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TIMWOOD is a mnemonic device used to help people remember the different forms of waste associated with Lean. These seven wastes are widely accredited to Taiichi Ohno.

The TIMWOOD Acronym

  • Transportation: Moving materials from one place to another is a waste of transportation.
  • Inventory: Anything more than immediately necessary to work on is the waste of idle inventory.
  • Motion: Excessive movements when performing work and walking are both forms of motion waste.
  • Waiting: Many processes require an individual to wait before they can continue working. Standing by machine finishing a cycle or waiting for glue to dry are both examples of this form of waste.
  • Overproduction: Overproduction is when more work than immediately required by the downstream operation or customer is completed. It is widely considered to be the worst form of waste.
  • Overprocessing: Overprocessing is when unnecessary steps or additional work needs to be done to deliver a good or service.
  • Defects: Defects are most commonly thought of as being a product that does not conform to specification.

Using mnemonic devices such as TIMWOOD  help in two main ways. The first is that they aid in the teaching process by providing learning framework for students. The second is that they increase unaided recall. With TIMWOOD, most people can come up with the various forms of waste without assistance. This helps greatly when they are looking for improvement opportunities in a process.

Visit our page on the 7 forms of waste to get more detailed information about each of the items in the list above.

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