Lean and the 8 Wastes - Definitions

This article talks about what Lean is and the relationship between the 8 Wastes commonly recognized in Lean and the Lean tools (countermeasures) used to reduce or eliminate the identified wastes in any process.

An Overview of Lean
Lean can be described in many ways. Some definitions focus on elimination of waste, while others state that Lean is mostly common sense. At its core, it's a set of principles that focus on continuous improvement. Lean is derived from the Toyota Production System and is used to make processes more efficient and effective at satisfying customer needs.

These principles apply to all processes that are used on a regular basis, whether it be in the manufacturing or transactional world. Transactional processes are at their heart paperwork processes such as entering orders, creating schedules, quotes or proposals, or processing documentation—physical product is not produced or assembled. Transactional processes are prevalent in every industry beyond manufacturing.

 Kata in Real World Situations

Formal Definition of Kata
Kata is a term used to describe how Toyota uses a formal approach to train its employees (AKA 'learners') improve their continuous improvement (CI) skills. This article addresses 5 questions to use when talking with people on the shop floor to use the kata approach to improve processes without all of the formality.  It steps the learner through the process of improvement  in a natural easy-to-use way that helps them build their skills.

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