5S methodology

One of the many tools in the Lean toolbox is the 5S methodology. Originating from a Japanese management philosophy, the 5S methodology refers to the five Japanese words which describe cleaning or tidying up. Keep in mind 5S is actually more than a tool, form it’s Japanese heritage it also reflects a mindset, that of […]

Coaching Kata

Toyota has been engaged in continuous improvement for decades. They see continuous adjustment and improvement of stable processes as the most important competitive advantage. Continuous improvement is a skill that all Toyota employees must possess – this is the Improvement Kata.  The term “Kata” comes from martial arts and means “a series of recorded movements’’. […]

Critical to Quality (CTQ)

Critical to Quality (CTQ) is a pivotal concept in the Lean Six Sigma methodology, serving as the keystone for achieving excellence in both product and process outcomes. CTQ is the most crucial and measurable characteristic of a product or process, directly linked to customer satisfaction. This metric acts as the bridge between customer requirements and […]


The five phases of the DMAIC model The DMAIC model is a roadmap for Six Sigma, used to improve the quality of results that company processes produce. The letters DMAIC are short for: Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control. These five parts are filled in by following twelve steps, which guide you through the process. […]

FMEA model

What is FMEA for? FMEA is short for failure mode and effects analysis. It helps to determine and prioritize causes and, as such, is mostly used to systematically map potential product or process failures before they actually cause any problems. Determining scores within the FMEA model A team searches for potential failure factors, defects and […]

Hoshin Kanri

What Hoshin Kanri is meant for? You want to aim improvement efforts within an organisation towards the same goal. This way, all efforts to improve are connected to the same goals. As Lean-guru Masaaki Imai said: ‘’Hoshin kanri is the process of internalising policy of continuous improvement, in all layers of the organisation. It calls […]


In 1986 Mr Masaaki Imai released a book with the title: Kaizen, the key to Japan’s Competitive Succes. With this Masaaki described the difference in the area of change management between the Western World and Japan. The difference? Kaizen. Fundamental difference with traditional Western management The fundamental difference lies in Change Management and the Management […]


Kanban was developed at Toyota by Taiichi Ohno. He was looking for an efficient system for achieving a high level of productivity. Kanban is a visual Lean Tool and is often applied in combination with JIT (Just-In-Time). Components are only produced when they are needed. Kanban comes from the Japanese words ‘kan’, which means ‘visual’ […]

KANO Model

One thing is for sure and that is that the KANO-model is not a misspelling of the word canoe. It is something completely different, namely a model designed by Noriako Kano in the ‘80s. The KANO-model is an important part of the Lean Six Sigma methodology. In its core, that methodology is about understanding and […]

Lean Management

Lean Management, also known as Lean Enterprise or Lean Thinking, is the management philosophy behind the Continuous Improvement structure developed by Toyota. With Toyota Lean Management is actually a part of the broader Toyota Production System. Generally speaking, Lean Management is a management structure as well as a organisational culture in which every employee strives […]

Lean Manufacturing

What is Lean Manufacturing? Lean Manufacturing is a management philosophy aimed at generating the maximum amount of value for the customer with the least amount of waste. Waste is anything that doesn’t add value to the product in the eyes of the customer, or doesn’t add value to the business as a whole. A good […]

Lean manufacturing 4.0

Smart Lean and Smart Six Sigma, including their many different names, are on the rise. Smart Industry is making Lean increasingly more flexible. The innovations vary from automated vehicles to augmented reality and factories that almost think for themselves. In addition, there are co-robots, who make operators smarter, stronger and faster. Rigid production lanes are […]


OKR stands for Objective and Key Results, meaning the setting of objectives and results following a framework possibly wholly monitorable and measurable. This working model is a projectual and strategic element, essential for any type of business, and the adoption of which has been largely completed by organizations, regardless of their geographical location or dimensions. […]

Operational Excellence

Operational excellence is one of the value strategies according to Treacy and Wiersema. They argue that an organization should master all 3 disciplines but at least be distinctive in 1 of these facets.    These are:  Operational excellence  Product leadership (product innovation)  Customer intimacy  WHAT IS OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE?  Operational excellence is an organization’s conviction to focus […]


PDCA, also known as the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, is a proven and powerful improvement method widely used within many organizations. With the PDCA Cycle, plans are drawn up, actions are carried out, and there is continuous evaluation. The intention of this cycle is to continuously guarantee quality. This is why there is a lot of evaluation, […]

Poka Yoke

Poka Yoke comes from Japan and was introduced by Shigeo Shingo to Toyota as a part of the production system. The word Poka means ‘inadvertent mistake’ and Yoke means ‘prevention’. It’s not about finding or correcting mistakes in a process but preventing them from ever being made. Poka Yoke is used to design processes so […]


The SIPOC model is a powerful tool within process improvement and project management, especially within Six Sigma methodology. SIPOC stands for Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer, and provides a structured framework for understanding and describing high-level processes. The model helps to identify the key steps in a process, those parties supplying and taking away material […]

SMED Method

The abbreviation SMED stands for Single Minute Exchange of Dies and was conceived by the Japanese Shigeo Shingo, an industrial engineer at Toyota. The SMED method strives for a fast and efficient way to change a production process. By “change” we mean the set of activities required to switch from a current production order to a […]

Theory of Constraints (Bottleneck)

Theory of Constraints (TOC) is a management philosophy developed by Eliyahu Goldratt. This methodology focuses on identifying and optimising bottlenecks within a process to improve overall flow and performance. The idea of bottlenecks is central to TOC and is described as the crucial factor that limits the speed of the entire process. ORIGIN The founder […]

Voice of the Customer (VOC)

The Voice of the Customer (VOC) is a fundamental principle in Lean Six Sigma, a methodology aimed at improving processes to align them with customer specifications. This concept plays a central role in both Lean and Six Sigma methodologies and emphasises the importance of understanding and meeting customer requirements and wishes. Interpretation in Lean and […]

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is often mentioned in one sentence with Lean. Originally, Lean and Six Sigma were two different process improvement methodologies. Today, friend and foe agree that Lean and Six Sigma are complementary to each other. This is best illustrated by Michael George in his book: Combining Six Sigma Quality with Lean Production Speed. In […]

What is Lean?

In 1990 James Womack and Daniel Jones went on a world tour to promote their book: “The Machine That changed the world“. During their tour, they gave seminars on the efficient way of production realised by the Toyota Company. James Womack and Daniel Jones named this way of working: Lean Production. The theory behind this […]

What is Six Sigma?

The Six Sigma methodology is a repository of various proven quality principles and techniques. Elaborating on the plan, do, check, act cycle of William Edwards Deming, Six Sigma is structured in 5 phases: Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control. A Six Sigma professional goes through all stages and optimises the business processes step by step. Why Six […]