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Kaizen: A Japanese term that means gradual unending improvement by doing little things better and setting and achieving increasingly higher standards. Masaaki Imai made the term famous in his book, Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success.

Kanban: A Japanese term for one of the primary tools of a just-in-time system. It maintains an orderly and efficient flow of materials throughout the entire manufacturing process. It is usually a printed card that contains specific information such as part name, description and quantity.

Kano analysis: Method of classifying and prioritizing customer requirements to reveal which are most important to satisfaction and which may be limited without damaging overall satisfaction.

Key business factors (KBF): Those measures or indicators that are significantly related to the business success of a particular firm.

Key performance indicator (KPI): A statistical measure of how well an organization is doing. A KPI may measure a company's financial performance or how it is holding up against customer requirements.

Key process: A major system level process that supports the mission and satisfies major consumer requirements.

Key results area: A major category of customer requirements that is critical for the organization's success.

Kruskal-Wallis test: The Kruskal-Wallis test is a nonparametric test to compare three or more samples. It tests the null hypothesis that all populations have identical distribution functions against the alternative hypothesis that at least two of the samples differ only with respect to location (median), if at all. It is the analogue to the F-test used in analysis of variance. While analysis of variance tests depend on the assumption that all populations under comparison are normally distributed, the Kruskal-Wallis test places no such restriction on the comparison. It is a logical extension of the Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney Test (see listing).

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