7+1 Types of Waste

Waste. Source: Simon Brass; www.flickr.com/photos/dogbomb/526541283/ (CC BY 2.0)

In order to really understand waste, Lean Self, just as Lean Management, knows 7+1 types of waste.

Coming from the Japanese origin of Lean, the Lean word for waste is “muda”, so I am going to use this expression from time to time.

There are seven classical mudas plus one on top. In future posts, you will see more detailed discussions of them, but right know I want to provide one Lean Self example per muda:

You should also note that any waste may not be the root cause, but just a symptom for another waste which needs to be addressed. For example, the reason for inventory waste may be over-production. If you want to get rid of the inventory, you need to reduce over-production. To make it more tangible: If you write useless e-mail to many people, maybe to distribution lists, this is over-producing. Many of these people may reply, although you do not always need to answer back. However, often you will answer. This can set up nasty chains of mail discussions you need to process out of your inbox. Sending out fewer e-mails (reducing over-production) will naturally lead to a smaller inbox and reduced inventory.

Each type of waste

  • has different consequences in terms of damage they produce,
  • can be measured differently, both in terms of measuring the problem and in terms of success of elimination, and
  • needs different methods for elimination.

Summing it up in a simple rule, waste types help to

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2 comments on “7+1 Types of Waste

  1. Lyndon on said:

    Jens, this is very good post. Must allot time and forming a good habit of throwing baggage that is waste.

    I maybe in Germany for 3 days this mid-Feb.

    • Jens R. WoinowskiJens R. Woinowski on said:

      Lyndon, since you are writing about habits: you might like the habit cheat sheet

      Which city are you going to visit in Germany?

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