As part of our efforts to share valuable Lean practices with our readers, we've created a series of education videos. Each video covers an improvement principle in 2-3 minutes, providing you with a quick nugget of best practice information. Don't forget to share with your staff and colleagues!
In this video:
The topic for this video is learning how to reduce wasteful steps in a process. These are often referred to as non value added steps. When we’re discussing process improvement, value can be defined as any work that actually meets the customers’ needs. This is the work they’re willing to pay for. On the other hand, waste can be defined as anything that interferes with providing products and services in the most efficient and highest quality way.
Process improvement teaches us to focus first on reducing or eliminating the non value added steps in our work. The process isn’t about doing our work faster, it’s about doing our work smarter. Focus on reducing barriers, delays, and unnecessary steps. Focus on the things we shouldn’t be doing; this gets us further along than just trying to do our work faster. Non value added steps are always frustrating, and sometimes dangerous.
One way to find non value added steps in your work is to take note whenever you don’t have the supplies, equipment, or information that you need to do your job the right way. Front line employees are often experts at workarounds because they’re motivated, smart people who do whatever it takes to get the job done. But, we’ll all do better in the long run by improving our processes to eliminate these workarounds and improve the underlying work. So the next time you find yourself looking for something or taking extra steps, that’s a great opportunity to stop, log in to KaiNexus, and enter your opportunity for improvement. We should all aim to improve the system by identifying waste or non value added steps so we can prevent that waste from reoccurring.
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