processes are often neglected, yet account for more than half the
lead-time in many companies and can account for more than 25 percent of
the cost of goods sold. In offices, an absence of measurement for
processing activities or a lack of appreciation for the impact and
benefits of lead-time reduction contribute to waste. Of these wastes,
overproduction is significant.
the business or individual produces more of something much sooner or
faster than is required, the results include shortages in one area and
chaos in another. In addition to wasted time and resources,
overproduction impacts functionality of office machines and
equipment; the extra wear and tear leads to more maintenance costs.
Even worse, employees are kept busy doing work that does not need to be
done while necessary work waits its turn.
are often signs of overproduction. When one step in the process is
completed more quickly than is possible for the next step to start, the
bottleneck arises, sometimes bringing with it the "blame game." However,
your co-worker's overflowing inbox is not necessarily the result of
your co-worker's poor work performance or your superhuman ability. It
may be a factor of your task being too simple and your co-worker needing
another person to share his/her more complex task.
in the process not only create more work for you and your co-worker,
but also for others with whom the two of you interact. You both end up
searching for documents that may be in the inbox or you end up
consistently reprioritizing work. These things in themselves are other
forms of waste. And because overproduction creates or hides all other
types of wastes, it is known as the worst of all the wastes.
the things you do in a day, how many reports do you create that
nobody reads? How many annual reports do you print just in case you may
need them? To how many people do you copy your weekly
spreadsheet because you think they may need the information? These types
of overproduction take away your valuable time and impede your ability
to complete work that is beneficial to both the organization and its
addition to self-initiated overproduction, systems and processes are
the organization's major contributors to this waste. Redundant systems
and duplicated records and systems cost more to maintain, yet provide
little, if any, value to the organization.
time you think of blaming a co-worker for his/her slow pace of work,
remember that even in a small company, 95 percent of lead-time in
business processes is non-value added work. And the biggest culprits are
poor systems and processes; not the people. Focusing your efforts on
correcting these areas will reap the biggest rewards for your