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Lean Reference Guide > Lean Dictionary

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"H" Terms
from The Continuous Improvement Companion

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  • Hammers

    Enter a heavy manufacturing facility, and you will likely hear the ‘clank, clank, clank’ of metal hammers, or the dull thud of a dead blow hammer. Hammers are used to compensate for a quality problem elsewhere. In most cases, they are used to ‘adjust’ a component, or install something that was designed with too little tolerance to be easily assembled.

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  • Handoffs

    Handoffs are the times work is passed from one person to another person. In most cases, a handoff entails reorienting the work and getting it ready to add value to it.

    Handoffs in manufacturing act a little like a speed bump. It creates a hiccup in the flow of work. When the handoff is disjointed, the effect is bigger. Think of putting parts into a cart that sits in queue, and then has to be wheeled over to the next step in the process. The poor handoff creates waste.

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  • Hanedashi

    A hanedashi device is an automatic part ejector. It reduces waste when an operator approaches a machine to load the next part. In a machine without a hanedashi device, the operator would have to set down the new part that he would be carrying to the machine, pull out the completed part and set it down, pick up the new part, load it, and then pick up the completed part again.

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  • Hansei

    Hansei is a Japanese term that loosely translates to self-reflection. In practice, though, it is much more than that. Hansei requires several things.

    1. A person must recognize that there is a problem in personal performance. Hansei is not a run-of-the-mill assessment tool. It looks at personal failings rather than system or process problems.
    2. The person must take responsibility for the shortcoming. Being called on the carpet is not the same as hansei. Owning the mistake is a critical part of this form of reflection…
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  • Hard Savings

    Hard savings are those that are directly attributed to an actual expense. There should be no confusion about how much was actually saved, as there is an invoice, payroll stub, bill, receipt, or the like associated with the expense.

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  • Hawthorne Effect

    The Hawthorne Effect originated from experiments at the Hawthorne Works, owned by Western Electric, in Cicero, Illinois in the first half of the 1900’s. While there were a variety of experiments, the most commonly referenced study was about illumination.

    Researchers conducted a series of experiments to identify the optimal lighting levels in the workplace. Initial findings showed that increasing lighting levels resulted in productivity increases. The effects, however, were short-lived. Continued experiments showed that whenever lighting changed, either brighter or dimmer, there was an increase in productivity. This led to a series of further experiments over an extended period that looked at other factors affecting worker performance.

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  • Heijunka

    The common heijunka definition, production leveling, means transforming the typical peaks and valleys of customer demand into something flatter. That flatness, in turn, makes standardizing production processes easier.

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  • Henry Ford

    Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) is the man most widely known as the founder of Ford, and as the man who invented the moving assembly line. While the first is true, the second common belief is a bit inaccurate. Ford actually popularized the moving assembly line; he didn’t invent it. There were numerous other examples of moving assembly lines prior to Henry Ford’s 1908 line producing the Model T.

    In fact, Henry Ford was not even the first to mass produce automobiles in the US. Ransom Olds (of Oldsmobile) beat him to the punch in that area. Henry Ford was just the more successful, primarily because of his relentless attack on waste.

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  • Hidden Factory (Hidden Process)

    A hidden factory is the set of undocumented and unstaffed processes that are done in an organization.

    When you dive into a process, you will often find two methods of doing it. The first is the documented method, or the one described by the operator as what he or she does. This is often the method that is used for timing, and ultimately for planning the capacity of an operation.

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  • Histogram

    A histogram is a specialized form of bar chart that shows the distribution of the data it is representing.

    Each bar represents a uniform range of data values, with the height of the bar showing the number of occurrences that fall into that range.

    A sample of a histogram from a term in our online Lean guide.

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  • Hoshin Kanri

    Hoshin kanri is a Japanese term meaning policy deployment or strategic planning.

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  • How You Think Links

    The “How You Think Links” model depicts an overview of the process that a person typically follows to progress from an event occurring to taking action and ultimately, to getting a result.

    The basic steps are:

    • Event
    • Interpretation
    • Emotion
    • Decision
    • Action
    • Result
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