MUDA- Wasteful Activity
Muda (無駄?) is a traditional Japanese term for an activity that is wasteful and doesn't add value or is unproductive, etymologically none (無)+ trivia or un-useful (駄) in practice or others. It is also a key concept in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and is one of the three types of waste (muda, mura, muri) that it identifies. Waste reduction is an effective way to increase profitability. Toyotamerely picked up these three words beginning with the prefix mu-, which in Japan are widely recognized as a reference to a product improvement program or campaign. A process adds value by producing goods or providing a service that a customer will pay for. A process consumes resources and waste occurs when more resources are consumed than are necessary to produce the goods or provide the service that the customer actually wants. The attitudes and tools of the TPS heighten awareness and give whole new perspectives on identifying waste and therefore the unexploited opportunities associated with reducing waste.
Muda has been given much greater attention as waste than the other two which means that whilst many Lean practitioners have learned to see muda they fail to see in the same prominence the wastes of mura (unevenness) and muri (overburden). Thus whilst they are focused on getting their process under control they do not give enough time to process improvement by redesign.
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|1 The seven wastes |
|1.1 Transportation |
|1.2 Inventory |
|1.3 Motion |
|1.4 Waiting |
|1.5 Over-processing |
|1.6 Over-production |
|1.7 Defects |
|2 Other candidate wastes |
|2.1 Latent skill |
|3 Implementation |
|4 See also |
|5 References |
|6 External links |
The seven wastes
One of the key steps in Lean and TPS is the identification of which steps add value and which do not. By classifying all the process activities into these two categories it is then possible to start actions for improving the former and eliminating the latter. Some of these definitions may seem rather 'idealist' but this tough definition is seen as important to the effectiveness of this key step. Once value-adding work has been separated from waste then waste can be subdivided into 'needs to be done but non-value adding' waste and pure waste. The clear identification of 'non-value adding work', as distinct from waste or work, is critical to identifying the assumptions and beliefs behind the current work process and to challenging them in due course.
The expression "Learning to see" comes from an ever developing ability to see waste where it was not perceived before. Many have sought to develop this ability by 'trips to Japan' to visit Toyota to see the difference between their operation and one that has been under continuous improvement for thirty years under the TPS. Shigeo Shingo, a co-developer of TPS, observed that it's only the last turn of a bolt that tightens it - the rest is just movement. This level of refined 'seeing' of waste has enabled him to cut car body die changeover time to less than 3% of its duration in the 1950s as of 2010. Note that this period has allowed all the supporting services to adapt to this new capability and for the changeover time to undergo multiple improvements. These multiple improvements were in new technologies, refining value required by 'downstream' processes and by internal process redesigns.
The following "seven wastes" identify resources which are commonly wasted. They were...
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—Frederick Winslow Taylor, 1911.
Relationship to mechanization, automation, and offshoring
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