Dead trees in the front of Dune 45 in Namibia

Is Lean Management Really Just the Reduction of Muda (Waste)? To the Point of Starvation?

Time to Read 1 min

In the Lean Management/Toyota system, there are "three M's" for development and production, among others, that should be eliminated in order to achieve good efficiency:

  • Muda: waste, uselessness and futile work
  • Mura: imbalance, inconsistency and irregularity
  • Muri: overload, overwork and excess

In some western contributions and companies, Mura and Muri are overlooked when "Lean" is introduced. The formula applies: Reducing waste leads to greater efficiency. Incidentally, "agile" is also a child of "lean"...

Is it really so that simply preventing waste will make us more efficient? Is this not squeezing the lemon until it is no longer a lemon?

Without the opposing poles of Mura and Muri, are we just applying a diet? Does this not lead to "Lean" ending as haggard and dysfunctional? Will the imbalance and overload of systems and people no make up or even overcompensate for the reduced waste?

Andreas Stucki

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