8 Types of Wastes Cheat Sheet

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Introduction to Lean Waste

Lean management focuses on eliminating waste to improve overall customer value. The concept of waste in Lean is broadly categorized into 8 types, famously known by the acronyms "TIM WOODS" for manufacturing environments and "DOWNTIME" in a more general context. These acronyms help in remembering the types of wastes businesses should look out for: Transport, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Overprocessing, Defects, Skills (underutilization). Understanding and identifying these wastes are the first steps towards creating more efficient, productive, and cost-effective processes.


Unnecessary movement of products or materials, which adds no value to the product.


Excess products and materials not being processed.


Unnecessary movements by people that don’t add value to the product.


Idle time resulting when employees or machinery wait for the next step in a process.

Over Processing

Doing more work than what is required by the customer, leading to wasted time and resources.


Producing more than what is needed, leading to excess inventory and resources.


Products or processes that fail quality standards, leading to rework or scrap.

Non-Utilized Skill

Underusing people’s talents, skills, and knowledge.

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