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Agile technology
Andon (Jap. 行灯)2
A signboard or type of visual control that displays the current state of work (i.e., abnormal conditions, work instructions, and job progress information). It is one of the main tools of Jidoka.


Balanced scorecard
A framework for identifying performance metrics beyond basic financial measures. The framework four perspectives - customer, internal process, learning and growth (people), and financial measures - ties together the organisational strategic goals with operational metrics.
Business function
A business function is the most basic organisational component (work unit) which is made up of managers and team members who specialize in specific work activities, which utilizes the organisation’s resources and accountable for outputs and performance standards.
Business process
A defined set of business activities that represent the steps required to achieve a business objective. It includes the flow and use of information and resources.
Business process framework
It is a reference model that provides a standardised integrated view of business processes in an organisation with well defined levels of decomposition of the business process. A business process framework can be adopted/adapted as a reference for building a business process architecture.
Also see Business process architecture
Business process architecture
Also see Process landscape/map
Business Process Management (BPM)
A management discipline that integrates the strategy of an organisation with the expectations and needs of customers by focusing on delivering operational excellence with its end‐to‐end business processes; bringing together strategies, culture, organisational structures, roles, policies, methods and information technology to support rapid change and continuous improvement.1
BPM is a collection of methods, policies, metrics, roles and technologies to identify, design, monitor, optimize, and assist in the execution of an organisation's activities. BPM enables the organization to be agile in meeting its objectives by efficiently introducing (i) new business and IT processes, and (ii) improvements to existing business and IT processes.2
Business Process Model & Notation (BPMN)
A standardised graphical notation and model for business processes originally developed by BPMI (merged with OMG in 2005). It has diversified usage from process visualisation to process automation. BPMN 2.0 enables direct execution of BPMN process models in process engines – enabling process automation. Also note that the standard is developed and designed to meet varying purposes for different audiences.
Also see Process automation and Process engine
Business Process Management Suites / System (BPMS)
A Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) is an integrated suite of software technology that addresses business users' desire to see and manage work as it progresses across organizational functions. A BPMS supports process modeling, design, development, execution via the runtime environment, and monitoring of process performance, in one package or system. Source: Gartner Research
Also see Process engine
Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)


Continuous improvement
A performance improvement approach to business operations based on a continuous review of processes for removal of waste, variability and inflexibility, aims at achieving and maintaining optimised operational processes. Key aspects of continuous improvement include ongoing monitoring, performance measurement, and continuous feedback in operations - execution of processes.
Also see Kaizen and Efficient frontier


Decision Management
See Operation Decision Management.
Decision Model and Notation
A standardised notation and model for business decision making supporting both graphical and tabular formats.


Efficient frontier
An important concept in operation improvement where tension exists between productivity and responsiveness.


Flow rate
Also known as throughput. It is a measurement of the number of flow units going through the process per unit of time.
Flow time
It is a measurement of the time it takes for a flow unit to go from the beginning to the end of the process.


Any point in a process where work or information passes between persons or systems is a “handoff” for that process.
Heijunka (Jap. 平準化)3
Production smoothing which is the overall leveling, in the production schedule, of the volume and variety of items produced in given time periods. Heijunka is a pre-requisite for Just-in-time delivery.


Jidoka (Jap. 自働化)3
Autonomation or automation with human intelligence is one of the two main pillars of Toyota Production System. It refers to the ability to stop production lines, by man or machine, in the event of problems such as equipment malfunction, quality issues, or late work. Jidoka helps prevent the passing of defects, helps identify and correct problem areas using localization and isolation, and makes it possible to “build” quality at the production process.


Kaizen (Jap. 改善)3
Continuous Improvement. A system of continuous improvement in which instances of Muda (waste) are eliminated one-by-one at minimal cost. This is performed by all employees rather than by specialists.
Kanban (Jap. 看板)3
Sign or index card that is the key control for the Just-In-Time production. It serves as (1) instruction for production and conveyance, (2) visual control tool to check for over production and to detect irregular processing speeds, and (3) tool to perform kaizen.


An improvement methodology based on a customer-centric definition of value, and providing that value in the most effective way possible, through a combination of the elimination of waste and a motivated and engaged workforce.
Also see Toyota Production System


Muda (Jap. 無駄ムダ)3
Non-value added or waste. There are seven types of muda - overproduction, waiting, conveyance, processing, inventory, motion, correction.


Operation Decision Management
The management, control and automation of repeatable decisions at the business operation level by effective application of business rules, analytics, and optimisation technology.5
Overall Equipment Effectiveness
Overall People Effectiveness


Process automation
Process engine
A process engine is a software platform that executes an executable process model. It provides both human workflow management - controls the process by informing humans of tasks that they need to do, and it handles the result of what the people do; and service orchestration and application integration - communicates with internal and external IT systems. A process engine also decides which tasks or service calls take place or not, under what conditions, and according to the result of the task execution or service call.it is the key component of a BPMS.
Also see Business Process Management Suite / System
Process landscape/map
A top-level picture of a business in which its processes are named, where the processes are not connected and only shows dependencies.
Also see Business Process Architecture
Process model


Six Sigma
A method that drives business performance improvement by reducing or narrowing variation in work or in quality. The goal is to reach a statistical variation of Six Sigma (or six standard deviations of variation) within the limits defined by the customer’s specifications.


Toyota Production System (TPS)
A production system developed by Toyota which strongly integrated with its management philosophy and practices. It is based on the following key concepts: (1) Lean; (2) Jidoka; and (3) Just-in-Time (JIT) production. The concepts are built over many years of continuous improvement on the approaches created by the founder of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda, his son Kiichiro Toyoda, and the engineer Taiichi Ohno.
Also see Jidoka, Just-In-Time, Lean and Muda


Value chain
It is a strategic management concept popularised by management guru Michael Porter, where a business is perceived as a chain of collective activities operating and adding values in its process to deliver products/services with added values to the customers. Value Chain provides a strategic view of business processes across the organisation and products/services they support.
Value network
A value network is a business model that represents the complex dynamic interactions (transactions) between enterprises, customers, suppliers, trading partners, and the community that aims to maximise value across these stakeholders. Another meaning of value network is that it is an extended view of value chain beyond an organisation's boundaries or an extended supply chain model between multiple business partners, i.e. a supply chain network.
Value stream
In general it refers to the flow of materials and information through a process to deliver a product or service to a customer. It also refers to a model defining all necessary resources, transformation steps, input/output flows and interdependencies, as well as criteria for evaluating value within a selected scenario/context of end user needs. A scenario is an outline or model of an expected or supposed sequence of events.4
Value Stream Map
A graphical representation of how all the steps in any process line up to produce a product or service, and of the flow of information that triggers the process into action.



1 BPM Core Body of Knowledge. 2013. Association of Business Process Management Professionals (ABPMP)
2 IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT-CMF). Innovation Value Institute (IVI)
3 Toyota Production System and LEAN
4 Value-Chain Group (VCG)
5 Debevoise, T. and Taylor, J. (2014) The Microguide to Process And Decision Modeling in BPMN/DMN.

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