The Seven Wastes

One of the principal goals of the Toyota Production System (TPS) is to identify steps that add value (and those which do not) and then design out waste.

Muda is one of the three types of waste (the other two being muri and mura) and the one that has been given the most attention since the TPS has been widely studied. Of this type of waste, Taiichi Ohno further identified the seven wastes:

  1. Overproduction
  2. Transportation
  3. Inventory
  4. Motion
  5. Defects
  6. Over-Processing
  7. Waiting

While reading this I also came across Mottainai — a Japanese term meaning “a sense of regret concerning waste when the intrinsic value of an object or resource is not properly utilized”. I like that.

via @finiteattention

1 thought on “The Seven Wastes

  1. Paul

    The French have a similar term “Pas de gaspillage!” (I still remember my grandmother telling me that!). “Mottainai” is what Japanese housewives say when they throw out food past its eat-by date.

    Another one you might like to compare and contrast with Mottainai is the concept of Mudazukai meaning lavishness (housewives usually use this when you use too much of something of a practically infinte but nevertheless metered or precious resource).

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