The 8 Wastes of Lean - Deepstash
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Muda - The original seven wastes

Muda - The original seven wastes

The seven wastes are Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Overprocessing and Defects.

They are often referred to by the acronym ‘TIMWOOD’


473 reads

Non-utilized talent or ‘Skills’

The 8th waste of non-utilized talent or ‘Skills’ of workers was later introduced in the 1990s when the Toyota Production System was adopted in the Western world.

So the new acronym is ‘TIMWOODS’


290 reads

Waste in transportation

Waste in transportation

Includes movement of people, tools, inventory, equipment, or products further than necessary.

Excessive movement of people and equipment can lead to unnecessary work, greater wear and tear, and exhaustion.

Some of the countermeasures to transportation waste includes developing a U-shape production line, creating flow between processes, and not over-producing work in process (WIP) items.


205 reads

Waste in inventory

Waste in inventory

Excess inventory can be caused by over-purchasing, overproducing work in process (WIP), or producing more products than the customer needs.

In-office inventory waste could be files waiting to be worked on, customers waiting for service, unused records in a database, or obsolete files.

Some countermeasures for inventory include:

  1. purchasing raw materials only when needed
  2. reducing buffers between production steps
  3. creating a queue system to prevent overproduction


168 reads

Waste in motion

Waste in motion

Includes any unnecessary movement of people, equipment, or machinery.

In the office, wasted motion can include walking, reaching to get materials, searching for files, sifting through inventory to find what is needed, excess mouse clicks, and double entry of data.

Some countermeasures:

  1. making sure the workspace is well organized
  2. placing equipment near the production location
  3. putting materials at an ergonomic position to reduce stretching and straining


131 reads

Waste in waiting

Waste in waiting

This includes: 1) people waiting on material or equipment and 2) idle equipment

In the office, waiting waste can include waiting for others to respond to an email, having files waiting for review, ineffective meetings, and waiting for the computer to load a program.

Some countermeasures:

  1. designing processes to ensure continuous flow
  2. leveling out the workload by using standardized work instructions
  3. developing flexible multi-skilled workers who can quickly adjust


124 reads

Waste in Overproduction

Waste in Overproduction

Occurs when manufacturing a product or an element of the product before it is being asked for or required.

In an office environment, overproduction could include making extra copies, creating reports no one reads, providing more information than needed, and providing a service before the customer is ready.

3 countermeasures for overproduction:

  1. using a ‘Takt Time’ ensures that the rate of manufacturing between stations are even
  2. reducing setup times enables manufacturing small batches or single-piece flow
  3. using a pull or ‘Kanban’ system can control the amount of WIP


117 reads

Waste in Over-processing

Waste in Over-processing

Over-processing refers to doing more work, adding more components, or having more steps in a product or service than what is required by the customer.

In the office, over-processing can include generating more detailed reports than needed, having unnecessary steps in the purchasing process, requiring unnecessary signatures on a document, double entry of data, requiring more forms than needed, and having an extra step in a workflow.

One simple way to counter over-processing is to understand the work requirements from the standpoint of the customer.


91 reads

Waste in Defects

Waste in Defects

Defects occurs when the product is not fit for use.

4 countermeasures for defects:

  1. look for the most frequent defect and focus on it
  2. design a process to detect abnormalities and do not pass any defective items along the production process
  3. redesign the process so that does not lead to defects
  4. use standardize work to ensure a consistent manufacturing process


88 reads

Waste in Skills

Waste in Skills

The 8th waste is also described as the waste of unused human talent and ingenuity.

This waste occurs when organizations separate the role of management from employees.

The people doing the work are the ones who are most capable of identifying problems and developing solutions for them.

In the office, non-utilized talent could include insufficient training, poor incentives, not asking for employee feedback, and placing employees in positions below their skills and qualifications.


97 reads

Value Stream Mapping (VSM)

VSM is a Lean management method for analyzing the current state and designing a future state.

VSM is an effective tool for mapping out the processes involved, displaying the relationship between production processes in a visual manner, and for separating value-added and non-value-added activities.


110 reads



Full time dad and IT enthusiast for the rest.


8 wastes of Lean can help you find bottlenecks in your organization's processes.


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