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8 Wastes of Lean: How to Eliminate Wastes Thoroughly【”The Lean Farm” Book Review】

8 Wastes of Lean: How to Eliminate Wastes Thoroughly【”The Lean Farm” Book Review】
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8 Wastes of Lean: How to Eliminate W...

This post explains the 8 Wastes of Lean. Addition to Toyota’s 7 Wastes, The 8th Waste, ‘Employee’s unused creativity’ was added in Lean Six Sigma.

(Duration: 7:02)

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Process Analysis on a Farm (Value Stream Mapping)

Hi, this is Mike Negami, Lean Sigma Black Belt.

Continuing from the last video, we’ll learn more from the book ‘The Lean Farm’.

<<Detailed Info. for “The Lean Form” by Ben Hartman>>


<<Ben Hartman’s New Book: The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables>>


Today’s theme is “How to eliminate wastes thoroughly on a farm”.  I made a video about Toyota’s 7 Wastes a long time ago.  If you haven’t watched that video, watch it first because it shows the 7 Wastes’ basics.

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Farming is a repeated process.  In this book, they mentioned the Value Stream Map of their current process.  I also drew a Value Stream Map based on the book.

VSM on a Farm

In summary, one of their processes is: first plan the project, order seeds based on it, prepare the soil, plant the seeds, hoe, irrigate, spray to repel pests, harvest, wash, store in a cooler, bunch or package, deliver, display, receive money and deposit it.

After making the Value Stream Map, you’ll discuss where wastes are in your process with your team. Because of the visualization, you can write notes and it will make you brainstorming easier.

The 3 Waste Categories in a Process

In this book, before the topic of the 7 Wastes, it explains that all actions in a process can be categorized into one of the following three:

The 3 Waste Categories in a Process

The 1st one is Value-Added Action: Actions that add value to customers. Next is Type 1 Muda: ‘Muda’ means waste in Japanese. Actions that do not add value but are necessary. The 3rd one is Type 2 Muda, which is pure waste. All the 7 Wastes are this Type 2 Muda.

In a Kaizen activity, you’ll not only eliminate Type 2 Muda, but also minimize Type 1 Muda and conduct your Value-Added Actions more efficiently so that you can aim to maximize your total value.  Therefore, the Lean Method and Lean Sigma can generate higher productivity and value with less work, and thy have many methods and tools for that.

Eliminating Waste Kaizen Activity

Usually we concentrate on eliminating Type 2 Muda, but before that, it’s important to know which steps in your operation actually add value to your products or service.  Let’s do this classification on the Value Stream Map previously made.

‘Plan the project’ itself does not add any value to customers, but it is Type 1 Muda because it’s necessary. However, if you make a mistake on sales forecasts, you may get a lot of waste later.  Next is ‘order seeds’. Seeds themselves have value, but the act of ordering does not add any value, therefore it’s Type 1 Muda as is ‘Prepare the soil’.  ‘Plant the seeds’ adds value to the products. When you’ve classified all the steps, this below is the completion.

Waste Activity Analysis on a Farm

You can see that the actions in ‘plant the seeds’, ‘harvest’, and actions after harvesting are Value-Added actions and important.  You have to eliminate Type 2 Muda immediately, and Type 1 Muda has a lot of room for improvement at the beginning, but as improvement progresses, you’ll not take too much time on them.

On the contrary, you would like to spend more time on actions that increase the value of your products and services. The author says that his team spends a lot of time on the Value-Added Actions shown here, which means they keep adding value in their products. It’s awesome.

8 Wastes of Lean: DOWNTIME

So how can we eliminate Type 2 Muda and minimize Type 1 Muda? Here we are going to use Toyota’s 7 Wastes. The 7 Wastes are: ‘Defects’, ‘Overproduction’, ‘Waiting’, ‘Non-value adding processing’, ‘Transportation’, ‘Inventory’ and ‘Motion’.

All of these apply to any companies.  My last video was about the 5S activities on the farm.  We can understand that they were able to considerably reduce wastes of ‘Waiting’, ‘Transportation’ and ‘Motion’.

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Additionally, Lean Sigma has another waste: ‘Employee’s unused creativity’.  There are many times that front-line employees sometimes have an great idea. Other times, they practice a solution that the boss doesn’t even know about.

In Lean Sigma, we consider such a condition as waste. We value those people and ask them to share their ideas, then we make best practices to use throughout the company. By the way, we remember these 8 wastes as the acronym, ‘DOWNTIME’.


  1. Defects
  2. Overproduction
  3. Waiting
  4. Non-value adding processing
  5. Transportation
  6. Inventory
  7. Motion
  8. Employee’s unused creativity

In this book, the author included ‘Unevenness’ and ‘Overburden’ as wastes. Toyota, the creator of the 7 Wastes, treats them as another group and emphasizes the order of ‘Unevenness’, ‘Overburden’ and ‘Waste’.  Those three should all be eliminated, but ‘Unevenness’ is the root cause.

Toyota considers that when production amounts or some operations are uneven, later somewhere else there will be ‘Overburden’ and it will cause ‘Waste’. Therefore, Toyota has many methods to eliminate unevenness such as Heijunka, which is Production Leveling and Takt Time.

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