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Lean Lexicon

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A Graphical Glossary for Lean Thinkers

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Lean Enterprise Institute

The LEAN LEXICON, published by the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), features terms and illustrations about how lean business principles pertain to strategic planning, supply streams, and product development.

The new Lexicon, first published in January 2003, is 125 pages, containing 61 illustrations and 193 key terms from A3 Report to Yokoten. The Lexicon already covers such key lean enterprise terms as jidoka, kanban, kaizen, lean consumption, lean production, lean enterprise, pull production, standardized work, takt time, Toyota Production System, and value-stream mapping. It also has a simple, one-page guide to pronouncing Japanese terms and a section with value-stream mapping icons.

Unlike most other business glossaries in print or online, the Lexicon is focused exclusively on lean thinking and lean production. It also makes abundant use of illustrations and examples, and was compiled with input from managers and engineers implementing lean. To make the book as useful as possible, LEI’s research included surveying the Lean Community about what concepts and terms were most confusing. Time-related terms were among those that topped the list of responses, so the Lexicon devotes several pages and illustrations to terms such as cycle time, takt time, and value-creating time.


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Lean Enterprise Institute

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