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Concept of Wastes as perceived in Lean

Organizations strive to eliminate three basic categories of waste in their business processes.

Basic Waste Category are:

  • Wasteful activity – Work that adds no value to a product or service. Eliminating such activities from business processes will help organizations cut cost.
  • Unevenness – This denotes inconsistencies that exist in a business process. Unevenness and inconsistencies can be avoided by eliminating inventory and supplying items to the production process only when they are needed.
  • Overburden – This is caused by an unreasonable or excessive strain on resources. It can be eliminated by simplifying and standardizing processes.

Among these three basic categories of wastes, Lean focuses on eliminating activities that do not add any value. These activities are further classified into seven types of wastes: transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, over processing, and defects.

Goals & Principles of Lean?

Lean manufacturing has a few important goals, which have led many industries to implement. Lean in their production processes. The goals include:

  • Improving quality to stay ahead of competition in the market. This is done by capturing customer requirements and redesigning operational processes to meet those requirements.
  • Eliminating waste to make processes more efficient. This is done by eliminating activities that do not add any value to the product or service.
  • Reducing variabilities and inconsistencies by standardizing processes and outputs.
  • And, reducing costs by ensuring that production does not exceed customer demands. By preventing overproduction, organizations can also make sure that inventory costs do not increase.

 The implementation of Lean techniques in an organization is guided by a few important principles.



Value Defining the value
Value stream Identifying the value stream
Flow Creating flow in the value stream
Pull Creating pull in the value stream
Perfection Creating a continuous improvement culture
Leveling Creating a balanced workflow
Standardized processes Developing standards and following them
Kanban Using a visual signaling system
Visual control Using visual control methods
Quick changeover Enabling the reduction of time
Defect prevention Reducing the cost of poor quality

Are Design Thinking and Six Sigma mutually exclusive?

Read Nilakanta Srinivasan's answer to Are Design Thinking and Six Sigma mutually exclusive? on Quora


LeanLean as a production system has helped both manufacturing and service enterprises to enhance value to customers by eliminating wastes in their processes. Reducing inconsistency and unevenness, along with waste elimination forms the 3 pillars of Lean.

This course is part of our series of Quality Courses and will provide you a good overview of lean concept, tools and techniques used.





Is it right for you?

    • Apt for project managers, team members of Lean six sigma project teams
    • Lean induction of all employees prior to Lean Six Sigma deployment
    • All B-School students

What will you learn in this Lean Course?

  • Quality Management
    • Definition & dimensions of Quality
    • Quality Control vs Quality Assurance
    • Small-Q vs Big-Q
    • Evolution of Quality Movement
    • Total Quality Management (TQM) & its Foundation
    • Cost of Poor Quality
  • Lean Systems
    • Definition, Origin, Principles & Goals of Lean
    • Value, Value Stream, Concept of Muda(Waste) & Categories of Waste
    • 7 Types of Wastes, How to Identify them, & Waste Identification Template
    • Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Symbols, Benefits & Procedure
    • Push System, Pull System, Single Piece Flow, 5S, Kaizen, SMED, Poka-Yoke
    • Types of Poka-Yoke – Shut Down, Prevention, Warning, Instructions
    • Heijunka & Visual Control

Features of the Course

  • 2 chapters with 80 mins of self-learning content
  • Interactive audio-visual medium with ample manufacturing and service industry examples
  • Interactive self-assessment quiz for every chapter


30 days access to 2 chapters of online Lean course content (part of our suite of Quality Courses)


30 days access to 2 chapters of online Lean course content is Rs.999 + 18% GST

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