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Eight Things You Should Know about Efficiency

As technical capabilities continue to grow, so does the importance of working efficiently. It’s essential to check in with ourselves and our teammates to make sure we are working well, both individually and together. In Lean Six Sigma terms, this means asking if there is “waste” happening within our processes.

Waste is defined in this context as any activity within a process that isn’t required to manufacture a product or provide a service that is up to specification. There are eight types of wastes, defined below. Do any of them resonate with your day-to-day?

  1. Defects: Efforts caused by rework, scrap, and incorrect information

  2. Overproduction: Production that is more than needed or before it is needed

  3. Waiting: Wasted time waiting for the next steps in a process

  4. Non-utilized Talent: Underutilizing people’s talents, skills & knowledge

  5. Transportation: Unnecessary movements of products and materials

  6. Inventory: Excess products and materials not being processed

  7. Motion: Unnecessary movements by people (e.g., walking)

  8. Extra-Processing: More work or higher quality than is required by the customer

The Lean Six Sigma methodology positively affects people by empowering them to improve the way they work. It’s popular for its approach to solving problems and streamlining processes, and aims to ultimately increase revenue and customer satisfaction across industries.

Being aware of inefficiencies in your workflow creates the opportunity to start making small changes. You don’t have to be an expert in Six Sigma to apply the methodology at a high level. Learn more by checking out

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