What is Waste?

Waste is any step or action in a process that is not required to complete a process (called “Non Value-Adding”) successfully. When Waste is removed, only the steps that are required (called “Value-Adding”) to deliver a satisfactory product or service to the customer remain in the process.

The 8 Wastes


  1. Defects – Products or services that are out of specification that require resources to correct.
  2. Overproduction – Producing too much of a product before it is ready to be sold.
  3. Waiting – Waiting for the previous step in the process to complete.
  4. Non-Utilized Talent – Employees that are not effectively engaged in the process
  5. Transportation – Transporting items or information that is not required to perform the process from one location to another.
  6. Inventory – Inventory or information that is sitting idle (not being processed).
  7. Motion – People, information or equipment making unnecessary motion due to workspace layout, ergonomic issues or  searching for misplaced items.
  8. Extra Processing – Performing any activity that is not necessary to produce a functioning product or service.

To remember The 8 Wastes, you can use the acronym, “DOWNTIME.”

The 8 Wastes - DOWNTIME

The 8 Wastes = “DOWNTIME”


Before Waste is removed, processes are often scattered, which can negatively affect your customers:

Before Waste Is Removed

Before Waste is removed in a kitchen (Sandwich making process example).


After Waste is removed, processes are more streamlined, resulting in more satisfied customers. You’ll also save your organization time and money:

After Waste Is Removed

After Waste is removed in a kitchen (Sandwich making process example).


To learn more about The 8 Wastes and how to remove them from your processes, check out our fun, affordable, World-Class Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training.

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