The 8 Wastes


Now, we're going to dig one step deeper into identifying problems. In this lesson, you'll learn the 8 forms of wastes and use them to identify new continuous improvement opportunities.


Identifying waste is one of the most fundamental activities of the Lean methodology in continuous improvement. Waste is abundant in any organization. Learning to identify and eliminate waste can result in increased business success!

 DOWNTIME is an acronym for the 8 common forms of waste.

* Defects: an error; anything not done right the first time
* Overproduction: producing more than can be consumed by the customer
* Waiting: waiting for anything or anyone at any time; waiting for the next process step
* Non-utilized Talent: underutilization of a person’s knowledge, skills or abilities
* Transportation: movement of goods or materials
Inventory: excess storage of materials
* Motion: movement of people
* Excess-processing: producing higher quality than is required by the customer


You'll also hear the 8 wastes referred to as TIM T WOOD. Tim T Wood is a "bad guy" who should be caught and eliminated. These two acronyms can be use interchangeably.

- Transportation
- Inventory
- Motion
- Talent (in place of Non-utilized Talent)
- Waiting
- Overproduction
- Over-processing (in place of Excess processing)
- Defects

7 Wastes

The 8 wastes actually started as the "7 Wastes", "7 Deadly Wastes" or COMMWIP (Correction, Over-production, Motion, Movement of Materials, Waiting, Overproduction, Over-processing, Defects).

Continuous improvement experts now almost universally include the 8th waste: Talent.

People are our organization's greatest asset, and often are a company's single expense. It's absolutely critical in continuous improvement that we give utmost respect to our people's time and talents and seek to use our employees to their fullest potential. Improving our processes will help them succeed in better serving our customers and increase employee engagement. 

New ideas to eliminate waste? Add them to your Opportunity Log.

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