no waste

techniques: How to do it

Like many things in life, there are easy and hard ways to reduce waste. We suggest the easy approach, not because we are lazy (!) but because "easy" means we are less likely to make mistakes and get it right first time.

Getting it right first time means we only use the right amount of resources to do the job, it also means that we save time, effort, money and minimise our impact on the environment - easy is good!

Other than easy, the next thing to remember is keeping whatever you want to happen simple. Why? If it is simple, everyone can take part and follow the process. Getting buy in is easier if what is required is simple to do. However, remember: simple is not about dumbing down, it is about getting rid of unnecessary complications and bureaucracy. A easy and simple process of how to do it is shown in the diagram.

how to do itHow to do it:
Step 0 is a critical one and often outside the immediate "how to do it" parts - but if you do not get this, you will find it a lot hard to sustain traction - getting started is usually not that hard, but without senior level support, keeping it going is much harder.

Step 1 is about developing some content to raise the awareness of your teams and colleagues. Awareness raising includes giving people sufficient information to make sound decisions as well as the necessary tools and techniques to help them reduce waste.

Steps 2-8 are covered in other parts of this website.

But how do you spot bureaucracy and unnecessary activities? Well, there is one question you can ask to check this: does the specific activity deliver any benefits to the customer or ultimate user? If the answer is "no", "hardly any"or "not sure", there is a pretty good chance that the activity is not really necessary.

A more systematic way of identifying unnecessary activities is to map the business process backwards. From the customer or ultimate end user back to the starting point. By doing this, you will probably discover a few things: the newly mapped process is simpler than the current one; the unnecessary activities are gone; and it is unlikely that there are any bureaucratic activities left either.