Lean Six Sigma: Six Sigma Glossary of Terms


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To better understand Lean Six Sigma methodologies, it is essential to know exactly what the terms used in Lean Six Sigma mean. Below are some commonly used terms:

A Supplier is an entity, person or another process that provides an input into the process under consideration.

A Customer is any entity, person or another process that receives an output from the process under consideration.

Product/Service Business Processes  are directly involved in producing the delivered product or service such as manufacturing a boat or processing a check in a bank.

Administrative Business Processes (also called enabling processes) are all of the support processes such as order processing, accounts payable, and hiring processes.

A Key Process is defined as a process that is important for the success of the business or the customer, and/or is in need of immediate improvement to resolve a business problem.

A Process Management System is an approach used by managers and work-groups to ensure that the outputs of their work efforts are:

1. Predictable (stable).

2. Meeting customer requirements (capable).

3. Are performed quickly and at low cost (efficient).

4. Aligned and optimised to deliver correct results/value to a customer (effective).

5. Capable of quickly changing to meet market and customer demands (adaptable).

It is a structured approach to aligning and optimising how business processes work together to repeatedly and consistently deliver results/value to a customer.

A Process Owner is a person who manages the process end-to-end to ensure optimal overall performance, someone who coordinates functional/cross-functional activities at all levels of a work process, a person who has the responsibility to approve changes in the process, and a  person who sponsors improvement efforts (teams).

A Process Member is an individual who is a key contributor or a supporter for the successful completion of the deliverables from the process.

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