Plan for Recovery – Lesson 3: Waste Removal

23 Apr Plan for Recovery – Lesson 3: Waste Removal

Value-Added Activities

Thank you for taking part in the exercise yesterday.  It was designed to help you capture where you and how you spend your time.  By shining a light on where and how you spend your time, it is likely you found over 60+ percent of the time was categorized as non-value added time spent.  This gives you further insight, information, and another tool to help you invest your time differently.

Let’s Talk Waste

As practitioners of Continuous Improvement we look for incremental and cost effective methods for improving the efficiency and effectiveness.  One very effective method is to understand the amount of waste in-the-way-we-work.  If you were to research the topic you will find a plethora of examples, however I like to focus on the 8 specific types of waste from an operations and administrative perspective.

Waste in production environments are much easier to identify – if you’re producing green crayons and red crayons are coming of the production line you can see there is production defect.  Keeping the corrective actions simple:

  • Review the process documentation to see where the color of the dye is specified
  • Ensure the dye is labeled correctly, if not correct the labeling
  • Use visual management on the label use Color and Words i.e. RED or GREEN. Why?  What if the operator is color blind?

Waste in administrative environments are more difficult to find because much of the waste is not as easy to see, it is hidden in computer systems and processing.  However over 60% of the waste in a company can be found by ‘seeing’ the waste within administrative areas.

7 8 Waste Types

Typically there are 7 waste types Transport, Inventory, Motion, Waiting Time, Over Production, Over Processing, Defects. (TIMWOOD).  I like to add Unused Potential as the eighth type of waste. (TIMWOOD-UP)

Here are some examples for each type of waste in the Production Area










Here are some examples for each type of waste in the Administrative Area














The waste type is the same, however the examples vary based on the business area.  Therefore depending on your business you may have to investigate waste in one or both areas to identify the waste within your organization.


This may be difficult, given the current working conditions, however you can practice while at home and then apply it to the information you gathered in lesson 2.  The waste walk helps you go to Gemba “go-look-see” take a walk and see what types of waste you can find.  Capture your findings below.















What did you find?  Will the removal of the waste make it easier?  Will it decrease the amount of time/energy you’re currently spending?  Will it save you money if you stop doing it?  Will it decrease the amount of space needed, therefore decreasing the rent you’re paying?

Don’t limit yourself to one walk.  Try adding this to your schedule once a week. You’ll find new improvement opportunities each time you perform the exercise.


Waste identification is a great way to decrease expenses, improve quality and morale in your organization, not to mention making it more efficient.

If you want to discuss your findings or have questions, please give me a call.