There’s a lot of Jargon or specialist terminology that you’ll hear if you’re getting involved in Six Sigma, especially if (like me when I started) you’re dropped in with people a lot more experienced in Six Sigma than you. Some will be words which are completely alien to you (Six Sigma and Lean both use a lot of Japanese words), and others will be words you know, but not the way they are used in Six Sigma.
This is the current amount of value you add as output per ‘unit’ of input, to be contrasted with ‘Potential Quality’ which is the maximum amount possible.
In Lean manufacturing, a device where a machine operative can signal that there is a quality / operational issue. This may also stop the production line.
Black belts are Six Sigma team leaders, with extensive training who usually work full time on Six Sigma projects.
Stands for Customer, Output, Process, Input, Supplier, and is a high level overview of a process and its context.
Stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify.
Stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control, with an optional 6th ‘Transfer’. It is the key framework in Six Sigma, and is for process improvement.
Defects per Million Opportunities – number of mistakes that are made out of a million functions that could lead to a mistake.
Time planning chart showing the tasks, and when they are expected to be achieved
The workplace, a Gemba Walk being a tour of the workplace.
Staff members with extensive Six Sigma training, although less than Black belts, who usually have a day to day job outside of Six Sigma, but have an active role in projects when required, performing key roles.
Literally change (Kai) for good (Zen). A mini Lean Six Sigma project which is designed to throw large amounts of resource at a smaller problem to get it fixed quickly. This contrast to a standard project where a smaller resource is allocated over a larger time period.
Muda is a Japanese word, meaning waste – anything we do or use (in terms of resources) .
A chart showing where your issues are concentrated, to see if you have a few key issues or lots of smaller ones.
The maximum amount of value you can add per unit of input, to be contrasted with Actual Quality.
A Project Charter is the first thing you do after choosing your project – it shows key information such as team, resources, timeline etc.
Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer (COPIS is just the reverse) – a high level look at the inputs and outputs of a process
Six Sigma is a statistical term, which is the terms of Six Sigma means reaching this level is fewer than 3.4 DPMO (errors per million), which is a yield of 99.99966% without defects. It is also the system where you can reduce the defects in your procedures to this level.
An acronym to remember the 7 wastes of Lean Manufacturing (‘Who is TIM WOOD?). It stands for Transport, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over-Processing, Overproduction and Defects.
TPS – Toyota Production System
The system of efficient manufacturing developed at Toyota which evolved into ‘Lean’.
The entry level Lean Six Sigma operative – expected to have some knowledge of what is going on, but not to take part.
A higher level of Lean Six Sigma Operative than White Belts, Yellow Belts are expected to be able to help in some simpler tasks on Six Sigma projects.