The 8th Waste…is a Waste
Waste is a common term used in lean. Taiichi Ohno categorized waste he saw in manufacturing into seven categories.
- Transportation – The movement of goods
- Inventory – The storage of goods
- Motion – Any motion that is not adding value to the product, such as walking, reaching, etc…
- Waiting – Machine or person or product not having value added to it while other products are having value added to it
- Overproduction – Making the product in quantities more than the customer wanted or before the customer wanted it
- Overprocessing – Adding more to a product than a customer values or extra steps that are not necessary to create the value
- Defects – Anything not done right the first time
These types of waste have been proven to be in the office, healthcare, distribution, or any environment.
I’m not a history major so I don’t who or when, but an 8th waste was added.
The waste of human Intellect.
I have worked at companies that use 7 and companies that use 8 types of waste. My opinion, the 8th waste is a waste!
Here’s why I think that way. If you study lean you will see that respect for people is a very big tenant. If you are showing respect for people then you are engaging the work force. The purpose of this engagement is tapping into the employees intellect in order to use it to benefit the company through improvement.
In order to engage the employees most companies train them on the types of waste. That way they can use their intellect to see the waste in their work environment. So how do you teach seeing wasted intellect? You can go out and see the other seven types of waste during a waste walk. Do you walk up to someone and say, “You aren’t giving ideas. Wasted Intellect! I found it!”? You don’t see intellect like you see the other seven types of waste.
Wasted intellect is implied in the other wastes. If you are using employees to find and eliminate waste then you are not wasting their intellect. If you are not using them to find and eliminate waste then you are wasting their intellect.
I have heard the opinion that by explicitly stating waste of intellect it brings into the forefront employee engagement. Good opinion. I just don’t buy it though. Those same people are stressing employee engagement at the same time, so why not just do it there.
I am in agreement that employees need to be engaged and the company should be using their knowledge and intellect to help improve the business. I just don’t think it needs to be called an 8th waste.