How to Eliminate the Seven Kinds of Waste Using Lean Six Sigma


There are seven major types of non-value-added work:

  1. Overproduction (producing more than is required)
  2. Transport (often necessary, but still a waste)
  3. Inventory  (requires storage and transportation)
  4. Sub-processes (inspections, approvals, and other SOPs)
  5. Waiting (idle time for meetings, schedule changes, lost tools, and more)
  6. Correction (repairs, rejects, defects)
  7. Motion (unnecessary motions are wasteful)

Though as an organization you may find some of these – transportation and inventory, for instance – are necessary, they don’t add value to the customer’s experience. When trying to increase value for your customers with Lean Six Sigma, value equals only what the customer is willing to pay for the right product or service at the right time in the right place.

Therefore, improving the customer experience depends on your ability to define what the customer really needs and eliminate non-value added steps to provide it.

Define What the Customer Needs

Lean Six Sigma can help you identify what the customer needs and utilize the information to improve the customer experience. Knowing their needs enables you to discover what they value and how satisfied they are with your ability to deliver that value.

Capturing what your customers need, want, and value requires you to:

  • Collect user-generated content. Surveys, social media, focus groups, and other forms of feedback-gathering tools allow you to gather data.
  • Organize the data retrieved. Affinity diagrams, structure tree, and relationship charts enable you to classify customer preferences.
  • Analyze customer preferences. DMAIC and DFSS ensure that the processes you focus on are the ones important to your customer.

In addition, LSS techniques such as Voice of the Customer provide tools that can help capture customer needs.

Eliminate Non-Value Added Steps

Defining customer needs is only the first step in the equation. Customer-facing processes gain a lot by removing non-value added activities. For an action to be value-added:

  • the customer must care about the step
  • the step must change the product or service or be essential to another step
  • the step must be right the first time

While the ultimate goal is to remove steps that don’t meet these criteria, you may need to retain some non-value added steps for compliance or financial reasons.

As so clearly stated in the bulletin, “Improving Customer Satisfaction with Lean Six Sigma” significantly increasing customer satisfaction will lead to increased sales and market share. With Lean Six Sigma, you gain the ability to identify and provide what your customers need, want, and value. For more information on Lean Six Sigma or LSS training programs, review our website or contact us directly.

Lean Overview

Price: $85.00

SKU: L101

A 3-hour online overview of the Lean approach to eliminating waste and maximizing work flow. When you have finished this course:

  • You will understand what Lean is and why it is important
  • You will know about the most important Lean topics, such as value and muda
  • You will be familiar with Lean terminology

The estimated time commitment for this course is 3.0 hours. You have 30 days to complete the training.

Lean Training and Certification

Lean Expert Payment Plan

Price: $175.00


Lean Expert

Price: $450.00


Before you undertake Six Sigma, you should apply Lean principles to design work and design workplaces to maximize efficiency and eliminate waste. This course covers the complete Lean body of knowledge in 11 online learning modules developed and presented by Thomas Pyzdek. Pyzdek is the author of numerous works on operational excellence, including The Six Sigma Handbook, The Quality Engineering Handbook, and The Handbook of Quality Management. His work is widely acclaimed for making seemingly complex subjects easy to understand.

In this course you will learn to create value streams where work flows based on the pull of customer demand. The Lean approach taught here is that pioneered by Toyota and used worldwide in industries as varied as manufacturing, services and healthcare. Pyzdek employs the latest e-learning technology and methods. The training is 100% online and completely self-paced. You have 90 days to complete the training and we estimate the total time commitment to be approximately 20 hours.

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