing through the process. Total yield is calculated by multiplying the yields of all subprocess steps.
Root Cause
Root Cause is the fundamental underlying cause of a problem.
Run chart
A run chart displays data in the order of occurrence, with the median at the center. It counts two types of runs: the number of times data points go up and down, and the number of runs above and below the median. This is compared to the expected value of the number of runs that would occur "normally." This helps identify special types of variation, such as trends, shifts, or other non-random patterns.
An outlier is an outcome that deviates significantly from a normal or expected situation. In (Lean) Six Sigma, an outlier in process data can provide hints or insights into the process that needs improvement. For example, in lead time reduction: Why did it take so long to deliver? What went wrong?
User Story
A User Story is a concise summary of a customer's requirement, often described in the following syntax: "As a ..., I want ..., because ...". The strength of this syntax lies in addressing the 'why' and 'for whom' aspects when creating the requirement.
Value Adding Time
Value-added time (VAT) is the time in a production process during which actual value is added from the customer's perspective.
Value Stream Map
A Value Stream Map (VSM) is a diagram or schematic representation of a process. It visually depicts process steps, information, and material flows within a value stream. Additionally, a VSM is enriched with various process data such as Touch Times and Queue Times. It enables the visualization and quantification of waste and non-value-added activities.
Variance is the square of the variation or standard deviation and is also a measure of the dispersion of a group of data.
The standard deviation or deviation or sigma is the average distance to the mean of a group of data. Working with variation instead of the mean reveals how much difference the customer experiences in their final products. Within Six Sigma, this is a key focus. A process may perform well on average, but with significant variation, customers are often dissatisfied.
All non-value-adding activities from the customer's perspective.
Fishbone diagrams
Also known as a cause and effect or Ishikawa diagram. This tool is used to brainstorm all possible causes of a problem or event, categorizing them into groups such as Materials, Measurements, People, Mother Nature, Methods, and Machines (6M).
Visual Management
A way to manage processes using visual tools. It involves collaboratively examining current situations and finding ways for improvement.
VOB: Voice of the Business
The voice of the customer when represented by the company: is obtained by interviewing people within the company who represent the customer from the company's perspective. Or by collecting complaints, surveys, or comments from a company about a business process. This data must then be defined into a measurable requirement for the process being improved.
VOC: Voice of the Customer
The voice of the customer: It is obtained by collecting data (e.g., complaint letters, survey results, comments, market research, interviews) representing the viewpoints and/or needs of customers. This data must be defined into a measurable requirement for the process being improved (CTQ: Critical to Quality).
VOP: Voice of the Process
The voice of the process: the process performance.
5 Why’s
Continuously asking "Why" until the root causes of a problem are identified. Sakichi Toyoda is the founder of this method.
The output of a process within a specific timeframe.
The Z-value is the sigma value used as a measure of process capability. It represents the number of standard deviations between customer specifications and the average process performance. A higher score indicates better process performance. This allows for process comparisons, and a Z-value of 6 sigma corresponds to 3.4 defects per million opportunities.
The Weibull distribution is commonly used in projects focused on reducing lead times. It differs from the standard normal distribution, featuring a long tail. The strength lies in capturing shape, scale, and threshold. Shape determines the tail direction, scale indicates data stretch, and threshold marks the data's starting point.
Work in progress
All units that are in progress within a process.
An input or process characteristic that influences the output (Y). The relationship is indicated as Y = f(X).
The percentage of units that pass through a process without defects.
A series of techniques leading to waste reduction on the shop floor through well-organized workspaces. 5S represents 5 Japanese terms: Seiri (Sort): Evaluate items on the floor, remove unused, and relocate occasionally used items. Seiton (Set in order): Assign a place for everything, arrange according to agreed-upon order (e.g., using a tool board with predefined tool images). Seiso (Shine): Clean the workspace and machines, establish agreements on maintaining cleanliness. Seiketsu (Standardize): Establish agreements, rules, and guidelines to keep the workspace orderly. Shitsuke (Sustain): Make 5S the new way of life.
A3 is a form devised by Toyota for tracking and following the progress of a project. The name A3 comes from the size of the paper on which it is recorded. An A3 closely resembles a project charter. The difference lies in the fact that it's a kind of roadmap that is followed and updated throughout the project. Thus, the A3 contains a section with names like analysis, future situation, and implementation plan, which are filled out over the course of the project.