Glossary of Lean Management and Supply Chain Management terms

For mutual understanding: short definitions of important terms from the world of continuous improvement and Supply Chain Management


Click on one of the letters beneath to check the glossary for terms beginning with that letter.


5 Whys

The root cause for a problem is identified using the 5 Whys. However, there are other ways of determining the causes of problems.

5A method

> See 5S method

5S method

The 5S method is the foundation of continuous improvement. 5S stands for the five steps followed to maintain standards and discipline within an organization:
1. Sort (Japanese seiri): Sort and separate what is not needed
2. Straighten (Japanese seiton): Arrange items so they are easy to find
3. Shine (Japanese seiso): Clean the workplace
4. Standardize (Japanese seiketsu): Revisit first three steps and maintain standards
5. Sustain (Japanese shitsuke): Discipline

Clean and tidy workspaces reduce waste resulting from time spent searching (motion) and enable visual management. This makes it easier to detect and prevent deviations from standards.

The 5S Method is also referred to as the 5A Method: