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Muda (Waste)

Many Lean terms originate from Japan. Muda is one of those terms. It really translates to ‘wasteful activity’, but in common practice most people simply use this definition: muda = waste.

Since one of Lean’s main goals is reducing waste to improve flow, it is no surprise that muda had a major role in Lean. If there was a single battle cry for Lean, it would be ‘No Muda!’

Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System, identified 7 muda types.

He called overproduction the worst form of muda, since it creates and hides all the other forms of waste. (More detail is available under waste.)

Many people add an eighth, human-focused, form of muda: unused creativity.

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