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ChangeWise Quick Read: The 8 Classic Wastes of TPS

In this quick read, we offer a high-level overview of the 8 Lean wastes, including how to spot them, why they are bad for your organisation, and tips on how to find and reduce them.

Continuous Lean Improvement aims to remove non-value add work from business processes – these are the heaviest drain on profit in your organisation.

Where did the 8 wastes originate?

The 7 wastes; Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over-production, Over-processing and Defects, were originally categorised by Taiichi Ohno within the Toyota Production System (TPS). The 8th waste of non-utilised ‘skills’ of workers was later introduced in the 1990s when TPS was adopted in the Western world. As a result, the 8 wastes are commonly referred to as the acronym ‘TIMWOODS’.

Let’s take a look at each waste:

1. Transport


2. Inventory


3. Motion


4. Waiting


5. Over Production


6. Over Processing


7. Defects


8. Skills



The 8 wastes add unnecessary cost and time to your business. To identify them, use Lean Value Stream Mapping (VSM). Understand which process steps are value-add and identify instances of the 8 wastes. Develop a plan for removing them!

The first step to reducing waste is recognising that it exists within your organisation.

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