List of Selected Operational Excellence Buzzwords

Major or Critical Bug

Synonymous with showstopper.  A severe software bug that would prevent the release of a software version or require an emergency patch.


A measurement, taken over a period of time that communicates vital information about a process or activity.  A metric should drive appropriate leadership or management action.


Any unexpected deviation of a process, or introduction into a defect that prevents a shipment or release, any products or goods received from a vendor or supplier, which is not fit for use results in a non-conformance.  Ultimately, any deviation from a specified requirement is a non-conformance.

Out of Control

Describes a process that has variations that fluctuate outside the customer’s desired specification limits.  This would usually indicate that the process is not operating optimally or that external variables are leading the process off-track.  A \”out of control\” is not stable and therefore is not predictable.


The external person, supplier, or customer associated with our efforts to deliver the best possible product or service, sharing financial success as well as associated risks.

Project Manager

The project manager ensures that a superior product, which delights the customer, and a capable manufacturing process are delivered in a timely fashion.


The combination of people, equipment, materials, methods, and environment that produce output – a given product or service.  It is the particular way of doing something.  A specific, repeatable, course of action by one or more persons or teams intended to achieve a result or deliver a partially finished product or service to the next customer.


A severe software bug that would prevent the release of a software version or require an emergency patch.  Critical bugs crash jukeboxes, report money bookkeeping inaccurately.  Severe show-stoppers that potentially diminish safety could be recalled from the field and quarantined.


Anyone who indirectly benefits or directly contributes to a process or activity, or who is affected by the actions of the process, who is not a customer.  Team or project contributors are also stakeholders.

Supplier or Vendor

A supplier of goods or services.  Suppliers can be referred to as internal or external.  Vendors are usually referred to as outside suppliers, where there is a financial transaction in order to purchase goods or services.