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.


Takt time

> Cycle time

Target agreement

The term target agreement is used to describe a management technique in which management and employees reach an agreement regarding achieving company goals. A target agreement consists of two elements: the goal and the measures used to achieve that goal, i.e. a combination of quantitative goals and action plans.

TPM (Total Productive Maintenance)

TPM is a standardized method used to obtain interruption-free production. The goals of TPM are as follows:

> To increase machine availability by reducing plant interruptions
> To reduce interruption-related set-up and the related “firefighting efforts” to a minimum
> To recognize and eliminate equipment and material weak points
> To improve the degree to which employees identify with equipment and operating methods and to include employees in maintenance and repair activities
> To increase plant production
> To reduce total maintenance costs through regular and standardized maintenance and inspection

True north

In the world of lean, true north represents the target state: waste-free processes. The term refers to the North Star, or true north. The North Star is approximately 0.7° from the North Celestial Pole and is visible from the Northern Hemisphere all year-round. Because it is so close to the North Pole, it has long been used as a navigational aid. It can be used to verify compass readings for determine a ship’s direction. It is visible to the naked eye and is always seen in the same location. Its height in the sky roughly corresponds to the northern line of latitude in which the observer is located. The world of lean uses this term to denote an ideal state that can never change, a state that never moves.