1 piece flow

1 point lesson

2 Bin System

2 point control


A simple workplace problem solving approach. Team members identify and discuss Concerns, Causes and Countermeasures on a visual board in their daily work.


Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous work conditions.

3 Don'ts of Assembly

Don't choose, don’t search, don't turn around

3 Elements of Standard Work

Takt time, work sequence and standard work in process

3 Evils of Meetings

The three evils of meetings are to meet but not discussing, discussing but not deciding, and deciding but not doing.

3 Gen Principle

The three principles are:

  1. shop floor (gemba)
  2. the actual product (genbutsu)
  3. the facts (genjitsu).

The key to successful kaizen is to going to the shop floor, working with the actual product and getting the facts.


A standard for material storage based on setting rules for location, quantity and orientation of placement. Fixed location, Fixed quantity, Fixed orientation.

3 Mu

Muri, mura, muda. Overburden, variation, waste.

4Ps of the Toyota Way

Philosophy, People and Partners, Process, Problem Solving

5 Coaching Kata Questions

The questions a leader asks when coaching others how to practice the Improvement Kata. They are

  1. What is the target condition?
  2. What is the actual condition now?
  3. What obstacles do you think are preventing you from reaching the target condition? Which one are you addressing now?
  4. What is your next step? What do you expect?
  5. When can we go and see what we have learnt from taking that step?


A quality check reminder for electrical mechanical assembly. Loose, lacking, electrical, leaks, looks.


Man, Machine, Material, Method, and Measurement. Understanding these variables and the establishing of standards are key steps in strengthening the production processes. Sometimes other M words are added such as money or mother nature, or "manpower" is replaced with "people" or "staffing".

See also Change Point Management


Man, Machine, Material, Method, Measurement, and Environment.

See also 5M, and Change Point Management

5 Principles of Lean Thinking

  1. Customer value. Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer.
  2. Value Streams. Identify all steps in the value stream for each product or service family, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value.
  3. Flow. Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product flows smoothly toward the customer.
  4. Pull. Let customers pull value from the next upstream process.
  5. Perfection. Continue improving toward unattainable perfection of a value stream with no waste.


A visual workplace organization and productivity practice described by five words beginning in the letter S. The five words are

  1. Sort. To separate needed from unneeded items (information, tools, parts materials, paperwork) and discard the unneeded.
  2. Straighten: Arrange the needed items properly and neatly, making a place for everything and putting everything in its place.
  3. Sweep: Remove clutter, dust, grime and expose sources of contamination.
  4. Sanitize: Establish a level of hygiene, cleanliness and organization from regular performance of the first three S activities.
  5. Sustain: Practice and improve 5S activity to make it a natural part of the day.

The original Japanese words are seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, shitsuke.

Alternative words used to describe these activities are

  1. Sift
  2. Set in order
  3. Spic and span
  4. Standardize
  5. Self-discipline

5 Why

The method of identifying root causes by asking ""why"" repeatedly in series to investigate the causal chain deeply. The number of "why?" questions should not be limited to five. The number five was used by Taiichi Ohno to contrast the importance of pursuing the cause with asking the various 5W1H questions (who, what, where, when, why, how).

A famous example of a machine that stopped working (Ohno 1988, p. 17) illustrates how repeated asking uncovers deeper causes:

  1. Why did the machine stop? There was an overload and the fuse blew.
  2. Why was there an overload? The bearing was not sufficiently lubricated.
  3. Why was it not lubricated? The lubrication pump was not pumping sufficiently.
  4. Why was it not pumping sufficiently? The shaft of the pump was worn and rattling.
  5. Why was the shaft worn out? There was no strainer attached and metal scraps got in.

Without persistent "why?" questions we would address the surface problem and replace the pump, leave the root cause unaddressed, and allow the failure would recur.


Who, what, where, when, why, how

6 Big Losses

Equipment capacity losses can be categorized into six types

  1. Breakdowns
  2. Set up, changeovers & adjustments
  3. Minor stops & idling
  4. Reduced speed
  5. Startup & yield
  6. Defects & rejects

The systematic reduction of the 6 Big Losses to improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness is one of the main aims of TPM activity.

6 Rules for Kanban System Operation

There are six rules for effective operation of a kanban system:

  1. The customer processes orders goods in the precise amounts specified on the kanban.
  2. Supplier processes produce goods in the precise amounts and sequence specified by the kanban.
  3. No items are made or moved without a kanban.
  4. Parts and materials always have a kanban attached.
  5. Defective parts and incorrect amounts are never sent to the next process.
  6. The number of kanban is reduced step by step to reveal problems and lower inventory levels.


The 5S with the addition of Safety.

7 Alternatives

7 QC Tools

Data gathering and analysis tools used for kaizen activities originally by QC Circles. They are:

  1. check sheets
  2. cause and effect diagrams
  3. Pareto diagrams
  4. histograms
  5. graphs
  6. scatter diagrams
  7. broken line graphs

7 Steps of Autonomous Maintenance

The 7 steps of autonomous maintenance are:

  1. Perform initial cleaning and inspection
  2. Establish countermeasures for the causes of dirt and dust
  3. Establish preliminary cleaning and routine maintenance standards
  4. Conduct a general inspection training
  5. Carry out autonomous inspection
  6. Organization and standardization of the workplace
  7. Continuous improvement towards autonomous management of equipment

7 Types of Equipment Abnormality

The seven categories of deviations from good operating conditions. The seven types of abnormalities are:

  1. unsafe places
  2. minor flaws
  3. unfulfilled basic conditions
  4. inaccessible places
  5. contamination sources
  6. quality defect sources
  7. unnecessary and non-essential items.

One of the aims of TPM activity is to identify and remove these 7 types of abnormalities.

7 Wastes

The 7 Wastes are:

  1. Overproduction
  2. Transportation
  3. Waiting
  4. Motion
  5. Inventory
  6. Defects
  7. Processing

7 Ways Exercise

An idea generation method used in Production Preparation Process (3P) to develop seven or more ways of designing a process to meet customer requirements. The 7 ways are evaluated based on a set of lean thinking criteria, and the top combinations of ideas are tried out.


An abbreviation for 8 Disciplines, a problem-solving approach developed at the Ford Motor Company. The eight disciplines are

  • D0: Preparation and Emergency Response Actions. Plan for solving the problem. Determine prerequisites. Provide emergency response actions.
  • D1: Use a Team. Form a team of people with product / process knowledge. Team members provide new perspectives and different ideas on how to solve the problem.
  • D2: Describe the Problem. Specify the problem. Quantify the who, what, where, when, why, how, and how many (5W2H) for the problem.
  • D3: Develop an Interim Containment Plan. Define and implement containment actions to isolate the problem from the customer.
  • D4: Determine and Verify Root Causes and Escape Points. Identify all potential causes for the problem. Identify why the problem was not detected at the time of occurrence. Investigate and verify the causes using various tools.
  • D5: Verify Permanent Corrections (PCs) for the Problem. The PCs must resolve the problem for the customer. Quantitatively confirm that the selected correction resolves the problem.
  • D6: Define and Implement Corrective Actions. Define and implement the best corrective actions. Validate corrective actions with empirical evidence.
  • D7: Prevent Recurrence / Systemic Problems. Modify the management systems, operation systems, practices, and procedures to prevent the recurrence of this and similar problems.
  • D8: Congratulate the Main Contributors to your Team. Formally recognize and thank the team for their efforts.

8 Wastes

The 7 wastes with the addition of the 8th, unused human talent and creativity.

8th Waste

The 8th wastes is unused human talent and creativity.

8 Pillars of TPM

The eight groups of activities of Total Productive Maintenance are:

  1. Focused Improvement
  2. Autonomous Maintenance
  3. Planned Maintenance
  4. Education & Training
  5. Early Equipment Management
  6. Quality Maintenance
  7. Environmental, Health & Safety
  8. Office TPM

The first three pillars are often started together due to their mutually-supporting nature, with the other pillars following in sequence.

10 Commandments of Improvement

Ten phrases that describe mindsets and attitudes needed to succeed with continuous improvement. They are:

  1. Keep an open your mind to new ideas and change
  2. Think “We can, if…” rather than making excuses
  3. Attack the processes, not the people
  4. Seek simple solutions
  5. If it’s broken, stop and fix it
  6. Use creativity, not capital
  7. Problems are opportunities to improve
  8. Fix the root cause by repeatedly asking “why?” rather than "who?"
  9. Seek ideas from many rather than expertise from one
  10. There is no end to the improvement journey

10 Steps to Automation

The step-by-step approach to implementing low-cost automation in a process. The first steps are considered easiest to do, with the later steps being progressively more challenging and costly to achieve full automation.

  1. Processing
  2. Hold part
  3. Feed part
  4. Stop Feed
  5. Return
  6. Unload part
  7. Pokayoke
  8. Load part
  9. Start cycle
  10. Transport part

12 Agile Software Development Principles

The Manifesto for Agile Software Development is based on twelve principles:

  1. Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even in late development.
  3. Deliver working software frequently (weeks rather than months)
  4. Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
  5. Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
  6. Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)
  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress
  8. Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
  10. Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential
  11. Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams
  12. Regularly, the team reflects on how to become more effective, and adjusts accordingly

12 Steps to TPM Program Implementation

  1. Announce Top Management’s decision to implement TPM
  2. Launch Education Campaign
  3. Create Organization to promote TPM
  4. Establish basic TPM policies and Goals
  5. Formulate a master plan for TPM development
  6. Hold TPM “kick off”
  7. Improve equipment effectiveness
  8. Establish autonomous maintenance program for operators
  9. Set up Scheduled maintenance program for the maintenance department
  10. Conduct operation to improve operation and maintenance skills
  11. Develop initial equipment management program
  12. Implement TPM fully and aim for higher goals

14 Points for Management, Deming's

  1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and stay in business, and to provide jobs.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy. Leadership must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
  3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
  4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move towards a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
  5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease cost.
  6. Institute training on the job.
  7. Institute leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
  8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.
  9. Break down barriers between departments.
  10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity.
  11. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute workmanship.
  12. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
  13. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective
  14. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
  15. Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everyone's work

- W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis (1982)

14 Toyota Way Principles

The 14 principles of The Toyota Way as described by Jeffrey Liker in The Toyota Way are:

  1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.
  2. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
  3. Use ‘pull’ systems to avoid overproduction.
  4. Level out the workload (work like the tortoise, not the hare).
  5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.
  6. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
  7. Use visual controls so no problems are hidden.
  8. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and process.
  9. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.
  10. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.
  11. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.
  12. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation.
  13. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.
  14. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement.

16 Catchphrases of 3P

  1. Production preparation should be lightning fast. Avoid over planning, use what you have, act now.
  2. Build & layout equipment for smooth material flow. Flow like a river, not like a dam.
  3. Use additive equipment. Buy many speed boats instead of one tanker.
  4. Build equipment that is easy to set up. Design in the separation of internal and external tasks.
  5. Make equipment easy to move. No roots, no vines, no pits. Put wheels on everything.
  6. Use multi-purpose equipment. Simple, ""just fast enough"" machines that perform one function well.
  7. Make operator workstations narrow. Town houses, not ranch houses.
  8. Layout equipment for ease of operator movement. Remove obstruction to smooth human motion.
  9. Eliminate wasted machine cycle time. Design out 'air cutting' and minimize machine movements.
  10. Build equipment for small, swift flow lines. Enable Standard Work (Takt, Work Sequence, SWIP).
  11. Use short, vertical flow lines. Vertical = advancing process flow, horizontal = functional.
  12. Build equipment for one-piece pull. Machine level. This is probably the most critical one.
  13. Build in quick changeover. Design in SMED at the machine level.
  14. Link machines for smooth loading and unloading. Line stops when WIP on the line is "full work".
  15. Use multiple lines & rectified flows. 'Rectified' is an odd term, electrical engineers will get it.
  16. Spiral upwards to jidoka. There are 5 steps to jidoka, which should be pursued a step at a time.

40 Principles of TRIZ

A set of forty generic principles of Inventive Thinking and Creativity Engineering used together with a Contradiction Matrix for solving hard technical problems. The 40 principles of TRIZ are stacked in four column on the Contradiction Matrix. The basic engineering parameters of common objects, or systems, such as weight, length, and manufacturing tolerances, etc. are collected. These are studied to identify other parameters that may be in conflict. Engineering solutions and invention are sought to resolve these apparent conflicts.

50 Second Rule of Takt Time

A rule of thumb for Takt Time that says that no repetitive manual operation should have a cycle time less than 50 seconds. When production volume increases, rather than reducing takt time and speeding up the line, it is more productive to have multiple slower-paced lines. For example, two lines at 90 seconds instead of one at 45 seconds. There are 4 reasons for this:

  1. Productivity. As Takt Time is reduced, every seconds that is lost to wasteful motions become a bigger percentage lost. When you lose 3 seconds out of a 30 second cycle, this is a 10% loss in productivity. Losing 3 seconds out of a 60 second cycle is 5%.
  2. Safety & Ergonomics. When the same tasks are performed more often over a shorter period of time there is a greater risk of developing repetitive stress injuries and of fatigue. When a wider range of operations are performed over (for example 60 seconds) muscles have a full minute to recover before starting the same operation #1 again, versus only 14 seconds per repetition.
  3. Quality. When performing a wider range of duties (5 operations versus 2) each person becomes their own customer for the each of the operations they do except for the very last one. If a worker is performing 5 operations (instead of two) this causes him or her to pay more attention to quality, since a bad result in operation 3 will impact them in operation 4, rather than being passed on unseen to the next person.
  4. Morale. When all other things are equal, people have greater job satisfaction in performing a 50+ second operation over and over again than in performing a 25 second operation over and over again. People enjoy the cross training and learning new skills, the reduction of repetitive motion fatigue, but the top reasons is that people like to feel that they are building something rather than just attaching a few bolts all day long.