Muda is not the only fruit
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Muda is not the only fruit!

Lean Thinking by Womack and Jones (1996) has undoubtedly played an important role in the lean movement over the past few decades. However, one of the failures of the book lies in the opening word – muda. It is not that muda (waste or non-value-added activity) is not important or that it should not be tackled. The point is that the book overemphasises muda and underplays the other forms of variation that Ohno identified for us. The effect of this is that many lean practitioners see muda but fail to see the other forms of variation. Often it is these that need to be addressed, or perhaps need to be addressed first, for successful and sustained lean transformation.

image of Muda Mura and Muri

The other forms of variation I refer to are of course mura (meaning unevenness) and muri (meaning overburden).
Service organisations, for example, are people-centric. If you want to win the hearts and minds of people, it might be wise to address muri (overburden) before ‘putting on your muda specs’. The blog blow identified four classic symptoms of overburden to look out for.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226909

Lean transformations are generally normative. That means they attempt to effect organisational change through altering employees’ beliefs, values, emotions and self-perceptions. Not easy, but starting with something that improves their everyday lives and builds trust makes intuitive sense.

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