7 Wastes and TIMWOOD LEAN

7 Wastes are the killers of a Lean Production.

The entire Lean Journey has to be dedicated to removing the 7 wastes.

TIMWOOD is a way to remember them.

Here the transcript of the video on the 7 wastes.

In this video, I will give you a “Hack”
to remember the 7 wastes forever.

Now I introduce you …

He is the king of the wastes.

Waste 1 – Transportation

Waste 2 – Inventory

Waste 3 – Motion

Waste 4 – Waiting

Waste 5 – Overprocessing

Waste 6 – Overproduction

Waste 7 – Defects

If you remember TIMWOOD should be easier
to remember the 7 wastes.

Who is mister TIMWOOD LEAN?

King of Wastes

He is a man who likes the 7 wastes of lean 🙂

In other words, it is a lean acronym to remember forever the 7 wastes of Lean Manufacturing.

In details:

T = Transportation

I = Inventory

M =Motion

W = Waiting

O = Overprocessing

O = Overproduction

D = Defects

The wastes definition is one of the first questions I normally do to new Lean Engineers
and I do not like when they do not know the answer promptly.

Please note that using TIMWOOD you are not following the original sequence
that Ohno said in order of importance.

  1. Overproduction
  2. Waiting
  3. Transport
  4. Overprocessing
  5. Inventory
  6. Motion
  7. Defects

The 8 Wastes

It is possible to find some Sensei that speaks about 8 wastes

by adding Skills Unused into the wastes.

In this case, the acronym became TIMWOODS or TIMWOODS.

Let us go now into details of the 7 wastes lean …


TIMWOOD - T - Waste of Transportation


Customer does not pay to have goods moved around.
Any movement of material is waste.

There no value added to move stuff!


any time you move something is not really necessary to move
you expose the materials to the risk of:

  • Damage
  • Lost
  • Delay at the point of use

Another example of the waste of transportation is
when a product is moved from a building to another building.

A way to understand if there is an excess of transportation is
to imagine to sit on the goods and follow the material with a camera.

Once this virtual experiment is done you can yourself how to reduce it.

For example:

  • Could the supplier bring the good directly at the point of use?
  • A duplication of low-cost equipment could reduce the meters?
  • Could I relocate the equipment to reduce the meters?


TIMWOOD - I - Waste of Inventory


Having no inventory is a goal that can never be attained,
inventory is the enemy of quality and productivity.


if in your daily life you eat 250 grams of bread on a daily basis,
would you stock at home 25 kg of bread?

25 kg of bread is 100 days of inventory.

The control of inventory is one of the most critical aspects
of the lean journey.

It is normally said that a Lean Company has a low level of inventory.

Pay Attention!

The real goal is to control the inventory
at the level you need to run the business.

Remember …

No inventory No Business!

This is what Taiichi Ohno used to say about inventory:

The more inventory a company has, the less likely they will have what they need.

citazione di Taiichi Ohno




TIMWOOD - M - Waste of Motion


It refers to ergonomy and people moving around.

An operator that is moving around searching for:

  • Materials
  • Tools
  • Information

in not value added at all.

The best way to see and reduce this waste is
the Spaghetti Chart.


the waste of motion can be evaluated at
a different scale of observation.

For Example:

  • You can evaluate the spaghetti chart to see the meters done by a worker.


  • You can evaluate the number of movements a worker does in his workstation.

Ohno used to stress a lot the concept that movement is different from work.

Here there is funny Lean Aphorism about it:

The only place that work and motion are the same thing is the zoo
where people pay to see the animals move around.

Taiichi Ohno quote on zoo

On the other side, Mr. Shingo used to say:

It is only the last turn of a bolt that tightens it – the rest is just movement.

Shigo Shingo quote


TIMWOOD - W - Waste of Waiting


The waste of waiting is probably the second most important waste.
It is directly relevant to flow.

Nobody and nothing should wait!

When you refer to the waste of waiting you have to focus on:

  • Information
  • Pause
  • Materials to work
  • Idle Time
  • People to work
  • Maintenance Intervention
  • Delay in the Meetings
  • Materials waiting to be moved
  • … and many many other examples.

When someone or something is waiting there is no flow.


TIMWOOD - O - Waste of Overprocessing


Overprocessing refers to the waste of using a hammer to crack a nut.

Another example is when into the process one dimension is
controlled 3-4 times.

Another real example to understand is treated in this
video of the shoemaker “NEW BALANCE”

Example of Overprocessing @ New Balance

In details,

the associates used to make 2 stitches rather than the single one requested.



TIMWOOD - O - Waste of Overproduction



Ohno believed that the waste of overproduction was the most serious of all the
7 waste in lean manufacturing. You cannot prepare 7 pizzas if your customer wants 2 pizzas.

Here the example the help me to remember:

What if you ask for 1 pizza and they bring you 10 pizzas?



TIMWOOD - D - Waste of Defects


Last but not least there are defects. You pay someone to produce
something wrong.

Here what Deming used to say:

Defects are not free. Somebody makes them, and gets paid for making them.

Edwards Deming quote

And I fully agree with him!

When you create a defective piece you have to take into account
a lot of other wastes apart the material you have to throw into the bin.

  • Payment of the worker
  • Machine usage
  • Material used
  • Electricity, Water, and Gases
  • … and much much more.


you have to remember that the quality is part of Toyota’s House.

The goal of Toyota’s House is:

The highest quality at the the lowest cost and shortest lead time.


I want you to listen to the words of Deming about this:

Improve quality, you automatically improve productivity.

Edwards Deming quote on quality

How to recognize Mr. TIMWOOD?

It is known that Mr. Taiichi Ohno used to ask a new employee
to do an exercise that was named Ohno’s Circle.

When a new engineer was hired in Toyota, Ohno walked with
him on the shop floor and drew a circle with a chalk.


he asked the new engineer to stay into the circle for a long
time by observing the line and taking notes.

Ohno called this phase OBSERVATION.

The Observation is the first and the best way to see the wastes!

Here a great sentence of Shigeo Shingo:

The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize.

Shigeo Shingo quote on waste


I have a clear position, I like TIMWOOD for two reasons:

  1. It is funnier and easier to remember.
  2. It is closer to the original definition of the 7 wastes.


to be complete I report here another lean acronym known as TIMWOODS and DOWNTIME:

TIMWOODS is the same lean acronym with the addition of “S” = Skills Unused.

DOWNTIME is reported below:

D = Defects

O = Overproduction

W = Waiting

N = Not used Human Potential

T = Transportation

I = Inventory

M = Motion

E = Excess of Processes

Here there is the video I created for this lean acronym.

Lean Videos on the 7 Wastes and TIMWOOD

Here there is the list of the video I have collected so far on the wastes and Mr. TIMWOOD:

7 Waste in Lean Manufacturing

You will find the acronym of TIMWOOD explained in this video.
You can use this video for quick training.

8 Types of waste

A whiteboard video that describes the 8 wastes.
This video is useful for quick training, too.

8 Wastes in Healthcare

Lean is used more and more in healthcare.
It is important to understand how the 7 wastes
are declined in the Hospitals, Clinics, etc.

For Example:
The waste of transportation in healthcare is not only for goods,
but it is also the transportation of the patient.

7 Wastes in Travel

This is a video where it is possible to see how the 7 wastes are
in any activity we do.

How many minutes do you spend in preparing the suitcase for a journey?

Wastes in Returns

A great Lean TED Talk about the wastes on the On-line Business.
It is clear here how technology can help to reduce wastes.

Not Only 7 Wastes: Muda, Muri, Mura

The 7 wastes are only a part of the story.
Waste = Muda (in Japanese)


if you want to be a great Lean Leader you have to know another
two sources of wastes:

  • Muri = Overburden
  • Mura = Unevenness



I have tried to describe to you who is Mr. TIMWOOD.


You should be able to remember the 7 wastes forever.

On the other side, apart remember them you have to apply
yourself in remove these wastes from your processes.

If you need to know more about the Lean Acronym I strongly
suggest you visit the Lean Glossary of my friend Roser.

  • Esto es realmente genial, eres un blogger muy profesional. Me he unido a tu RSS y espero leer más cosas en este gran blog. Además, !he compartido tu sitio en mis redes sociales!


  • >