What are the 7 wastes in Lean?

Lean implementation focuses on eliminating the 7 wastes (now expanded to 8 wastes) as identified in any process.  These are  the wastes of: over-production, waiting, transportation, processing itself, stocks [inventories], motion, and making defective products.  These wastes are universal – they can be found both in Lean Enterprise at the shop floor level, as well as in the Lean Office (even at the C-suite level).

The purpose of Kaizen is to eliminate waste, or muda.  These 7 wastes have been identified and listed below (graphic courtesy of Wikipedia)

Some folks remember them as the mnemonic “TIM WOOD” – Transportation, Inventories, Motion, Waiting, overproduction, over-processing, and defects.


7 types of waste identified in lean manufacturing

Or are there 8 wastes?

The 8th waste added is non-used employee talent (T), so that the 8 wastes can be easily remembered via the mnemonic “DOWNTIME” (Defective Production,Overproduction, Waiting, Non-used Employee Talent (the 8th form), Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Excessive (Over) Processing)

DOWNTIME graphic





By working to eliminate these wastes, an organization can achieve considerable improvements in their operating efficiency.