Chapter 5

Waste versus Efficiency

How Do We Define Waste?

According to Dr. Shigeo Shingo, “Waste is any activity which does not contribute to operations.” There are two types of operations: value-added work and non‑value-added work. Some non‑value-added work is necessary but is still non‑value-added work. An example is completing tax returns for the business. The tax forms and submission are required by law, however producing tax forms does not directly add value to the customer. When your organization becomes literally obsessed with the total elimination of waste in everything it does, and is never satisfied with the current state, then your organization will be well on its way down the Lean maturity path. Waste creates workarounds to our processes, ...

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