Lean A to Z

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See First In First Out and FIFO Lanes.
FIFO Lanes
A type of Pull Production that is often used in administrative and non-standard product environments. A FIFO Lane is a coupling mechanism which defines the maximum WIP level between two processes. FIFO Lanes are typically physical in nature, which provides a clear visual indicator to the supplying process when they have authorization to produce and when they should stop (e.g. 5 colored folders between the design and estimating steps indicate design activities should stop if all 5 folders are full with work for the estimating process). Compare to Kanban.
First In First Out (FIFO)
A order sequencing and control approach which ensures that the first order entering the system is the first order to be worked on.
First Pass Yield (FPY)
A quality metric of a processes performance. First pass yield is expressed as a percentage and is calculated by dividing the number of "right the first time" units of work by the quantity of work entering the process. Similar to % C & A.
Five "Whys"
A root-cause analysis tool used to identify the true root cause of a problem. The question "why" is asked a sufficient number of times to find the fundamental reason for the problem. Once that cause is identified, an appropriate countermeasure can be designed and implemented to eliminate reoccurrence.
Five Ss (5S)
An approach utilizing workplace organization and visual controls to improve performance. It is derived from the Japanese words seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. The English equivalents are sort, set-in-order, shine, standardize and sustain. Safety is often referred to as the sixth "S," but in traditional 5S programs safety is assumed to be predominant throughout.
The smooth, uninterrupted movement of a product or service through a series of process steps. In true flow, the work product (information, paperwork, material, etc.) passing through the series of steps never stops.
Flow Chart
A schematic representation of a process, from start to finish, including inputs, outputs, paths, steps and decision points. Traditional process maps are often depicted in flow chart form. Also referred to as a Process Flow Chart. Contrast with Metrics-based Process Map.
Flow Stopper
See Barriers to Flow.
See First Pass Yield.
See Future State.
See Full Time Equivalent.
Full Time Equivalent (FTE)
Number of resources (usually people) required to run a process or series of processes if they were employed full time on that activity. For people, the number is usually based on 2080 hours per year (i.e. 2080 hours of work = one FTE) or 40 hours per week. Example: four people working 20 hours per week each on the same activity, equals two FTEs.
Functional Arrangement
The grouping and management of resources based on similar activities or operations, as opposed to physically arranging and managing a work team based on the sequence of process steps. An example would be where all the design engineers sit together, separate from the drafting staff. Contrast with Layout for Flow.
Future State (FS)
A plan for how a process is planned to be running at a defined point in time in the future. Serves as the primary input for the development of an implementation plan. Future State Value Stream Maps are usually developed looking 3 - 12 months into the future. Also referred to as the ideal state, blue sky state or nirvana state.