Have you ever finished packing your suitcase, attempted to shut the lid and found that it won’t quite zip shut? What do you do? Do you sit on the suitcase to try to squeeze it shut? Do you remove items that you hope will not be needed on the trip? Do you try packing the suitcase with some of the efficient methods shown in this video?
What you’ll notice about these methods is that each of them offers a different way to minimize wasted space. Air is a packing nemesis. It takes up room in your suitcase and you have to take some of it with you even though you don’t need it. The problem is that air is invisible and, because it is invisible, we don’t often take the necessary steps to minimize its presence unless we’re forced to. What if that air was sand? Surely you would work harder to get rid of the waste! Organizations experience this problem when it comes to their processes. This is particularly true in knowledge processes where the steps can be hard to see – like air in a suitcase. Organizations “pack air” or waste in their processes all the time, along with value-added and value-enabling activities.   A value-added activity is one that the customer is willing to pay for. An example would be the time the doctor spends examining the patient. A value-enabling activity is one that the customer is not really interested in, but is necessary to receive the requested product or service. An example would be the report that the doctor writes after her examination of the patient or the secretary’s management of the doctor’s calendar.  A non-value-added activity is a wasteful one that customers are not willing to pay for. An example would be if the doctor forgot his stethoscope in the other room and had to leave the examination to retrieve it. To eliminate this waste, the doctor could stock every room in his office with the stethoscope or wear the stethoscope around his neck while on duty. “To get rid of muda [waste] you have to cultivate the ability to see it. And you have to think about how to get rid of the muda you’ve seen. – Taiichi Ohno, father of the Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing Sympli Works’ Scaling Your Value course can help you turn that air in your business processes into sand, so your employees can spend more time doing what excites them – delivering value to your customers! Let us show you how.