1. The 3 major ways used to categorize wastes by influential Japanese gurus

    August 5, 2016 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Linkedin by Mohammad Elshahat

    Norman Bodek often called “The Godfather of Lean” couldn’t imagine how simple the instructions of Mr. Ohno which were the basis of Toyota Production System. Norman said (1988): “There’s nothing very complex in the magic of Mr. Ohno’s teachings”, he continues: “In fact, it is often confusing listening to him because he talks so simply, often just saying to look for and eliminate waste. We cannot believe that it is that simple – but it is true.”

    ” Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication .” Leonardo da Vinci

    Learning to see wastes is the first skill that you have to develop with your people, and eliminating those wastes should be on the top of your priorities. Developing small wins of discovering wastes and converting them into value was the heart of Toyota Production System. From the beginning, where your customer places an order to the point when the customer receives what he asked for, there are many processes and activities in the way. Your customer is not willing to pay for you, because you just have the cutting edge technology, or the best experts in a certain field, customers only pay for what solves their problems regardless of what you do to come up with that product or this service. The only one who cares about your product/service is You!

    “All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing that time line by removing the non-value-added wastes.” Taiichi Ohno

    3 waists 1

    So, understanding wastes and how to identify them across your value chain is the lifeblood for your lean implementation. Knowing the types and classifications of wastes will help you to easily discover them. There’re many classifications of wastes, but in this article, I’m going to share with you the major three:

    1. Taiichi Ohno’s classification (7 wastes)
    2. Yasuhiro Monden’s classification (4 wastes)
    3. Hiroyuki Hirano’s classification (5MQS wastes)

    Taiichi Ohno’s Classification

    In my last article, I have briefly discussed the seven wastes which have been introduced by Taiichi Ohno (1988) – one of the inventors of Toyota legendary. It’s very important how you prelude these types of wastes to your people, instead of just informing them with the seven wastes in a bullet format or using this acronym ‘TIMWOOD” – it’s only a good way for remembering, but not for learning. You can open a discussion with your people using questions.

    The Socratic Method to Unlock People’s Capability

    A lean leader should realize the incredible power of questions and how it could shape people’s thoughts and let them learn virtually anything. In fact the entire Socratic Method is based on the teacher is doing nothing but asking questions, directing the student’s focus and getting them to come up with their own answers.

    “He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers” Cameron Proverb

    Michael Ballé and Art Smalley in their article “The Spirit of Lean” shared seven questions that will help in understanding the seven wastes and to stir and develop the “lean mindset” in your team.

    1. Are we producing too much or too soon?
    2. Are operators waiting for parts to arrive or for a machine to finish a cycle?
    3. Are we keeping conveyance to a minimum?
    4. Are we over-processing parts?
    5. Do we keep on the workstation more parts and components than the minimum to get the job done?
    6. Do we keep motion that does not contribute directly to value-added to a minimum?
    7. Do we avoid the need for rework or repairs?

    Many “lean consultant” has started a training session by writing the 7 wastes on a board, and never returned to them again because they were too busy with the tools! Using the Socratic Style in your training will make a big difference with your people and how they perceive the seven wastes, following the above questions with the WHY question will make you discover the real root causes to these wastes and then you’re about to drive them all out.

    Yasuhiro Monden’s Classification

    “Toyota Production System: An integrated approach to just in time” is one the best books that describes TPS from an academic standpoint. Monden introduced four kinds of wastes that can be found in manufacturing operations:

    1. Excessive production resources
    2. Overproduction
    3. Excessive inventory
    4. Unnecessary capital investment

    Excessive production resources could take many shapes; excessive workforce, excessive facilities, excessive inventory, when these elements exist in a amounts more than necessary, whether they are people, equipment, materials or products, they only increase cash outlay (costs) and add no value.

    Excessive production resources create the secondary waste – overproduction. Overproduction is regarded as the worst type of waste at TOYOTA. Over production is to continue working when essential operations should be stopped.

    Overproduction causes the third type of waste – excessive inventories. Extra inventory creates the need for more manpower, equipment, and floor space to transport and stock the inventory. These extra jobs will further make overproduction invisible.

    Given the existence of excessive resources, overproduction and inventory over time, demand for the fourth type of waste would develop. This fourth type, unnecessary capital investment, includes the following:

    • Building a warehouse to store extra inventory
    • Hiring extra workers to transport the inventory to the new warehouse
    • Purchasing a forklift for each transporter
    • Hiring an inventory control clerk to work in the new warehouse
    • Hiring an operator to repair damaged inventory
    • Establishing processes to manage conditions and quantities of different types of inventory
    • Hiring a person to do computerized inventory control

    These four sources of wastes raise administrative cost, direct material costs and direct or indirect labor costs and overhead costs such as depreciation, etc.

    Hiroyuki Hirano’s classification

    Stability is a key element in sustaining the success of Toyota. Sustaining stability in the 5Ms; Man, Machine, Method, Material and Management is the first goal that a lean leader has to focus on, but it would be a little bit harder to reach stability, when the 5Ms are fatty. By maintaining stable 5Ms and freeing them from wastes, you can accomplish your highest targets of Quality and Safety.

    3 waists 2

    The 5MQS scheme identifies seven types of waste, five of which begin with the letter “M”: Man, Material, Machine, Method, and Management. The “Q” in the 5MQS formula stands for Quality and the “S” for Safety.

    This figure shows the seven categories of wastes and how they include many hidden opportunities for improvement if we just stop and take a look. Although the first classification for wastes by Ohno is the most famous one, the other two are very valuable and could be used. In my perspective, Monden’s classification is a re-formulation of what Ohno stated (The 7 wastes) and it gives us an understanding of what the root cause of overproduction – excessive production resources. On the other hand, Hirano’s framework is a good one for organizations that start their lean implementation, as it directly hits the five foundations (5Ms) for any organization looking for stability, quality and safer workplace.

    Begin with the end in mind

    All things are created twice, so having a framework for identifying wastes in mind is a good way to keep your people motivated to waste elimination. Although, it is not a necessity that they’re going to discover wastes just by knowing that, but visualizing the end target in mind and keep moving toward it is better than getting to hunt wastes in a chaotic manner. After that, you can start your Waste Walk individually or with cross-functional team to identify Muda at your workplace.

    Last but not least, eliminate waste purposefully, get the most out of the Waste Walk, and let your team experience the power of lean by unlocking the hidden opportunities for improvement.

  2. South African Quality Institutes latest news

    July 24, 2016 by BPIR.com Limited

    South African Quality Institute (SAQI) http://www.saqi.co.za is the national body that co-ordinates the Quality effort in South Africa. Their monthly newsletter is an excellent source of information to keep up with the latest quality issues in South Africa.


    • Benchmarking in education systems, by Rubab Malik, Dr. Robin Mann, and Prof. Nigel Grigg
    • Around the world on Solar power, by Terry Deacon
    • Sobering message from less privilaged childern, by Terrnance M. Booysen
    • Quality in schools: Dare to dream, by Richard Hayward

    Click here to download this newsletter.








  3. South African Quality Institutes latest news

    May 18, 2016 by BPIR.com Limited

    South African Quality Institute (SAQI) http://www.saqi.co.za is the national body that co-ordinates the Quality effort in South Africa. Their monthly newsletter is an excellent source of information to keep up with the latest quality issues in South Africa.


    • Executive responsibility according to ISO 9001:2015, by Paul Harding
    • With the benefit of Hindsight, by ASQ
    • Celebrating IAQ’s Golden Anniversary, by Gregory H. Watson
    • Corporate Reputation: It certainly matters, by Terrance M. Booysen
    • Qaulity in Schools: Is stress good for children, by Richard Hayward

    Click here to download this newsletter.








  4. Webinar: The secret sauce used by rapid growth businesses

    April 20, 2016 by BPIR.com Limited

    No Masterchef would dare plate up a dish without the sauce – that magic ingredient that pulls together, or integrates all the different flavours into a coherent dish ready for the diner’s experience.

    Business is no different. 70% of businesses fail to achieve their true potential. And yet they are nearly there. All the components are in place. It is just they are missing the essential ‘sauce’ that provides coherence and alignment in their business.

    Our April webinar Step Up: The secret sauce used by rapid growth businesses

    covers a proven 4 step process for removing those barriers that stop them from achieving success; the secret sauce that is missing from business that no one talks about.

    Click on the link below to find out more and book your place on this 60 minute webinar.

    Step Up: The secret sauce used by rapid growth businesses

  5. David Bowie: Look back in Quality

    March 26, 2016 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Minitab blog by Samantha Lee and Shana Lebowitz

    Unless you live under a black country rock, you’ve no doubt heard that the world recently lost one of the greatest artists of our time, David Bowie. My memories of the Thin White Duke go all the way back to my formative years. I recall his music echoing through the halls of our house as I crooned along whilst doing the chores. Then as now, Bowie’s creativity and energy inspired me and helped me do what I do.


    Since his death, I’ve been reflecting on the many prophetic works that this prolific and visionary artist contributed to the world. In the old days, songs were released in collections called “albums.” This was an artifact of an inefficient and technologically unsophisticated delivery system that relied on large, unwieldy disks that were prone to scratches, warping, and other defect modalities. But I digress. Like a true artist, Bowie often used the media at hand as a vehicle for his art.

    In addition, his albums often told stories, which many different audiences have interpreted in many different ways. When I listen to Bowie, I hear stories about life, love…and process quality control.

    You might be surprised to discover that David Bowie was a proponent of quality process improvement. For example, you may be familiar with one of David’s earlier classics, “The Man Who Sold the World.” But did you know that David’s original title for the album was The Man Who Sold the World on the Benefits of Continuous Quality Improvement? Of course, that’s never been publicly acknowledged. Unfortunately, cigar-chomping executives at the record company forced him to shorten the title because, in their words, “Kids don’t dig quality improvement.” Fools.

    Bowie’s subsequent album, Hunky Dory, was an ode to the happy state of affairs that can be achieved if one practices continuous quality improvement. Don’t believe me? Then I challenge you to explain why I hear these lines from the song “Changes”:

    I watch the ripples change their size but never leave the value stream of warm impermanence

    For decades I’ve struggled to understand these inscrutable lyrics, but now I realize that they are about control charts. Of course! You see, by ripples, David refers to the random fluctuations of varying sizes that occur naturally in any process. And he asserts that if the process is in control, then the ripples don’t wander outside of the control limits (a.k.a. the stream). Whilst acknowledging that such control makes us feel warm and fuzzy, David also reminds us that process stability is impermanent unless one is dedicated to continuous process improvement and control.

    If Hunky Dory is an homage to quality utopia, then Diamond Dogs surely represents the dysphoric chronicles of a harrowing dystopia in which the pursuit of quality has been abandoned. (Fun fact: some claim the original album title was Your Business Is a Diamond in the Rough; Don’t Let Quality Go to the Dogs.) Perhaps jarred by the panic in Detroit, David warned us to pay careful attention to issues of quality in our economic and social institutions. And he warned of an Orwellian future in which individuals are unable to pursue and maintain quality in their organizations because they are stifled by an authoritative ‘big brother’ who gives them neither the attention nor the resources to do so effectively.

    By the time his album Young Americans was released, David appeared to be feeling cautiously optimistic about improvements in the quality of quality improvements, as I am reminded every time I hear these lyrics from the song “Golden Years”:

    Some of these days, and it won’t be long
    Gonna’ drive back down where you once belonged
    In the back of a dream car twenty foot long
    Don’t cry my sweet, don’t break my heart
    Doing all right, but you gotta work smart
    Shift upon, shift upon, day upon day, I believe oh Lord
    I believe Six Sigma is the way

    Some might question Bowie’s insistence on Six Sigma methodology, but I believe none would question his assertion that we must “work smart,” and that dedication to quality is absolutely essential.

    As one final piece of evidence, I present the following quote from Bowie’s song, “Starman.” I personally believe this song is about a quality analyst from an advanced civilization in another galaxy. Gifted songwriter that he was, David realized that “quality analyst from an advanced civilization in another galaxy” was too many syllables to belt out on stage, so he used the “starman” as a metaphor. I’ve taken the liberty of making the substitution below; I think you’ll agree, the veracity of my interpretation is inescapable.

    There’s a [quality analyst from an advanced civilization in another galaxy] waiting in the sky
    He’d like to come and meet us
    But he thinks he’d blow our minds
    There’s a [quality analyst from an advanced civilization in another galaxy?] waiting in the sky
    He’s told us not to blow it
    ‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile

    So, so obvious when you know what you’re looking for. Kind of gives you goosebumps.

    I took a few moments with fellow Minitab blogger and Bowie fan, Eston Martz, to brainstorm about what made Bowie such a monumental and influential artist. I collected our notes and created this fishbone diagram in Minitab Statistical Software. This is only a partial listing of Bowie’s albums, musical collaborators, personas, and topics that he covered in his music. It would take many more fish with many more bones to cover all of his artistic collaborations, movie roles, and other artistic endeavors. Thanks for the music, David, and thanks for the inspiration, past, present, and future.