Daily Accountability Process

A way of involving people at all levels of the organization in checking whether we're staying on-track with our goals, projects, and performance metrics. This is done through brief team meetings to raise, escalate, and resolve issues.

Daily Management

A system that allows us to know on a daily basis whether we are on track or off track with respect to our goals. Daily Management also enables us to take corrective action and to check that past actions and improvements are being sustained. A system of Daily Management also helps us build a set of habits so that Lean thinking and practices become second nature, including setting standards and making plans, making the actual status visible, going to see, checking plan versus actual, communicating, creating alignment across the organization, solving problems and coaching and developing people.

Daily management is built on a set of structured practices including Daily Accountability meetings, Gemba Walks, Leader Standard Work, and Process Confirmation.


A visual display of key performance indicators for regular and ease of monitoring. Named after the dashboard of an automobile showing indicators such as speed, RPM, fuel level, temperature.

Data Analysis

The organization, display, and interpretation facts and statistics.

Data Box

The icon on the value stream map used to collect and record process data.

Data Collection Plan

A planned approach to collecting baseline data as well as data for investigating root causes. Data collection plans include where to collect data, how to collect data, when to collect data and who will collect data. This plan is prepared for each measure. The plan includes details such sampling approaches and definitions of each measure.

Day in the Life Of

Days of Supply

Abbreviated DOS, this is a measure of how many days it will take for the inventory on hand to run out at the current rate of consumption.

Days Supply of Inventory


A product, service or process that is flawed, non-conforming to requirements, or otherwise unacceptable. One of the seven types of waste.

Defect Opportunity

A process step or characteristic that could affect the quality of the product or service if it were to fail. Identifying and reducing the number of defect opportunities in a process is an important phase of the continuous improvement of quality.


A process, product, or service containing one or more defects.

Defects per Million Opportunities

Abbreviated DPMO, it is a ratio of the number of defects in one million opportunities, when an item can contain more than one defect. DPMO is calculated from the total number of defects divided by the total number of defect opportunities.

Defects per Opportunity

Abbreviated DPO, it is a ratio of the number of defects in a given number of opportunities, when an item can contain more than one defect. DPO is calculated from the total number of defects divided by the total number of defect opportunities.

Define Phase

The first phase of DMAIC in which the problem statement is created, the project is scoped, the team is formed, the business case is defined. The define phase sets the basic parameters and lays the foundation for the success of the project.

Demand Amplification

The increase in variability of orders as one progresses further down levels of the supply chain away from the customer.

See also Bullwhip Effect

Demand Levelling

Using various techniques to adjust customer demand and remove the variation on the process due to large swings in the customer demand.

Deming Wheel

Design Failure Modes & Effects Analysis

A group of activities to recognize and evaluate potential systems, products or process failures within a existing or new design of a product or service.

See also Failure Modes & Effects Analysis

Design for Manufacturing

Abbreviated DFM, the process of designing materials, parts, components or products for ease of manufacturing, speed to market, better quality and lower cost.

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly

Abbreviated DFMA, the process of designing materials, parts, components or products for ease of manufacturing and assembly, speed to market, better quality and lower cost.

Design of Experiments

Abbreviated DOE, this is the process of determining the interaction of key process input variables on the output of a process. DOE attempts to quantify relationships between variables in order to optimize process settings. The design of experiment approach tests changes to several variables at the same time, allowing the statistics behind the process to reveal interactions between the input variables.

DILO Analysis

A study of what happens in a typical "day in the life of" a manager, knowledge worker, or professional whose work is not repetitive or otherwise easy to observe. The DILO is often a journal or a tracking sheet that is monitored for two to six weeks. The goal is to find the rough percentages of where the person's time goes, identify interruptions and time losses, and reflect on opportunities to change work habits and routines to become more productive and fulfilling.

Discrete Data

Numeric data that is countable in terms of how many of something exists, such as occurrences, specific characteristics, quantity of items, and so forth. Discrete data is measured in whole numbers. Also known as Attribute Data.


A statistical concept that describes the variation between values in a data set. Dispersion is commonly measured in standard deviations or variance. Large dispersion indicates widely scattered values while small dispersion indicates tightly clustered values.


A five phase, data-driven approach for improvement projects or problem solving. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.


A data-driven approach for the development of new products or services compared. DMADV stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify. The DMADV approach is also used to implement new strategies by relying data, its ability to identify success early, and thorough analysis.


The processes that come next in sequence. The ultimate downstream process is the customer.

Downstream Pull


Time during which a machine or process is unavailable and not in productive use.

Drum Buffer Rope

A production management theory in which the pace set by a single machine (the drum) with linked production (the rope), and keeping inventory (buffer) in front of the machine that is the constraint within the system.

Introduced by Dr. Eli Goldratt in his book, The Goal.

See also Theory of Constraints