Lean is Waste Elimination is it ?


I remembered a famous quote b Taiichi Ohno below

“All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the time line by reducing the non-value adding wastes.” – Taiichi Ohno

Many has mistakenly assume that reducing the non-value adding wastes is what defines lean. But we have to remember that lean means providing value to customer. When we look at the principles of lean coined out in Lean Thinking, we can really straighten up our misunderstanding.


5 Principles of Lean:

  1. Specify value for the customer
  2. Integrate Value Stream
  3. Create Flow
  4. Pull from the customer
  5. Aim for perfection

It is clearly that the 5 principles of lean never intended to set waste elimination as a principle because not one of them state that elimination of wastes in the system is the primary focus. Therefore, to those of you that say Lean is all about waste elimination, I would say that it is fully wrong. I do not mean that in Lean, we should not care about wastes in the system. Rather, elimination of wastes will be one way to reach the goal of Lean which is to provide perfect value to the customer.


One thought on “Lean is Waste Elimination is it ?

  1. Pingback: Where productivity comes from? Relation between Quality, Lean, Efficiency | ROUTE TO KAIZEN : A QUEST FOR PERFECTION

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