Information Wastes

Thanks to Mark Graban's recent Leanblog podcast with Steve Bell, I found a long list of information wastes that serve as an appendix to Bell and Orzen's Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation (2010). 

Given the Lean focus of the book, the information wastes are categorized according to the Lean "waste" categorizations: inventory, over processing, over production, waiting, motion, errors, unnecessary complexity, underutilized human potential, and environmental waste.

The list is VERY extensive and detailed. There are elements in there that are quite familiar, like issues with multitasking or poor handoffs or rework (poor quality). Given the size of the list, there were tons of items that I hadn't specifically thought of previously. They are certainly examples of waste, though.

Of course, I don't think one needs to go through the list and eliminate each waste - there is always another layer that can be eliminated. But if you know where your people are running into struggles, this might be a good place to start with helping them to get more out of their work. (In other words, focus on the constraint and find ways to ensure they aren't wasting their efforts.)

1 Comment(s)

David Buchan Author Profile Page said:

I'm working with people on communication between teams and we often talk of the waste caused by rework. This is a great list in that it makes rework very specific with examples that people will recognise.


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