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Lean Reference Guide > Lean Dictionary

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Numbered Terms
from The Continuous Improvement Companion

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  • 1/3 – 2/3 Planning Rule (+ 2-Page PDF)

    1/3 - 2/3 Planning Rule Lean Term on PDF

    It is important to strike a balance in how much time is allowed for senior leaders to make a plan and for junior leaders to execute it. The 1/3 – 2/3 Planning Rule is a rule of thumb for allocating the time available for projects.

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  • 10-Foot, 3-Second Rule

    The “10 Foot, 3-Second” rule is a rule of thumb regarding visual controls. From 10 feet away, you should be able to assess the status of an operation within 3 seconds.

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  • 10-Year Old Mindset

    Continuous improvement often requires us to step outside what we believe to be true and look at the world in a new, different way.

    Children do this on a regular basis. Why is the sky blue? How do birds fly? What would happen if you were driving at the speed of light and you turned on your headlights? This type of curiosity without fear is the hallmark of the 10 year-old mindset.

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  • 100 Mile Rule

    The 100-mile rule for meetings/projects is a mental tool for deciding whether to interrupt a person for a problem. In a nutshell, if the issue is big enough that…

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  • 100% Inspection

    A 100% inspection is exactly what it sounds like. It is a check on every single piece of work. The inspection can be done on both physical products on the shop floor, or information in an office setting.

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  • 11 “C’s” of Lean Leadership (+ 5-Page Lean PDF)

    11 C's of Lean Leadership Term on PDF

    The 11 C’s of Lean Leadership provides a mnemonic device you can use to look at a the characteristics of a leader. Review this term online, or download a FREE 5-Page PDF on the 11 C’s of Lean Leadership.

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  • 14 Points, Deming’s

    In his book, Out of the Crisis, W. Edwards Deming lists his 14 points for management. The overall aim of the book is to transform the style of American leadership.

    At the time the book was first published in 1982, American industry, especially the automotive companies, had started to lag behind Japanese companies in terms of quality. Deming spent many years working with Japanese companies, and came up with his 14 points as a way that American companies could transform to be more competitive in the changing global marketplace.

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  • 3 Reals

    The ‘3 reals’ tie closely to the concept of gemba. The term ‘3 reals’ simply means that you can’t learn about something unless you go to the point of impact and look at what is actually happening.

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  • 3P / Production Preparation Process

    The Production Preparations Process (3P) is a powerful means of taking a big-picture look at how a product is designed and manufactured. It guides teams through the creative process of generating ideas, and then whittles the ideas down to one that will be implemented.

    A 3P project can focus on either the process or on the product design. The goal is to finish the event, usually about a week long, with a good idea of how the design should look, and a good understanding of how it will be built.

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  • 3P Process Overview Form

    The 3P Provcess Overview Form is a communication and review tool used in 3P (Production Preparation Process) events.

    Format: PPTX

    Regular Price: Free for Subscribers/Members

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  • 5 Principles of Lean

    Lean principles are the guiding concepts that drive the basic behaviors of an organization. While many Lean advocates create their unique set of principles, the most famous were first presented by James Womack and Daniel Jones in their book Lean Thinking.

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  • 5 Whys (+6-Page Lean PDF +Video +MP3 +Form)

    The 5 Whys Lean Term on PDF

    The 5 Whys is a simple problem solving tool that helps you get to the root cause of a problem. Watch a short video, and download a FREE 6-Page PDF on the 5 Whys.

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  • 5 Whys Form (+ Video +Form)

    The 5 Whys Form

    The 5 Whys Worksheet is used to guide a problem solver through his or her root cause analysis.

    Format: PPTX

    Regular Price: Free for Registered Users

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  • 5Ps of Effective Meetings

    The “5Ps of Effective Meetings” is a simple memory device to help you, not surprisingly, run more effective meetings. Because of the increasing complexity of business operations, more and more often, problems require a collaborative solution. Those collaborative solutions tend to require meetings.

    Unfortunately, this increased demand for meetings also tends to increase the waste associated with them. And make no mistake; the majority of meetings contain a tremendous amount of wasted time.

    Using the “5Ps of Effective Meetings” can help reduce the waste these gatherings generate.

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  • 5S (+14 Page Lean PDF, +11 Minute Video)

    5S Lean Term on PDF

    An organized, well-designed workplace improves efficiency. A great workplace, goes well beyond simply putting things in designates locations. Visit this Lean term page to learn more and download a FREE 14-Page PDF about 5S.

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  • 5W1H

    5W1H is shorthand for “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.” It is used both in problem solving and in project planning.

    This set of questions is sometimes referred to as the Kipling Method, due to a poem that appeared in Rudyard Kipling’s 1902 “Just So Stories.”

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  • 6 M’s

    The 6 M’s are a mnemonic tool used primarily during the creation of a cause & effect diagram.

    The 6 M’s are:

    • Machines
    • Methods
    • Materials
    • Mother Nature
    • Manpower (People Power)
    • Measurements
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  • 6 P’s

    The 6 P’s are a mnemonic tool similar to the 6M’s. Both are used to categorize causes on an Ishikawa (cause & effect) diagram. The 6 M’s were traditionally used for fishbone diagrams on the shop floor or other production environments.

    The 6 P’s originated when more and more companies began migrating Lean to the office. The 6 P’s are:

    • Policy
    • Process
    • People
    • Plant
    • Program
    • Product
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  • 6S

    6S is a mnemonic devices used to recall the 6 steps to improving workplace organization and effectiveness. It is essentially 5S with safety specifically added. The six “S” terms are:

    • Sort
    • Straighten
    • Scrub
    • Standardize
    • Sustain
    • Safety
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  • 7 Basic Tools of Quality / 7 QC Tools

    The 7 Basic Tools of Quality (or 7 QC Tools) is a set of relatively simple data analysis tools used to support quality improvement efforts.

    These tools are fairly simple in that they don’t require sophisticated statistics to use (though control charts border on being too complex for the typical user to develop.)

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  • 7 Wastes

    See also Waste.

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  • 7 Ways Comparison Form

    The 7 Ways Comparison Form is a communication tool commonly used in 3P (Production Preparation Process) events. It is also useful whenever you need to review a large number of creative ideas.

    Format: PPTX

    Regular Price: Free for Subscribers/Members

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  • 7 Ways Idea Generation Form

    The 7 Ways Idea Generation Form is a brainstorming tool commonly used in 3P (Production Preparation Process) events. It is useful whenever you need to generate a large number of creative ideas.

    Format: PPTX

    Regular Price: Free for Subscribers/Members

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  • 8 Wastes / 8th Waste

    The 8 wastes are a variation on the seven wastes that were first proposed by Taiichi Ohno, the father of modern Lean.

    The one element that is notably missing from this list is the human factor. For that reason, many people add an eighth waste to the original seven. There are several different versions of this eighth waste, but all focus on wasting the potential or ability of team members.

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  • 80/20 Rule

    The 80/20 rule states that 80 percent of the effects of something come from 20 percent of the causes.

    The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto Principle after the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, who first mathematically analyzed the distribution of wealth in his country.

    The 80/20 rule helps prioritize improvement efforts. Working on the critical few (the 20%) causes can yield big gains.

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  • 8D Analysis

    8D Analysis is a problem solving methodology. It takes a step by step approach to identify the root cause of a problem and permanently eliminate it.

    Because there is a cost in terms of time and effort in using a formal methodology such as 8D analysis, it is usually only done when there is a project with a large scope or a sizeable risk. Small, low-risk projects tend to require a less structured approach.

    See also: 8D Problem Solving

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  • 8D for Lean Problem Solving / 8 Disciplines (+Video +MP3)

    The 8D methodology is a type of problem solving that is similar to the DMAIC approach utilized by Six Sigma. Of note, 8D is a shortened form of the original name, ‘8 Disciplines’.

    The 8D’s are:

    1. Identify the problem
    2. Use a team approach/form an 8D team
    3. Describe the problem
    4. Interim containment
    5. Define the root cause(s)
    6. Develop solution(s)
    7. Implement the solution(s)
    8. Prevent recurrence
    9. Congratulate the team
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  • 9-Square (Prioritization Tool)

    The 9-square is a prioritization tool in Lean problem solving that helps you organize your improvement ideas. After completing a brainstorming session in which you compile a large number of viable options, you have to decide which ones to implement. To use the 9-square, rank each in two categories: impact and ease of implementation.

    9-Square (Prioritization Tool)

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