The examples of Wastes given in the early LEAN trainings or documents were taken from the manufacturing world, for obvious reasons. Have you never seen people saying “this is not applicable in my job/our company!” or ” our products cannot be compared to car manufacturing!” when talking about some LEAN concepts ? Well, that is their opinion. Let’s now try to give some examples that are more focused in office or engineering activities.
Forms of Wastes identified in the Lean methods:
There are other Wastes now recognised. Like
Absence of goal alignement inside an organisation
Recruitement or loss of ressources.
How to reconceal with non-manufacturing world.
Defects on a drawing lead unevitably to some waste of time, either we have to discuss the problem or we have to change the drawing.
A mistake in a specification will lead to misunderstanding for the receiver of the document. The impacts could be defects in products, defects in other documents, or simply rework of the specification. All is waste.
This speaks by itself : What happens when a technical document is waiting inputs from other departements ? delay can have an impact on the release of a major deliverable.
How much time do you think is lost in design due to upload and download from databases ? (And this is also iorritating for the designer!)
I’ve heard that not so long ago in a company, half of the documents were stored on a site 20km away. The configuration departement had to get the car to retrieve the document for the engineers.
We can mention Iterations in specifications or design due to wrongly placed perfectionism.
Or “gold plating”. Where instead of making just what is required, we prefer to design “rolls Royces.
Product Inventory imply risk of obsolescence. We could have obsolete specifications if changes are coming to soon aftertheir creation.
Also Inventory is money invested put not produced a return value. That exists also within engineering as time used to produce a service which has no immediated value for the business and that may have to be done again.
So are all the products not sold on the market, as the offer exceeds the demand.
It is the same when you release a bunch of documents together (which are not going to be processed due to the availability of readers)
- Transport waste
This is the unecessary movement of material
What about the unecessary exchange of emails, information, server exchange.
For re information about how to address lean in engineering refer to the ressources area