In this blog series, we will describe the Seven Deadly Wastes and their impact on workplace productivity. We will focus on examples to help paint a picture of how each waste affects the office place, in the hopes that you will be able to identify where waste is occurring, and how you might prevent it. Catching waste before it happens will support your lean 5S office efforts while boosting morale and promoting overall workplace efficiency.
According to Tom Fabrizio, understanding the waste of inspection “begins with an understanding that defects are caused by the way work is performed. If work is performed correctly, inspections are not needed” (Fabrizio, 7). As he describes it, inspections occur in order to find mistakes and defects after they have already occurred – they discover waste.
The problem with this process is that the inspection itself is a form of waste. Once you consider the time and scheduling that goes into performing the inspection, plus the report that it then generates, the inspection is actually creating more waste than it prevents. The key here is that “errors must be prevented, not just detected… the inspection process exists only because of a fear of mistakes made during the work process” (Fabrizio, 7).
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
To prevent the waste of inspection and defects, consider involving your employees in brainstorming how to prevent defects before they occur. Enlist their help as you bring the office to a new level of organization.They will serve as a wealth of information and likely provide you with enough data to begin the process of implementing regulations and plans which support the prevention of these defects before they occur.
The Seven Deadly Wastes – which are so egregious as to be considered deadly – are as follows:
- Correction and Rework
- Unnecessary Motion
- Equipment Downtime
- Inventory and Storage
Blog Posts on Each Waste Will Be Published Throughout April and May.
Note: Many of the examples used in this blog series come from Thomas A. Fabrizio and Don Tapping’s fabulous book “5S For the Office”. Please check it out if you would like more information on the subject. It is available for purchase here.