Systematic Waste Elimination

My three posts this week will be the final three posts about some of the deeper understanding I got from attending the Lean Experience class facilitated by Jamie Flinchbaugh and Andy Carlino from the Lean Learning Center.

One of the five principles of lean they talk about is Systematic Waste Elimination.  A common definition of lean out there is a eliminate waste from the process.  Jamie and Andy talk about the key word in the principle….Systematic.  I remember learning this three years ago, when I took the course the first time, but over time I have lost sight of it.  Not eliminating waste, but systematically eliminating waste.

By systematic, Jamie and Andy mean have a structure to do it in.  Don’t just go around talking about eliminating waste and expect people to just do it.  Have a mechanism for someone to identify and surface the waste.  Have a way for that person to go about eliminating (or reducing) the waste.  Give it structure and a repeatable process.

Being systematic about eliminating waste, will give the organization a better chance at sustaining the momentum when someone engages and eliminates waste in their work.  Having structure will allow successes to build upon one another.

I have seen structure put around waste elimination in manufacturing environments and even office environments such as order processing.  I thought about how we could put structure around identifying and eliminating waste in our central lean change agent group that I am a part of.  If we can’t do it in our own work, how can we expect others to do it?

Eliminating any waste, no matter how much, will add up and make things more productive.

Other blog posts about my learnings from the Lean Experience Class:

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Posted on December 6, 2010, in Development, Engagment, Learning, Waste and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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