7 Wastes in Lean – A Brief Overview

7 Wastes in Lean : A Brief Overview

7 Wastes in Lean

We already know what is at the core of “lean” and how it seeks to add-value and eliminate waste from the processes, let’s look at another simple tool/guideline that can rid an organization of wasteful activities/processes. Eliminating Waste or “Muda” as it is called in Japanese, (Muda more closely means: uselessness) is an effective way to increase profits. And even though Lean seeks to eliminate waste in all forms, Taiichi Ohno, “father” of the TPS (Toyota Production System), originally identified seven forms of “muda” … and this was then implemented/ institutionalized or rather became popularly known as 7 wastes in Lean.

These are:

  1. Waiting: Refers to the undesired/unnecessary waiting intervals between two different stages of any production.
  2. Over-Production: Production in excess of the next production step’s requirement or overall excess production of a product.
  3. Rework: Cost/effort/time wasted in correcting a wrongly delivered product/service.
  4. Motion: Extra movement of people to perform tasks or even the frequent movement of equipment to complete a production step is also a cause for waste.
  5. Over-Processing: Any extra steps (checking/re-checking etc) in a process which are essentially repetitions which add no extra value.
  6. Inventory: Build-up of extra raw material, WIP (Work-In-Progress) or finished goods (that are not due to be shipped any time soon) are excesses/wastes in inventory.
  7. Transportation: Unnecessary movement of raw materials or information to complete the overall production steps (note that, transport is the wasted efforts/time between processes, while motion is wasted efforts on a finer level or rather between the same process)

Notice that I have numbered these 7 wastes in a popular and easy to remember memory aid: “WORMPIT”, sometimes in lean circles an additional waste is considered equally important, which is the waste of skill, talent of your people resources.

The below infographic encapsulates the above info as a simple sheet to make things easy to remember…,

7 Wastes in Lean

7 Wastes in Lean - prosigmaindia

While i have covered the theory for “7 wastes in Lean” in this blog, however at the ProSigma workshops you will find that you will learn this and more by actually doing. We believe most of the Learning needs to be by experience and interactivity and our Lean Focus is simply unparalleled in India, and we make it available via a range of Lean Six Sigma programs designed to cater to every level of professional.

However, before we conclude this blog, for those who are new to Lean Six Sigma and are interested in more such topics do visit the rest of ProSigma’s blog section, or try our 100% Free and 100% Online Lean Six Sigma White Belt Certification. Or better still join one of the following from our range of programs,

and, Advanced students will like the following:

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