“The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize.”
According to Taiichi Ohno, the father of lean and one of the forerunners of Lean Manufacturing and was part of the team that developed the Toyota Production System, one of the first steps to becoming lean is to eliminate waste in a process. In 1988, he defined seven types of Muda. An eighth Muda was added later on.
Excess processing is a sign of a poorly designed process. This could be related to management or administrative issues such as lack of communication, duplication of data, overlapping areas of authority and human error. It may also be the result of equipment design, inadequate job station tooling or facility layout.
Some examples of over processing are:
- Utilization of higher precision equipment than necessary
- Using components with capacities beyond what is required
- Running more analysis than needed
- Over-engineering a solution
- Adjusting a component after it has already been installed
- Having more functionalities in a product than needed
- Generating more detailed reports than needed
- Having unnecessary steps in the purchasing process
- Requiring unnecessary signatures on a document
- Double entry of data
- Requiring more forms than needed
- Having an extra step in a workflow
To prevent overprocessing waste in a office, the implementation of standardization of processus could help to reduce the overprocessing for example.
Indeed, creating standard operating procedures will improve quality and reduce overprocessing waste.