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Glossary - S
 

S.M.A.R.T - An acronym for guidelines in creating goals and strategies: S-specific, M-measurable, A-agreed upon and attainable, R-realistic and rewarded, T-timely.

SA8000
- social accountability standard for decent working conditions

SAE
- Society of Automotive Engineers

SAE AS9100
- See AS9100.

SAE International -
Professional organization of individual engineers and related disciplines; formerly Society for Automotive Engineers.

Sample Size [n] - (1) The number of units in a sample. (2) The number of pieces of data taken at one time. For example five boxes are checked for stiffness every hour, the sample size in this case is five. If the temperature of a room is taken every hour, only one number is collected every hour, so the sample size is one.

Sample Sstandard Deviation Chart (S chart) -
A control chart in which the subgroup standard deviation, s, is used to evaluate the stability of the variability within a process.

Sample -
(1) In acceptance sampling, one or more units of product (or a quantity of material) drawn from a lot for purposes of inspection to reach a decision regarding acceptance of the lot. (2) A part representing a whole. (3) A subset of data which depicts the population. (4) A sample is a collection of one or more observations used to analyze the performance of a process, as opposed to the total populations. It is intended to represent the characteristics of the population. Sample is a synonym for "subgroup" in process control applications.

Sampling at Random -
As commonly used in acceptance sampling theory, the process of selecting sample units so all units under consideration have the same probability of being selected. Note: Equal probabilities are not necessary for random sampling; what is necessary is that the probability of selection be ascertainable. However, the stated properties of published sampling tables are based on the assumption of random sampling with equal probabilities. An acceptable method of random selection with equal probabilities is the use of a table of random numbers in a standard manner.

Sampling Plan - A determination of how data are to be gathered and evaluated.

Sampling, Double -
Sampling inspection in which the inspection of the first sample leads to a decision to accept a lot, reject it or take a second sample; the inspection of a second sample, when required, then leads to a decision to accept or to reject the lot.

Sampling, Multiple -
Sampling inspection in which, after each sample is inspected, the decision is made to accept a lot, reject it or take another sample. But there is a prescribed maximum number of samples, after which a decision to accept or reject the lot must be reached. Note: Multiple sampling as defined here has sometimes been called “sequential n sampling” or “truncated sequential e sampling.” The term “multiple sampling” is recommended.

Sampling, Single -
Sampling inspection in which the decision to accept or to reject a lot is based on the inspection of one sample.

Sampling, Unit -
Sequential sampling inspection in which, after each unit is inspected, the decision is made to accept a lot, reject it or to inspect another unit.

Sanitizing -
English translation of seiso, one of the Japanese 5S’s used for workplace organization. Sanitizing (also referred to as shining or sweeping) is the act of cleaning the work area. Dirt is often the root cause of premature equipment wear, safety problems and defects.

Sarbanes Oxley Act
- aka SOX

Satisfier -
A term used to describe the quality level received by a customer when a product or service meets expectations.

Scatter Diagram -
(1) A graphical technique to analyze the relationship between two variables. Two sets of data are plotted on a graph, with the y-axis being used for the variable to be predicted and the x-axis being used for the variable to make the prediction. The graph will show possible relationships (although two variables might appear to be related, they might not be; those who know most about the variables must make that evaluation). One of the “seven tools of quality”. (2) A scatter plot used to examine the relationships between variables. (3) To identify relationships between two process variables. Used when the team thinks that one variable is dependent on another to confirm that two variables have a relationship. If investigating dependence, set the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis.

Scientific Management/Approach -
A term referring to the intent to find and use the best way to perform tasks to improve quality, productivity and efficiency.

Scientific Method
- "The totality of principles and processes regarded as characteristic or necessary for scientific investigation, generally taken to include rules for concept formation, conduct of observations and experiments, and validation of hypotheses by observation or experiments." (New American Heritage Dictionary) similar to the Shewhart Cycle.

Scorecard -
An evaluation device, usually in the form of a questionnaire, that specifies the criteria customers will use to rate your business’ performance in satisfying customer requirements.

Seiban -
The name of a Japanese management practice taken from the words sei, which means manufacturing, and ban, which means number. A seiban number is assigned to all parts, materials and purchase orders associated with a particular customer job, project or anything else. This enables a manufacturer to track everything related to a particular product, project or customer, and facilitates setting aside inventory for specific projects or priorities. That makes it an effective practice for project and buildto- order manufacturing.

Seiketsu -
 A term that refers to standardization.

Seiri -
 A term that refers to organizing and throwing away things you don’t use.

Seiso -
 A term that suggests that a highly productive workplace should be clean.

Seiton -
 A term that refers to neatness in the workplace.

Selection -
 The process of evaluating and choosing the best qualified candidate for a particular job.

Self-Directed Work Team (SDWT) -
(1) A type of team structure in which much of the decision making regarding how to handle the team’s activities is controlled by the team members themselves. (2) Through the natural evolution of the Lean work environment, associates begin to work more as interdependent teams in order to accomplish area and company goals. When this begins, it is time to support the transition to a self-directed workforce, capable of managing their own areas with greatly reduced supervision and oversight. Self-Directed Work Teams, to a large degree, voluntarily interact with internal customers and suppliers to improve area effectiveness and effectively deal with area issues. (3) Work teams that have a considerable degree of autonomy.

Self-Direction - 
A term that refers to providing autonomy to employees (or other recipients of training) in terms of facilitating their own training needs.

Sentinel Event -
Healthcare term for any event not consistent with the desired, normal or usual operation of the organization; also known as an adverse event.

Sequential Approach to Design
aka Departmental Approach to Design - An approach to design that requires product designers, marketers, process designers, and production managers to work through organizational lines of authority to perform work.

Sequential or Departmental Approach to Design -
 An approach to design that requires product designers, marketers, process designers, and production managers to work through organizational lines of authority to perform work.

Service
- A mix of intangibles and tangibles that are delivered to the customer.

Service Level Agreement -
A formal agreement between an internal provider and an internal receiver (customer).

Service Reliability -
 A dimension of service quality that refers to the ability of the service provider to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.

Service -
 A mix of intangibles and tangibles that are delivered to the customer.

Serviceability -
 A dimension of quality that refers to a product’s ease of repair.

Services Blueprinting -
 A chart that depicts service pro­cesses and potential fail points in a process.

SERVQUAL -
 A survey instrument designed to assess service quality along five specific dimensions consisting of tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy.

Seven (b7 or Big 7)
- See Seven Quality Tools. Tools of quality these are the fundamental methods for gathering and analyzing quality-related data. They are: fishbone diagrams, histograms, pareto analysis, flowcharts, scatter plots, run charts, and control charts.

Seven Quality Tools
- Sometimes referred to as the seven statistical tools, or seven traditional tools, these methods to organize or summarize data are an important part of any improvement methodology: histogram (or bar chart), pareto chart, run chart [or line chart], control chart, scatter diagram, flow diagram (flow chart) and cause and effects diagram. Some people list the PDSA cycle rather than the run chart as the seventh tool, or tools that help organizations understand their processes to improve them. The tools are the cause and effect diagram, check sheet, control chart, flowchart, histogram, pareto chart and scatter diagram (see individual entries).

Seven Waste -
See “eight wastes.”

Shadow Board -
A visual management tool painted to indicate where tools belong and which tools are missing.

Shewhart Cycle
- A cycle for learning and for improvement. Also called PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) or the Deming cycle.

Shitsuke -
 A term that refers to the discipline required to maintain the changes that have been made in a workplace.

Sifting -
English translation of Japanese seiri, one of the 5S’s used for workplace organization. Sifting involves screening through unnecessary materials and simplifying the work environment. Sifting is separating the essential from the nonessential.

Sigma
- (1) The term used in statistics to refer to the standard deviation, a measure of the spread or variation, in data. Represented by the greek letter σ. OR One standard deviation in a normally distributed process. (2) Sigma is the Greek symbol, σ, used to denote standard deviation. It is a measure of the variation or spread within a set of data.

Sigma of the Individuals - Sigma of the individuals is standard deviation calculated from the individual data values in a data set. It is also known as actual or calculated sigma.

Signal Factors - Factors in a taguchi experiment that are not under control of the operator. Examples include small variations in ambient temperature and variability in material dimensions.

Signal factors -
 Factors in a Taguchi experiment that are not under control of the operator. Examples include small variations in ambient temperature and variability in material dimensions.

Signal to Noise Ratio (S/N ratio) -
An equation that indicates the magnitude of an experimental effect above the effect of experimental error due to chance fluctuations.

Simpson's Paradox
- What is true for the parts is not necessarily true for the whole.

Simulation -
A 3-D technique to balance a line. It involves using cardboard, wood and plastic foam to create fullsized equipment mock-ups that can be easily moved to obtain an optimum layout.

Single Minute Exchange of Die (S.M.E.D.) -
(1) Single Minute Exchange of Die (also known as S.M.E.D.), is the Lean tool used to create very fast changeovers and setups that greatly reduce machine downtime and increase throughput. It is common to reduce machine changeover times from hours to less then ten minutes. While that may sound too good to be true, we've seen it happen time and time again. (2) SMED is the Lean tool used to very quickly change machines or processes over from producing a specific part number or product to producing a different part number or product or changing an attribute(s) of the current part number or product. SMED processes are highly choreographed and rehearsed to minimize machine downtime. (3) A series of techniques pioneered by Shigeo Shingo for changeovers of production machinery in less than 10 minutes. The long-term objective is always zero setup, in which changeovers are instantaneous and do not interfere in any way with continuous flow. Setup in a single minute is not required, but used as a reference (see “one-touch exchange of dies,” “internal setup” and “external setup”).

Single-Piece Flow -
A process in which products proceed, one complete product at a time, through various operations in design, order taking and production without interruptions, backflows or scrap.

Sipoc
- A diagrammatic technique for determining the suppliers, inputs, major steps, outputs and customers of a process.

SIPOC Diagram -
(1) A tool used by Six Sigma process improvement teams to identify all relevant elements (suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, customers) of a process improvement project before work begins. (2) To document the business continuum from suppliers through customers. Used at the start of an improvement initiative to describe the entire process, including suppliers to the process and their inputs, the process itself and its outputs, and the customers along with their requirements. Include all inputs, outputs.

Situational Leadership Model -
 A model of leadership proposed by Hersey and Blanchard that clarifies the interrelation between employee preparedness and effectiveness in leadership.

Six Sigma
- aka 6 Sigma.

Six Sigma Quality -
A term generally used to indicate process capability in terms of process spread measured by standard deviations in a normally distributed process.

Six Sigma -
A method that provides organizations tools to improve the capability of their business processes. This increase in performance and decrease in process variation lead to defect reduction and improvement in profits, employee morale and quality of products or services. Six Sigma quality is a term generally used to indicate a process is well controlled (±6 s from the centerline in a control chart).

Skewed Distribution - A distribution that tails off to one side, either to the left or right.

Skewness - Skewness is a statistic that is used to measure the symmetry of the distribution for a set of data. A process that is skewed tails off to the left or to the right.

SMED
- Single Minute Exchange of Dies

Societal Environment -
 The portion of a firm’s environment pertaining to cultural factors such as language, business customs, customer preferences, and patterns of communication.

Soft Data:
 Data that cannot be measured or specifically quantified, such as survey data that asks respondents to provide their “opinion” about something.

Software Quality Assurance (SQA) -
A systematic approach to evaluating the quality of and adherence to software product standards, processes and procedures. SQA includes ensuring standards and procedures are established and are followed throughout the software acquisition life cycle.

Sole Sourcing -
 Using only one supplier for a single component.

Sole-Source Filters -
 External validation measures of quality programs such as the Baldrige criteria and ISO 9000.

Sort -
English translation of the Japanese word seiri, one of the 5S’s used for workplace organization. Sorting (also referred to as structuring or sifting) involves organizing essential materials. It helps the operator to find materials when needed.

SOX
- Sarbanes Oxley Act

SPC
- See Statistical Process Control.

Special Cause
- (1) A cause of variation which is localized, or acts at one period of time, or in one set of circumstances. A cause not common to all outcomes of a process. (2) Special cause variation is a source of variation that is intermittent, not predictable. Sometimes it is called "assignable cause" variation. On a control chart, a special cause is signaled by points beyond the control limits, runs, or nonrandom patterns within the control limits. A process that has special cause variation is said to be out-of-control, unstable, or unpredictable.

Special Causes -
Causes of variation that arise because of special circumstances. They are not an inherent part of a process. Special causes are also referred to as assignable causes. Also see “common causes.”

Special Characteristic -
Automotive ISO TS 16949 term for key product or process characteristics.

Specification -
A document that states the requirements to which a given product or service must conform.

Specification Limits - Specifications are boundaries, usually set by management, engineering, or customers, within which a system must operate. They are sometimes called engineering tolerances.

Sponsor -
The person who supports a team’s plans, activities and outcomes.

Spread - Is the range of data from the lowest value to the highest value.

Stability - The likelihood a process will be random.

Stable
- A synonym for variation that is in a state of statistical control (or in statistical control). Variation due only to common causes.

Stable Process
- (1) A process in which the variation is due to common causes only, i.E. Is free of special (assignable) causes. It is said to be in statistical control. (2) A system, analysed by a control chart, with no special causes of variation present, this system is also said to be in control. Variation within a stable system is due to common causes, and is predictable.

Stages of Team Growth - Four stages that teams move through as they develop maturity: forming, storming, norming and performing.

Stakeholder -
Any individual, group or organization that will have a significant impact on or will be significantly impacted by the quality of a specific product or service. People who will be affected by the project or can influence it but who are not directly involved with doing the project work. Examples are Managers affected by the project, Process Owners, People who work with the process under study, Internal departments that support the process, customers, suppliers, and financial department.

Standard Deviation
- (1) A statistic that reflects the degree of variation in a collection of results. Whereas the range reflects only the difference between the high and low values in the sample data, the standard deviation uses all numbers and therefore reports more information about the data. In small sets of numbers, the standard deviation and the range are similar as descriptions of variability.(2) A measure of variation in observed values. (3) Standard deviation, σ, a measurement that defines the spread of data around the average value or mean. The lower the value of standard deviation the better the process is running. Standard deviation of a population is denoted by sigma s, and for a sample it is denoted by s. (4) A statistic that describes the variation or spread within a data set. It can be used to indicate the variation in a process and to compare with specifications.

Standard Deviation (Statistical) -
A computed measure of vari- ability indicating the spread of the data set around the mean.

Standard In-Process Stock -
One of the three elements that make up standard work. It is the minimum quantity of parts always on hand for processing during and between subprocesses. It allows workers to do their jobs continuously in a set sequence, repeating the same operation over and over in the same order. Also see “standard work.”

Standard Work Instructions -
A lean manufacturing tool that enables operators to observe a production process with an understanding of how assembly tasks are to be performed. It ensures the quality level is understood and serves as an excellent training aid, enabling replacement or temporary individuals to easily adapt and perform the assembly operation.

Standard Work -
A precise description of each work activity, specifying cycle time, takt time, the work sequence of specific tasks and the minimum inventory of parts on hand needed to conduct the activity. All jobs are organized around human motion to create an efficient sequence without waste. Work organized in such a way is called standard(ized) work. The three elements that make up standard work are takt time, working sequence and standard in-process stock (see individual listings).

Standard -
The metric, specification, gauge, statement, category, segment, grouping, behavior, event or physical product sample against which the outputs of a process are compared and declared acceptable or unacceptable.

Standardization
- Providing for uniformity of use of a method. OR when policies and common procedures are used to manage processes throughout the system. Also, English translation of the Japanese word seiketsu, one of the Japanese 5S’s (see listing) used for workplace organization.

Statistical Control
- (1) A stable process. I.E. Is free of special causes. (2) Statistical control is a condition describing a process from which all special causes of variation have been removed and only common causes of variation remain. On a control chart, processes that are in statistical control show no subgroups outside the control limits, no runs, and no nonrandom patterns. This condition is also referred to as in control, stable, or predictable.

Statistical Process Control (SPC) -
(1) the application of statistical techniques to control a process; often used interchangeably with the term “statistical quality control.” (2) A technique that is concerned with monitoring process capability and pro­cess stability. (3) A procedure that applies the laws of probability and statistical processes to observed characteristics of a product or process. (3) The application of statistical techniques to control quality. Often used interchangeably with the term “statistical process control,” although statistical quality control includes acceptance sampling, which statistical process control does not. (4) The application of statistical techniques for measuring and analyzing the variation in processes. SPC generally refers to the use of various types of control charts that use historical data to calculate control limits. (Juran)

Statistical Quality Control
aka SQC - The application of statistical techniques for measuring and improving the quality of processes. SQC includes statistical process control, diagnostic tools (pareto charts, flowcharts, fishbone etc.), sampling plans, and other statistical techniques. (Juran)

Statistical Thinking -
 Deming’s concept relating to data-based decision making.

Statistics -
A field that involves tabulating, depicting and describing data sets; a formalized body of techniques characteristically involving attempts to infer the properties of a large collection of data from inspection of a sample of the collection.

Stop The Line Authority -
Power given to workers to stop the process when abnormalities occur, allowing them to prevent the defect or variation from being passed along. Strategic planning: The process an organization uses to envision its future and develop the appropriate strategies, goals, objectives and action plans.

Storming -
 The second stage of team development, in which the team begins to get to know each other but agreements have not been made to facilitate smooth interaction among team members.

Strategic Benchmarking
- A type of benchmarking that involves observing how others compete. This type of benchmarking typically involves target firms that have been identified as “world class.”

Strategic Benchmarking -
 A type of benchmarking that involves observing how others compete. This type of benchmarking typically involves target firms that have been identified as “world class.”

Strategic Partnership -
 An association between two firms by which they agree to work together to achieve a strategic goal. This is often associated with long-term supplier-customer relationships.

Strategy
- (1) The art of planning military operations; (2) What a firm does; (3) A firm’s long-term plan for attaining objectives. (4) an approach to achieving a particular end, or plan as to how an end may be achieved.

Stratification
- A technique for organizing data to better understand the process producing the data and to identify potential improvement opportunities. Stratification groups individual numbers into meaningful categories or classifications according to some criterion such as time, location, type, source, reason, etc.

Stratified Sample
- Subsets of sampling units are selected separately from different strata, rather than from the frame as a whole.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis -
A strategic technique used to assess what an organization is facing.

Stretch Goals -
A set of goals designed to position an organization to meet future requirements.

Stretch Target -
 A challenging goal or objective requiring significant effort to achieve.

Structural Measures -
 Measures that include objectives, policies, and procedures that are followed by a firm.

Structural Variation -
Variation caused by regular, systematic changes in output, such as seasonal patterns and long-term trends.

Student's t Curve
- A family of curves indexed by a parameter called the degrees of freedom, which can take the values 1, 2, . . . Student's t curve can be used to test hypotheses about the population mean and construct confidence intervals for the population mean, when the population distribution is known to be nearly normally distributed.

Subgroup - A subgroup is one or more occurrences or measurements taken at one time. Multiple subgroups are used to analyze the performance of a process. Subgroup is used as a synonym for "sample."

Suboptimization
- When individual components of an organization attempt to maximize the performance or results of that component without regard for whether that is in the best interest of the whole organization. For example, goals such as increasing sales, reducing inventory or cycle times are usually thought of as desirable things for a business to do, but myopic pursuit of those goals may not compatible with the organization's plan or supportive of its aim. "Optimization" is a process of orchestrating the components to move toward achievement of the organization's aim. OR a condition in which gains made in one activity are offset by losses in another activity or activities that are caused by the same actions that created gains in the first activity.

Supermarket -
The storage locations of parts before they go on to the next operation. Supermarkets are managed by predetermined maximum and minimum inventory levels. Each item in the plant is at a designated location.

Superordinate Goals -
 Goals that transcend individual needs to reflect group objectives.

Superstitious Learning
- Formation of beliefs about cause and effect based on observation without knowledge. Often happens when correlation is confused with cause and effect. Appears to be accompanied by a tendency to ignore variation, to interpret each result as if it came from a single cause and to ignore delays between actions and effects.

Supplier Audit - 
The auditing portion of supplier development programs.

Supplier Certification or Qualification Programs -
 Programs designed to certify suppliers as acceptable for a particular customer.

Supplier Development
- Training and other 'help' programs provided by firms to their suppliers.

Supplier Development Programs
: Training and development programs provided by firms to their suppliers.

Supplier Evaluation -
 A tool used by many firms to differentiate and discriminate among suppliers. Supplier evaluations often involve report cards where potential suppliers are rated based on different criteria such as quality, technical capability, or ability to meet schedule demands.

Supplier Partnering -
 A term used to characterized the relationship between suppliers and customers when a high degree of linkages and interdependencies exist.

Supplier Quality Assurance -
Confidence a supplier’s product or service will fulfill its customers’ needs. This confidence is achieved by creating a relationship between the customer and supplier that ensures the product will be fit for use with minimal corrective action and inspection. According to Joseph M. Juran, nine primary activities are needed: 1. define product and program quality requirements; 2. evaluate alternative suppliers; 3. select suppliers; 4. conduct joint quality planning; 5. cooperate with the supplier during the execution of the contract; 6. obtain proof of conformance to requirements; 7. certify qualified suppliers; 8. conduct quality improvement programs as required; 9. create and use supplier quality ratings.

Supplier -
A source of materials, service or information input provided to a process.

Supply Chain Management -
The tool used to pass data and expectations between suppliers and customers with the primary purpose for the customers being to have what is needed, in the quantity and quality needed, and at the lowest possible price.

Supply Chain -
(1) The series of suppliers to a given process. (2) A network of facilities that procures raw ­materials, transforms them into intermediate subassemblies and final products, and then delivers the products to customers through a distribution system.

Surveillance -
The continual monitoring of a process; a type of periodic assessment or audit conducted to determine whether a process continues to perform to a predetermined standard.

Survey -
The act of examining a process or questioning a selected sample of individuals to obtain data about a process, product or service.

Surveying -
 Generating a list of strengths and weaknesses in a firm in generic internal assessment.

Sustain -
The English translation of shitsuke, one of the 5S’s (see listing) used for workplace organization. Sustaining (also referred to as self-disciplining) is the continuation of sorting, setting in order and sanitizing. It addresses the need to perform the 5S’s on an ongoing and systematic basis.

SWOT Analysis - The study of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Symmetrical Distribution - A distribution that if cut in half, shows each side is the mirror of the other.

Symptom -
An observable phenomenon arising from and accompanying a defect.

Synergy
aka Synergism - A condition in which the combined results of a group of elements or people are greater or better than the individual elements could have produced separately. A list of ideas from an interactive group is likely to be more creative than adding together the lists produced by those same people working independently.

System
- A collection of interdependent components that interact with one another. For example, an organization is a system; an automobile is a system; an office is a system, a family is a system. According to Deming, to be a system, all the components must have a common aim... "Without an aim, there is no system."

System Kaizen -
Improvement aimed at an entire value stream.

System of Profound Knowledge
aka SOPK - the foundation for Deming's theory of management is composed of four interdependent parts: 1. Appreciation for a system 2. Knowledge about variation 3. Theory of knowledge 4. Psychology. One of Deming's contributions is the synthesis of these components into a theory for management.

System Reliability -
 The probability that components in a system will perform their intended function over a specified period of time.

System -
A group of interdependent processes and people that together perform a common mission.

Systematic Error
- An error that affects all the measurements similarly. Systematic errors do not tend to average out.

Systems Integration -
A process whereby all elements of a product are incorporated and usually tested in order to insure proper functions per customer specifications.

Systems View - 
A management viewpoint that focuses on the interactions between the various components (i.e., people, policies, machines, processes, and products) that combine to produce a product or service. The systems view focuses management on the system as the cause of quality problems.