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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Waste:   Any activity that consumes resources but creates no value for the customer. Most activities are waste—muda—and fall into one of two types. Type one muda creates no value but is unavoidable with current technologies and production assets. An example would be inspecting welds to ensure they are safe. Type two muda creates no value and can be eliminated immediately. An example is a process with disconnected steps in process villages that can be quickly reconfigured into a cell where wasteful materials movements and inventories no longer are required. Most value-stream activities that actually create value as perceived by the customer More »
7 Wastes:   see Seven Wastes
Seven Wastes:   Taiichi Ohno’s categorization of the seven major wastes typically found in mass production: Overproduction: Producing ahead of what’s actually needed by the next process or customer. The worst form of waste because it contributes to the other six. Waiting: Operators standing idle as machines cycle, equipment fails, needed parts fail to arrive, etc. Conveyance: Moving parts and products unnecessarily, such as from a processing step to a warehouse to a subsequent processing step when the second step instead could be located immediately adjacent to the first step. Processing: Performing unnecessary or incorrect processing, typically from poor tool or product design. More »
Articles (117) Show All »
Find One Second of Waste
By: Richardson, Tracey | February 23, 2012
Coach Tracey Richardson shows you how she learned the importance of looking for waste everywhere, and how you can start being focused on finding it as well.    More »
Lean concepts that help you eliminate waste and create flow in your own work
By: Markovitz, Dan | June 25, 2013
Articles; Videos and Webinars
Lean Enterprise Institute faculty member Dan Markovitz, an expert on improving personal performance, explains how the lean principles of 5S and visual management make you more productive as a knowledge worker. More »
Audio (3) Show All »
Lean Solutions (audiobook)
By: James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones
Audio; Books
An abridged version on CD of Lean Solutions, read by author James P. Womack. A massive disconnect exists between consumers and providers today. Consumers have a greater selection of higher quality goods to choose from and can obtain these items from a growing number of sources. Computers, cars, and even big-box retail sites promise to solve our every need. So why aren’t consumers any happier? Because everything surrounding the process of obtaining and using all these products causes us frustration and disappointment. Why is it that, when our computers or our cell phones fail to satisfy our needs, virtually every interaction More »
Lean Thinking, 2nd Edition (audiobook)
By: James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones | March 2, 2003
Audio; Books
Are the calls for making the lean leap falling on deaf ears in the boardroom? Just slip this audio CD of the Lean Thinking onto the boss’s home stereo to get the message across subliminally. Then get out of the way when the boss comes to work and rushes onto the shop floor to lead kaizen workshops. More »
Books (27) Show All »
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade
By: Robert Martichenko | March 8, 2012
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade is a quick, fun introduction to lean. The book connects common lean tools to the broader lean journey, shows how to identify and eliminate waste, and aids the reader in seeing lean for what it truly is: a way to create a learning and problem-solving culture. More »
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade (eBook)
By: Robert Martichenko | July 5, 2012
Everything I Know About Lean I Learned in First Grade is a quick, fun introduction to lean. The book connects common lean tools to the broader lean journey, shows how to identify and eliminate waste, and aids the reader in seeing lean for what it truly is: a way to create a learning and problem-solving culture. More »
Case Studies (41) Show All »
Dentist Drills Down to the Root Causes of Office Waste
By: Chet Marchwinski | May 7, 2007
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Images
Applying lean concepts to dentistry isn't as difficult as, well, pulling teeth. Dr. Sami Bahri, driven by a gut feeling that the traditional method of managing a dental office could be improved dramatically, educated himself and his staff in the concepts, validated the approach in pilot projects, then transformed his office. His journey just might transform the way you look at a dentist's office. (The Seven Wastes entry in the short Glossary at the end of the story has examples from Bahri's staff.  ) More »
Lean Landscapers
By: George Taninecz | October 14, 2008
Case Studies; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
HighGrove Partners, an Atlanta landscaping company, needed some time to figure out how to apply lean management principles. After all, each of its 300 work sites is different and changes with the seasons, soil conditions, and weather. But, aided by a lawn mower manufacturer that was pursuing a lean conversion, HighGrove management stuck with its transformation, uncovered repeatable processes among the variability, established standardized work, removed waste, and improved processes and business More »
Columns (231) Show All »
Waste in Process: Squeeze Before You Lean
By: Andrew Quibell | July 21, 2016
"It seems intuitive to start applying lean to our processes, right?" writes Andrew Quibell. "Maybe so, but all that says to me is that we're short-sighted when applying lean.  " How so, you ask? Read more. More »
Waste-Free Capitalism
By: Michael Ballé | July 24, 2013
In his first piece for The Lean Post, lean thought leader and LEI author Michael Ballé shares Toyota's lessons for society at large and calls for a rethink to capitalism as we know it. More »
eLetters (155) Show All »
Gross Domestic Product Verses Gross Domestic Waste
By: Womack, Jim | October 23, 2006
Columns; eLetters
I’ve always been fascinated by how humans count, especially the way we always seem to count the wrong things. Recently I was looking at the American counting of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The U.  S. government reports that GDP was up 2.  6% in the second quarter of 2006, after rising 5.  8% in the first quarter, and the economists offering commentary seem to think this is good. We are producing more product per capita, meaning economic output is growing faster than population. But growth has slowed recently toward a level that can be sustained without causing inflation. Governments in More »
Should I pursue waste elimination or lead-time reduction?
By: Balle, Michael | May 6, 2010
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach, We’re having a heated debate in our company over whether to pursue cost reduction through waste elimination by accelerating kaizen events, or whether to focus on lead-time reduction by implementing a pull system. It appears to me we’re not clear on the link between waste and lead-time. Could you help us clarify this? This is absolutely the right question to ask and the answer is … overproduction. Please bear with me while I try to clarify why overproduction is considered the worst of wastes, the original lean sin, and how this relates to lead-time. This is a More »
Events (4) Show All »
2014 Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit
January 10, 2014
June 4-5, 2014 - Los Angeles, California. Two days when you can learn directly from the lean healthcare leaders who are making real change and getting real results in how we deliver and pay for healthcare. More »
2010 Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit
March 26, 2010
June 9-10, 2010 - Orlando, FL. Specially designed to delvier comprehensive, high-quality information about improving healthcare quality through lean thinking. More »
Forms and Templates (2)
Waste Walk Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
By: Lean Transformations Group | January 29, 2013
It is a maxim in lean thinking that to fix any problem you must first see the waste. However, the longer you have worked in a system, the harder it is to see the waste around you. Taking a “waste walk” is one way to make the waste visible again. A waste walk is simply a planned visit to where work is being performed to observe what’s happening and to note the waste. It differs from go-see activities in that you are specifically looking for waste. Common objectives for your waste walks include: Validate the problems pointed out in the More »
Standardized Work Combination Table
December 6, 2012
The standardized work combination table shows the combination of manual work time, walk time, and machine processing time for each operation in a production sequence. This form is a more precise process design tool than the Operator Balance Chart. It can be very helpful to identify the waste of waiting and overburden, and to confirm standard work―in―process. The standardized work combination table is one of three basic forms for creating standardized work, along with the standardized work chart and job instruction sheet. The purpose of standardized work, according to Kaizen Express from which this form is taken, is to provide More »
Videos and Webinars (4) Show All »
The Virginia Mason Production System: So Much Waste, So Little Time
By: Iseman, Marnee | August 16, 2009
In this 53-minute video, Marnee Iseman from Virginia Mason talks about the Virginia Mason Production System to a group at the University of Wisconsin. More »
Toast Value-Stream Mapping (DVD)
June 13, 2011
Books; Videos and Webinars
Toast Value-Stream Mapping (DVD) More »
Workshops (30) Show All »
Integrating Visual Management Tools and Leader Standard Work
This course deals with designing and executing an implementation plan to migrate your company from one of “gather data, synthesize, meet, and react” to one of “see waste, manage exceptions, and improve processes”.     It will show you how to tie together the tools of Policy Deployment, Value Stream Mapping, Visual Management, and Management Standard Work. The emphasis of the course is on the development of visual management tools and incorporating them into management standard work. More »
Supporting Healthcare Leader Standard Work with Visual Management Tools
If you are involved in Lean healthcare, in any capacity, you have probably heard about Gemba Walks and Visual Management. By combining Visual Management and Leader Standard Work, you harness the power of your organization seeing waste in real time and coming up with creative ways to eliminate it, improve patient care, and make the job of providing health care easier for everyone. This course will show you the basic tools necessary to reach those goals. This workshop has application in areas including: • Primary care • Pediatrics • Family practice • Optometry • Chiropractics & Alternative healthcare • Emergency More »