Process Improvement: Types of WastePosted on October 29, 2017

Why are leaders hesitant to focus on this? When you boil it down, process improvement is about identifying waste and removing it from your processes. We dont always think of it this way, but once we do, we are able to see the opportunities right in front of us. Sometimes, we get so focused on a specific type of opportunity that we dont look for wastes that are right in front of us. This type of thinking can lead us into a process improvement rut. Once we are in the rut, we might even become very successful at identifying certain types of opportunities, but we can become blind to others that are right in front of us. What is the case for doing it anyway? In order to combat against this opportunity identifying rut, we can use an acronym to help us try and identify all the different types of waste that are robbing our processes of their productivity. All you have to do to remember the types of waste are to remember a name, Tim Woods. T – Transport – The movement of people, products, and information. I – Inventory – The storage of parts, pieces, and documentation in excess of what is required. M – Motion – Any unnecessary physical activity. W – Waiting – Time spent without one or more key components needed to complete a task. O – Over production – The process of making more than is immediately required. O – Over processing – The process of doing more than is required to complete the task. D – Defects – Anything that results in a having to do rework or does not contribute to an acceptable outcome. S – Skills – The act of under utilizing capabilities and/or delegating tasks to someone with inadequate training. How can you do it?
  1. Get to know Tim Woods. Familiarize yourself with the different types of waste.
  2. Educate your teams. Introduce the people you work with to Tim Woods.
  3. Empower people. Give your staff permission to identify wastes in their areas.
  4. Involve them in the solution. Guided team participation in removing wastes will result in the best outcomes.
Have you ever used the Tim Woods method of identifying waste?
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