Passing information, tasks, materials or work from one person to another person. Handoffs themselves do not add value. Handoffs can add cost when there are losses in time, information or quality.


Auto-eject devices that unload the part from the machine once the cycle is complete. This allows the operators to go from one machine to the next without waiting, picking up and loading parts. Hanedashi is a key component of chaku-chaku lines.


The act of reflecting on actions or results of actions with the purpose of identifying what we can do better. Hansei sessions are typically held after an improvement activity, after a problem has been found and addressed, at points in a project, or at periodic personal or organization reviews. Hansei is the Japanese word for “self-reflection”. During the “check” phase of the PDCA cycle, individuals reflect on what worked and what did not, so the “act” phase can make the continuous improvement process more effective. This activity is an essential part of a learning organization.

Hard Savings

Savings that are directly linked to an actual expense. Hard savings result in actual reduction of an amount on an invoice, payroll stub, bill, fee, receipt, income statement line item, or similar measurable expense.

Hawthorne Effect

A short term improvement caused by the presence of people observing worker performance. The term was coined in 1955 by Henry A. Landsberger when analyzing older experiments from 1924-1932 at the Hawthorne Works, where worker behavior changed when they knew their process performance is being measured.


Smoothing out the peaks and valleys in production by averaging both production volume and product mix over a fixed period of time. Heijunka enables production to efficiently meet customer demands while avoiding batching and its associated wastes. Leveling of the burden both in terms of volume and product mix requires quick changeovers capability and small lot production. Heijunka allows smooth flow by sequencing and loading uneven or batched customer demand into more even loads.

Heijunka box

A visual management tool used to schedule the level the mix and volume of production. Each column of boxes representing a specific period of time, lines are drawn down the schedule/grid to visually break the schedule into columns of individual shifts or days or weeks. Kanban cards are organized within a heijunka box by type, frequency and quantity. These cards are distributed at fixed intervals to production.

Heijunka wheel

A simple scheduling tool that allows one to set up a level-loaded mixed model production by representing the product mix within sections of a wheel in a repeating sequence.

Heinrich Principle

A principle coined by H.W. Heinrich, stating that for approximately every 300 near misses there are 29 injuries and 1 death. The principle encourages us to pay attention to even the smallest of safety incidents or so-called "near misses" if we want to find the root causes of what could become larger safety accidents.

Hidden Factory

The notion that much of the effort of an organization that is not value-oriented is inadvertently directed to creating waste and performing non-value tasks. The hidden factory is the unseen or unrecognized capacity to generate valuable output, which is lost due to managing inventory, poor quality, transportation, paperwork and so forth.


A graph that organizes a set of data points into user-specified ranges. The histogram condenses a data series into logical ranges or bins whos areas are proportional to the frequency of a variable and whose width is equal to the class interval. One of the seven quality control tools.

Horizontal Deployment

Horizontal Handling

When tasks are assigned to a person in such a way that the focus is on maximizing a certain skill set or use of certain types of equipment, this is called horizontal handling. Horizontal handling does not benefit flow.


Japanese word for policy.

See Hoshin Planning

Hoshin Kanri

Hoshin Planning

A method of developing and deploying strategy or policy. Hoshin focuses and aligns the organization on a few vital “breakthrough” objectives. The objectives and means to achieve the objectives are cascaded down through the entire organization through a down-up-down process known as catch ball. The actions plans and progress are visualized using linked A3 reports and/or X-matrices. The process is self-correcting and encourages organizational learning and continuous improvement of the planning process itself.

Hour by Hour Chart

A visual display of the actual performance of a process compared to the planned performance. The hour by hour chart is often a large whiteboard located beside a process. The time increments may be longer or shorter than an hour, depending on the process, by are typically not longer than 2 hours. The hour by hour chart is primarily a communication tool and not a problem-solving tool or a scheduling method. The hour by hour charts are maintained by people who do the work, allowing them to document issues they face during the day. Hour by hour charts are checked during the day as part of leader standard work.

Hourly Production Control Board

House of Quality

The first matrix in a four-phase Quality Function Deployment process. The name House of Quality is due to the correlation matrix that is shaped like a house with a triangular roof.

See also Quality Function Deployment

Huddle meeting

A brief meeting during which team members communicate goals, challenges, and what to expect from the day ahead. Often the huddle meeting is done at a set time in the morning or at the start of work. The huddle is a structured discussion, commonly done standing up at a visual display board in or very near the workplace.


In the scientific method, a theory proposed for comparing means and standard deviations of two or more data sets, or one data set against a target. A "null" hypothesis states that the data sets are from the same statistical population, while the "alternate" hypothesis states that the data sets are not from the same statistical population.

Hypothesis Testing

The process of using statistical analysis to determine whether the observed differences between two or more samples are due to random chance as stated in the null hypothesis or due to true differences in the samples, as stated in the alternate hypothesis. Hypothesis testing uses a variety of statistical tools to analyze data to reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis. Finding statistical evidence that the null hypothesis is false allows us to reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternate hypothesis at the observed confidence level.