The Definition of Value

In the lean vernacular waste is mentioned quite often.  From my experiences, waste is the number one concept and idea talked about with lean.

Waste needs to be identified and eliminated or reduced, but that is hard to do if values is not defined.  Without a definition of value, the separation of wasteful items and non-wasteful items becomes harder.

Here is the definition of value that I use:

  1. It must be something the customer finds valuable and is willing to pay for
  2. It must change the form, fit, or function of the product/service
  3. It must be done right the first time

All three of the criteria must be met.  No Exceptions!

I am very strict in my definition of value  When I look to improve a process I want to first work on eliminating or reducing the non-value added steps/actions.  Not squeeze the juice out of the value added items.  The non-value added actions/steps is the place where the headaches and pain points for the employee occur.  It isn’t changing the product/service that cause headaches as much as it is looking for the things needed to be able to do the change to the product/service.

Defining what is value is the first step in being able to eliminate waste.  Feel free to use the one above.  If not, be sure to have one of your own.  You don’t want to eliminate something that a customer may find valuable.

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Posted on February 2, 2012, in Customer Focus, Waste and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Your keyboard mixed two words ! “Here is the definition of waste that I use:” : You certainly mean “value” instead of waste.
    I like your definition of value and especially the third criteria.
    Thanks

  2. Matt,

    Not sure I agree

    It must be something the customer finds valuable and is willing to pay for
    (Yes)

    It must change the form, fit, or function of the product/service
    (If it doesn’t why would I pay for it?)

    It must be done right the first time
    (If it wasn’t, why would I be willing to pay for it?)

    Am I being a pedant? Don’t I only need one deffinition? What am I missing?

    James

  1. Pingback: The Definition of Value | Management et organisation | Scoop.it

  2. Pingback: Questionner, c’est essentiel pour améliorer ! » Valeur pérenne

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