Lean Manufacturing Glossary + Disclaimer

This glossary is by no means complete as the “Lean Lexicon” is still developing and we are adding terms regularly. Many terms listed herein have several variations and alternate meanings. We invite our colleagues and readers to suggest improved definitions if they have them. Lean practitioners must ultimately agree on a common language to avoid confusion and degradation of Lean Manufacturing as a discipline.

We have included some examples, comments, and expanded defintions/explanations for many of the terms listed to enhance overall understanding. In keeping with current practices we have incorporated pieces and parts of many different definitions from a wide variety of sources for each term listed. This effort should more fully express the intended meaning behind each term. We have built this glossary unlike any you have probably seen before and hope you find it useful. We welcome any feedback you might have.

We predict some Lean Practitioners will take exception with the definition of some terms. We openly invite you to send us improved definitions as you see fit. It is our hope that this glossary will evolve.

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