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Dictionary of Lean Six Sigma Tools/Concepts

There are 8 entries in this dictionary.
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Term Definition
Background Statement

A brief statement (usually no more than 2 or 3 sentences) that adds helpful background context to the problem statement. For example, it may help explain the affected business area such as the magnitude of the business area, standard metrics/goals, high-level processes, organizational structure, etc.
Related StatStuff Video: 
   -Section 4-Define Phase, Lesson #2 - Building a Problem Statement

Batch Processing

A type of process where each product moves in unison (as a group or batch) through a system. This form of process flow is generally considered to cause delays and waste. Compare to One Piece Flow.
Related StatStuff Video: 
   -Section 2-Lean, Lesson #2 - System Flow Methods

Beta Risk

A formal measurement of the risk of a false negative defined for statistical tests typically during hypothesis testing. Beta risks (a.k.a., Type II Errors or false negatives) generally represent the amount of risk or error in yielding a false negative that you're willing to allow for any statistical test you run. In normal situations, 10% is a common amount of risk statisticians allow for false negative errors in their analyzed data. This means they're willing to accept that there's a 10% chance their data will yield a false negative result.  In high-risk situations (e.g., building weapons, healthcare, etc.) where precision and accuracy in the results are critical, a lower amount of risk is probably preferred; in those cases, it's not uncommon for statisticians to set a beta risk level at 2% or lower.

This type of risk is also subtracted from 1.0 in order to calculate your power level.  Most formal statistical tests don't require a beta risk or power level as part of the equation; most often they require an alpha risk or confidence level be identified in the equation. A judicial example of beta risk would state this is the risk of acquitting a guilty person. A statistical example would state this is the risk of saying a factor doesn't cause a difference when it really does. A practical example would state this is the risk of diverting our attention away from the real root cause.
Related StatStuff Videos: 
   -Section 5-Measure Phase, Lesson #15 - Statistical Process Control (SPC)
   -Section 6-Analyze Phase, Lesson #9 - Hypothesis Testing: Overview

Bimodal Distributions

A statistical distribution that is a non-normal distribution having more than one hump or bell curve, as opposed to just one representing the center where most of the data points should be plotted. In these distributions, the data isn't just biased or skewed, but it appears to have more than one mode. This may occur when the data being measured is actually coming from two separate populations. In these cases, the data should be split in order to reflect their respective population. Although the non-normality of these distributions may appear visually obvious, they should be statistically validated such as in using an Anderson-Darling (AD) test of a Normality Test or Probability Plot.
Related StatStuff Videos: 
   -Section 5-Measure Phase, Lesson #8 - Distributions: Overview
   -Section 5-Measure Phase, Lesson #10 - Distributions: Non-Normal

Black Belt (BB)

A role in Six Sigma by someone who has a strong expertise in the Six Sigma (and possibly Lean) tools and concepts. The actual functions and responsibilities for this role vary but in general this person has a full-time dedication to leading projects that may yield benefits that are considered moderate to large for the organization. Their projects generally cover a longer timeframe (like 3 to 6 months) and usually have a scope that extends across multiple functional areas. This is a role that is commonly certified by many training organizations, although the requirements for those certifications vary considerably. This role is considered to be above a Six Sigma Green Belt (GB) role.
Related StatStuff Video: 
   -Section 1-Introduction, Lesson #8 - Key Roles in a Lean or Six Sigma Project

Box-Cox Transformation

A method of evaluating continuous (a.k.a. variable or numerical) data that naturally forms a non-normal distribution and statistically transforming it to form a more normalized distribution. It is used in this training as part of analyzing process capability.
Related StatStuff Video: 
   -Section 6-Analyze Phase, Lesson #6 - Process Capability: Step 5 (Non-Normal Distributions)


A graphical summary of a distribution's shape, central tendency and spread. It's like a bird's-eye view (looking down from the top) of a distribution. Their strong advantage is in visually comparing multiple distributions and statistical characteristics along the same scale.
Related StatStuff Video: 
   -Section 6-Analyze Phase, Lesson #18 - Hypothesis Testing: Central Tendency – Normal (Compare 2+ Factors)

Brainstorm Solutions

This typically involves a team working together to creatively generate multiple ideas that will solve the root cause(s) discovered in a project. This is often done during a workout session and can include tools like an Affinity Diagram.
Related StatStuff Videos: 
   -Section 7-Improve Phase, Lesson #4 - Brainstorm & Prioritize Solutions with a Workout
   -Section 7-Improve Phase, Lesson #5 - Brainstorm Solutions with an Affinity Diagram

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