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A waste elimination method

What is Lean ?

A principle driven, tool based philosophy that focuses on eliminating waste so that all activities/steps add value from the customers perspective.

Its all about continuous waste elimination

What is waste?

Waste, in lean thinking, is defined as all activities that do not add value from a customer's perspective and that can be removed

What is Value?

An activity is a value-adding activity - if it enhances the product or service from the customer perspective 


Ask :

  1. Will you be willing to pay  this activity  as a customer - if not its a waste 

  2. Is any change or transformation happening in the product - if not its a waste

Measure: Measure the Y & Xs

1. Eliminate Waste 

2. Minimize inventory : produce only when needed 

3. Maximize flow : of the production line

4. Pull from demand : produce when their is demand

5. Meet customer requirements

6. Do it right the first time

7. Empower workers

8. Ban local optimization : complete process/ chain needs to be optimized

9. Partner with suppliers

10. Create culture of continuous improvement

The 8 Lean wastes - "TOM D WIPS"
1. Transportation

Inefficient transportation; unnecessary movement of parts / files / equipment  without creating value

Example technique : reduce inventory, approvals

2. Over Production

Production more than required or before time causes waste

Example technique : Kanban (signal to produce upstream)

3. Motion

Unnecessary human movement. Walking to & from copier , bending down to pour water, too many clicks on a site

Example technique : 5S, human-centric design

4. Defects

The produced work has defects ; too much checking for errors or rework 

Example technique : Poke-yoke ( mistake proofing)

5. Waiting

Waiting for previous step to complete work, so that you can do your work

Example technique : eliminate hand-offs

6. Inventory

Keeping extra items / persons. Bench staff, too many items in storage, warehouse

Example technique : Kanban

7. Processing

extra/over processing refers unnecessary value adding steps in the process

Example technique : ECRS

8. Skills

Underutilized skills, talent - Limited employee authority and responsibility

Example technique : Cross - Training

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