Wheel Of Lean

Many of us at are familiar with the seven wastes:


Over processing
Over production

Too many companies focus on just the above 7 when they are only 1/3 of the issues in a system. TIM WOOD is called MUDA. There are 3 elements that need to be addressed when making a system lean:
· Muda – Activity that is wasteful and doesn’t add value or is unproductive
· Mura – Unevenness/inconsistency in a process and “flow” of the product
· Muri – Overburdening

Muda is easy to see and is the type of waste that gets most the emphasis when it comes to Lean. Muda is not more or less important than the other two wastes. Examples of Muda include operators standing around because they are waiting on the operation before them to finish, a quality hit, or having too much raw material.

Mura means unevenness. You can think of Mura as flow. Do systems/invoices/product flow through a process? Is there regularity of the flow? Is the flow predictable? Typically you address flow issues with a kanban(s) and create a pull system.

Muri means overburdening. The expression “running like a chicken with its head cut off” is a good way to describe Muri. Muri also refers to overburdening in work content and ergonomically. How often have you felt there was too much work to get done in a normal 40 hour week? Is there an area of work that causes repeated ergonomic issues? The way to address Muri is through standard work and safe ergonomic practices and designs.

Think of Muda, Mura, and Muri as equals; they are all parts of a wheel and they all have to be balanced to make the wheel turn. You’ll go much farther and faster when your wheel is even and smooth.