Lean methodology is a systematic approach to identify and reduce waste in all aspects of a business in order to improve efficiency and the quality of the end product. It focuses on identifying and eliminating inefficient practices that add costs, lead to delays, or otherwise lower customers.
Related Video on Lean Six Sigma
The 7 Wastes of Lean by GEMBA Academy
Introduction – What is the Lean Methodology?
The lean methodology is a systematic approach to the practice of product development. It was developed in the 1950s by Toyota Motor Corp. to allow for higher quality cars at a lower price.
The methodology is based on the idea that “waste” is present in all processes and by removing it, productivity can be improved. The goal of Lean production is to cut out all unnecessary actions that are not adding value to the end product while maximizing output at minimum cost without sacrificing quality or customer service.
The lean method improves operational effectiveness through its focus on eliminating waste and producing instant feedback loops – by measuring performance with respect to key metrics, holding performance-based discussions with management, and providing visual representations in order to identify problems quickly and easily in order for improvements to be made.
The 7 Wastes to Watch Out For
Lean manufacturing (also known as lean production or just lean) is an industrial engineering approach to manufacturing that seeks to optimize value throughout the entire process including front-end planning, production, fowards and reverse logistics, and product design.
The 7 Wastes to Watch Out For are:
Waiting: when the process has too many steps in sequence. The people or machines just wait for their next task
Transportation: when there is unnecessary transportation of materials. That could be parts in an assembly line, finished goods between departments, raw materials to a work station)
Overproduction: Producing more than what is needed, or producing more than the customer needs.
Overprocessing: When is done more than really requested from customer or requirements.
Inventory: Materials or finished goods that are not immediately needed by the production process, but must be stocked for future use.
Motion: Any unnecessary movement (and associated energy) caused either by human beings (such as excessive walking) or by machines (such as motors operating unnecessarily).
Defects: When a defective part is produced.
Reduce Waste and Increase Efficiency on Your Shopfloor!
I learned recently that 1) wastes vary by context and 2) the real goal of lean is to improve flow. Waste removal is one way to improve flow.