Eliminating Waste – Where to start ?
Yes, I am reading again (or is it still 🙂 ), this time Gemba Walks by Jim Womack. We were having a debate the other day about what Lean is – with one strong voice leading with “Lean is the elimination of waste” (not my definition btw, I prefer using “Lean creates flow of value through the company and permanently removes obstacles and blockers from the system”).
But back to waste, if you do subscribe to the view that Lean and waste removal are synonymous then this might interest you, an essay from Jim Womack entitled Mura (Waste/ non-value add activity) , Muri (uneven demand) or Muda (overburden) (click here to read it).
It starts out with the understanding from back in the late 80’s that the way to tackle lean was to tackle waste in that order, simply because this could be done without having to go outside the team’s zone of influence.
Turns out that this may not be the best way to improve flow as uneven demand has a far bigger influence on flow as it creates overburden that introduces mura into the system. The suggestion is that you first remove Muri, then Muda and finally Mura!
Thoughts ? How are you tackling the elimination of waste in your team’s ?
What is working ? What hasn’t been so successful ?