The Top 10 Wastes in the Office

by JoeWhite 28. April 2010 15:32
Hello Friends,

I wanted to let you know about an interactive webinar that I thought you may be interested in called ‘The Top 10 Wastes in the Office’ on Monday, May 3rd at 2:00pm Eastern.   

Waste is any item, practice, task, process, etc. that adds no value to customers or shareholders.  It is all around us but we rarely see it as waste.  Join us for this free web event on what we consider 'The Top 10 Forms of Waste in the Office'. We will review definitions of value and waste followed by counting down some of the largest forms of wasted found in the office, including waste due to data and information, workflows and employees.

THIS IS NOT A TRADITIONAL WEBINAR.  Don’t expect to simply listen and type in questions at the end. This webinar will include interactive exercises and discussion.  Along with slides, you will see the instructor at all times via a LIVE streaming video.

Our goal is for you to start identifying waste in your own workplace immediately after this session.

For more information, please browse the webinar page.

Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think may be interested.


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Categories: Continuous Improvement | Lean | Lean Office | Office Waste | Value

Learning to See Office Waste

by JoeWhite 25. March 2010 04:46

Lean is the constant pursuit of identifying and eliminating waste and there are many different tools that Lean practitioners use to accomplish this goal, but they all align with the one guiding principle of identifying and eliminating waste. We will discuss many types of waste in upcoming posts, but we should lay some ground rules and agree on some basic principles before going too deep.

First, let’s agree on how to define waste. I will give you the accepted definition, but your input would make this a much richer exploration, so please respond by adding to my definition or challenging it as you see fit. Primarily, waste is the opposite of value. Of course, this leads to the question of what is value. Since value may be a little simpler to get our minds around, let’s first define it as anything the customer is willing to pay for. Think of value as something that changes the form, fit, or function of a tangible product that the customer buys, or any service that someone is willing to pay for. Ultimately, this means that waste is any activity that doesn’t change the form, fit, function or value of the good or service. 

Next, we should discuss waste elimination as a philosophy. I contend that total waste elimination is a lofty goal that can never fully be achieved and is somewhat nebulous and idealistic. It may even be irrelevant. However, we should never accept waste that we see and we should be in a constant battle to eliminate it. 

Finally, the relationship between work and waste should be highlighted. Virtually all waste is work, but the opposite is certainly not true. Just because we classify an activity as something that the customer is unwilling to pay for doesn’t mean that it isn’t work. In fact, the very reason we strive to eliminate it is because work is required to perform the activity, but isn’t rewarded by the customer. We must always be mindful of this and be careful how we present our findings as we search for waste. People often take offense when an activity that they exert great amounts of energy to complete, is classified as wasteful. An employee who takes pride in his work will often feel stressed, angry or hurt at such an assessment. Handling these situations with empathy and coaching can make the difference in whether or not someone is willing to help us eliminate wasteful activities or not. After all, they are more than likely tired at the end of their work day, even if the customer is unwilling to pay for their activities. Being sensitive to this and helping employees understand how to eliminate waste without disrespecting their effort will help get everyone on board with our waste elimination efforts and maintain a healthy sense of respect.

This post will be followed by 30 or so more over the next few months which will deep-dive into different forms of waste in the office as well as suggestions on how to remove them.  Each post is meant to teach you how to see that particular form of waste.  We would love to hear examples for each from your environment one as well as what you did about it.



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Categories: Lean | Lean Office | Office Waste | Value




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