God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference. (Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr)
This ever finer clarification of waste is key to establishing distinctions between value-adding activity, waste and non-value-adding work. Non-value adding work is waste that must be done under the present work conditions (Wikipedia).
The Eight Wastes
Taiischi Ohno (1988) identifies various types of waste:
- Overproduction – making or doing more than is required or earlier than needed
- Waiting – for information, materials, people, maintenance, etc.
- Transport – moving people or goods around or between sites
- Poor process design – too many/few steps, non-standardization, inspection rather than prevention, etc.
- Inventory – raw materials, work in progress, finished goods, papers, electronic files, etc.
- Motion – inefficient layouts at workstations, in offices, poor ergonomics
- Defects – errors, scrap, rework, nonconformance
- Underutilized personnel resources and creativity – ideas that are not listened to, skills that are not used