Lean is a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non-value added activities) by analyzing how the process flows in order to reduce the time and effort it takes to accomplish the process.
In short, we are looking for steps that are costing us time. This could be labor time (it is really long and tedious to do) or turn-around time (how long it is taking on calendar, usually caused by long delays). When looking at the process through a “Lean Lens” there are 8 categories of non-valued added activities we look for to find where the time is being lost – in the Lean world, these are called the “8 wastes”.
An easy way to remember these wastes is the acronym Tim Woods. And I’d like to think Tim is a nice guy, but he’s not. He is stealing from you. He is robbing you and your team members of valuable time. Every. Single. Day.
To see how easy it is to get started with Lean, try this “Lean Challenge of the Day”:
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Christopher M. Spranger, MBA, ASQ MBB
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