How Well do You understand Lean Concepts and Terms?

1. Which of the following is not one of the 8 Wastes?

  • Overproduction
  • Negativity
  • Defects
  • Waiting

Answer: Negativity

Negativity, although a bad thing, is not one of the 8 wastes typically discussed in lean. The original 7 wastes are Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overprocessing, Overproduction, and Defects. The eighth waste is wasting the talents of your employees by not involving them in improvement.

2. What company is credited with creating the first moving assembly line?

  • Tesla
  • Toyota
  • Ford
  • Daimler

Answer: Ford

Ford is credited with creating the first moving assembly line with the Model T line. You could get any color you wanted as long as it was black!

3. In Value Stream Mapping, who decides what is added value vs a non-value added?

  • Team Members
  • The Manager
  • The Customer
  • The CEO

Answer: The Customer

Lean techniques define value from the perspective of the customer. If the customer isn’t willing to pay for it, it’s probably not value.

4. A place for everything and everything in its place describes which step in 5S?

  • Standardize
  • Sort
  • Shine
  • Set in Order
  • Answer: Set in Order

A place for everything and everything in its place describes set in order which is the 5S step for putting the necessary items in the ideal location in the work area.

5. Which of the following is NOT a way to describe Gemba?

  • Going to see where the work actually takes place.
  • An opportunity to ask questions and learn
  • An important part of a production leader’s standard work
  • An opportunity to discipline employees.

Answer: An opportunity to discipline employees.

The definition of Gemba is going to the actual place where the work takes place. Gemba walks are an opportunity for leaders to walk the floor, ask questions, understand reality, and learn. It should not be a time for disciplining employees.

6. Making parts Just in Case is an example of what waste?

  • Overprocessing
  • Overproduction
  • Motion
  • Transportation

Answer: Overproduction

Making parts just in case is an example of overproduction. This often happens when lines aren’t balanced, capacity and demand are not well understood, and when operators and managers are incentivized on quantity produced.

7. What is the heart and soul of a lean organization?

  • Respect
  • A Lean System
  • Trained Leadership
  • Problem Solving

Answer: Respect

The heart and soul of a lean company is Respect. Respect for customers, Respect for the Company, and Respect for Employees. Systems, trained leadership, and problem solving are also important but without a foundation of Respect, a company cannot fully realize the benefits of lean tools and techniques. The goal of a lean system is to develop all employees to see problems, understand how to solve them, and feel empowered to help make the change.

8. You are a machine operator and just noticed a quality problem. You pull a cable next to your work cell to stop the line and notify others that a problem needs to be solved. What is the name of the tool you just used?

  • Andon
  • Jidoka
  • Kaizen
  • Poka Yoke

Answer: Andon

The name of the tool you just used is called an Andon signal. An Andon is a tool that instantly notifies managers and engineers of a problem so that they can swarm the problem.

9. What does the concept of SMED refer to?

  • Reduction of change over times.
  • Reduction of business process waste.
  • Reducing labor costs.
  • Improving product quality.

Answer: Reduction of changeover times.

SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) focuses on reduction of changeover times. An effective changeover reduction requires team involvement.

10. The goal of Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment is ____________________.

  • Creating a problem-solving plan.
  • Aligning actions to strategic objectives.
  • Creating the budget for the business.
  • Deploying a set of corporate policies and procedures in the business to standardize.
  • Answer: Aligning actions to strategic objectives.

The goal of Hoshin Kanri or Policy Deployment is to align the tactical actions and improvements to the strategic objectives of the business. This is a layered process which should cascade from the higher-level group and then down to the next level.

11. Which of the following is an example of visual management?

  • A leader’s standard work.
  • An Andon light.
  • A daily team meeting.
  • A Continuous Improvement Plan.

Answer: An Andon light.

An Andon light is an example of visual management. Visual management tools help us quickly identify where abnormalities or problems are happening in our process so that we can react.

12. The worst of the 8 wastes is: 

  • Overproduction.
  • Defects or Rework.
  • Inventory.
  • Transportation.

Answer: Overproduction

Overproduction is typically referred to as the worst form of waste because it creates the other wastes. For example, when you over produce (making more than the customer requires), you make excess inventory that waits, and you hide defects in your inventory. You are also transporting your inventory around and your operators are wasting motion in doing so.

13. Kaizen means ________________.

  • Going to see.
  • Change for better.
  • Quality first.
  • Strategy Alignment.

Answer: Change for better.

Kaizen means change for better and refers to any improvement—large or small. Often people understand Kaizen as a large event or blitz over several days to rapidly improve an area. This is typically known as a Kaizen blitz. However, Kaizen can also refer to smaller improvements made by the team on a daily basis.