Everything you need to know about the seven wastes

Identify waste to cut from your processes

Table of Contents

What are the seven wastes?

Waste is anything that doesn’t add value to your product or service. Every activity in your organisation either adds customer value, or cost (Waste). Reducing waste allows your team to spend more time on meeting customer requirements. There are seven types. Here are a few everyday household examples.

Meet the seven waste villains

Scroll across the images for each type of waste.

How to go on a waste walk

Use this template to conduct a Waste Walk. This can either be a walk-through of a process or a physical environment (e.g. your working area). You may find things like time spent looking for documents (motion) or more letter-headed paper than you’d need in a year taking up valuable space! (inventory).

  1. Note down all the wastes you find on the Waste Walk downloadable sheet on the next tab. 
  2. Can you determine which waste it is (some things you see might fall into multiple types of waste)
  3. What could you do to reduce this waste?

Sector examples of the seven wastes

Here are examples of the seven wastes that can be found in different sectors.