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The Notorious 8 Mudas…..


The Notorious 8

MUDAS in Life and Surrounding

Traditionally as human beings we have knowingly/unknowing discover/invented ways in life which could simply our everyday livelihood.

Gone are those days when we had to wait for 2 to 3 days before the next bus arrives to take us to the desired destination. We have reached a stage today where a cab can be availed in 10 to 15 mins thereby drastically reducing our waiting time to commute from one place to another.

“Waiting” in the above context is an example of a waste which when reduced lead to superior experience and increased productivity.


Similarly, an engineer at the Toyota production system, Mr. Taiichi Ohno  identified 7 different types of wastes, popularly known as “MUDAS”.He developed a “Lean manufacturing framework, which was based on the idea of creating more and more value for the Customer/Business with less and less efforts.

Muda (無駄) is a popular Japanese word meaning “uselessness; wastefulness”, and is a key concept in lean thinking model which can be applied across all walks of life.

The famous 8 MUDAS in Life and Surrounding

  1. Transportation   

This is a type of waste which caused while moving things around. Every time there is a movement which may not be required or is unnecessary can increase risk, cost of movement without adding any value to the product or services. Generally, transportation waste can be caused by

  • Poor Office layout
  • Lack of assembly line
  1. Inventory

Too much of raw material procured without gauging actual customer demands, developed products sitting in a warehouse without any demand from the customer leads to excess inventory and contributes to WASTE. Just in time production and setting up a robust Demand – Supply chain can help us reduce such wastes. Some key reasons for such wastes include.kyuquality

  • Lack of understanding customer demands
  • Lack of proper monitoring and control system
  • Slow redundant turnaround time for product development
  1. Motion

Excess movement of People, processes and machines leads to uncontrolled damages/gaps in processes and systems and subsequently shoots up the cost of delivering services to the customer. Wear and tear of the systems/machines, injury/low morale of the employees could lead to unnecessary downtime/delays. Keys causes:

  • Lack of standardization
  • Redundant and standalone operating processes
  • Lack of robust design and control mechanism


  1. Waiting

The very famous term “Work in Progress – WIP” typically illustrates the waiting for the end receipting of the product or service. Key causes include and not limited to

  • Poor process adherence
  • Staff absence from work
  • Lack of Service Level Agreements
  • Overload of work
  1. Over-production

Over-production can typically be considered the worst kind of WASTE in any process, it may also be related to over-staffing. This may lead to a huge cost for the organization and would consume a major portion of the working capital. A complete gap in the demand and supply mechanism in the processing system. Waste may overdue to

  • Assumption based production
  • Lack of end to end system is driven tracking and production
  • Production basis gut feeling of any decision maker
  1. Over-processing

Unnecessary working on a product/process then as required by the end customer leads to the WASTE – Over processing. Over-processing leads to high cost of operation and development of the product. Creating multiple types of the same product which is not even required by the customer. Key causes include and not limited to

  • Too many Miss
  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of standardization of processes
  • Untrained employees
  1. Defects

Rework on a product due to errors, or instances, where the whole product needs to be discarded, are the Defects which leads to high cost, delayed delivery, additional resource hours for reproducing and subsequently an unsatisfied customer. Waste may overdue to

  • Poor Quality control mechanism
  • Poor monitoring of the processes
  • Gaps in processes
  • No SLA
  • De-motivated employees.
  1. Resource Utilization

Deploying the right resource for the right job is a combination of both Art and Science. Imagine asking a fish to climb a tree, an elephant to represent a 100 meter sprint. The outcome can be disastrous. A right resource with the right experience for the assigned JOB can lead to greater productivity and a highly satisfied customer. Non-utilized resources would arise from

  • Gaps in Job allocation practices
  • Poor communication
  • Lack of training
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