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Lean Reference Guide > Lean Dictionary

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"G" Terms
from The Continuous Improvement Companion

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  • Gap Analysis

    Gap analysis is the art of identifying where performance or capability falls short of needs, and of coming up with an effective way of addressing that gap, also occasionally referred to as the ‘delta’.

    That delta comes in one of two forms. The first is that there is a gap in capability. For example, you want to be able to paint your products, but have no paint shop in your organization.

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  • Gauge

    A gauge is a measuring device. A gauge can be as simple as a piece of string cut to a specific dimension or a cutout of an animated character with an outstretched arm with the caption, “You must be this tall to ride this attraction.”

    On the other end of the spectrum, a gauge can be a calibrated pressure sensing device or a laser measuring device.

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  • Gauge R&R

    Gauge Repeatability & Reproducibility (Gauge R&R) uses a statistical method (ANOVA) to analyze the variation in a measurement system. It determines if a measurement process is repeatable, meaning if you measured the same thing several times the results would be consistent. It also determines if a measurement process is reproducible, meaning that someone else can step in and do the measurement with the same results. Gage R&R assesses the whole system, not just the measuring device. Individual instrumentation is not checked, but rather the use of the instruments in a specific application.

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  • Gemba (+4-Min MP3, +6-Page PDF)

    Gemba Lean Term on PDF

    You can’t really understand a process until you see it at gemba-the real place where the work is done. Learn about this term, answer a poll question, listen to a short audio program, and download a FREE 6-Page PDF on gemba.

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  • Gemba Walk

    A gemba walk is a leadership process in which a manager walks through his or her areas of responsibility in order to gain a better understanding of how the operation is running. The term “gemba” means “the real place” in Japanese. The level of structure of a gemba walk varies by the individual. They range from a simple walkthrough on up to a formal checklist containing specific things to look for.

    Gemba walks should be a regular, recurring part of a leader’s personal standard work.

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  • Gembutsu

    Gembutsu is a Japanese word meaning ‘real thing’. It is one of the components of the ‘Three Reals‘ meaning go to the real place (gemba) to see the real thing (gembutsu) and collect the real facts (genjitsu).

    This term simply means that there is no substitute for seeing something with one’s own eyes. Far too often, people hear about a process or problem, and take what they hear as fact. Watching an actual item being made or form being processed gives an increased level of insight that helps with problem solving as well as making improvements.

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  • Genchi Genbutsu

    Genchi Genbutsu is a Japanese term that loosely translates to “go and see”. Essentially, it means to go to the actual spot where actual work is happening on the actual product to confirm your conclusions.

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  • Go / No-Go Gauge

    Many parts and instruments have specifications that call for a tolerance. That just means that there is a given range within which the part has acceptable quality.

    One way to determine if the part is good is to measure and compare the results to the specification. This, however, is a slow process.

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  • Go to Gemba

    The refrain ‘Go to Gemba’ simply means to go to the place where the work is being done for answers to process questions.

    Far too often, kaizen teams will discuss a process while sitting in a conference room. Instead, they should ‘go to gemba’ and be where the action is. Actually being close to the sights, sounds, and smells of a shop floor makes the nuances of a process leap out at you.

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  • Goal Setting

    A simple goal setting definition is that it is just the act of declaring something that you want to achieve, and putting some specific parameters around the end result-the who, what, when, where, why.

    This goal setting definition, though, is overly simplistic. Goal setting has a large component of an art form to it. It requires knowing yourself and your team, and having a realistic understanding of everyone’s capabilities.

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  • Green Belt

    A “Green Belt” is a certification that indicates a person is qualified to lead a Six Sigma project or, less frequently, a kaizen team in Lean.

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  • Groupthink

    Groupthink is the condition in which individuals set aside their beliefs and concerns to conform to group opinion. This is most commonly done because people value the cohesion of the group more than the risk of a poor outcome.

    While the term was first coined by William H. Whyte in Fortune magazine in 1952, a Yale psychologist, Irving Janis, did much of the early work on the theory.

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  • Growth

    Growth is the driver of stock appreciation. The basic way investors determine what to pay for a stock is to look at the value of its assets, minus its liabilities, and then factor in expected future earnings.

    With growth, those expected earnings get bigger, and the company’s stock prices go up. The reverse is also true.

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  • Guidance

    Guidance is the way that a leader or mentor provides assistance to another person to help her reach her goals.

    Guidance is more general in nature than specific directions. The goal is to help a person make a good decision on her own, not to tell her what to do.

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  • Guidelines

    Guidelines are general instructions on how to make decisions. Unlike specific policies and processes, guidelines are not rigid. Guidelines are loose blueprints for success, such as ‘Don’t swim for 30 minutes after eating.’

    Contrasting with policies and rules, there are generally no sanctions for disregarding guidelines.

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