Abbreviation for earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization. An accounting measure of profit.

Economy of scale

The notion that costs per unit fall as as production volume rises. This is because certain costs stay constant when production fluctuates, while variable costs change with production volumes. Fixed costs such as that of a building remain constant whether the production volume is zero, fifty or one hundred units. This also applies to costs such as long-distance transportation, or the time and lost production due to a product changeovers. The pursuit of economy of scale can lead to local optimization, overproduction and other wastes, resulting in increased overall costs.

See also Local Optimization


Acronym for eliminate, combine, rearrange, simply – the industrial engineering approach to analyzing process elements and improving them.


The degree to which something is successful in producing a desired outcome.


The ability to achieve an objective or deliver outputs without wasting materials, time, energy or other inputs.

Elements of Work

The elements of work are:

  1. value-added work
  2. non value-added work
  3. waste

Thoroughly understanding the elements of work is a key first step to lean thinking.

Empathy Map

Tool to visualize what we know about another person’s thoughts and feelings, in order to achieve a specific business outcome. These outcomes include uncovering needs of customers and users, designing better products that solve customer problems, improving user experience, crafting effective communication, selling goods and services, persuading or developing consensus with others. The Empathy Map puts the customer or persona at the center and seeks to build empathy by answering questions including:

  • What do they hear?
  • What do they see?
  • What do they do?
  • What do they say?
  • What do they think?
  • What do they feel?
  • What are their fears or pains?
  • What do they hope to gain?

Employee Engagement

The attention and energy employees put into their work as a result of their emotional commitment to their jobs, passion their work, belief in the organization and its goals.


Engineer to order

Products whose customers specifications are unique for each order therefore each product is engineered from scratch upon receipt of an order.

Enterprise Resource Planning

Software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations.


“Every Part Every” interval of time indicates the level of flexibility to produce whatever the customer needs. For instance, Every Part Every day would indicate that changeovers for all products required can be performed each day and the products can be supplied to the customer.


EPE Interval

Abbreviated EPEx, this is a measure of flexibility of an operation. EPE stands for ""every product every"" and is a frequency at which different services are delivered or different part numbers are produced in a delivery system or production process. When equipment changeover is scheduled and a product is produced every five working days, the EPEx is five days. The shorter EPEx indicates the ability to deliver in small lots of each part number, minimize inventory in the system and serve customers more flexibility. Reducing EPE intervals requires quick changeover times and minimizing material and time losses associated with changeovers.


The science of designing and arranging the workplace so that people are able to work efficiently and safely.

Error Proofing


Any product or service containing a defect or deviation from standard that exits the point of origin .

Every Product Every


External set-up

Setup and changeover activities that can be done as preparation while the machine is still running.

Extreme Programming

Abbreviated XP, an Agile software development approach intended to improve quality and responsiveness to changes in customer requirements through frequent releases in short development cycles, pair programming, extensive code review, unit testing of all code, not programming features until they are actually needed, flat management structures, simplicity of code, expecting changes in the customer's requirements as the problem is better understood, and frequent communication. The approach is "extreme" because beneficial practices are taken to extreme levels, such as continuous code reviews done during pair programming.