Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

Glossary terms, history, people and definitions about Lean and Six Sigma


Share This

An acronym to remember ways to make improvements to a process.

Standardize – Taking process steps and developing a routine way of doing them
Parallel processing – Doing two activities in the same time slot (not multi-tasking)
Automate – Taking a human task and replacing it with a machine or tool
Consolidate – Combining two processes into one
Eliminate – Deleting or removing a non-value element in the work
Re-arrange – Organizing the work flow order and location based on a sequence of steps
Simplify – Making a complex task easier to perform

It is more commonly used as an acronym used to ensure you have good meetings or training classes.

Safety – No one should get hurt, even in a training class
Purpose – Why is everyone here? What do they hope to get from this meeting/class?
Agenda – What are we doing, and how long will each section take to complete
Conduct – Rules and guidelines for attendees to ensure full participation
Expectations – Getting clarity on what the attendees want or expect to get
Roles – Who is managing the agenda, facilitating, or being the timekeeper?

Another similar version of SPACER…


Finally, there is one more acronym called SCAMPERR,  which describes thinking techniques that help those who use them, to help come up untypical solutions to problems.

Substitute – Remove some part of the accepted situation, thing, or concept and replace it with something else.

Combine – Join, affiliate, or force together two or more elements of your subject matter and consider ways that such a combination might move you toward a solution.

Adapt – Change some part of your problem so that it works where it did not before.

Modify – Consider many of the attribute of the thing you’re working on and change them, arbitrarily, if necessary. Attributes include: size, shape, other dimensions, texture, color, attitude, position, history, and so on.

Purpose (Put to other use) – Modify the intention of the subject. Think about why it exists, what it is used for, what it’s supposed to do. Challenge all of these assumptions and suggest new and unusual purposes.

Eliminate – Arbitrarily remove any or all elements of your subject, simplify, reduce to core functionality

Reverse – Change the direction or orientation. Turn it upside-down, inside-out, or make it go backwards, against the direction it was intended to go or be used.

Rearrange – Modify the order of operations

Another similar version is S.C.A.M.P.E.R., which stands for:

  • Substitute
  • Combine
  • Adapt
  • Modify (also Magnify and Minify)
  • Put to another use
  • Eliminate
  • Reverse



lean six sigma certification and training

Additional Resources

« Back to Glossary Index