- Affinity Diagram: A tool that gathers large amounts of language data (ideas, opinions, issues) and organizes them into groupings based on their natural relationships (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Aim Statements: Global and specific aim statements provide a rationale and point of shared vision for team efforts. These statements are written and measurable descriptions of your organization’s desired improvement. Specific aims statement targets a specific patient population and describes the amount of time needed to achieve the aim (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Balanced Scorecard (BSC): A strategic management tool that views the organization from different perspectives, usually the following: Financial (perspective of your shareholders), Customer (what your customers experience and perceive), Business Process (key processes you use to meet and exceed customer and shareholder requirement), and Learning and Growth (how you foster ongoing change and continuous improvement) (Source).
- Benchmarking: A technique in which a company measures its performance against that of best in class companies, determines how those companies achieved their performance levels and uses the information to improve its own performance. Subjects that can be benchmarked include strategies, operations, and processes (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Best Practice: A superior method or innovative practice that contributes to the improved performance of an organization, usually recognized as best by other peer organizations (Source).
- Boxplots: A type of graph used to display patterns of quantitative data (Source).
- Brainstorming: A method for generating a large number of creative ideas in a short period of time (Source).
- Capability: The total range of inherent variation in a stable process determined by using data from control charts (Source).
- Cause: An identified reason for the presence of a defect or problem (Source).
- Cause-and-Effect: A tool for analyzing process dispersion. It is also referred to as the “Ishikawa diagram,” after Kaoru Ishikawa who developed it, and the “fishbone diagram,” because the complete diagram resembles a fish skeleton. The diagram illustrates the main causes and sub-causes leading to an effect (symptom) (Source).
- Check/Tally Sheets: A form used to collect data in real time at the location where the data is generated. Both quantitative and qualitative data can be captured (Source).
- Common Cause: Causes of variation that are inherent in a process over time. They affect every outcome of the process and everyone working in the process (Source).
- Compliance: The state of an organization that meets prescribed specifications, contract terms, regulations or standards (Source).
- Continuous Quality Improvement: A philosophy and attitude for analyzing capabilities and processes and improving them repeatedly to achieve customer satisfaction (Source).
- Control Chart: A graph used to study how a process changes over time. Data are plotted in time order. A control chart always has a central line for the average, an upper line for the upper control limit and a lower line for the lower control limit (Source).
- Control Limits: The natural boundaries of a process within specified confidence levels, expressed as the upper control limit (UCL) and the lower control limit (LCL) (Source).
- Critical to Quality (CTQ): The internal critical quality parameters that relate to the wants and needs of the customer (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Cycle Time: The time required to complete one cycle of an operation (Source).
- Data Collection: The ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health data necessary for designing, implementing, and evaluating public health prevention programs (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Descriptive Statistics: A method of statistical analysis of numeric data, discrete or continuous, that provides information about centering, spread, and normality. Results of the analysis can be in tabular or graphic format (Source).
- Design of Experiments: This branch of applied statistics deals with planning, conducting, analyzing, and interpreting controlled tests to evaluate the factors that control the value of a parameter or group of parameters (Source).
- Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC): A data driven quality strategy for improving processes and an integral part of a Six Sigma quality initiative (Source).
- Delighter: A feature of a product or service that a customer does not expect to receive but that gives pleasure to the customer when received (Source).
- Dissatisfier: The features or functions that a customer expects that either are not present or are present but not adequate (Source).
- Downtime: Lost production time during which a piece of equipment is not operating correctly due to breakdown, maintenance, power failures or similar events (Source).
- Effectiveness: The state of having produced a decided on or desired effect (Source).
- Efficiency: The ratio of the output to the total input in a process (Source).
- Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA): A step-by-step approach for identifying all possible failures in a design, a manufacturing or assembly process, or a product or service; studying the consequences, or effects, of those failures; and eliminating or reducing failures, starting with the highest-priority ones (Source).
- Feedback: Communication from customers about how delivered products or services compare with customer expectations (Source).
- Flowchart: A picture of the separate steps of a process in sequential order, including materials or services entering or leaving the process (inputs and outputs), decisions that must be made, people who become involved, time involved at each step and/or process measurements (Source).
- Five S (5S): Five Japanese terms beginning with “s” used to create a workplace suited for visual control and lean production. Seiri means to separate needed tools, parts and instructions from unneeded materials and to remove the unneeded ones. Seiton means to neatly arrange and identify parts and tools for ease of use. Seiso means to conduct a cleanup campaign. Seiketsu means to conduct seiri, seiton, and seiso daily to maintain a workplace in perfect condition. Shitsuke means to form the habit of always following the first four S’s (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Five (5) Why Analysis: Refers to the practice of asking, five times, why the failure has occurred in order to get to the root cause/causes of the problem. There can be more than one cause to a problem as well. In an organizational context, generally root cause analysis is carried out by a team of persons related to the problem (Source).
- Focus Group: A group, usually of eight to 10 people, that is invited to discuss an existing or planned product, service or process (Source).
- Heijunka: A method of leveling production, usually at the final assembly line, that makes just-in-time production possible. It involves averaging both the volume and sequence of different model types on a mixed model production line. Using this method avoids excessive batching of different types of product and volume fluctuations in the same product (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Histogram: A Histogram is a bar chart showing the frequency of an outcome (Source).
- Indicators: Established measures to determine how well an organization is meeting its customers’ needs and other operational and financial performance expectations (Source).
- Inferential Statistics: Techniques that allow users to user samples to make generalizations about the populations from which the samples were drawn. Using sampling, one can ensure the sample accurately represents the population (Source).
- Inventory: In lean, the money invested to purchase things an organization intends to sell (Source).
- Kaizen: A Japanese term that means gradual unending improvement by doing little things better and setting and achieving increasingly higher standards (Source).
- Kanban: A Japanese term for one of the primary tools of a just-in-time system. It maintains an orderly and efficient flow of materials throughout the entire manufacturing process. It is usually a printed card that contains specific information such as part name, description and quantity (Source).
- Kano Analysis: Analysis of customer preferences relating to a product or service based on the Kano model, developed by Professor Noriaki Kano. Kano analysis involves determining what features a product should have based on customer needs and desires that have been classified as attractive, one-dimensional, indifferent, must-have, or reverse (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Key Performance Indicator (KPI): A statistical measure of how well an organization is doing in a particular area. A KPI could measure a company’s financial performance or how it is holding up against customer requirements (Source).
- Lagging Indicators: An indicator that follows an event (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Lead Time: The total time a customer must wait to receive a product after placing an order (Source).
- Leading Indicators: An indicator that predicts future events and tend to change ahead of that event. Sometimes used as a predictor (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Lean: Producing the maximum sell-able products or services at the lowest operational cost while optimizing inventory levels (Source).
- Mean: A measure of central tendency, the arithmetic average of all measurements in a data set (Source).
- Measurement System Analysis (MSA): An experimental and mathematical method of determining how much the variation within the measurement process contributes to overall process variability (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Median: The middle number or center value of a set of data in which all the data are arranged in sequence (Source).
- Mode: The value occurring most frequently in a data set (Source).
- Muda: Japanese for waste; any activity that consumes resources but creates no value for the customer (Source).
- Mura: Unevenness in a process that is not caused by the customer/client (Source).
- Muri: Japanese for strain; overburdening equipment or operators by requiring them to run at a higher or harder pace with more force and effort for a longer period of time than equipment designs and appropriate workforce management allow (Source).
- Normal Distribution (statistical): Charting of a set of data where most of the data points are concentrated around the average (mean), so that a bell shaped curve is formed (Source).
- Pareto Chart: A type of chart represented as a bar graph. The lengths of the bars represent frequency or cost (time or money), and are arranged with longest bars on the left and the shortest to the right. The chart aims to visually depicts which situations are more significant (Source).
- Pilot Testing: An experimental or preliminary trial or test of your solution on a limited scale (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA): A four-step process for quality improvement. In the first step (plan), a way to effect improvement is developed. In the second step (do), the plan is carried out, preferably on a small scale. In the third step (study), a study takes place between what was predicted and what was observed in the previous step. In the last step (act), action is taken on the causal system to effect the desired change (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Primary Data: Original data collected by the research investigator himself/herself for a specific purpose, often gathered after reviewing secondary data research. Examples include randomized controlled trials or case series (Source).
- Process Capability: A statistical measure of the inherent process variability of a given characteristic. The most widely accepted formula for process capability is 6 sigma (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Process Control: The method for keeping a process within boundaries; the act of minimizing the variation of a process (Source).
- Process Flow Diagram: A depiction of the flow of materials through a process, including any rework or repair operations; also called a process flow chart (Source).
- Process Mapping: A graphical display of steps, events, and operations that constitute a process. It is a pictorial illustration which identifies the steps, inputs and outputs, and other related details of a process by providing a step-by-step picture of the process “as-is” (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Qualitative: Measuring or measured by the quality (or qualities) of something rather than its quantity. This information records qualities that are descriptive, subjective, or difficult to measure (Source).
- Quality Improvement (QI): Consists of systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in health care services and the health status of targeted patient groups (Source).
- Quantitative: A type of information or data that is based on quantities obtained using a quantified measurable process (Source).
- Range: The measure of dispersion in a data set, meaning the difference between the highest and lowest values (Source).
- Root Cause: A factor that caused a nonconformance and should be permanently eliminated through process improvement (Source).
- Root-Cause-Analysis: A collective term that describes a wide range of approaches, tools, and techniques used to uncover causes of problems (Source).
- Run Chart: A chart showing a line connecting numerous data points collected from a process running over time (Source).
- Sampling: The act, process, or technique of selecting a representative part of a population for the purpose of determining parameters or characteristics of the whole population (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Satisfier: A term used to describe the quality level received by a customer when a product or service meets expectations (Source).
- Scatter Diagram: 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 (Source).
- Secondary Data: One type of quantitative data that has already been collected by someone else for a different purpose to yours. Examples include data supplied by a marketing organization, government health statistics, or annual health screening reports (Source).
- Sentinel Event: In healthcare, a term for any event not consistent with the desired, normal or usual operation of the organization; also known as an adverse event (Source).
- Special Cause: 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 (Source).
- SIPOC: A data collection form that assists in gathering information about suppliers, inputs, processes, outputs, and customers of a process (Source).
- 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 center-line in a control chart) (Source).
- Spaghetti Diagram: A visual representation using a continuous flow line tracing the path of an item or activity through a process. The continuous flow line enables process teams to identify redundancies in the work flow and opportunities to expedite process flow (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Stakeholders: 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 (Source).
- Standard Deviation: A computed measure of variability indicating the spread of the data set around the mean (Source).
- Strategic Planning: An organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment (Source).
- Takt Time: The rate of customer demand, calculated by dividing production time by the quantity of product the customer requires in that time. Takt is the heartbeat of a lean manufacturing system (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Team: A group of individuals organized to work together to accomplish a specific objective (Source).
- Transfer Function: Describes the relationship between lower level requirements and higher level requirements. If it describes the relationship between the nominal values, then it is called a y-hat model. If it describes the relationship between the variations, then it is called an s-hat model. Y is the output measure, such as process cycle time or customer satisfaction. F is the transfer function, which explains the transformation of the inputs into the output. X is any process input process step that is involved in producing the output (Source).
- Trend: The graphical representation of a variable’s tendency, over time, to increase, decrease or remain unchanged (Source).
- Value Stream Mapping: A lean tool that employs a flow diagram documenting in high detail every step of a process. Many lean practitioners see value stream mapping as the fundamental tool to identify waste, reduce process cycle times, and implement process improvement (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Variation: A change in data, characteristic or function caused by one of four factors: special causes, common causes, tampering or structural variation (Source).
- Voice of the Customer (VOC): The expressed requirements and expectations of customers relative to products or services, as documented and disseminated to the providing organization’s members (Source). Click for Tutorial
- Voice of the Process (VOP): A term used to describe what a process is telling you. What it is capable of achieving, whether it is under control and what significance to attach to individual measurements - are they part of natural variation or a signal that needs to be dealt with? (Source). Click for Tutorial