What is Muda? The 7 Wastes Every Lean Business Needs to Combat

muda what is muda

One of the key parts of driving your business forward is being able to identify and tackle waste.

Is a process taking too long? Is it creating a bottleneck? Are your workers struggling to be productive?

In this Process Street article, we look again at what managers can learn from the Toyota Production System about how to improve your business processes.

The specific concept we’re tackling is muda. Muda translates roughly as waste, and refers to the inefficiencies within processes which you can seek to reduce or eliminate entirely.

As Rene T. Domingo outlines in his paper Identifying and Eliminating The Seven Wastes or Muda for the Asian Institute of Management:

The elimination of waste is the primary goal of any lean system. In effect, lean declares war on waste – any waste. Waste or muda is anything that does not have value or does not add value. Waste is something the customer will not pay for.

We’ll look at the core 7 types of waste Toyota see within processes and production systems and consider the claims for the addition of an eighth.

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