Seven types of waste are identified that a Lean organisation needs to manage effectively, reduce or eliminate.


This article identifies seven types of waste, as follows: Excessive transportation; improperly managed inventory; unnecessary movement; delays; over-production; over-processing; and defective products. Excessive transport refers to the unnecessary movement of a product. Improper inventory management can refer to excessive levels of stock, but, it also requires an organisation to risk-manage its inventory. For example, the government might want to retain a large stock of medical ventilators and masks, or even fuel and be prepared to distribute them in times of natural disasters or national shortages. Better designed processes can reduce unnecessary movement and can reduce delays. Over-producing and over-processing is when a process has too many steps which don't add value. However, in the military, it is not always easy to accurately assess the value of some processes, such as training. Think about how your unit can identify different types of waste, and also consider what sort of methods and procedures can be adopted to reduce that waste.